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Endless choices

NZ House & Garden, Resene / Colour expert

Kate Alexander loves the surprise and delight that a variety of paint colour brings.

Interior designer and stylist Kate Alexander of Places & Graces works with colours that bring her joy.

Kate Alexander

Kate Alexander in front of a wall painted in Resene Green Meets Blue; the fireplace surround is Resene Eighth Black White and the firebox is Resene Turbo.

One of Kate’s projects

One of Kate’s projects, using Resene Eighth Black White and Resene Big Stone on the ceiling and in the rear room.

Why do you love working with Resene colour?

I love the possibility that colour provides. The tones, hues, tints, shades and combinations are endless. Every project has the opportunity to be unique. I’ve been working with blue and white lately but what makes each home different is the specific blue and white, and the supporting colours. There are also myriad surfaces you can apply colour to. I enjoy adding excitement to a room by using colour in places and shades you wouldn’t expect.

What effect do you think paint colour has on an interior?

Colour has the biggest effect on an interior, second only to light. It’s a cue we use to communicate with our brain about the vibe of a space or object because most of us have preconceived ideas about what certain colours mean. For instance, a room painted in a velvety purple will determine it to be luxurious, while a room painted in sky blue would have to try hard not to feel casual. And because colour touches every surface it has many opportunities to cement its intentions.

Do you have any advice on building a colour scheme?

I start with whatever can’t be changed, often the floor, as the jumping-off point. Every scheme needs a white so I choose that first. The rest is based on what colours bring you joy and whether they suit the space. There is a trend for tone-on-tone interiors because they are serene but be aware that everything has a colour – toasters, school bags, drink bottles, phone chargers – so these may clash with your tonal space.

What are your favourite Resene colours?

Resene Illuminate, a soft on-trend yellow. Resene Half Resolution Blue which has the most power when used in small amounts. My go-to whites are Resene Eighth Black White or Resene Double Barely There. And for black it’s Resene Blackjack because it’s not too harsh. The latest Resene fashion colours range has some beautiful neutrals – I recently used Resene Kinship on a ceiling and its gentleness is divine.

Resene Kinship

Resene Illuminate

NZ House & Garden. July 2023

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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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