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Minimalist dreams

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

A perennial fixture in the upper echelons of the annual Resene Top 20 list, Resene Black White has long been a beloved hue among designers and homeowners alike.

The chalky and soft calcite grey-white gets its descriptive name from the slight hint of black that’s present in its tinter. The result is a perfectly balanced neutral – one that’s not too glaring, not too dusted, neither too warm nor too cool – that makes for a solid base for building the room of your dreams.

Calm bedroom

Pale chalky whites mood board

Pale chalky whites mood board

Calm and minimalist bedroom

Mood board: Background in Resene Quarter Black White with A4 drawdown paint swatches (from left to right) in Resene Double Black White, Resene Quarter Black White, Resene Armadillo, Resene Alpaca, Resene Sante Fe and Resene Pearl Bush and painted accessories in (clockwise from bottom left) Resene Alpaca, Resene Pearl Bush (bowl outside) and Resene Alpaca (bowl inside), Resene Kangaroo and Resene Sante Fe. Linen from Citta, ribbed glass vase and textured ceramic vase from Farmers and candleholder from H&M Home.

Another great thing about Resene Black White is that it is available in a variety of different strengths, from Resene Triple Black White (the darkest) through to Resene Eighth Black White (the lightest). This means that you can easily layer in a range of these strengths by painting different for a minimalist, achromatic tonal colour scheme by painting different surfaces and decorative elements within the space as a way of creating additional depth.

If you are after a minimalist look in your bedroom, you may decide that you don’t want a headboard or a large piece of artwork to be the focal point within the space as it could become too dominating. Instead, painting a colour block in a different strength of Resene Black White than what is on your walls and floor can achieve that necessary focus in a far more subtle manner. In this bedroom, we used Resene Double Black White over Resene Quarter Black White to create enough contrast for the effect to be visible without standing out too much. As a unique twist on this idea, we also took our colour block on to the floor using the same colour as a way of defining the entire bed area while breaking the typical boundary of where the wall meets the floor.

Top tip: To create the same look at home with a queen-sized bed, use a level to measure and mask the wall portion of your block to be 2100mm wide and 1650mm high and the floor portion to be 2100mm wide and 2320mm long. Be sure to use high quality painter’s masking tape available from your Resene ColorShop to create your effect, and to press firmly when you apply it to ensure you get a clean, crisp line after removal.

Pale chalky whites bedroom

Pale chalky whites bedroom 2

Pale chalky whites bedroom 3

Paint and accessories: Wall and floor in Resene Quarter Black White with rectangular painted wall effect in Resene Double Black White, step stool (used as side table) in Resene Alpaca, tall bottle vase in Resene Kangaroo, low dishes in Resene Pearl Bush and Resene Sante Fe, bowl in Resene Lemon Grass, large vase with flowers in Resene Pearl Bush. DIY artwork in Resene Alpaca and Resene Quarter Black White (peachy version) and Resene Gold Coast and Resene Quarter Black White (gold version), DIY pendant lamp in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, cubic lamp base in Resene Armadillo, floating shelf in Resene Double Black White, medium vase in Resene Sante Fe, plant pot (with string of pearls) in Resene Bullwhip, tiny amphora vase in Resene Manuka Honey, vase with arches on sides in Resene Gold Coast and pale green small vase in Resene Kangaroo. Duvet cover, pillowcases, sheets, cushions, throws and basket from Citta, carafe and glass from Freedom, candleholders from H&M Home, all other props are stylist’s own.

From here, there are limitless options for how you can build out and personalise your look. You could choose to keep your colour scheme truly achromatic and neutral by accessorising your space with only whites, greys and blacks. To ensure there is enough visual interest in the space, you’ll want to make sure you choose a variety of shades from very light through to very dark such as Resene Eighth Black White, Resene Eighth Tapa, Resene Tapa and Resene Armadillo to create adequate contrast. Another idea is to create contrast by layering a selection of soft dusted pastel hues in with your neutrals such as Resene Alpaca, Resene Pearl Bush and Resene Kangaroo anchored with a touch of charcoal such as Resene Half Nocturnal. These soft and supple colours will bring enough variety to keep your minimalist space plenty interesting while not overwhelming the senses.

If you’d prefer to bring stronger colours into your palette, earthy ochres are an excellent option for bringing warmth to your scheme. Try bringing in rich hues like Resene Manuka Honey, Resene Teak, Resene Twine, Resene Gold Coast and Resene Bullwhip which will blend beautifully with on trend natural woven décor made of rattan, jute and wicker.

Whatever colour scheme you decide on, be sure to use each of your supporting hues in at least three places throughout the room and keep them spaced out. This strategy will cause the viewer’s eye to move about the space, drawing connections between the colours and make the palette feel cohesive. Pick up a few Resene testpots in your chosen hues and use them to paint a few vases, plant pots or picture frames that can be placed throughout the room or try your hand at painting some simple minimalist artwork to help tie your colour scheme together.

Top tip: Choose décor with simple shapes and lines and look for ways to remove things that are unnecessary. For instance, a floating shelf could take the place of a bedside table while taking up far less visual space. Paint it in the same colour as your wall feature to help it visually recede and blend in even more.

Paint Project

How to make a DIY paint stirrer pendant lamp

This unique Scandi-inspired pendant lamp fixture looks like a designer piece for a fraction of the cost and is sure to stir up a conversation.

How to make a paint stirrer pendant lamp

You will need


Step 1: Use a mitre saw, table saw, handsaw or similar – whatever you feel safest and most comfortable using – to trim the branded ends off of the paint stirrers. You may find it easiest and quickest to neatly stack four or five of stirrers and cut them all at once, depending on the type of saw you use.

Step 2: Remove the centre portion of each of your embroidery hoops (the part that is a complete circle). The outer part of the hoops can be saved for a different craft project or discarded.

Step 3: Use your Resene testpot brush to paint or stain both sides of your embroidery hoop circles and your trimmed down paint stirrers in one or more colours of your choosing. We used Resene Colorwood Whitewash for a Scandi look, but you could choose to paint your stirrers in different hues for a fun ombre or rainbow effect. Allow your first coat to dry completely before applying the second and allow the second coat to dry completely before moving on. You may also paint your pendant lampshade in the same colour as your stirrers or a contrasting one if you want to change its look.

Step 4: Cover your tabletop or work surface with a Resene drop cloth or newspaper to protect it from glue. Prop your drum shade on top of your book or blocks in the centre of one of your hoops, so that the hoop sits flat on your tabletop and the shade is raised. Keeping the shade centred in the middle of the hoop, begin by hot gluing one end of the first stirring stick to the hoop and the other end to the top edge of the drum shade so that it is secured at an angle. Repeat this step three more times so that the hoop and shade are connected at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock to give it some structure.

Step 5: Continuing hot gluing the stir sticks in the same manner around the circle so that they are evenly spaced, leaving a gap between each pair of sticks that is slightly wider than the width of a stick. Use a flexible tape measure to make even markings around the circumference of the hoop if you want to be sure it is even.

Step 6: Once half of the paint stirrer sticks have been attached, gently lift the project off the book and put it to the side. Place the second hoop circle on the table with your book/blocks in the centre of it, invert your project and carefully place the opposite side of the drum shade on top of your book/blocks so that it is once again centred.

Step 7: Working in the same manner as before, continue hot gluing stir sticks to the bottom hoop and the new ‘top’ of your drum shade so that they are angled and attached to the gaps between the stir sticks you attached on the other side. This will create the criss-cross effect of the finished project. For best results, attach sticks first at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock to keep your project centred and structured.

Step 8: Attach your drum shade to a hanging pendant bulb and enjoy your new project.

Resene Colorwood Whitewash

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

Colour inspiration - latest looks gallery

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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.

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