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Making a Mondrian statement

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

A bathroom is the perfect place to get a little creative. Tucked away behind closed doors, it’s a veritable blank canvas to experiment with colour and style – in fact, a statement bathroom makes for the perfect icebreaker and conversation piece.

The grid-like abstract style pioneered by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is incredibly distinctive. Characterised by a rigid geometry of squares and rectangles in white, black and a limited palette of primary school hues, it’s a look that’s striking in its simplicity. This is what makes it the perfect candidate for a bathroom that is guaranteed to wow.

A Mondrian statement - grid-like bathroom

A Mondrian statement moodboard

A Mondrian statement moodboard

A Mondrian statement - grid-like bathroom

Mood board: Background in Resene Alabaster with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Blackjack, Resene Galliano, Resene Jalapeno and Resene Aviator and duckboard in Resene Black White.  Paint: Wall in Resene Eighth Black White with grid in Resene Blackjack and colour blocks in Resene Jalapeno (red), Resene Aviator (blue) and Resene Galliano (yellow), timber floorboards in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, peg stool in Resene Blackjack, duckboard in Resene Black White, shelf in Resene Blackjack, vase (with tulips) in Resene Half Black White and ladder in Resene Quarter Surrender.  Accessories: Resene Palazzo towels in Midnight Express from Briscoes.

This bathroom design has all the hallmarks of what we’ve come to expect from the memorable Mondrian style. Resene Eighth Black White provides the perfect white background and an eye-catching grid pattern in Resene Blackjack separates the stand-out primary colours. Get this look by painting your wall in white, then divide it into unevenly sized square and rectangular shapes using masking tape. Unsure where to place your primary colours in relation to one another? Do a little research on Mondrian’s work for inspiration straight from the source. Paint your primary colours, allowing time to dry between coats – this will also allow you to cleanly remove your masking tape. Once your blue, yellow and red shapes are done, mark up where you want your grid – again, using tape – then carefully paint your lines using a shade of jet black.

Resene Jalapeno, Resene Aviator and Resene Galliano make up this bathroom’s rich primary palette, red, blue and yellow, synonymous with the Mondrian style. Because the three popping hues, geometric pattern and bold black and white contrast bring enough flair to the space already, keep accessories simple and clean. In this bathroom the duckboard is painted in Resene Black White and the shelf is painted in Resene Blackjack, adding function and form without visual clutter.

Soothing grey on the floor will prevent the space from looking too sterile. In this room the wooden floorboards have been finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, which, because of its neutral hues, creates a subtle contrast to the bold wall feature. The ladder, which has been painted in Resene Quarter Surrender, brings this colour from the floor to the wall, without drawing focus from the impact of the Mondrian-like design, and ties in nicely with the square mirror.

The mirror itself has been cleverly and seamlessly added into the Mondrian wall design by taking the place where a primary colour would normally occupy. Align yours with your grid, too, for a look that’s effortless on the eyes.

A white, straight vanity lends itself well to this bathroom look, while a slightly curvaceous bathtub brings in an element of roundness that this space, which is full of angles, craves. You can bring in more sinuous lines through round stools and bathmats, though having the room’s sharp lines at the fore is likely to make the biggest impact.

While primary colours are traditionally harnessed in this style of Mondrian’s, there is a lot of scope within this look to think beyond these hues, while still maintaining its essence. A bold orange, such as Resene Tango, and a forest green, such as Resene Dingley, are the perfect alternative companions to blue and yellow.

For an even more electric take, try Resene Resolution Blue, Resene Quarter Turbo and Resene Roadster for your three primary hues – blue, red and yellow. However, if you’re finding these bold colours are dominating your small space, soften the look with the addition of a few pastels, such as a soft coral pink, like Resene Tuft Bush, and a sunny yellow, such as Resene Golden Glow.

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Project by Megan Harrison-Turner. Images by Bryce Carleton. 2021

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