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Oceans of blue

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

In a subtropical climate like ours, it’s easy to be drawn to an ocean-inspired colour palette full of beachy blues – especially if you have a bach.

Classic sea-inspired colours include washed blues, seafoam greens, golden creams, sandy beiges and crystalline whites along with accents in stormy navy or a few pops of edgy black. Take a stroll down by the water to get inspired – nature’s palette is all around you.

With our harsh light, its equally common to want to keep your wall colour light, too. But just because you’re drawn to white walls doesn’t mean that they have to be boring. Choosing an off-white that’s infused with a hint of blue is an easy way to subtly add more visual interest while also helping the hue marry up better with the rest of the sea shades you’ve selected. Look to colours like Resene Eighth Concrete, Resene Quarter Surrender or Resene Quarter Emerge – which was used on the walls of this beautiful bedroom to help lend it an easy, breezy vibe.

Bedroom project in shades of blue Oceans of blue mood board
Mood board Bedroom and privacy screen in shades of blue
Mood board: Background in Resene Quarter Concrete, large vase in Resene Mystery, small vase in Resene Bismark and A4 drawdown paint swatches in Resene Raindance, Resene Mystery, Resene Quarter Concrete, Resene Quarter Emerge, Resene Liberty, Resene Bismark and Resene Fast Forward.  Paint: Wall in Resene Quarter Emerge, Floor in Resene Quarter Concrete, Bedside table in Resene Fast Forward, Screen painted in Resene Raindance, Resene Liberty and Resene Mystery, Bedside lamp painted in Resene Mystery, Vase painted in Resene Raindance.

Batten walls are a popular on trend design choice, but they don’t have to surround the entire space – nor do they have to go all the way from floor to ceiling. Instead of a headboard, this bedroom uses partial battens to create an interesting focal point above the bed that helps draw the eye upward. Switching them to a horizontal orientation is another cool idea, and other ideas for battens could include a typical grid, parallel pairs, or turning them on a 45-degree angle.

Oceans of light and airy white bedding has been layered with more textures and stormier shades that pull the colours of the artwork out into the room. The side table in Resene Fast Forward plays up some of the greener undertones that are present in the dark accent cushion, while the vase in Resene Mystery and the lamp base in Resene Raindance meet it halfway to bring the gap in contrast between it and the Resene Quarter Emerge walls and Resene Quarter Concrete floor.

The folding screen is a simple DIY project that you can easily complete on a weekend. The gentle curves mimic the shape of waves, adding to the ocean theme of the space. Use a jigsaw to cut the shape off the tops of three sheets of wood or MDF then paint them in two coats, letting each one dry completely before moving on. We used Resene Raindance, Resene Liberty and Resene Mystery. Then, drill and install two sets of hinges in opposite directions, so that your screen will fold like an accordion.

A bright and breezy pale blue bedroom
Detail of bedroom stool and blue tones
Bedroom: Bright and breezy, this bedroom is enveloped in a fresh palette of Resene blues, including Resene Quarter Emerge on the walls, Resene Fast Forward on the nightstand, Resene Mystery on the large vase, Resene Indian Ink on the small vase and Resene Raindance on the lamp base. Each shade plays off a different coloured cushion, making for a cohesive looking space. The floor is painted using Resene Walk-on in Resene Quarter Concrete. 

While the palette built on blues certainly looks beautiful, other colours you can try with nebulous off-white blue-greys like Resene Quarter Emerge are faded greys, green stone greys or fizzy warm whites such as Resene Quarter Baltic Sea or Resene Elderflower.

If blue feels too cold to you, try layering light grey-greens instead. Opt for walls in Resene Secrets, a side table in Resene Mother Nature, go for Resene Helix on the lamp and large vase and just a pop of deep dark emerald Resene Atlas on the small bud vase. Then, track down some cushions to coordinate. With silvery sages being as popular as they are right now, they shouldn’t be too hard to find. The secret is to choose shades that have the same base tone with enough contrast between them that they create a sense of visual texture.

Accessories: White Linen Hampton King Duvet Cover Set; Hampton Linen Cushion in Cloud from Ezibuy; Baksana Euro Pillowcases in Smoke and Silver; Baksana Newbliss Throw in Smoke; all from Allium; Peacock Blue abstract downloadable print from Etsy; Home Republic Belgian Vintage Washed Linen Cushion from Adairs; Rogue Lambs Ear Spray from Freedom Furniture; All other props are stylist’s own.

Resene Mystery

Resene Raindance

Resene Quarter Emerge

Resene Liberty

Resene Fast Forward

Resene Elderflower

Resene Mother Nature

Styling by Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2019

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