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From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

Get inspired by the everyday with these classic tones and enduring palettes.

As odd as it may sound, choosing classic ‘anti-trend’ colours is a trend in and of itself. For timeless hues that look good in any space, look to the Resene Classics Collection a specially curated range of perennial favourite colours. But just because you’re decorating with archetypal colours doesn't mean you can’t use them in a modern way.

Inspired by natureInspired by nature

Inspired by textiles
Inspired by textiles

Inspired by rugInspired by rug

Inspired by artworkInspired by artwork

Classic design styles and colour combinations will always be in high demand. But creating a design that doesn’t border on boring or feel like it’s been frozen in history can take a bit of finessing. Sticking to a quintessential look can also help you avoid the issue of a design looking choppy if you've had to stop and start your renovation due to cashflow woes.

Back to basics

A classic and timeless look starts with a reliable base that’s built on good quality basics. Consider buying solid wood furniture – the best you are able to afford. Coffee and side tables, drawers and shelving that can stand the test of time will not only look better for longer, but have a positive impact on the look of the entire space. Plus, these pieces can be easily stained or repainted over and over with Resene paints and wood stains as your colour or style tastes evolve.

A fresh start

One way to ensure a space has staying power is to turn it into a blank canvas. But remember, a ‘blank canvas’ doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stick to white or cream. Classic tones that work like neutrals such as dusky blues and greys can also be used to build a base that can be brought to life with changeable extras like cushions, throws and decorative accessories.

Inspired by nature — Paint: Panelled wall in Resene Pewter and right hand wall in Resene Spanish Green. Floor in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony. Pot in Resene Quarter Duck Egg Blue.  Accessories: Bench seat and chair by Rex Kralj from Good Form; left cushion, blanket and hide from Mulberi; Juniper cushion, stool and tubler from Citta, books from Father Rabbit; Art Brenda Clews. Plants and pots stylist’s own. 

Inspired by textiles — Paint: All and plinth in Resene Settlement. Floor in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt.  Accessories: Throw, cushion and rug from Mulberi; Chair, lowboy, pendant, baskets and marble dish from Citta; jacket, book and boot from Father Rabbit; bulb vase by Gidon Bing from Good Form; Jug, candle and art by stylist.

Bring in the classics

As a helpful resource to get you started, Resene has created the Classic Collection a specially chosen selection of shades that have staying power and look great in virtually any home. Grab a palette from your local Resene ColorShop and pick whichever colours inspire you or try one of these tried-and-true combinations.

Get inspired

Look around the space you intend to decorate is there something you can use as inspiration for your colour palette? It might be a favourite piece of artwork or even a rug. Take a photo of your inspiration and upload it to the Resene Colour Palette Generator, this handy tool will do all the hard work for you and create a suggested colour palette based on your photo.

Inspired by rug — Paint: Wall in Resene Dusted Blue and shelf in Resene New Denim Blue. Floor in Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony.  Accessories: Rug from Mulberi; armchair, lowboy, cushion, throw from Citta; lamp, mirror, table sculpture and vase by Gidon Bing, large vase, candle holder, bar stool from Good Form; book and sneakers from Father Rabbit

Inspired by artwork — Paint: Wall in Resene Soothe (top half) and floor and wall (bottom half) in Resene Red Oxide.  Accessories: ‘Masque’ art by Runa and Holly; Cabinet, bedhead, cushion, throws and cup from Citta; table, lamp and candle holder from Good Form; Day bed and vase stylist’s own.

Break it up

Another way to add depth to your design is to start with a pale shade on the walls, then build up layers of deeper tones through accessories and furniture. For example, walls in Resene Biscotti could be built upon with furniture and accessories in deeper sun-baked shades such as Resene Just Dance, Resene Soulful, Resene Desperado and Resene Twizel.

Add your own flair

Opting for a classic palette doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate touches of your own personal flair, either. Try using a muted pastel shade like Resene Half Secrets or Resene Half Duck Egg Blue as your base wall colour and layer it with changeable soft furnishings in different and deeper tonal shades with pops of bold contrast. Look to the Resene The Range fashion colours fandeck for popular brights for the finishing touches.

Top tip: The best way to get a classic look is to decorate with things you truly love. No matter what decade it was purchased in, if a piece really speaks to you, you can find a way to work it in.


Resene Colorwood Rock Salt

Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony

Styling by Amber Armitage. Photography by Flash Studios. 2021


Colour inspiration gallery

Get inspired with colour and the latest decorating and colour trends! Select just the right look and mood for your space.

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