The colours we choose to decorate with have been shown to have enormous psychological, emotional and even physiological impacts on us.
If you find yourself feeling overly stressed, it might be time to redecorate and look to ways to use colour as a stress management tool.
When it comes to restful and relaxing colours for the walls of your major living spaces, blue simply can’t be beat. Peaceful, calm and gentle, blue has tremendous power to soothe. Calming your mind, slowing down your heart rate, lowering your blood pressure and reducing anxiety are all purported benefits according to a host of scientific studies.
Moodboard — Background in Resene Blanc with A4 draw down paint swatches in (from right to left) Resene Frozen, Resene Nepal, Resene Wax Flower, Resene Half Bokara Grey and Resene Tuscany and candle stick in Resene Half Bokara Grey. Cool weather version — Walls in Resene Nepal with ‘tile’ paint effect in Resene FX Paint Effects medium tinted with Resene Frozen. Floor in Resene Blanc. Round coffee table in Resene Tuscany. Console tabletop in Resene Bokara Grey.
When choosing the right shade of blue to use on your walls, it's best advised to go for a soft and dusty shade for a calming effect. In this serene lounge, the walls feature Resene Frozen, a cool winter grey blue, introspective, modest and delicate. While it’s a great paint colour in its own right, even more softness can be gained by layering it with a second hue applied as a feathery paint effect. That’s where Resene Nepal, a muted grey blue pastel, comes in – a great option over purer blues that may seem too harsh.
The mottled, almost tile-like effect was created by first painting the walls in two coats of Resene Frozen. Once dried, a tape measure, level and pencil was used to mark out a 80mm x 50mm grid and high quality 24mm wide painter’s masking tape was applied, ensuring all lines were square. A 60ml testpot of Resene Nepal was mixed into a 1 litre tin of Resene FX Paint Effects medium and applied with a paintbrush in a criss-cross motion, gently wiping over the strokes with a clean, dry rag. Once the paint effect was dry to the touch, the masking was removed to reveal the ‘grout’ between the ‘tiles’. The floor was painted in Resene Walk-on tinted to Resene Blanc, a subtle and restrained Parisian white with a warm undertone, to bring extra cosiness to the space.
Your sofa is often one of your largest furniture investments in your home, so it’s smart to choose one that’s both comfortable and flexible enough to work with a range of colours and décor. By choosing a neutral off-white sofa with simple lines and instead taking the colour to the walls, you’ll be spoilt for choice in how you can accessorise your space – which means it’ll be easy to swap out accents as the seasons change. Plus, it’ll be much quicker and more affordable to repaint your walls than it will be to replace your sofa if you decide you want a change later.
In cooler months, try bringing in a combination of ruddy terracotta, inky blue and whisky gold such as Resene Tuscany, Resene Madison and Resene Noosa offset by clean-lined soft black furniture in Resene Half Bokara Grey. When the weather is warmer, introduce subtle touches of cheerful and summery pastels like rosy apricot, sunny yellow and a pop of playful aqua such as Resene Wax Flower, Resene Energy Yellow and Resene Aqua.
Try using each of your accent hues in at least three places within the room so that your colour scheme feels cohesive. Looks to cushions, throws, side tables, plant pots, vases, candle holders, artwork, rugs and paint other small decorative accents to carry your colour palette across the space.
Accessories — Ceramics from Formantics, artwork by Maiko Nagao, candlesticks from Power Surge, dried flowers from Wandering Willow, lamp from Lighting Plus, sofa from Wolf & Co, rug from Good Thing, cushions and throws from Adairs.
Project by Melle van Sambeek. Images by Bryce Carleton. 2021
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