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A touch of the wild

The trend for exotic colours and patterns shows no sign of abating – and it’s no wonder. Palm leaves, animal motifs, vegetal greens, sisal rugs and plants help us to escape to far flung places without leaving the comfort of the sofa, let along facing the queues at the airport or the eye-watering cost of the airfares.

Some of these types of schemes can be a bit over-the-top with pattern or bright colour, but this room is a very sophisticated take on the idea, using earthy muted colours and a very clever way of using wallpaper to create a panelled artwork installation. They’re like peeking through a set of windows into the jungle outside.

An exotic and colourful lounge design

An exotic and colourful moodboard

An exotic and colourful mood board

An exotic and colourful living room design

Mood board: Background painted in Resene Blanc, A4 drawdown paint swatches in, from top to bottom, Resene Papier Mache, Resene Woodland, Resene Crail, Resene Teak and Resene Avocado, tealight holder in Resene Brown Sugar, Resene Wallpaper Collection 91310, willow rectangle cushion from Kmart, faux bamboo leaf from Freedom.

There are so many amazingly eye-catching and inspiring wallpapers in the Resene Wallpaper Collection that it can be hard to choose. Or you may feel nervous about committing to a bold design that you absolutely fall in love with, but which you’re unsure of putting over all of the walls of a room or even just on one.

If you are not feeling brave enough to have a highly patterned wallpaper all over a wall or the budget doesn't allow – there are a range of wallpaper prices but some of the overseas ones can be expensive – consider creating a focal point in the room but adding wallpaper panels.

The beauty of doing this is that you can always change the wallpaper when your tastes change – imagine this same room with a paler Oriental-style design of apple blossoms and cranes. It would look just as striking and just as good.

This design technique only requires one roll of wallpaper and will still leave you with extra wallpaper to do some other DIY projects.

A colourful and exotic living room design

Paint: Back wall in Resene Woodland, Wooden framing around wallpaper in Resene Teak, Floor in Resene Blanc, Pendant in Resene Crail, Coffee table large in Resene Papier Mache, Side table in Resene Teak, Sideboard in Resene Teak, Bowl (on sideboard) with rope handles in We speak beach stain Resene Breathe Easy, Base of lampbase in Resene Tea, Painted book on coffee table in Resene Yogi, Tealight holder on top of book in Resene Brown Sugar, Pot with plant on side table in Resene Avocado, Plant pot on sideboard in Resene Avocado.  Accessories: Sofa from Nood, rug from Mocka, throws, leaf cushion and washed linen cushions from Adairs, rectangle cushion from Kmart, textured cushions from Freedom.

To decide on the paint colour for the wall, identify one of the colours in your chosen wallpaper and match it to a Resene paint – there are so many paint colours in the Resene collections, that you’ll easily find one.

It’s probably best to choose a mid to dark colour as it will allow the wallpaper to stand out more. You can use that colour to create a feature wall, as with this dining room, or you can paint all of the walls of the room.

Also choose another colour from the wallpaper and use it to paint the frame that goes around the wallpaper panels. In this dining room, we used Resene Wallpaper Collection 91310 with a feature wall in Resene Woodland, other walls in Resene Blanc and the frame in Resene Teak.

To create a cohesive space, identify three key colours from the wallpaper and use them throughout the room. In this room, the sideboard and table are painted in similar pale tan tones, Resene Teak for sideboard and Resene Papier Mache for the table, and the tall vase is in a darker tan, Resene Brown Sugar. The rattan chairs and candlesticks are painted in Resene Woodland to match the rear wall with a paler green, Resene Avocado, on the short vase. To add a pop of colour, the brick terracotta colour of Resene Crail is used on the pendant light and bowl.

A colourful and exotic dining rom design

Paint: Back wall in Resene Woodland, Wooden framing around wallpaper in Resene Teak, Floor in Resene Blanc, Side wall in Resene Blanc, Sideboard in Resene Teak, Dining table in Resene Papier Mache, Chairs in Resene Woodland, Pendant light in Resene Crail, Tall vase on table in Resene Brown Sugar, Short vase on table in Resene Avocado, Candle holders in Resene Woodland, Bowl in Resene Crail.  Accessories: Rogue faux bamboo leaf from Freedom, rattan basket from Bed Bath & Beyond.

How to make wallpaper panels

We simply used the width of the wallpaper for each panel, then spaced them out evenly across the width of the wall, in this case leaving a 40cm gap in between in each panel and having the bottom edge of the panel 60cm off the floor. Each panel is 1.4m tall. Paste the wallpaper directly on to the wall then create the frame with pieces of thin square dowel, painted in Resene Teak, which is a colour that also coordinates with the wallpaper.

Wallpaper lampshade

Used leftover wallpaper to cover the shade of a table lamp or pendant light. We painted the base of this lamp in Resene Tea and attached some Resene wallpaper to the shade using double sided tape.

There is a huge range of wallpaper options to suit all rooms and projects. See the full collection at your local Resene ColorShop or get a taste of the new releases online.

Resene Breathe Easy

Resene Yogi

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

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