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Tranquil in monochrome

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

The choice to stick to classic Resene blacks and whites creates a sense of tranquillity within a space that’s anything but boring.

Just because you don’t care for bold colours – or don’t feel brave enough to use them in your home – doesn’t mean your space needs to be boring. Even an achromatic colour scheme, which doesn’t incorporate ‘colour’ at all, can be rich and full of interest when done right. The key lies in layering.

Classic black and white palette Mood board
Mood board Classic black and white palette
Mood board: Background in Resene Black White and Resene Triple Black White with A4 drawdown paint swatch in Resene Gumboot, Resene Black White and Resene Despacito, small geometric plant pot in Resene Quarter Chicago, large geometric plant pot in Resene Saltpan and bowl in Resene SaltPan and Resene Gumboot. 

Resene Black White, has long been one of the most popular Resene colours among builders, architects, decorators and homeowners alike. Classic, timeless and simple, Resene Black White makes a great base from which to build upon. But when used alone, this universally beloved calcite greyed white can sometimes feel cold in certain spaces and under certain lighting conditions.

The trick to warming up and bringing out the best in Resene Black White is combining it with other warmer Resene whites and greys. In this space, layers of Resene Westar, Resene Salt Pan, Resene Double Sea Fog and Resene Quarter Chicago accomplish just that alongside slightly pink Resene Despacito and slightly celery Resene Celeste.

The subtle chequerboard pattern on the floor was created using two strengths of the same colour – Resene Black White, both in full strength and triple strength – adding interest without taking over and visually overwhelming the room. On top, warmer hues were added through key pieces of furniture: an almond-toned sofa, a coffee table painted Resene Westar and a rattan pendant lamp painted Resene Despacito.

Lounge in black and white shades
Lounge in black and white shades
Paint: Wall in Resene Black White, Architrave in Resene Black White, Floor in Resene Black White and Resene Triple Black White, Coffee table in Resene Westar, Shelf in Resene Black White, Jug vase in Resene Gumboot and Resene Black White, Large bowl in Resene Gumboot and Resene Saltpan, Geometric plant pots in Resene Saltpan and Resene Quarter Chicago, Ombre plant pot in Resene Celeste, Resene Terrain and Resene Cobblestone, Woven pendant lamp in Resene Despacito , Large basket (with plant) in Resene Double Sea Fog.

For further interest, a few small accessories were painted with an ombre effect, including the large bowl on the coffee table, which is in Resene SaltPan and Resene Gumboot, the plant pot on the shelf, which is in Resene Celeste, Resene Terrain and Resene Cobblestone, and the jug-shaped vase, which is in Resene Gumboot on the top with Resene Black White on the bottom. These were layered in along with a large woven basket painted Resene Double Sea Fog, housing the large palm, a couple of geometric-shaped plant pots in Resene Half Chicago and Resene Salt Pan and heavily textured accessories, such as the cushions, throws, a dulled brass side table and a sisal pouf, and some small pieces of simple achromatic artwork to break things up.

The finishing touch is the addition of plenty of leafy plants, which bring a hint of colour, life and even more visual texture into the otherwise neutral space. The result is an eclectic boho-chic living room that’s just as easily the type of space that you could entertain guests in as you could sink into with a cup of tea.

Other subtle off-whites and greys that would just as lovely in this space are Resene Thorndon Cream, an understated and urbane neutral with a touch of green, Resene Half Truffle, an oyster white, Resene Half Tapa, a sophisticated and stylish grey, or Resene Half Rakaia, a shale grey that’s rich with complexity. For contrast and depth, add in a few soft or off-blacks such as Resene Double Foundry, Resene Zeus or Resene Nocturnal.

Accessories: Dax 3-Seater Sofa in Storm Grey Velvet; McMurdo Throw in Granite/Charcoal; Flaxmill Cushion in Grey; Flaxmill Cushion in Nude; Leblon Cushion; Tussock Cushion from Me & My Trend; Jute Pouf from Mocka.

Styling by Annick Larkin. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2019

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