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Feeling zen

We all need escapism from our busy and stressful lives from time-to-time and there’s no better place to unwind than in a relaxing space at home. Why not convert your spare room into a multi-purpose space where you can withdraw from the household hustle and bustle and de-stress through meditation, exercise or relaxing with a good book.

Creating the illusion of a room with a serene view will provide the ideal setting for taking some deep breaths and focussing on your mind and body. A monochromatic palette, using the Resene range of paints, is key to creating a look that is both soothing and cohesive. Adding a textured look to your paint application will provide added visual interest without overwhelming the room.

A zen interior space

A zen moodboard

A zen mood board

A zen interior

Mood board: Background painted in Resene Half Breathless, curved arch painted in Resene Half Caraway, large vase painted in Resene Half Breathless, small vase in Resene Barely There, A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Barely There, Resene Half Nomad, Resene Half Craigieburn, Resene Pearl Bush, Resene French Grey, Resene Half Caraway and Resene Half Breathless.  Accessories: Floor rug from The Ivy House.

To create the limewashed effect on the wall, start with two coats of Resene Half Caraway. Once dry, use Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Half Caraway with loose brushstrokes, following close behind with a clean, dry rag to buff the wet medium and soften the effect. Applying a lighter colour over a darker colour is important when you’re looking to create this kind of finish and the key to making it look great is by working up multiple thin layers, rather than trying to get it all done in one go. It’s easy to ramp up the look by brushing and buffing on subsequent layers of Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Half Nomad or scale it back by using another rag to buff on small amounts of Resene Half Caraway where the effect has gone on too strong.

Over the top of the textured wall, three silhouettes of trees have been painted in Resene Craigieburn, a windswept and rocky brown that creates a good amount of contrast with the textured background. Other colours that would work well are Resene Akaroa, Resene Double Tea or Resene Pale Oyster. By choosing to paint three trees, as opposed to any other number, adheres to the classic design principle of ‘the rule of threes’ – this results in a balanced space with strong visual appeal. Try applying the ‘rule of threes’ to other elements in your room, such as a grouping of three vases on a side table to create unity.

Creating a zen multi-purpose space

A calming multi-purpose interior

Paint: Back wall painted with an undercoat of Resene Half Caraway and a top coast in Resene Half Nomad mixed with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium, Trees painted in Resene Craigieburn, Curved arch painted in Resene Half Caraway, Floor painted in Resene French Grey, Bench painted in Resene Half Breathless, Small round painted in Half Caraway, Large round painted in Resene Pearl Bush.

Including an additional painted element on the right hand wall, such as a curved archway, creates the illusion that there’s another room beyond and a feeling of a larger and more open space. Painting the arch is Resene Half Caraway co-ordinates with the colour of the back wall, floor rug and side tables, however other colours that would also work well are Resene Half Tea, Resene Half Scotch Mist and Resene Half Solitaire.

Having a mix of warm and cool-toned neutrals can provide a balanced and harmonious look. Using too many shades of cool-toned whites and greys can make a room feel cold, whereas too many warm beiges can sometimes make it feel dull and dated. Try warmer neutrals on your wall such as Resene Half Popcorn, Resene Double Spanish White, Resene Alpaca, Resene Half Sour Dough and Resene Blank Canvas. Pair these with light greys on your floor such as Resene French Grey, Resene Athens Grey, Resene Surrender and Resene Zumthor.

Create a restful atmosphere by using warm diffused lighting and consider including a globe paper pendant which will create a soft ambience. The addition of a day bed with a selection of soft cushions, as opposed to an armchair, enables you to recline comfortably with a good novel.

The simplicity of this comforting nature-inspired space, makes it ideal reading, meditation, yoga or for focussing on health and wellbeing.

Project by Kate Alexander. Photography by Bryce Carleton. June 2022

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