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Contrast choice

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

There are plenty of interesting ways that the principle of contrast, one of the key tenets of interior design, can be applied within your space to get a polished effect.

Contrast is the secret ingredient that gives those memorable spaces their impact. When used correctly, this foundational design principle can add a hefty dose of visual interest to your home while simultaneously pulling it together, and most designers consider it an essential component to any successful interior.

Creating a sense of contrast through the use of colour is one of the most obvious, and generally the most easily achievable. While black is a classic match for white and provides the highest level of contrast, it’s not necessarily the best choice for creating a restful space as the look can be too stark and end up feeling cold.

Contrast colours for your lounge Contrasting colours mood board
Contrasting colours mood board Contrast colours for your lounge
Mood board: Background in Resene Rice Cake with A4-sized draw down paint swatches (from left to right) in Resene Tablelands, Resene Just Dance, Resene Ethereal, Resene Hive, Resene Smitten and Resene Twisted Sister. The woven tray is painted Resene Just Dance and the DIY artwork was created with Resene Ethereal, Resene Hive, Resene Twisted Sister, Resene Just Dance and Resene Tablelands.

While the accessories in this lounge look vibrant in Resene Smitten, Resene Twisted Sister and Resene Hive, they’ve been balanced with a heavy dose of more natural ones such as the Resene Rice Cake walls, the Resene Tablelands skirting boards, the Resene Ethereal door and the Resene Just Dance decorative tray in addition to the wood and woven textures throughout the space. The plywood flooring has been protected with Resene Aquaclear waterbourne finish to keep it light and let the character of the grain shine through. Plenty of colour contrast has been achieved and even though some of them may seem surprisingly bright, the result still seems relaxing and come across as cheerful rather than noisy.

Strong, vertical lines also repeat throughout this space, and have been built right into the backdrop with contrasting skirting boards and feature door edges. To contrast them, soften straight lines by incorporating a few curves, like the rocking chair, the thick woven throw and the round shapes in the artwork. The dried plants and the grassy woven rug help to break things up further but contrasting the smoother surfaces while playing perfectly to the colour palette.

Strong, vertical lines also repeat throughout this space

The line theme has been continued on the lampshade by carefully masking stripes in Resene Quarter Bokara Grey and Resene Hive, as well as through linear forms within the DIY artwork, which was created using Resene Tablelands, Resene Just Dance, Resene Ethereal, Resene Twisted Sister, Resene Hive and Resene Smitten to work well with the rest of the room.

The grooved lines of the door, painted Resene Ethereal, add to the look with their subtle vertical texture. The Resene Just Dance edges contribute further lines to the design, but they also offer up a fun surprise to welcome guests when they enter.

If Resene Smitten, Resene Twisted Sister and Resene Hive seem too bold for your tastes, swap these for a mix of earthier reds like Resene Scoria, Resene Moccasin and Resene Sunbaked or go for greens like Resene New Leaf, Resene Rococo and Mauve-toned taupe and browns like Resene Rocky Mountain, Resene Sixth Sense and Resene Rebel can work equally well as could a combo of coffee, caramel and bark colours like Resene Barnstorm, Resene Swiss Caramel and Resene Sambuca.

Paint: Walls in Resene Rice Cake. Ply floors finished in Resene Aquaclear. Trims in Resene Tablelands. Door in Resene Ethereal with Resene Just Dance edges. Large Vase in Resene Hive. Other vases in Resene Twisted Sister and Resene Smitten. Woven tray in Resene Just Dance. DIY artwork in Resene Tablelands, Resene Smitten, Resene Ethereal, Resene Twisted Sister, Resene Hive and Resene Just Dance. Lampshade in Resene Quarter Bokara Grey and Resene Hive.

Accessories: Evie Rocking chair, Rhys Natural Teak Console, Sand Tapered Shade from Freedom; Armadillo & Co Agra Knot Runner in Byzantine from the Ivy House; Portuguese Cotton Throw from Madder & Rouge.

Resene Twisted Sister

Resene Tablelands

Resene Just Dance

Resene Tablelands

Resene Ethereal

Resene Sunbaked

Resene New Leaf

Resene Rococo

Resene Bubble N Squeak

Resene Rocky Mountain

Resene Sixth Sense

Resene Barnstorm

Resene Swiss Caramel

Styling by Kate Alexander. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2019

Colour inspiration - latest looks gallery

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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