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Palette pops

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

This relaxed reading nook with its grown–up English country vibe shows how far your choice of hues can go in creating interest in a room.

Restful, receding colours were used for the backdrop, with the main wall in Resene Lola and a return wall with tongue-and-groove panelling in moody and brooding Resene Jurassic, to create an inviting space to wind down with a book. These serene shades have been punctuated by pops of bright fluoro, including the plant pot in Resene Porsche and the small vase in Resene Citron, injecting an element of cheeriness in a small yet peaceful way. These highlights play off of the colours within the two original artworks, which were also created using Resene paints.

Reading nook with feature wall colours Reading nook mood board
Mood board Reading nook with feature wall colours
Mood board: Background in Resene Concrete with a stripe in Resene Jurassic, A4 drawdown paint swatches (from top left to right) in Resene Cab Sav, Resene Porsche, Resene Lola, Resene Jurassic and bud vases in Resene Jurassic (left) and Resene Citron.

A stripe of Resene Jurassic follows the shape of the Resene Concrete floorplate and takes the colour off the wall and out into the room, its straight lines contrast with the flowing curves of the chair, lampshade and large painting. It also moves the eyes around the room, forcing them to take their time and soak it all in – similarly to a painting. Plus, the lightness and neutrality of the Resene Concrete floor helps balance the darker Resene Jurassic panelling to keep the space from feeling heavy.

When you choose more than one piece of artwork to go in a space, mixing up their scales is one way of creating contrast between works that share colours in common. These two pieces are also similar in their brushstrokes and how their layers were formed, so even though they are of different styles, they still carry a sense of continuity between them. The swirls of the paintings are picked up in the shape of the chair. Although it’s a large piece of furniture, its permeable structure ensures that it doesn’t dominate the space. In the same manner, a long bench in Resene Cab Sav does the work of a shelf. It offers plenty of space to hold books and decorative accessories, but it keeps sight lines lower to the ground to leave more visual space for the artwork.

Reading nook with country vibe
Pops of dramatic colour

A mixture of different textures – shiny, matte, rough, smooth, hard, soft, knit and woven – bring tactile interest, adding to the cosiness of the nook. While bringing in a completely new colour to your palette can also add interest, bringing in new textures that match colours already in the room is a more subtle strategy to break things up without drawing too much attention away from more important elements – like the artworks.

When you do want to draw the eye to an area, pick colours up from the painting and use them in two other places in the room. If your artwork uses quite a few different colours, match the ones you find more interesting and are naturally drawn to. In this painting, it was Resene Citron and Resene Corvette that fit the bill. But because they are especially eye-popping hues, they’ve been limited to smaller surfaces and accessories. The key, though, is to space these items out within the room, and to feature them in odd numbers – which subconsciously come across as more balanced in our brains – so that you keep those eyes moving about the whole space, taking it all in.

Other colours to try with an atmospheric lilac like Resene Lola are moody blues like Resene Bali Hai, steeped beiges such as Resene Tea and creamy whites like Resene Bianca. Or, go for a tonal look by layering it with similarly dusty lilacs and lavenders such as Resene London Hue, Resene I Do, Resene High Tea and Resene Innuendo.

Paint: Back wall in Resene Lola, Return wall (with panelling) in Resene Jurassic, Floor in Resene Concrete with stripe in Resene Jurassic, Bench in Cab Sav, Tall plant pot in Resene Permanent Green, Short plant pot in Resene Porsche, Tiny vase in Resene Citron, Painted book (top of pile on bench) in Resene Jurassic.

Accessories: Jen Sievers original artwork, Georgina Hoby Scutt (aka Belle Hawk) original artwork “Still life with White Bottle”, from endemicworld; Cascade Armchair from Freedom Furniture; Bonnie & Neil Cushions from Republic Home; Throw from Madder + Rouge; Moon Standing Floor Lamp in Almond from Citta; Woven Basket Tote from Kmart.


Styling by Kate Alexander. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2020

Colour inspiration - latest looks gallery

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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