There are four key principles that designers put into practice with every project they tackle.
Even if you consider yourself a beginner or amateur when it comes to home decorating, these concepts are simple enough to grasp that even just a basic knowledge of them will put you on the path to a space that looks more put together and professional. To help remember them, many rely on the acronym ‘CARP’ – which stands for contrast, alignment, repetition and proximity.
Repetition is often the easiest to achieve, as this is simply done by repeating a colour, shape, form, pattern, motif, theme or texture within a space. The key is to use the thing you will be repeating at least three times, and to try and spread those occurrences throughout the room. Doing so will cause the perceiver’s eye to move about the space, linking these elements together, and creating the impression of a cohesive space. For even better results, try repeating two or three different things from the above categories within the same room, such as colour and shape. With a keen eye for spotting circles and the help of a few Resene greens, a terracotta red and a wood stain, we’ve accomplished just that.
Living in an island nation can mean that you sometimes don’t have as many options to choose from that those overseas might, and there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing something you absolutely love online and not being able to get it yourself. Finding exact colour matches when you’re out shopping for home décor can be tricky, too. But if you find an item in a shape that you like or that works well with your theme, you can always paint it in a Resene hue that matches or coordinates with your colour scheme. Keep this in mind when you’re out looking for things like furniture and small accessories, whether you’re after something new or second-hand, as this strategy will open up far more options to the limited colours on offer. The beauty of paint is that you can use it on just about anything, so long as you put in the effort to prepare its surface properly. If you’re unsure what Resene products to use or how to go about painting something, simply ask the helpful staff at your local Resene ColorShop for information, advice and the right supplies to get the job done right.
The most notable feature of this space is the homemade headboard. If you or someone in your household is handy with a jigsaw, the options for creating a custom headboard are practically endless. Or you can draw, trace or stencil your design on to your timber or MDF panel and have it cut by your local cut shop or handyperson. And if all else fails, you can always paint your design directly on to your wall. We created our headboard out of a 15mm thick sheet of MDF that we first cut to fit our queen size bed – ours started as 205cm wide by 155cm high. We measured to find the centre and aligned our first circle there by tracing a large dinner plate. We aligned the plate to the top right and left corners and traced it again, and then traced it a fourth and first time along the top edge by centring the plate within the gaps between the three circles, making sure there was plenty of overlap. We wanted a really uniform look, so we measured and drew a grid in order to determine the placement of our circles on the left and right edges of the headboard. However, you could get a different but equally interesting freeform look by overlapping your circles more randomly so that they resemble bubbles.
After carefully cutting around the edges of our curves, we gently sanded down any roughness using progressively finer grades of sandpaper and then wiped the entire surface free of dust with a clean, dry cloth. Then, we primed all sides of the MDF with a coat of Resene Quick Dry primer using a mini smooth surface paint roller. Once dry, we applied two topcoats of Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel with another mini smooth surface paint roller, allowing the first coat to dry fully before applying the second. We opted for Resene Prairie Sand to make the headboard an eye-catching standout and to tie into the colour of our cushion. We then carried the same colour on to some small accessories in the room, including the vase on the nightstand, so that it would create the repetition we needed to make the hue the hero of the palette.
We managed to find vases, plant pots, a lamp, a clock and even a pair of side tables that all fit in with our circular theme – though nearly all of them look a bit different than when we found them. Since we had already decided on Resene Prairie Sand as our hero colour, we wanted to go for a tonal look built on gorgeous, soft Resene greens. We used Resene Tana to paint the side tables to connect more subtly with the Resene Eighth Tana used on the walls. Resene Kangaroo and Resene Lemon Grass were used for key accessories, like the bedside dish and plant pot, respectively. And the timber floors, finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, grounds the space and brings in a natural, neutral vibe thanks to its subdued colour as well as some much-needed visual texture thanks to the wood’s grain.
You may not realise it at first glance, but the connections created through the repetition in this ‘well rounded’ space add to the bedroom’s restfulness by creating a sense of order – making it the perfect place to sink into and relax at the end of the long day.
Styling by Laura Lynn Johnston. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2021
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