The colour of the vast ocean, the hue of the sky on a sunny day, it’s a no-brainer that blue is one of the most compelling colour choices for bedrooms. The sense of tranquillity and calm that we get from staring up at the clouds or out across the water to the horizon can be easily brought into our homes.
As our lives get busier, we want a serene haven in which to escape. Somewhere where we feel safe, secure and in which there is clarity and certainty – all key emotional triggers of the colour blue.
Versatile and wide-ranging, its vast array of tones makes blue such a popular choice: from the Mediterranean-inspired turquoise of Resene Freelance, to the regal navy of Resene Bunting or the teal-green of Resene Java. Depending on which way you lean, blues are all adaptable and accessible colours.
Many of these blues are classic, and will always be popular. But you can make them more fashion forward by pairing them with on-trend accents or fashionable painting methods such as tone-on-tone schemes.
Tone-on-tone, or decorating a room in only one colour, involves using tones from one colour family. The difference between them is that they have enough of a contrast to be recognised, but the tonal resemblance remains close.
These tones don’t have to stay on the walls only. Extend them onto vases, cushions, throws, picture frames or lampshades. Try a couch and curtains that are of the same colour family as your walls, for instance.
But ensure the scheme is kept lively, with methods such as using your paint colour family in varying sheen levels, ranging from a shiny (gloss) finish, like Resene Enamacryl gloss waterborne enamel, to a flat (matte) finish, like Resene SpaceCote Flat, for interest.
Bring about peaceful slumber with Resene Bismark, the main colour in this bedroom. Its tone-on-tone look lends an intimate feel. Details on the wall such as battens, trims and geometric lines – you can even paint your own – are painted in a lighter tone, creating a focal point in the room. Dive into the big blue with Resene Ziggurat, which we’ve used on these battens and Resene Botticelli on the floor to contrast with the Resene Bismark. Reaching out towards the lighter end of the blue spectrum, Resene Cut Glass coats the side wall.
Now that the scene has been set, it’s time to layer your tones with accent pieces. After all, it is these pieces that will make the room sing. A clutter-free environment is essential to an orderly bedroom, and a chest of drawers is key to that. The outside and legs of these drawers are painted in Resene Norwester, then each drawer is coated in Resene Ziggurat, Resene Ming and Resene Botticelli. Playful and interesting, the drawers tie in perfectly with the main wall and painted battens.
Think about your textiles and soft furnishings, play around with patterns or keep it plain. Whatever your desire, stay within the blue tonal scheme. If you want to break up the blues, charcoal pairs easily with the multitude of tones in this room. A simple DIY project can be found in the animal mirror that is painted in Resene Botticelli, lending itself to the playful nature of the person who occupies this bedroom.
For a protective, cocoon-like effect, paint your ceiling too, either in the same tone as your walls or a tone lighter for a touch of depth. Tone-on-tone can even exist throughout a whole house, with shades of one colour changing in strength from one end of your home to the other.
You will need:
Give your mirror frame a coat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer before applying your desired colour.
Paint the frame in your favourite hue and leave to dry. Ours was painted in Resene Botticelli.
Paint your plastic animals in the same colour as the mirror frame.
Once animals are dry glue the animals to the frame.
Hang in room.
Project by Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2021
Colour inspiration - latest looks gallery
Get inspired with colour and the latest decorating and colour trends! Select just the right look and mood for your space.
A nursery with rhyme and reason
A warm and whimsical pattern on your nursery
A shared bedroom with fantastical creatures