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Minimalism goes bold

Although many minimalist spaces can be jarringly stark, it’s the level of visual texture in this space that helps keep it interesting, warm and welcoming.

More and more decorators are coming to embrace the idea of making a big impact with less things through a minimalist design aesthetic. But what some homeowners don’t realise is that, even if you’re going for a pared-down minimalist look, it doesn’t need to be all white or have to feel like a museum; the look can absolutely still be achieved through bold and dramatic colours.

Terracotta minimalist bedroom

Tuscan mood board

Tuscan mood board

Terracotta minimalist bedroom

Mood board: Background in Resene Bianca with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from right to left) Resene Korma, Resene Tuscany, Resene Sand, Resene Wild West and Resene Apple Blossom and bud vase in Resene Apple Blossom.  Accessories: Rug from Flotsam & Jetsam; Linen pillowcase from Foxtrot Home; Slippers from Blackbird Goods.

Although many minimalist spaces can be jarringly stark, it’s the level of visual texture in this space that helps keep it interesting, warm and welcoming. Rather that choosing a flat wall colour, we gave the back wall a mottled effect starting with two coats of Resene Wild West. Once dry, we applied Resene FX Paint Effects medium mixed with Resene Santa Fe with loose brushstrokes, following close behind with a clean, dry rag to buff the wet medium and soften the effect. While the two hues, Resene Wild West and Resene Santa Fe, don’t appear to be miles different when you compare the two swatches, there is just enough contrast to get the right level of visual texture without so much contrast that the effect starts to resemble the rag rolled textures of decades past. The choice to apply a lighter colour over a darker colour rather than the other way around is an important one, too, when you’re looking to create this kind of finish, and the key to making it look great is by working up multiple thin layers rather than trying to get it all done in one go. It’s easy to ramp up the look by brushing and buffing on subsequent layers of Resene FX Paint Effects medium mixed with Resene Santa Fe or scale it back by using another rag to buff on small amounts of Resene Wild West where the effect has gone on too strong.

Other elements like the patterned rug, the inherent slub of the stonewashed linen, dried flowers and the woven throw cushion help to break up the space. To keep the depth of the wall colour from being too dominating, the floor has been painted in light and warm Resene Bianca – providing an uplifting affect. This is amplified by the drum tables in Resene Thorndon Cream and Resene Rice Cake and white euro pillowcases, which also help to visually break up the tonal hues. If you have timber floorboards which you aren’t keen to paint, try finishing them in Resene Colorwood Whitewash to maintain the levity while not losing sight of the wood’s natural grain.

Italian themed bedroom

Tuscan styled bedroom and accessories

Paint: Walls in Resene Wild West with ragged effect in Resene FX Paint Effects medium mixed with Resene Sante Fe, Floor in Resene Bianca, Front/left wall in Resene Bitter, Round bedside tables in Resene Thorndon Cream and Resene Rice Cake, Props in Resene Sand, Resene Cashmere, Resene Blank Canvas, Resene Bianca, Resene Alabaster, Resene Finch and Resene Brown Bramble.   Accessories: Cushions and rug from Citta; Fabric (covering cushion) from The Fabric Store; Mug, candle and holder from Blackbird Goods; Bedlinen from Foxtrot Home; Book from Paper Plane.

Along with the tussock-coloured bedlinens, the return wall at the front left in Resene Bitter, a soft olive green, and other accessories like vases and bowls in Resene Sand and Resene Blank Canvas, it’s the array of colours and tones that reduce the need to try and fill the visual space with too many things. Instead, the stunning colour palette and minimal décor is enough to carry the look in a way that feels complete, comforting and cosy with a touch of exoticism.

If the concept of this space appeals to you but you’re low on natural light, you can also opt for softer, dustier variations of these hues and still get a similar vibe. Swap Resene Wild West and Resene Santa Fe for Resene Kalgoorie Sands and Resene Gold Coast on the wall and opt for pale, honey yellow linens in Resene Chamois for a more pastoral vibe. Or simply swap the terracotta colours for soft sage greens like Resene Bud and Resene Moon Mist and opt for an off-white woven rug instead of a patterned one to get a dreamy, ethereal look.

Styling by Gem Adams. Photography by Wendy Fenwick. 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.