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Put a bit of thought into an outdoor space and it’ll be your go-to destination year-round.

As with all things in life, when it comes to decks, patios and courtyards, you get out what you put in, and a well-styled outdoor living area is a gift that keeps on giving. Your ticket to enjoying as much sunshine and fresh air as you can in summer, autumn, winter and spring, it’s here that you can snuggle solo with a cuppa on a comfy couch and slip, slop, slap to gather with family or friends.

An outdoor space with a seaside theme

A blue seaside moodboard

A blue seaside moodboard

An outdoor space with a seaside theme

Mood board: Background in Resene Triple Merino with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left) Resene Balderdash, Resene Big Stone, Resene Bounty, Resene Bluff, Resene Frozen and Resene Half Gull Grey, screen in Resene Big Stone with Resene Bounty trim, floorboards in Resene Riverstone and braided plant pot in Resene Bluff.  Paint: Wall painted in Resene Triple Merino, decking in Resene Tiri, screen in Resene Big Stone with Resene Bounty trim, medium-sized plant pot in Resene Alabaster, ombre pot in Resene Half Gull Grey and Resene Balderdash and braided pot in Resene Bluff.  Accessories: Sofa and table from Outside Space.

It’s long been the lament of the novice decorator that they wouldn’t know where to start when styling such a space, but there’s only one rule you need to remember: keep it simple. Ensure your outdoor area has the longevity you’re aiming for by decking it out in a restrained, refined style, with quality furniture and a classic colour scheme you’ll love for years to come.

This palette champions a selection of Resene blues and whites that subtly convey a seaside theme, bringing you a hint of the beach no matter how far you are from the coast. Get the look at your place by starting with a pale, peaceful wall in complex neutral Resene Triple Merino. Underfoot, the natural woodgrain of the flooring isn’t hidden but enhanced by a chic stain: Resene Tiri, which is available with Resene CoolColour pigment technology – a system that prolongs the life of your colour by reflecting heat and keeps the surface cooler – great to help keep your feet happy over summer.

Against this uncomplicated backdrop, we’ve layered a palette of grey-blue Resene Big Stone and steel-blue Resene Bounty (the screen), pale pewter Resene Half Grey Gull and slate-blue Resene Balderdash (the large ombre planter), near-white Resene Alabaster (the medium-sized pot) and moody sky grey-blue Resene Bluff (the braided pot); these blues all have in common a grey undertone that conveys tranquillity. The finishing touch is a handful of investment pieces – furniture and soft furnishings that will make your outdoor area attractive, comfortable and somewhere you’re drawn to spend time in. Or you could upcycle your existing items or secondhand finds using Resene paints to bring them up to scratch.

An outdoor area with longevity

Take a closer look at this space and you’ll notice a subtle but effective tool for adding interest and cohesion: horizontal and vertical lines in the wall panelling, screen, pillow and coffee table. Use this visual language in your space, or replicate it with another motif, such as circles. Texture will also up the ante – think natural materials such as timber and cotton, and greenery that will also provide a transitional link to the garden beyond.

Top tip

More than adding interest, screens are a great way to divide space and create more privacy. Their easy, fold-out design also means moving and storing them is a hassle-free task.

You don’t have to accessorise with colour-coordinated pieces, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Even something as small as glasses or a drinks tray in a complementary colour, like Resene Frozen, will leave you tickled pink – or blue, as the case may be.

Project by Kate Alexander. 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.