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hot trends are on the rise

From Habitat magazine - issue 32, testpots

A new decade brings with it warmer, spicier versions of favoured hues.

Lounge spiced just right with on trend colours

This lounge is spiced just right with the latest trend colours. Upper wall in Resene Dark Buff, shelf wall in Resene Korma, floor in Resene Eighth Drought, coffee and side tables in Resene Twine, vases in Resene Alpaca (tall), Resene Cobblestone (medium), Resene Gold Coast (low), bowl in Resene Cod Grey and artwork in Resene Korma and Resene Gold Coast.

During the 2010s, cooler colours dominated the decorating world, both inside and out. Until recently, it seemed like everyone was after flat, cold, steely greys in pursuit of a crisp, contemporary look – but things are drastically warming up.

After a decade of 'flat grey everything', we're ready for something different. What we've come to know as 'character neutrals' – paint colours that make for a much richer interior look – are the main wall and floor colours that are trending today. These are not the tans and beiges of the '90s, nor the one-dimensional greys of the '10s. They are neutrals with soul. Complex variations like nude taupe, mushroom taupe, new-age greige, terracotta and deep-smoked coffee browns are taking their turn in the spotlight – think Resene Zorba, Resene Otter, Resene Tide, Resene Serene and Resene Barista.

However, there are also plenty of more vibrant and saturated shades capturing our attention. Typical 'cool' colours like blue and green have taken on red, purple and yellow undertones with coastal blues taking on more tropical hues and minty greens making way for celery, sage and olive. And traditionally warm colours like reds, browns, oranges and yellows have gotten spicier and dustier with greyed undertones.

Lounge: This lounge is spiced just right with the latest trend colours. Upper wall in Resene Dark Buff, shelf wall in Resene Korma, floor in Resene Eighth Drought, coffee and side tables in Resene Twine, vases in Resene Alpaca (tall), Resene Cobblestone (medium), Resene Gold Coast (low), bowl in Resene Cod Grey and artwork in Resene Korma and Resene Gold Coast.

Character neutrals for a richer interior look...

Spiced just right lounge colours...

Cocooning colours - mood board
Sage and olive greens bring nature indoors
Mood board: Dark hues are cocooning in bedrooms and living spaces, creating places to hunker down and relax in, away from busy life. Background in Resene Felix with vases in (clockwise from bottom left) Resene Ayers Rock, Resene Crail, Resene Rebel and Resene Papier Mache, lidded pots in Resene Guardsman Red, Resene Roxy and Resene Vanquish and tray in Resene BitterDining room: Sage and olive greens bring nature indoors. Wall in Resene Peace, floor in Resene Elderflower with tiles stencilled in Resene Peace, table and chairs in Resene Elderflower with dipped legs in Resene New Leaf, coat rack, wreath hoop and geo vase in Resene New Leaf and tall vase and pendant lamp in Resene Smoothie.

Dining room colours...

Resene Smoothie

Resene New Leaf

Resene Elderflower

Resene Peace

Dusty and rusty

Now that pinks have finally started to take a backseat, it's terracotta, earthy ruddy reds and rusty browns that have taken the reins as the hottest trending colours around. Hues like Resene Tuscany, Resene Chelsea Gem and Resene Rebel are dominating Instagram and magazines and can be found in every home décor store. Combine all three to build a toasty tonal look or combine them with a rich blue like Resene Licorice for an elegant look.

Sage is all the rage

Less blue and more yellow has been the way that greens have been going. Sage green like Resene Bitter, in particular, has been the forefront trending verdant varietal – but it's also brought with it a whole army of dusty green comrades like olive, cargo and celery. Tone-on-tone earthy green bedrooms and living rooms in shades like Resene Hemlock, Resene Flax and Resene Nirvana are the epitome of what's in, especially when combined with rusty browns and terracotta like Resene Mocha and Resene Kamikaze.

Bitter citruses

It can be a polarising colour to some, but the recent popularity of orange isn't surprising. It's an ideal hue for adding interest to more predictable colour palettes built from blues, greens and greys. Rather than a truly citrusy version, it's been a more bitter variety that's been popping up – and it blends beautifully with everything from sage green like Resene Yucca to terracotta like Resene Sante Fe and navy blues like Resene Dark Knight. Go for a major piece of furniture in Resene Moroccan Spice or Resene Ayers Rock to lock down the look.

Subtle spritzers of light lime greens like Resene Lemon Twist work well with a variety of other colours for the same reason that orange does – it adds a point of difference – so these too have been squeezing their way into the spotlight. Yellows, however, have either gone golden like Resene Pirate Gold or turned toward more safari shades like Resene Sidecar or Resene Manuka Honey – making them the ideal pairing for the animal prints that have also been trending wildly.

Wallpaper: Resene Wallpaper Collection KOS403 picks up trending coastal blues and green blues in its striped design. Try it with Resene Coast, Resene Bismark and pops of Resene Pirate Gold. Lounge: This boho chic lounge makes use of a number of gorgeous Resene character neutrals. Wall, shelf and skirting in Resene Black White, chequerboard painted floor in Resene Black White and Resene Triple Black White, coffee table in Resene Westar, jug vase in Resene Gumboot (top) and Resene Black White (bottom), large bowl in Resene Gumboot and Resene Saltpan, geometric plant pots in Resene Saltpan and Resene Quarter Chicago, ombre plant pot in Resene Celeste (top), Resene Terrain (middle) and Resene Cobblestone (bottom) and woven pendant lamp in Resene Despacito.

Resene Wallpaper Collection KOS403

Boho chic lounge colours...

Truly classic blues

While the Pantone Colour Institute may have declared Classic Blue to be the 'Pantone Colour of the Year 2020' to herald our way into a new decade of design, it's deeper, murkier blues that have taken over the interiors landscape locally. Coastal blues like Resene Undercurrent, Resene Bismark and Resene Coast remain popular classic options that are perfect for the home or bach, whereas deep sapphires continue to be among the most coveted jewel tones in our part of the world. Look to shades like Resene Tangaroa or Resene Elephant for building a dark tonal bedroom or use them in smaller doses on accessories or a statement piece of furniture to add a punch of contrast to define a more neutral space with stone tones like Resene Half Nomad and Resene Chino.

It's the green blues, though, that are the fastest rising in popularity, blending the best of both colours. We're sure to see more of the likes of Resene Green Meets Blue, Resene Thor and Resene Juniper over previously popular emeralds. Combine them with trendy bitter orange like Resene Smoke Tree balanced with softer Resene Destiny or Resene Tiara as a gorgeous base for your main living space.

Dining room: Resene Wallpaper Collection IUM002 marries well with three popular trends: animal motifs, art deco and spicy earthy shades. Try it with accents in a ruddy red like Resene Hot August and a smoky grey olive green such as Resene Tom ThumbMood board: Background in Resene Innuendo and painted accessories in (clockwise from top left) Resene Slate Brown, Resene Double Wheatfield, Resene Valour, Resene Marionette, Resene Green Smoke, Resene Lemon Twist, Resene Avalanche and Resene Deluge

Resene Wallpaper Collection IUM002

Mood board colours...

New age greige

New age greige – a grey-beige blend – also falls into the category of trending character neutrals. It can shine in both cool and warm colour schemes and it's a relaxing colour to live with. Try Resene Quarter Bison Hide, Resene Half Cougar and Resene Half Truffle for true greiges or go for those with red or violet undertones such as Resene Swiss Coffee or Resene Dover White to add the interest that your walls, floors and ceilings have been missing.

Past meets present

These vintage-inspired hues remind us of more relaxed and simpler times. While the palette and textures in this space may have a strong nod to nostalgia, they've been spun in a way that feels much more contemporary than retro. Pale pinks and blues featured heavily in the dining rooms of the '80s and were often combined together in a single scheme. These popular pastels of yesteryear have now been updated with muddier tones. This wall in Resene Duck Egg Blue has also been given a soft '80s-esque texture using Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Rolling Stone while the sideboard in Resene Inside Back both coordinates and contrasts. The '80s revival chairs combined with furniture forms that are unquestionably contemporary seal the look – but it's the crisp Resene Half Orchid White lamp, Resene Half Villa White floor and accessories in Resene Kalgoorie Sands and Resene Wedgewood that make this room work.

A vintage inspired dining room


StockistsRust coloured lounge: Sunday Armchair from Me & My Trend. Bloomsbury Cushion Cover, Twill Throw with Fringe, Fenris Rug, Moon Table Lamp, Veranda Candle and Grove Tall Marble Dish from Città. Hannah Vessel and books from Father Rabbit. Green dining room: Dine Linen Napkins, Moroccan Shopper and Mesh Linen Blend Tea Towel from Città. Sophie So Cool Sunhat from Good Thing. Purse, wallet and sunglasses from H&M. Blue dining room: Radial Extendable Dining Table and Talo Dinnerware from Città. Saigon Dining Chairs and Nebraska Wool Floor Rug from Me & My Trend. Someplace Magique Print from Father Rabbit. Books from Paper Plane. Boho lounge: Dax 3-Seater Sofa, McMurdo Throw, Flaxmill Cushions, Leblon Cushion and Tussock Cushion from Me & My Trend. Jute Pouf from Mocka. Mood board: Towel and cushion cover from H&M.

Did you know... A selection of Resene paints and accessories can be purchased online? You can choose to click and collect or get your order delivered. See

styling: Gem Adams, Laura Lynn Johnston, Annick Larkin, Melle Van Sambeek
images: Bryce Carleton, Wendy Fenwick


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