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In the navy

An unexpected and dramatic colour scheme features in this bedroom.

Not all tonal colour schemes are based around entirely neutral colours such as cream, taupe or grey.

A bedroom with a dark and dramatic colour scheme

A navy blue moodboard

A dark and dramatic blue moodboard

A dark and dramatic tonal bedroom

Mood board: Background in Resene Ocean Waves, vases in from top Resene Element, Resene Watermark, Resene Time Traveller and Resene Eau De Nil.  Accessories: Lamp from Cane Collective, hat from Kmart, jewellery holder from H+M Home, shoes from Miss Wilson, bedlinen from Citta.

Resene certainly makes it easy to build a neutral tonal scheme with The Range Whites & Neutrals collection where each colour can come in up to eight variants or strengths. But any colour can be turned into a tonal scheme. Just run your eye down one of the cards from the Resene Multi-finish colour collection and you’ll see how it can be done.

A tonal scheme often benefits, however, by stepping out of the strict variant path where one colour looks just slightly lighter or darker than the one before.

This unexpected and dramatic colour scheme with its rich navy walls in Resene Ocean Waves does just that by having a headboard in Resene Element – which isn’t just a deeper inky blue but a faded black.

If your scheme was built around, for example, paler grey-blues, you might introduce a sharper clearer blue to give the room a playful twist so that the scheme isn’t too obvious. The same goes for greens, where a room of wistful sage greens could be brightened with the introduction of a more limey shade.

A navy blue bedroom

A blue and black bedroom

Paint colours: Walls/floor: Resene Ocean Waves, Headboard: Resene Element, Bench seat : Resene Watermark, Large pot: Resene Element, Tray: Resene Time Traveller, Vases: Resene Time Traveller, Resene Element, Resene Watermark, Resene Eau De Nil, Chair: Resene Eau De Nil.  Accessories: Rug from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Even though blue is often seen as a cool colour, in this scheme it has an almost sultry feel, teamed as it is with other dark colours and luxurious bedlinen such as the velvet quilt. It’s intense and enveloping with a slightly regal and timeless edge, largely due to the panelled headboard. It’s a drama queen of a room.

The ‘headboard’ is, in fact, a rectangle painted in Resene Element. The panels are created using lengths of half-round dowelling fixed to the wall to mimic classic wainscotting. The trick with this headboard is its generous size. Extending out well beyond the edge of the bed, it adds a feeling of largesse and grandeur that you just wouldn’t get if its dimensions were constrained to just the width of the bed.

The room is made even more sumptuous with the use of dark blue bedlinen and pillows. You could stop there and make the space feel truly cocooning or for to keep it from becoming maybe too sombre, pop in a couple of lighter elements with subdued patterning, such as the delicately striped white pillow, a palest icy blue velvet cushion, a bronze light shade or a faded antique oriental rug.

Despite the traditional stereotypes, blue is a very gender-neutral colour so is perfect for a shared bedroom where different tastes and desires come into play. Blue is a tranquil and restful colour so is a superb match for a bedroom space, and these dark blues make it feel as if you are plunging into the night sky every evening as you sink into sleep.

While the blue used in this bedroom is a deep sea blue that’s slightly brighter than a navy, other dark blues to try would be Resene Epic or Resene Time Traveller which both have touches of teal, Resene Coast which is a stormy sea blue or Resene Blue Night, an inky mysterious blue.

When opting for dark colours, keep in mind that you may need to adjust your lighting to suit. Use lamps, accent lighting and dimmer switches to help create the right mood. Bedside table lamps or ones suspended beside the bed with dark hooded shades will throw atmospheric pools of light onto the table or floor.

If you have the space, a bench seat at the end of the bed is not just a practical addition as extra set-down space and somewhere to perch while you don your socks and shoes, but it gives a more complex, layered look to the room.

Paint project  Dowel handmade side table in Resene Element with tray top in Resene Half Nocturnal.

Resene Eau De Nil

Resene Watermark

Resene Time Traveller

Resene Ocean Waves

Resene Epic

Project by Melle Van Sambeek. Photography by Bryce Carleton. May 2022

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