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From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

A hallway with a smart black and beige colour palette is the perfect welcome note for a home's entrance.

Much like a good handshake, a stylish hallway makes the ultimate first impression. The equivalent of putting on a nice suit, this hallway makes smart and tidy appear effortless.

Black and yellow are not normally a colour pairing associated with smart and elegant styling, but this toned-down approach demonstrates how it can be anything but kitsch. It channels the essence of classic black and white looks while switching it up with just the right amount of subtle colour to inject some personality into the space.

A black and beige stylish hallway

Black and beige Mood board

Black and beige Mood board

A stylish hallway in black and beige

Mood board: Background painted in Resene Beachcomber, A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Espresso, Resene Beachcomber, Resene Rolling Stone and Resene Armadillo.  Paint: Main wall in Resene Armadillo, wall lining in Resene Blackjack, return wall in Resene Beachcomber, shelves in Resene Rolling Stone, floor in Resene Black Haze and Resene Sugar Loaf, plant pot in Resene Rodeo Dust and pendant light in Resene Rolling Stone.   Accessories: Chair from Cintesi, artwork from Emma Willetts, Endemic World.

The return wall in the mid-toned ochre beige of Resene Beachcomber works brilliantly with the striking main wall in the armour like grey of Resene Armadillo. A border trim of Resene Blackjack adds a smart touch and provides a visual link back to the black frames of the black and white photographs on the gallery wall.

The gallery wall in itself serves to break up the block of colour and contribute to the smart black and white theme. But, instead of hanging your photographs directly on the wall, use picture ledges, painted in Resene Rolling Stone. This will give you more flexibility in terms of what you want to display and where you want to display it. And, if you decide you want to change the look, they're easily replaceable with different paintings or even objects such as vases, jugs and mini sculptures.

A striped black and white hallway runner pulls the look together and a small desk and classic dark wooden chair in a colour similar to Resene Espresso is the perfect finishing touch to this elegantly styled space.

What really makes this hallway a feature, however, is the floor, which uses paint to get the look of marble without the significant investment of the real thing. Depending on the size of your floor, it's a project that you can likely tackle over a weekend. Plus, it'll be much quicker and easier to change if you get tired of it or your tastes change later.

As with any paint project, getting a durable finish that looks great starts with proper preparation; but how much elbow grease you'll need to put in will vary depending on your substrate and the condition of your floor. During your planning stages, be sure to check with the staff at your local Resene ColorShop for tips and advice on what preparation you'll need to do in advance, and what products are the best choice for your particular project.

When it's time to get rolling, start with Resene Walk-on tinted to your chosen Resene hue that you'd like to use for the main colour of your marble. For this floor, we used Resene Sugar Loaf. Resene Walk-on is a highly-durable, general purpose flooring paint that's ideal for use on steps, decking, concrete, porches, suitably primed timber, composite boards and interior floors. Be sure to allow enough time for each basecoat to dry fully before rolling on the next one. Once your basecoats have dried completely, add your marble effect using Resene FX Paint Effects Medium coloured with a testpot in a second Resene hue of your choice. We used Resene Black Haze, a cloudy grey white, for our marble's highlights.

The key to getting a convincing result lies in firstly in choosing the right colours. It's best to use two hues that aren't too different from one another rather than picking two that are high contrast. Secondly, you'll want to build up thinner layers gradually rather than trying to finish it all in one go. Start by using a wide paintbrush to apply strokes of your highlight colour in a criss-cross motion. Then, use a clean, dry rag and buff the area in a circular motion to soften and blend your paint colours. While Resene FX Paint Effects Medium will slow down the drying of your topcoat while you work on your effect, it's best to work in small areas approximately 1m2 at a time so that your brushstrokes don't set before you get the chance to soften them with your rag. The result should be a subtle, cloudy effect which will gradually get more pronounced as you build up subsequent layers.

You can also use a small artist's brush to add a few long, thin strokes of your highlight colour to get the look of veins – just like the ones you see in natural marble. Again, it's best to work in thinner layers and build your veins up gradually rather than trying to go too strong at the start. To soften your veins, rub your rag along your lines and follow them rather than buffing in a circular motion so they'll stand out more rather than blending them into the rest of the background.

If you find that you've gone too strongly with your highlight colour, you can tint a small amount of Resene FX Paint Effects Medium with your basecoat colour and use your rag to rub a thin layer of it over areas that need to be brought back a bit.

Top tip: Practice nailing your paint effects technique on a large piece of cardboard before starting on your project to help build your confidence. You can also use your practice sheet as a reference sample for your main project.

Project by Kate Alexander. Images Bryce Carleton. 2021

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.