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You had me at hello

With a warm and welcoming paint palette, you’ll be setting an inviting tone right from the front door.

Whether it’s a job interview or a date, you know that first impressions are both important and have a long-lasting impact on how you’re perceived. Similarly, it makes sense that the design of the entryway to your home should be given the same level of attention as spaces you entertain guests, because it’s the first taste that visitors will get of what’s to come. With a warm and welcoming paint palette, you’ll be setting an inviting tone right from the front door.

A welcoming home entryway with a checkerboard floor

A moodboard showcasing neutral colours

A moodboard showcasing neutral colours

A welcoming home entryway with a checkerboard floor

Mood board: Background in Resene Half Bison Hide with A4 drawdown paint swatches in, from left to right, Resene Bokara Grey, Resene Tobacco Brown, Resene Triple Bison Hide, Resene Half Bison Hide, Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream and Resene Eighth Bison Hide and bud vases in Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream and Resene Tobacco Brown.  Accessories: Lamps from Freedom, Artwork from Junk & Disorderly, Small textured vases, tall curvy white travertine vase and knobby white vase from Slow Store, Iron candleholder from Good Form, Pale grey throw from Bo Concept, Herringbone natural/cream rug from Kmart.

The concept for this high-impact entry area started with the dream of creating a space designed around an eye-catching checkerboard floor – which is currently very on trend. But instead of running the design perpendicular to the walls, the squares in Resene Triple Bison Hide and Resene Eighth Bison Hide have been given a 45-degree twist. This effect increases the visual movement within the space, pulling visitors in. Alternatively, a timber floor in Resene Colorwood Whitewash can fit just as beautifully into this colour scheme if a checkerboard floor is too bold a pattern for your liking. Plus, it will increase your entryway’s connection to nature, softening the transition from the outside as you make your way in. Because the Resene Colorwood Whitewash finish still allows some of the wood grain to show through, it adds subtle texture to the space without hogging the limelight.

In a tonal colour scheme like this one, layering different strengths of the same colour – Resene Bison Hide – creates depth and interest in the space in a way that a single hue simply can’t. However, it’s the mixing of old and new accessories that really helps this space feel unique while lending a timeless, classic appeal. Plus, these items add a clear point of difference that the neutral colour palette like this needs to avoid feeling overly ‘matchy-matchy’ – or worse, boring. Creating adequate contrast is of primary importance here, so be sure to remember to include clear highlights in whites or off-whites such as Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream and Resene Eighth Bison Hide as well as deep lowlights. Choosing hues like Resene Bokara Grey as your darkest grounding colour, which has been used on the console table and lamp base, is more interesting than a truer black because it reflects more light back at the viewer and doesn’t feel as harsh. It’s also smart to include darker mid-tones in your palette, such as Resene Tobacco Brown to help bridge the gap between your lighter hues and your darker ones.

A neutral and welcoming home entryway

A neutral home entryway

Paint: Back wall in Resene Triple Bison Hide, Left/return wall in Resene Half Bison Hide, Diamond floor in Resene Triple Bison Hide and Resene Eighth Bison Hide, Timber floor in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, Hall table in Resene Bokara Grey, Side table in Resene Tobacco Brown, Bud vases in Resene Bokara Grey, Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream and Resene Tobacco Brown, Coat rack (reflected in mirror) in Resene Dusty Road.

Incorporating rimu, kauri, mahogany or cherry wood accents can bring an air of classic glamour to this scheme. However, that doesn’t always require purchasing expensive or exotic timbers to create the same effect. Staining vintage, upcycled or reclaimed mirror or picture frames, a console table, side table or sideboard in Resene Colorwood Dark Rimu, Resene Colorwood Mahogany, Resene Colorwood Cherrywood or Resene Colorwood Dark Oak adds warmth and breaks up the neutral palette of the space without swallowing up as much light as an equally dark matte hue might.

From a functional perspective, having to stumble over a collection of shoes to get through the door isn’t the best start to a dinner party, so ensuring these items are physically out of the way not only makes your space safer but takes distractions away from your incredible floor design. Consider including a cushy chair in your design for family and guests to use to take shoes on and off and a well-organised space to store shoes, coats and other outerwear essentials out of sight to avoid creating visual clutter within your entryway.

Remember to add important details, like an elegant umbrella stand painted to match your colour scheme and a non-slip welcome mat to soak up rainwater during wetter weather.

Project by Melle van Sambeek. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2022

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