Not everyone has the time or money to undertake a full makeover of their kitchen and dining space, but luckily there are heaps of creative ways you can freshen up your space that, while small, can add up to feel almost like an entire redo.
Often, you can breathe new life into the heart of your home purely with the use of colour by repainting, upcycling or remixing things you already own.
Mood board: Timber background finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash with A4 drawdown painted swatches in (bottom, from left to right) Resene New York Pink, Resene Smashing, Resene Anglaise, Resene Twine, Resene Spindle and Resene Triple Merino (separate, at top left), serving board in Resene Twine, pepper grinder in Resene Anglaise and small bowl in Resene Spindle. Artwork from endemicworld. Dining room: Back wall in Resene Triple Merino, left wall (with window) in Resene Anglaise, window architrave in Resene Triple Merino, timber floor finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, table in Resene Half Sea Fog, chairs in Resene Half Resolution Blue (bright blue), Resene Anglaise (warm cream), Resene Smashing (bright red) and Resene Twine (caramel brown) and cabinets in Resene Spindle with painted shapes in Resene New York Pink, Resene Twine, Resene Smashing and Resene Half Resolution Blue.
Add a punch of colour by accenting one wall with a contrasting or complementary coat of Resene paint is a great place to start. You can look for a smaller niche to add extra colour or choose a larger wall that will get noticed. Pick a bold, contrasting colour from a fabric in your living room. Or go for a more subtle accent by painting the wall in the same colour family but a tone darker than the rest of your walls. In this open plan kitchen and dining room, the left wall – which houses a window that spills bright morning light into space – has been given this treatment in creamy Resene Anglaise while the rest of the walls are in Resene Triple Merino, a cloudy greyed white. The timber floor has also been kept neutral, finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, to act as a solid base for layering in brighter, bolder hues.
When bringing in brighter colours, keep in mind that a little goes a long way. You’ll want to pay attention both to the scale of the furniture, décor and accessories that you’ll be ‘brightening up’ as well as the number of different colours you’re looking to incorporate. Ideally, you should limit your ‘poppy palette’ to one, three or five colours so that you scheme feels cohesive instead of convoluted.
One strategy for setting your palette is to start with an eye-catching and colourful piece of artwork that can be placed prominently within your space that can set the tone for your scheme. You can bring your artwork in to your local Resene ColorShop and Resene staff can help you find colours that match or complement the hues that appear in the artwork so that you can introduce those colours throughout the rest of the space. You can also upload a photo of the artwork into the free online Resene Colour Palette Generator to find a selection of near matches yourself. In this room, we used Resene New York Pink, Resene Twine, Resene Smashing, Resene Half Resolution Blue and Resene Anglaise as our accent hues, which were matched directly to the cute icon artwork. If you can’t find one artwork that’s the right size, shape or price to fit your space, it can be just as effective to group a series of framed prints or photos. There is no need to buy a whole new collection of art when there are plenty of hacks to enlarge and refresh your existing artwork, such as adding in colourful matting or repainting your frames in bright new hues using Resene testpots.
Once you’ve decided on what colours you want to incorporate, you’ll want to find at least three places within your space where you can add a ‘pop’ of each hue. Painting each one of your chairs in a different Resene colour – especially if they’re in mismatched styles – is a popular idea to begin with and can add a larger dose of colour without being overwhelming. Bringing in a new pendant lamp or revamping a current one by repainting its shade can add another pop of colour within the space. You could even try your hand at designing your own lamp by upcycling items or salvaged pieces into fixtures that will bring a new level of personality into your home.
Incorporating nature’s glorious inherent colours can add a lively pop of character to your living space. Be sure to choose plants that will thrive in your lighting conditions or opt for realistic artificial florals if your thumb isn’t the greenest. The quality of these products has come a long way and it’s become far easier to fool the eye with today's lifelike artificial flowers and plants than it used to be. Whether you go for living or faux, house your greenery in vases and plant pots painted with Resene testpots in your selected hues to tie them in with the rest of your scheme. Small décor accessories like these are a perfect canvas to be the ‘third occurrence’ of each of your hues.
Top tip: Murals have been rising in popularity, but they don’t have to be complicated – nor do they have to be on a wall. Try using Resene testpots in colours that match or coordinate with your scheme to decorate a piece of furniture, a door or ceiling instead.
Styling by Kate Alexander. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2021
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