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the feel-good factor

From Habitat magazine - issue 10

Fashion diva Karen Walker’s new range for Resene is an intuitive rather than technical collection.

Fashion designer Karen Walker plays out her talent on a global stage. She’s so accomplished at mixing pattern, texture, cut and colour to bring style and whimsy to her clothing collections, you would think that making décor decisions for her home would have been a cinch. Not true. Even for Karen, colour confidence did not come easily.

So when Resene approached her nine years ago to collaborate on a smart, modern colour range, she took her own experience as a starting point. “I wanted to demystify the process of choosing colour, to take away the fear that many people feel.”

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The popularity of that original edited range of just 29 dusty, warm shades has proven the adage that less is more – and the new Karen Walker collection from Resene continues this theme.

Released recently are six palettes featuring seven colours each that can be successfully combined to evoke a mood: no more guesswork in your paintwork, good taste guaranteed. “We wanted to expand on the notion of taking that fear away by grouping colours in stories,” explains Karen.

The fandeck itself is suitably stylish, with photographs of painted model houses complementing the strips, rather than chips, of colour. This current collection was inspired by the Bauhaus style that originated in Germany in the 1920s. One key principle of this philosophy was to select colours that were complementary from an emotional point of view rather than a technical or tonal one.

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With this in mind, Karen and her long-time friend and interior designer Katie Lockhart, put their heads together to develop a collection that, like her clothing, has the power to surprise. The result is a tailored blend of Karen’s favourite hues that uses some colours from her original range but pushes the boundaries with striking metallics and cheerful warm tones. “Even if homeowners only use two or three of the paint colours in a room, they may use the other colours to pick out a piece of furniture or in their accessories,” suggests Karen. Changing a wall colour is still one of the easiest and cheapest ways to adjust the feel of a home, she says.

Karen Walker colours are available exclusively from Resene.



Photo 1: Background: Resene Ecru White. Tulip chair, from Nood. Chairman console table in maple, from Design Denmark. Ted Dutch print circa 1968, and orange German Spiderweb vase circa 1950, from Art & Industry. Bitossi Bicolore bottle vase, from Matisse. Ball (from set of 12), from Flotsam & Jetsam. Cube painted Resene Beryl Green. Angel by Melissa Young, from The Poi Room.

Colour creates mood 5

Photo 2: Background: Resene Blanched Pink. Tree and book, stylist’s own. Felt Hat Last, from Flotsam & Jetsam. White hand hanger, and Third Drawer Down canvas, from Macy Home. Ceramic moths by Rachel Stephenson, from The Poi Room. Stockists overleaf.

Photo 3: Background: Resene Sandspit Brown. Artichoke painted Resene Burnished Orange. Jielde lamp, Hamner jug, and Cheerio jug, from Flotsam & Jetsam. Manuka Honeybee print by Daniel Kirch, from The Poi Room. Wooden spoon, stylist’s own.

Photo 4: Background: Resene Robins Egg Blue. Black & White Zulu bowl, and Green gnome, from Republic Home. ‘Heap’ sculpture by Ruth Thomas-Edmond, from Flotsam & Jetsam. Purple German vase circa 1960, from Art & Industry. Shamadan candle holder, from Indice.

Testposts (clockwise from left): Resene Rockpool Green, Resene Jetsam Brown, Resene Clementine Orange, Resene Ecru White, Resene Smoky Green, Resene Beryl Green, Resene Glistening White.

Stockists Art & Industry, 09 630 0310. Design Denmark, 09 361 3333. Flotsam & Jetsam, 09 361 3831. Indice, 09 376 9167. Macy Home, 09 361 3388. Matisse. Nood, 09 357 3519; Republic Home, 09 361 1137; The Poi Room, 09 520 0399.


words: Claire McCall
pictures: David Whorwood
styling: Lianne Whorwood

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