Renaissance style emerged in Europe in the 15th and 16th century and its appearance was spurred by deep social changes happening at that time, where people started seeking out ways to bring more value to lives.
Art, literature, music, architecture and design became of great cultural importance. The beauty and wealth of Italian cities, where the movement began, impressed European royals so much that they started to attract Italian artists to their home countries, which resulted in quick expansion of this grandiose style.
Back in the days of the Renaissance, certain colours carried a lot of symbolism – especially richly saturated ones. This was a time when royal blue, rich red and gold were among hues used to demonstrate wealth and importance. Ornate patterns and sumptuous materials like velvet and silk were popular with the social elites, and these were often layered throughout a space in opulent maximalism.
During this period, architects built houses with sprawling interior spaces decorated with rounded arches and a lot of ornamental details. The bed was the most important part of the Renaissance period interior – so a master bedroom is the perfect place to impart touches of this affluent look. Since only wealthy people could afford beds at the time, bedrooms aimed to show the prestige and prosperity of its owner. Beds of the day were usually four-poster canopy with a frame made from dark wood covered with detailed carvings and draped with darkly coloured fabrics in deep blue, green, purple or burgundy.
With a backdrop in Resene Bon jour, a soft mauve, this contemporary take on a Renaissance-inspired concept pares down the excessiveness of the style and focuses on the arches, grand scale and a vivid burgundy, Resene Salsa, to form a bedroom that’s fit for royalty. The impressive headboard, which gives both height and width with its repeating curves – two lower ones flanked by higher ones on each side – makes the bed the undeniable focal point by visually increasing its scale. Punctuations of glittering gold and accents in sophisticated, inky blue black, Resene Jaguar, only further the effect.
To get this headboard effect at home, you’ll need two sheets of 1200mm x 2400mm MDF or timber that’s 5mm thick. Draw an arch on one piece using the pin and pencil method then use a jigsaw to carefully cut out the shape. Use your cut piece as a template to trace the shape on to your wall on either side of where you would like your bed to be and on to your second sheet of MDF so that it will be identical. We also trimmed approximately 20cm off the bottom of our arches to create some variety in the scale. Sand down any rough edges and wipe all sides of your panels using a clean, dry cloth before priming them in Resene Quick Dry with a mini smooth surface roller. Then, use Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen waterborne enamel tinted to Resene Salsa to apply two topcoats of colour. While your panels are drying, use high-quality painter’s washi-style tape to mask off the straight sides of the arches you traced on to your wall. Next, use a wide, angled high-quality painter’s brush – one with plenty of soft bristles – to paint around the inside edge of the arches in Resene Salsa, feathering your strokes inward to avoid creating any raised edges. Finally, fill in the rest of your wall arches using your mini smooth surface roller in two coats. Once everything is dry, layer your two panels behind your bed between your wall arches.
When it comes to the rest of your decorating details, keep in mind that more isn’t always more, and even the most luxurious of spaces relies on balance for the look to hang together. The glamour of the brushed brass lamp, the glossy vase in Resene Volcano and the deep coloured headboard in Resene Salsa are directly offset by natural textures like tactile linens in more muted hues and the timber floor stained in Resene Colorwood Natural, which lend a more casual feel – as do the addition of brighter blue and orange tones from the artwork and book spine in hues similar to Resene Clockwork Orange and Resene Mariner. An oatmeal-coloured rug provides contrast from the darker hues and imparts a little extra warmth and cosiness to this grand space.
Styling by Kate Alexander. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2022
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