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Need a nook?

You can even take this reading nook on as a DIY project – it’s simpler than it looks when you use two tall readymade shelving units.

When you have an oddly shaped or sized space and you can’t find quite the right furniture to fit, or even if you’re just wanting your furniture to visually fit more seamlessly into your interior, custom joinery like built-in banquets and bookshelves are a superb option. Not only will these fit your room in a literal sense, but you can also ask for them to be painted or stained in a Resene colour to perfectly coordinate with your wall, floor, ceiling and decor hues. This restful reading nook, with its walls and shelves painted in Resene Duck Egg Blue, has layers of accent colours in soothing green-blue hues making it the perfect place to curl up with a cuppa and a favourite read.

A DIY reading nook project

A blue-green moodboard

A nature themed mood board

A blue-green reading nook

Moodboard: Background painted in Resene Duck Egg Blue, floorboard and bowl with rope handle in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy, book in Resene Thor, vase in Resene Rising Tide, summer cushion cover from Leopard Hall, shell ball from Indie Home Collective.  Accessories: Shell balls and tealight holder from Indie Home Collective, island printed cushion from Leopard Hall, aqua cushion and throw from Adairs, mug from Sunday Homestore, baskets from Kmart, rug from Mocka.

You can even take this reading nook on as a DIY project – it’s simpler than it looks when you use two tall readymade shelving units. Place the units at your desired width apart, then construct a bench seat using plywood in between, ensuring you use the right framing and supports behind the ply. To make the nook look even more cohesive, add a top shelf of plywood across the entire unit.

Then it’s time for some colour, The right colour choices on your furniture can create a whole new sense of space and functionality.

In this case there’s a mix of both solid Resene paint colours and Resene Colorwood wood stains. Stains allow the beauty of the grain in the timber to show through but also add interest in the colour they add. The Resene Colorwood range has a variety of colours from the more expected natural browns and greens, through moody faded blacks, whitewashes and greywashes but also less expected brighter hues.

One particular Resene Colorwood range is called We Speak Beach and comes in six relaxing coastal hues borrowed from the beach. The range will take you from sea to shore with colours including soft blue Resene Rising Tide and sandy colours Resene Breathe Easy and Resene Becalm. Explore the range at

How to make a reading nook

Paint colours: Wall – Resene Duck Egg Blue, Bookshelf – Resene Duck Egg Blue, Floor – Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy, Stool – Resene Colorwood Bask, Bench seat – Resene Colorwood Rising Tide, Small books on shelf painted – Resene Thor, Resene Conch, Resene Green Meets Blue and Resene Juniper, Vase with brown flowers – Resene Thor, Bowl on second shelf – Resene Green Meets Blue, House shaped decoration – Resene Duck Egg Blue, Books on bottom shelf – Resene Gold Coast and Resene Concrete, Bowl with plant – Resene Green Meets Blue, Wooden vase – Resene Colorwood Rising Tide, Beaded decoration on top shelf – Resene Colorwood Bask.

Three of those colours are used in this nook – Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy is used on the floor and gives a subtle blonded effect reminiscent of the crystalline sands found on so many of our beaches. Then there’s Resene Colorwood Bask, which as a golden wet-sand look and is the colour of the pampas grasses that grow on our sand dunes, used to stain the stool. The last colour is Resene Colorwood Rising Tide, a mysterious crossover blue/green that speaks of the ocean. It’s used here to stain the bench seat.

That sea-washed colour is further supported by paint colours such as Resene Duck Egg Blue, a classic grey/blue shade used for the wall and shelves. Painting the shelves in the same colour as the walls gives the whole unit a more elegant integrated feel but if you wanted to make a feature of the shelves, try them in a seafoam white like Resene Sea Fog, or create a tonal look using other variants of Resene Duck Egg Blue, which comes in five strengths, quarter through to triple.

Other colours that would seamlessly fit with this scheme are Resene Eau De Nil, a tranquil pale sea green, or for something darker, try Resene Inside Back.

Similar colours have been used on the accessories in this room: Resene Thor, Resene Conch, Resene Green Meets Blue and Resene Juniper along with ochre Resene Gold Coast and pale grey Resene Concrete.

To round out the contemporary beachy style, just pop in an arty cushion, add a seagrass mat to the floor, place some raffia storage boxes on the shelves, make a cup of tea… and relax.

Resene Eau De Nil

Resene Rising Tide

Resene Breathe Easy

Resene Becalm

Resene Bask

Project by Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by Bryce Carleton. May 2022

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