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Second nature

Kitchen ideas from Cuisine magazine

Bring elements of the outside in for a kitchen/dining space that’s at one with nature.

Nature inspired kitchen

Wall in Resene Pale Leaf, pegged shelf in Resene Toorak with bud vase in Resene Spanish White, cabinet in Resene Clover, vases (on cabinet) in Resene Triple Spanish White and Resene Half Villa White. Styling by Gem Adams. Photography by Wendy Fenwick.

For as long as humans have been decorating spaces, We have relied on Mother Nature for inspiration. Whether you want to use materials that are directly from nature, create a colour palette that resembles the great outdoors or fill your space with growing greenery, there are all sorts of nature inspired looks you can create. And given the general trend towards creating cosier and comforting environments in our homes as a retreat from the outside world, a bit of natural healing might just be what those looking to switch up their kitchen and dining area design are after, too.

Natural elements can bring character to any home setting while making it feel peaceful and welcoming; and teaming them with earthy Resene paint colours, wood stains and wallpapers will give you a kitchen and dining space that has both timeless and trendy appeal. Whether you’re after an organic oasis, leafy luxury, or anything in between, our easy-to-implement designer tips have got you covered.

Material matters

A major step for bringing a natural essence into your home is to incorporate materials that are either directly from nature or those that remind you of it.

The appeal of using wood in our homes is just as strong as it was centuries ago. Timber has continued to be the most popular choice for flooring for decades, but timber kitchen cabinetry has also recently come back into vogue. Wooden furniture with minimal lines has a timeless elegance and choosing a dining table, chairs, buffet and shelving with simple shapes that are free from ornamentation will put the focus on the grain of the wood to provide interest and texture. Another trendy option is timber cladding for walls and ceilings. Keep in mind, though, that even when going for a natural look, interior timber still needs protection from UV light – which a clear coat alone can’t provide. Choose a Resene Colorwood stain colour that most closely represents the wood’s inherent hue to filter out the most damaging UV rays and then apply a clear coat on top to seal it. For timber walls or furniture, choose Resene Aquaclear. For timber flooring, opt for Resene Qristal ClearFloor 2K.

Derived from palm, rattan is a gorgeous natural material that has regained popularity for home décor in recent years. Rattan can be painted and often stained (so long as it’s not clear coated) in your choice of Resene hues, which is helpful if you want to mix vintage pieces with new ones or want your rattan to match or coordinate with the rest of your décor. One-off items can become statement pieces when painted in eye-catching colours like Resene Space Cadet, Resene Smitten, Resene Kandinsky or Resene Half Turbo. Or try finishing your rattan items in Resene Colorwood Whitewash and Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash for a softer, weathered look.

There are heaps of designs in the Resene Wallpaper Collection that evoke everything from tropical fronds, jungle creatures and woodland forests through to earthy textures like grass cloth that can be incorporated into your nature-inspired space. Browse the latest releases and be sure to stop by your local Resene ColorShop to see the full range of offerings available.

Dining room wallpaper nature inspired mural

Create an oasis in an open-plan dining space with a nature-inspired mural like Resene Wallpaper Collection HX8-049 and layer in other earthy details such as timber flooring stained in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt and accessories in Resene Palm Green and Resene Ashanti.

Get your greens

Indoor plants are a major trend. Not only are plants the perfect way to bringing literal nature inside, many plants also help purify the air – making them an especially healthy addition to your home.

Whether real or fake, plants need pots to live in. However, it can be tricky to find ones that are both in the right colour and the style you’re after. Concentrate on finding ones that you like the shape of then pick up a few Resene testpots in hues that match or coordinate with your overarching colour scheme to paint the ones that don’t mesh with your palette. If you want to change things up later, it’s much more affordable and less wasteful to repaint them in a fresh new colour than buying a whole set of new pots.

Fresh herbs are especially useful plants to incorporate into your kitchen design. Not only will they bring a bit of greenery, you can snip off bits as needed to use in your cooking and baking. Herbs do need plenty of light and frequent watering to stay healthy and productive, so you may want to build a shelf onto a window painted or stained in the same Resene colour as your trims. That way, your plants can soak up the sun all day while still being easy to access and care for.

Sand, surf and sky

It's easy to fall in love with lush leafy hues that will blend beautifully with your natural kitchen and dining look, and there are so many great Resene greens to choose from. Deeper forest hues like Resene Palm Green, Resene Forest Green and Resene Midnight Moss, olive tones like Resene Olive Green, Resene Clay Creek and Resene Lichen and sage greens like Resene Green Spring, Resene Coriander and Resene Terrain are all great options, depending on your tastes and style. But if green isn't your cup of tea, there are plenty of colours that work well for creating an earthy look beyond verdant variations.

Earthy moodboard for

Tussock, twine and terracotta colours always evoke an earthy feel. Background in Resene Pearl Bush, plate in Resene Half Doeskin, pin in Resene Lone Ranger, pinch dish in Resene Rebel, bowl with eggs in Resene Twine, empty bowl in Resene Chelsea Gem. Styling by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

Looking to the sand, surf and sky for colour cues can give you a completely different – though just as valid – take on an earthy look. You could focus your palette on golden tones like Resene Sandbar, Resene Tussock or Resene Twine, coastal colours like Resene Coast, Resene Seachange or Resene Awash, or crisp, clear sky blue hues like Resene Cut Glass or Resene Quarter Frozen. But a hugely trendy option is terracotta and clay colours like Resene Sante Fe, Resene Crail and Resene Kalgoorie Sands that seem to be baked with earthy warmth, and even just one can make a stellar accent hue for enlivening a more subdued blue based, green based or neutral colour scheme.

Neutral paint colours have been steadily warming as we look to create calm yet uplifting spaces to retreat to in our homes. The shift away from cool grey to neutrals with more rosy, biscuit and suede undertones marries beautiful with natural kitchen and dining design trends. Embrace warm neutrals, from oatmeal to natural buff such as Resene Double Sisal, Resene Bison Hide, Resene Half Drought and Resene Fossil. These make a great base for layering together – either with each other or more saturated hues – or in a supporting role on trims and ceilings.

Earthy-toned hues like Resene Noosa and Resene Waiouru are also proving popular when it comes to selecting a bold shade for an accent wall, splashback, joinery or key furniture pieces. If you’re worried about overdoing it, choose one part of your décor such as one wall or opt to bring a bolder colour to your lower cabinets only and choose something lighter for your uppers. To make the colour feel like it belongs in the space, make sure that the rest of the accessories in the room complement it well by carrying it on to other accent items. The best thing about paint is that you can use it on nearly anything; so if you pick a Resene colour for your joinery, pick up a couple of Resene testpots in the same hue and use them to give a facelift to a vase you love the shape of or create some DIY artwork to hang in your space.

Top tips


January 2021

Kitchen Decorating Ideas
View more kitchen decorating ideas from Cuisine magazine in the Resene kitchen inspiration gallery.

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