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Bright and breezy

Most bedrooms are designed to be calming space, full of restful colours and muted patterns – right?

But you can be bright and playful without being chaotic and keeping yourself awake at night. One way is to use steadying cool colours such as green and blue. In this bedroom, a combination of tropical blues and greens breeze through the room: Resene Tiara, Resene Blue Bayoux, Resene Conch, Resene Nepal and Resene Amulet.

A tropical themed bedroom

A relaxing tropical moodboard

A relaxing tropical mood board

A relaxing tropical themed bedroom

Mood board: Background painted in Resene Blanc, Resene Wallpaper Collection 37530-1, basket in Resene Nepal, candleholder in Resene Laurel, vase in Resene Amulet, shell ball in Resene White and A4 drawdown paint swatches from bottom to top Resene Amulet, Resene Laurel, Resene Blue Bayoux, Resene Nepal and Resene Conch.

These colours are obviously inspired by the colours of the Resene wallpaper – you could do the same with any other element used in a room such as a favourite artwork or even a patterned cushion.

Don’t have just one item in the colours that you choose – it will look lonely and out of place. Instead, carry the colour throughout the room and in different proportions to create a balanced scheme. In this bedroom, the fresh tropical green chair and cane headboard are larger items painted in Resene Amulet. The same colour is also used on the vase and plant pot.

This wallpaper, Resene Wallpaper Collection 37530-1, may have a busy, repeating pattern but there are ways to control that to make a bedroom the soothing space it’s meant to be. For a start, the busyness happens on the bedhead wall, so that it’s an uplifting welcome when you walk in the room but once you’re in the bed ready for some shut-eye, you can’t see it. The same goes for using energising colour like red or orange in a room – use them as a feature wall behind the bed.

To add a sense of calm, add a block of solid colour which will tie into the wallpaper but not compete with it, such as the other walls in the room which are painted in Resene Conch, a lovely dusty blue, and the floor painted in Resene Tiara, a duck egg green.

A wallpapered tropical themed bedroom

Paint: Floor in Resene Tiara, Side wall in Resene Conch, Rattan chair in Resene Amulet, Bedside table in Resene Blue Bayoux, Vase on Bedside table in Resene Amulet, Rattan pendant in Resene Nepal, Rattan headboard in Resene Amulet, Tealight holder on chest of drawers in Resene Tiara, Planter on chest of drawers in Resene Amulet.  Accessories: Drawers from Mocka painted in Resene Blue Bayoux and finished in Resene Wallpaper Collection 37530-1, duvet cover and pillowcases from Foxtrot Home, throw from The Warehouse, palm cushion from Spotlight, linen striped pillowcase from Ezibuy, light blue cushion cover from H&M home.

Using blocks of colour means you can also use up to three patterns in a one space. With this wallpaper you could add stripes in blues and greens or use a similar leaf pattern to the wallpaper.

The relaxed casual vibe of this room is created not only by fresh colours and that fabulous wallpaper but by a laid-back rattan chair, a cane bedhead, a potted palm and casual bedlinen.

Certainly, on the wall is where many wallpaper designs and patterns will shine, but it’s time to get creative and think about what else might benefit from a good papering. It’s also a good use of any spare wallpaper you might have – don’t biff it in the bin, search around for other ways to use it.

This tall chest of drawers has been given a smart new look by covering alternative drawer fronts in wallpaper and then painting the others in Resene Blue Bayoux, a smoky blue.

Unexpected ways to use wallpaper

Wallpaper can go on almost anything so be creative with left-over paper.


Give an old set of drawers a new look by fixing wallpaper to the front of the drawers. Remove the handles temporarily then reattach once the wallpaper is on. These can be glued or for a temporary measure use double-sided tape. You can also go old-school and use wallpaper to line the bottom of your drawers.

Inside cupboards or cabinets

Line the back wall (or all sides) of the inside of your wardrobe or cupboards, or the back wall of a cabinet – it will make you smile every time you open the door.

On open shelves

Use wallpaper to line the back of a shelving unit or hang it on the wall behind an open shelving unit.

As a framed artwork

Off cuts of wallpaper are a great option for artwork. Simply buy an inexpensive frame or upcycle one with a fresh coat of paint and pop in some wallpaper for a piece of instant artwork.

Side tables

We used some left-over wallpaper from the wall to use on the drum-shaped side table. We painted the table in Resene Blue Bayoux and then cut wallpaper pieces to stick to the sides of the table. This is very simple to do and very effective.


This upcycled old cabinet looks modern and fresh with some wallpaper inserts added and gives the piece a new lease on life!

With a little imagination, Resene wallpaper can be used to reinvent and refresh a huge range of surfaces. View the full collection of Resene wallpapers at your local Resene ColorShop or get a taste of the new collections online.

Styling by Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2022

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