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Perfect imperfection

We’re craving organic looks. We don’t want ship-shape and neat, we want a bit rumpled and welcoming.

Imperfection may seem to be a peculiar thing to try to achieve but in a world where many aspects of our lives are controlled and scheduled, a little bit of wonkiness is a good thing. We’re craving organic looks, curves, rounded shapes, handmade ceramics with asymmetric profiles, wrinkled and stonewashed bedlinen – and walls that look as if they have a weathered patina or texture.

A bedroom with an organic and welcoming look

A moodboard featuring organic hues

A mood board featuring organic hues

A bedroom with an organic look

Mood board: Background and small tealight holder painted in Resene Biscotti, top vase in Resene Colins Wicket, vase with foliage in Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream, bottom vase in Resene Cement and handmade coat rack stained in Resene Colorwood IronbarkAccessories: Stonewash duvet cover and sand pillowcases from Adairs, blanket, Euro pillowcases and natural square cushion from Freedom, brown rectangle cushion from Adairs.

We don’t want ship-shape and neat, we want a bit rumpled and welcoming. At home, we want to relax and not spend our free time making sure the cushions are straight, the ornaments all lined up or even that the floors are show home spotless.

Textured finishes, whether achieved through a Resene paint effect or wallpaper, soften the edges of a space and make it more comfortable and appealing to be in. They add interest and a sense of movement to large expanses of wall, and make you want to reach out and touch the surface.

One of the most popular modern textured styles is a casual limewashed look, reminiscent of Mediterranean villas or mudbrick homes. Try a tone-on-tone effect by picking two variations – one dark, one light – of the same hue for a natural earthy finish. For example, in this bedroom the wall is painted in Resene Biscotti, a warm biscuit beige, then then apply a patchy topcoat in Resene FX Paint Effect Medium mixed with Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream for a hand-washed chalky effect.

The topcoat can be rolled on in a random way, or use a large paintbrush, a soft rag or a large sponge. Paint up a sample board or test your method on a part if the wall before tackling the whole room.

A neutral and welcoming bedroom

Earthy hued bedroom accessories

Paint colours: Base wall colour – Resene Biscotti with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream, Floor – Resene Biscotti, Bedside table – Resene Colins Wicket, Pendant – Resene Thorndon Cream, Vase with flowers – Resene Thorndon Cream, Bowl – Resene Colins Wicket, Chest of drawers – Resene Colins Wicket, Small vase – Resene Quarter Doeskin.

These two colours are quite close in nature and a similar but richer effect can be achieved using two dark colours that are close in hue.

If you want a more dramatic effect, just use colours that are quite different in tone – one quite dark as the basecoat then a topcoat that’s quite light.

Paint effects are great disguise artists and can be used to detract from walls that are less-than-perfect. There’s no need for precise plastering; use paint effects to cover over dinged and battered walls.

Follow through on the casual ‘undone’ nature of the paint finish with relaxed furnishings like throws and cushions in natural shades and fibres like linen or wool. A central item of upcycled furniture also works well. The bedside table is painted in Resene Colins Wicket, an intense clay tone. For a lighter, dreamier tone try Resene Half Canterbury Clay, or for something earthier, try Resene Sandcastle.

Exotic accessories work a charm in these types of room – the walls, after all, speak of buildings more commonly seen in the Mediterranean, Africa or South America. Add an ikat print, an African mask, handmade baskets and tribal-style rug.

An organic and earthy hued hallway

Hallway with stone wall art

Accessories: Rug, basket and bags from Kmart.

The right products for the job

The trick to getting paint effects to work is to use a product designed specifically for the job. Resene FX Paint Effects Medium is a tintable acrylic medium that allows you to easily create unique paint effects. Often it only takes one Resene testpot of colour added to the medium to tint it to the right shade. If you are after a stone effect and want to amp it up even further, you could also use textured products like Resene Resitex or Resene Sandtex as basecoats for extra dimension.

Another handy product especially if you are painting in summer, is Resene Hot Weather Additive which can be added to Resene FX Paint Effects Medium to slow the drying time and give you more time to work on your effects finish – particularly useful when tackling a large area.

Rocking your crafting talents

Not only can we look to the natural world for colour and decorating inspiration but we can also, literally, use nature’s elements to add a unique twist to our interiors.

This hallway uses three super-simple DIY and crafting projects to elevate it beyond the normal: a limewash effect wall treatment, a handmade coat rack made of rocks and timber, and a DIY stone artwork.

Top it off with a heavily textured jute rug, a macrame bag, and a cluster of vases with foraged foliage – and voila, a welcoming and calming entranceway.

How to make a rock coat rack

You will need:

  • A piece of pine 60cm long, 15cm wide and 1cm thick
  • Four round pieces of dowel, 3cm in diameter and 5cm long
  • Resene Colorwood stain in your choice of colours, we used Resene Colorwood Ironbark
  • Resene Aquaclear (for the rocks)
  • Stones/rocks
  • Brush
  • Glue

How to make a rock coat rack
Rock coat rack


  1. Stain the pine and 4 pieces of dowel.

  2. Coat the rocks/stones in Resene Aquaclear.

  3. Glue the small pieces of dowel to the back of each rock and leave to dry overnight.

  4. Glue the dowel with the rocks/stones attached to the pine board, spacing them evenly.

  5. Screw the board to the wall or hang using a large flat picture hook hanger.

How to make stone wall art

You will need:

  • A piece of plywood, approx. 30x45cm
  • Rocks/stones
  • Glue
  • Paint brush
  • Resene Colorwood in your choice of colour, we used Resene Colorwood Whitewash

How to make stone wall art
Stone wall art


  1. Stain the plywood in your chosen Resene stain colour.

  2. Glue your rocks onto the board in your desired design and leave to dry overnight.

  3. Hang on wall or lean on a console table or cabinet.

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

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