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Classic meets quirky

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

Timeless and classic, blue has long been one of the most popular colours throughout the history of decorating.

The history of the hue itself goes back more than 6000 years, when humans first began developing blue colourants from minerals like lapis lazuli. Resene Duck Egg Blue has been a perennially popular paint colour. It’s dusty grey undertone with the slightest hint of green is easy to love for the way it plays beautifully to our harsh, blued natural light.

A tonal blue lounge with a painted herringbone design

A calming tonal blue moodboard

A calming tonal blue moodboard

A tonal blue lounge with a painted herringbone design

Moodboard: Background in Resene Half Inside Back with Resene A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from top to bottom) Resene Half Sea Fog, Resene Quarter Duck Egg Blue, Resene Half Duck Egg Blue, Resene Duck Egg Blue, Resene Half Inside Back, Resene Inside Back, Resene Innocence, Resene Dark Slate and Resene Woodsmoke and vases in (clockwise from left) Resene Innocence, Resene Half Inside Back, Resene Dark Slate, Resene Inside Back, Resene Duck Egg Blue and Resene Woodsmoke. Throw from Citta.

Just because you want to build a colour scheme for your space that’s based on classic colours doesn’t mean that it needs to be boring. But the ways in which you use your colour palette within a room is an important aspect of that. In the case of a tonal scheme, you’re going to need to look for ways to bring in depth and contrast as well as visual texture – and a sure-fire way to accomplish this is with a fun and eye-catching painted wall design.

The painted herringbone design in this living room, with its embedded arrows, pushes the eye back and forth across the room, forcing it to take in all the details. But because it is made up of gentle tonal blues, the pattern doesn’t overwhelm. Instead, it sets the tone for the colour scheme used throughout the rest of the space so that it all hangs together cohesively. The best part is, it’s simple to create using high-quality painter’s masking tape, a pencil, ruler and level. But remember, no matter how simple or complex of a design you wish to paint, it’s always wise to plan out your design first on paper before you take it to your surface.

A tonal blue lounge

A painted herringbone design in lounge

Paint: Back wall in Resene Quarter Duck Egg Blue with angled/herringbone stripes in Resene Duck Egg Blue and Resene Inside Back, left wall in Resene Half Inside Back, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, plant pots in Resene Duck Egg Blue and Resene Quarter Duck Egg Blue, coffee tables in Resene Half Sea Fog and Resene Quarter Duck Egg Blue, cabinet in Resene Half Sea Fog, floating shelf in Resene Duck Egg Blue, artwork in Resene Milk White, Resene Taupe Grey, Resene Fuscous Grey with background in Resene Half Black White and vases in Resene Innocence, Resene Half Inside Back, Resene Dark Slate, Resene Inside Back, Resene Duck Egg Blue and Resene Woodsmoke.  Accessories: Sofa from Nood, throw from Citta.

Although it may appear at first glance that this design is made up of four or five colours, there are only two accent colours – Resene Duck Egg Blue and Resene Inside Back – used on top of the two basecoats in Resene Half Duck Egg Blue. It’s the use of negative space that creates this optical illusion. Once our basecoats in Resene Half Duck Egg Blue were completely dry, we measured and marked our wall vertically in 30cm increments working from floor to ceiling. Then, we used a level and a pencil to draw straight horizontal lines across the wall. These pencil lines serve as a guide for when you apply your masking tape to ensure you get a straight, level line once its removed. We then marked 15cm increments across our horizontal lines to make it easy to connect them at 45 degrees and 135 degrees. We used 24mm wide professional quality washi-style tape, available at your local Resene ColorShop, throughout our design – which, when applied firmly, provides crisp clean lines for the finished design. Once our first diagonal strips of tape were applied, we measured 24mm gaps on either side before applying subsequent strips of tape. Once the entire design had been masked off, we applied our accent colours at random in two coats, skipping occasional gaps. After our paint had dried to the touch, we removed all the tape and used a rubber eraser to remove what remained of our pencil markings.

To keep a tonal colour scheme interesting, it’s important to create contrast and add variety. Because the main colours used throughout the space are mid-range blues, bringing in darker versions like Resene Dark Slate and Resene Woodsmoke as well as lighter and whiter hues like Resene Quarter Duck Egg Blue and Resene Half Sea Fog break up the space while adding depth and levity. These colours can be carried on to pieces of furniture, vases, plant pots, picture frames, artwork and other small accessories by painting them with Resene testpots. Lush plants also play to the hint of green that exists in the undertones of the paint colours and their naturally occurring greenery acts like an accent colour within the palette.


Colorwood Mid Greywash

Project by Laura Lynn Johnston. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2022

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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.