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The greatest of ease

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

It’s a mad, mad world out there, so how about making your home feel quite the opposite?

Walk right in and sit right down in a living room designed to help you unwind. Neutral colours are good like that, as well as providing a sophisticated blank canvas on which to layer the things that make your home ‘you’.

A living room painted in calm neutrals 2

A moodboard with calming colours

A moodboard with calming colours

A living room painted in calm neutrals

Mood board: Background in Resene Blanc with A4 drawdown swatches in (from top) Resene Eighth Fossil, Resene Tapa, Resene Bison Hide, Resene Tea, Resene Blanc, Resene Antidote and Resene White Linen, vases in (from top left) Resene Quarter Drought, Resene Sandstone and Resene Sandal and bowl in Resene Double Gravel.

This contemporary space is styled using neutrals from either end of the spectrum to create a harmonious feel and timeless sense of refinement. The wall in Resene Tea is a grounded river-boulder beige and the floor keeps it clean in off-white Resene Blanc. We colour-coordinated key furniture items including the coffee table in muddy Resene Half Sandstone and the console table in green-beige Resene Bison Hide. Accessories in worn-leather Resene Sandal (including a planter, tealight holder and vase) and understated grey Resene Tapa (including the large frame) complete the monochromatic palette, which you can achieve using these Resene paints or try with a different set of tints and tones in the same colour family, for subtle depth.

When redecorating your living area, Resene testpots will be brilliant for painting accessories you can use to accentuate your colour scheme, then arrange in interesting vignettes as we have here, with a trio of vases of different heights offering visual interest – you could also fill them with dried flowers or foliage for an on-trend, no-maintenance display. Use a stack of your favourite books as you would a plinth to elevate favourite objects or a painted plant pot – this brings all-important height into the mix, creating variation for the eye.

A living room painted in calm neutrals

Paint: Wall in Resene Tea, floor in Resene Blanc, coffee table in Resene Half Sandstone, plinth plant pot (on coffee table), coaster and tealight holder in Resene Sandal, console table in Resene Bison Hide, small vase and large frame in Resene Tapa and other vases in Resene Sandal and Resene Quarter Drought.  Accessories: Black frames from Kmart, artwork from Etsy, sofa from Freedom, cushion from H&M, throw from Adairs, striped plant pot from Kmart, rugs from Città.

Neutrals are popular for good reason and part of the beauty of a scheme like this is how easy it is to update if you tire of it in the years to come – or seasonally, for that matter. Look to the hues in your artwork for an accent that might work in the form of extras you can update with fresh paint and new soft furnishings such as cushions to give your room a whole new look. Sticking with the goal to create a serene sanctuary within your home, swap in colours such as smoky violet Resene Mamba, dusty cornflower Resene Wedgewood or ash-grey-and-mushroom Resene Siesta, or go deep with rich browns Resene Moccaccino, Resene Espresso and Resene Half Hairy Heath.

As the world beyond our front doors muddles along, the environmentally conscious among us are doing our part by choosing natural over synthetic materials, which has the added bonus of making a neutral space feel more welcoming. Seemingly minor additions, like the linen throw, will have a real impact in your living room.

Now take a closer look at how we’ve used two rugs – because who says you should only have one? In keeping with our paint and material palettes, they’re both woollen and in neutral colours. They serve to provide physical comfort as well as visually and functionally delineating spaces within this relaxing room: the kick-off-your-shoes and put-up-your-feet zones.

Keen to replicate our gallery wall but a little lacking in the art department? We bought these ultra-affordable Matisse prints from Etsy. Simply download and print them and they’re yours to hang at irregular heights in frames you can customise by painting them with Resene testpots.

Project by Vanessa Nouwens. Images by 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.