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Awash with joy

A coastal inspired living room.

Stand on the beach, feel the crunch of crystalline white sand between your toes, hear the soft woosh of the waves on the shore – for many of us, there’s no more calming place to be than in nature. Your particular destressing tonic might be a walk in native bush or a trek up a mountain but for a land where the coast is just around the next corner, the sea, beach and shore are often our happy places. They speak of hazy lazy days, fun times and many moments just spent drinking in the view, sun and soothing vibes.

A beach themed lounge

A beach themed moodboard

Beach themed moodboard

A beach themed living room

Mood board: Background painted in Resene Duck Egg Blue, floorboard in Resene Breathe Easy, bowl with rope handle in Resene Breathe Easy, book in Resene Thor, vase in Resene Rising Tide, summer cushion cover from Leopard Hall and shell ball from Indie Home Collective.  Accessories: Sofa and tealight holder from Freedom, island print cushion from Leopard Hall, aqua cushions and throw from Adairs, jute rectangle cushion from Mocka, linen look green cushion from The Warehouse, ceramic dish on coffee table from Hunter Furniture.

There’s something almost mesmerising about the pull of the tide and briny smell of hot sea-washed sand. It’s soothing and immersive.

So why wouldn’t you want to replicate that feel at home – especially in these days of change and uncertainty, when our homes have become sanctuaries in which to find refuge and count our blessings amongst family and friends? Calming colours have become popular of late because of their ability to help us build havens – it’s not just soft blues and greens, but also creamy whites, petal pinks, mushroom mauves, cloudy greys and washed timber tones. A colour palette of dusky and pastel blues and greens, along with accents of sand tone will see your heart rate slow and your stress dissipate.

This room is a peaceful combo of a true classic colour, Resene Duck Egg Blue, on the walls, a coffee table in Resene Inside Back, which is a dependable grey-green, and a couple of quiet greens, with a cabinet painted in Resene Green Spring and a feature wall trellis stained in Resene Colorwood Shore Thing.

This wood stain colour is from the Resene Colorwood We Speak Beach collection. This range of colourwashes 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

A beach themed interior

A calming beach themed interior

Paint info: Floor – Resene Colorwood Shade, Wall – Resene Duck Egg Blue, Trellis – Resene Colorwood Shore Thing, Cabinet – in Resene Green Spring, Coffee table – Resene Inside back, Wooden side table – Resene Colorwood Bask, DIY magazine table – Resene Colorwood Bask, Tall vase with greenery – Resene Colorwood Shore Thing, Round beaded deco on stand – Resene Colorwood Bask, Bowl – Resene Duck Egg Blue.  Accessories: Rug from Kmart.

The stump stool is also finished in a stain from the same range, Resene Colorwood Bask. Even the flooring treatments echo the colours of our shores – Resene Colorwood Shade looks like the dark iron sand beaches of the West Coast while the sisal rug is reminiscent of the pale golden sands of our eastern beaches.

These colours are just a small sample of those available in the Resene collections. For other washed blues, try Resene Frozen or Resene Halcyon, and for gentle pastel greens, try Resene Morning Haze and Resene Sea Nymph. Then there are a slew of beautiful cross-over greens and blues, check out cards R47 to R51 from the Resene Multifinish collection. And for warm, toe-curling sand tones, look to cards R19 to R21 where you’ll find summery beachy colours like Resene Putty, Resene Sandbar, Resene Chamois and Resene Calico.

This room uses a simple yet clever trick to add interest when you’re faced with long featureless wall that needs a bit of visual oomph. Just buy a length of readymade oriental screen, paint it or in this case stain it in Resene Colorwood Shore Thing, and voila, you not only have a contemporary architectural devise to fix your problem, but you’ve also introduced texture into a room that’s based on a very tactile environment, the beach. Other textures join the party, such as the ropy cushion and the woven rug. Add a textural vase or wooden bowl of foraged shells.

The screen colour also shows that you don’t need to stick to earthy colours when using stains. In fact, the Resene Colorwood ranges come in a variety of colours including brights but also dreamy washes such as Resene Colorwood Whitewash (perfect for a seaside look) and Resene Colorwood Greywash for a more antiqued look.

Resene Halcyon

Resene Morning Haze

Resene Breathe Easy

Resene Becalm

Resene Bask

Resene Rising Tide

Resene Shore Thing

Resene Shade

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

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