Like some kind of spacey planetary chart from a far-off retro galaxy, the mural in this living room really is out of this world.
With full confidence and bravery, it takes a firm hold of the trend for creating truly unique spaces. It also fully indulges in the current love of all this mid-century, and the burgeoning trend for curves, arches and circles. Curvy furniture is in, and hard edges are out in our search for comforting spaces that cuddle up to us and make us forget the woes of recent years. The curves and wonky shapes often associated with the 1970s have been reinterpreted in a trend called Neotenic where shapes are overblown and curved in a childlike, cartoonish way – the sofa in this room is a good example.
This hand-painted mural uses the stylistic qualities of mid-century graphic design which favoured clean lines, bold shapes, strong saturated colours and a certain flatness where the elements pared down to basic visual forms. Many designers opted to use combinations of simple geometric shapes such as circles, squares, rectangles and triangles in various permutations to form an overall composition.
Detailing is sparse and there is a dynamic interplay of sharp colours and jarringly arranged shapes that both intersect and float alone.
This mural design takes full advantage of a graphic interplay of circles and arches to create a personality-filled pattern that experiments with scale and colour.
It’s a case of borrowing from the past and reinventing for today, seeing an older pattern through a modern lens, melding old with new technology and new hues for modern takes on old favourites.
This mural doesn’t stray too far from the classic 1970s retro colour palette of earthy saturated tones, although the addition of the two soft pinks gives it a very 2020s twist. In fact, the room is a loose tonal scheme of pinks and burgundies, with two accent colours to add energy and interest – a gingery tan and burnt orange.
The paint colours used on a background of Resene Rice Cake are the ginger tan Resene Yogi, burnt orange Resene Thunderbird on the central circle, Latino red Resene Arriba on the arched stripes, dusky pinks Resene Contented (lighter) and Resene Valentine (darker) and burgundy-brown Resene Transition.
Then a collection of similar colours are used in the accessories and furniture items: Resene Red Berry on the sideboard and side table, a coffee table in Resene Inspire, and vases and other items in Resene Dawn Glow, Resene Summer Rose, Resene Wayfarer, Resene Eau De Nil and Resene Forty Six. All of these colours are from the Resene The Range Fashion Colours 24.
The floorboards are finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, a popular way to give timber a classic look.
The only difference between this room and you is a little bit of bravery – and Resene paint can be the best thing for it. Painting your walls and accessories is a relatively easy, low-risk and cost-effective way to refresh them while trying something new – something you can enjoy creating in and of itself yet paint right over if you change your tune or get tired of the look.
The design of the mural may look quite complicated but, because it’s essentially based on circles, there’s an easy hack for drawing these on such a large scale. Simply cut a piece of string a little longer than half the diameter of the circle you wish to draw, then tie a pencil to one end. Use a drawing pin or tack-like nail to secure the other end of the string in the centre of where the circle will be, then holding the string taut, draw your circle. Use the same technique to draw the tops of the arches.
Project by Annick Larkin. Photography by Bryce Carleton. July 2022
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