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Poolside style with a splash of glamour

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

Originating from the Californian city of the same name, Palm Springs style is instantly recognisable. Pairing popular mid-century design elements with a playful flair for colour, this chic and glamourous desert design style has been trending over on the other side of the Pacific.

Easy, breezy and effortless, this posh contemporary coastal look is all about embracing indoor-outdoor living and soaking up the heat and sunshine – which is something Kiwis and Aussies definitely like to do as well. Hallmarks of this style include bold splashes of flamingo pink, citrus yellow, ocean blues and crisp whites, prevalent use of concrete breeze blocks and plenty of heat-loving plants like palm trees, cacti, succulents and Bougainvillea.

Paint a poolside mural

Poolside Mood board

Poolside Mood board

Paint a poolside mural

Mood Board: Background pavers in Resene Concrete Stain Bleached Grey with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from top to bottom) Resene Polo Blue, Resene Paradise, Resene High Tide, Resene Soothe and Resene Swirl, plant pot in Resene Rainee and vase in Resene Tuscany. Towel from Tessuti, sunglasses from Le Spec.

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool on your property, half the battle of getting the quintessential design vibe you’re after is already done – as there’s nothing more synonymous with Palm Springs than lounging next to a pool in the sun. But if you don’t have the space, budget or time to maintain a pool, creating a Palm Springs-inspired poolside mural is the next best thing! Inspired by the artwork of Australian illustrator Joanna Ho, we created this mural that could go indoors or out. The effect comes from a sky in Resene Polo Blue, a pool and agave in Resene Paradise edged in Resene Half Black White and Resene Rainee respectively bring water and nature-inspired details to a building with an arched doorway, window and long staircase in Resene Swirl, Resene Soothe, Resene High Tide and Resene Martini. While it may look intimidating to create, most of the elements require little more than measuring and masking to achieve.

We started our mural by planning out our design first on paper and labelled the different areas with the Resene hues we wanted to use so that we had something to reference and keep on track. It can also help to lightly draw your mural – or at least certain elements of it – on your wall first so that you can adjust the scale and shape of certain aspects before you start painting. For our basecoat, we chose to start with one of our lightest and most prevalent colours, Resene Swirl, and applied two coats. This hue is seen on the part of the building that appears farther back behind the staircase (at left), as it would catch more direct sunlight. Then, we measured and masked what would become our horizontal blocks of colour – the sky, the patio surface, the pool edge and the pool itself – and worked from top to bottom to fill them in with a roller. That way, if any drips of paint happened to go unnoticed before we were able to clean them off with a damp cloth, they would get covered up when we moved on to a lower section.

Paint an outdoor poolside mural

Poolside mural

Paint and accessories: Mural in Resene Polo Blue (sky), Resene Paradise (pool and agave), Resene Rainee (highlights on agave), Resene Soothe (main wall and steps), Resene Swirl (left wall), Resene Martini (ground, step sides and door and window sides), Resene High Tide (door and window) and Resene Half Black White (pool edge), patio pavers in Resene Concrete Stain Bleached Grey, metal tray table in Resene High Tide, large plant pot (with Bird of Paradise) in Resene Half Black White, medium plant pot (with palm, inside plant stand) in Resene Polo Blue, rattan plant stand in Resene Half Black White, drinks tray in Resene Polo Blue and vases and small pots in Resene Tuscany, Resene Rainee and Resene High Tide. Sun lounger and white side table from Poynters, towel from Tessuti, Bird of Paradise and Palm Plants from Nood, sunglasses from Le Spec, sandals from Flo & Frankie.

We created the steps next by measuring, marking and masking the portion of the building that would be nearer to the foreground and painted them in Resene Soothe. To create a sense of perspective, we painted an additional ‘step’ in the sky area to give the sort of depth someone might see if they were looking up were they swimming in the pool or sitting on the patio. Then, we added the arched doorway by first tracing a large round serving platter to create the curve flanked by two vertical lines which were masked before being painted, as was the rectangular window, in Resene Martini. Lastly, we used Resene High Tide to add depth to the doorway, window and steps.

Indoors, you can evoke the timeless aesthetic that the likes of Donald Wexler, William Krisel and Charles DuBois solidified amongst the city’s desert landscape by incorporating mid-century modern furnishings that privilege clean lines and bold colours. Outside, concrete pavers finished in Resene Concrete Stain Bleached Grey and a stylish white sun lounger, larger plant pots in Resene Alabaster to house Bird of Paradise and palms creates the perfect place to perch a tropical drink will do the trick. Simply bring your own sunnies, sandals and sun block and a luxurious towel when you want to soak in the sunshine or hop in the pool to beat the heat.

Top tip: While white is the most prevalent colour to decorate in a Palm Springs inspired scheme, you can make your space look more unified and cohesive by bringing some of the colours from your ‘poolside mural’ off the wall and into your room. Try painting d├ęcor items like drinks tray, small plant pots or candleholders using Resene testpots and you’ll find that even a little colour will go a long way!

Styling by Laura Lynn Johnston. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2021

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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.