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shifting focus

From Habitat magazine - issue 33, testpots

A disruptive time turns colour and design trends on their heads.

We’ve found ourselves in the midst of a unique time in history that has thrown us all for a curve. Whatever our plans were, they’ve either been cancelled, shifted or have evolved into something else entirely. With our whole world rocked by change, the driving factors of colour and design ‘trends’ as we’ve known them have also been hugely disrupted.

Our mission is now one of care, both for ourselves and our greater community – and we need colour trends, inspiration, ideas, rooms and spaces that embrace this. More than ever, there is a desire for soothing and calming spaces in our homes, but we also need spaces that are stimulating to spend time in – much more time, perhaps, than we might be used to.

It’s this, more than anything else, that will be the primary driver of decorating trends for the foreseeable future. Whether you’re looking to alleviate stress, work from home more comfortably or just want to mix things up, these relevant Resene hues will get the job done beautifully.

Neutral bedroom colour scheme
Blue dining room

Bedroom: Today’s trends are focused on creating soothing spaces, like this softly hued bedroom. Wall in Resene Triple Merino, floor in Resene Merino, arched headboard in (from left to right) Resene Tussock, Resene Tide, Resene Americano and Resene Nepal, vases in Resene Blank Canvas (small) and Resene Nepal (large), bedside tables in Resene Nepal (large) and Resene Tide (small), ball ornament in Resene Americano and DIY painted statement cushion in Resene Tide, Resene Tussock and Resene Nepal. Round cushion from Adairs, bedlinen, throw and other cushions from Città.  Top tip: Pick up Resene testpots to coordinate with your colour scheme and use them to create custom artwork to suit your space.

Dining room: Put a contemporary twist on a classic trend with ‘reverse wainscoting’. Attach simple square profile trims and cut panels to your wall at even increments with screws, then fill any holes and sand them smooth. Wipe away dust with a clean dry cloth, prime with Resene Quick Dry, then apply the same topcoat as the rest of your walls. Or, choose a contrasting colour to make them stand out and get a completely different look.

Green-blues are ideal for spaces you want to relax in, such as bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms or a chilled-out dining space. Wall in Resene Ziggurat, floor in Resene Mountain Mist, plant pot in Resene Alabaster and DIY art in Resene Celeste, Resene Blue Bayoux, Resene Rolling Stone, Resene Triple Rice Cake and Resene Nero. Table, chairs, buffet, rug and cactus from Freedom Furniture, vase, tray, decanter and glasses from H&M Home.

Coffee break

Changing times require changing measures. With the popularity of cool greys slowing, colour palettes are showing signs of warming up. Beige and taupe are becoming the ‘new’ go-to neutrals offering dreamy elegance, while the retro obsession of recent years has helped to quietly sneak in pops of brown décor. But now that we’re in the new decade, it seems we’ve reached a tipping point for chocolate hues to make a bigger splash. The future looks brown – but we promise that declaration is much better than it sounds!

One reason why brown is on the rise may stem from a desire to shift away from the pinker and redder palettes that have been pervasive. Warm terracotta hues like Resene Crail and golden beiges like Resene Blank Canvas are maturing, and browner tones have begun to come forward as a natural progression of those hues. The overall demand for increased sustainability and our growing need to feel more connected to nature also makes brown a logical candidate for decorating. This hue previously experienced strong popularity in the early 2000s and in the 1970s, so its current upswing could also be attributed to a sense of nostalgia for those times.

Brown, according to colour and psychology experts, also stands for stability, reliability and safety. It reminds us of simpler times, recalls ancient rituals and brings to mind a more down to earth lifestyle. Brown is natural, comfortable and familiar, easy to bring in with timbers and plays well with a wide range of colour schemes.

Unlike other trending colours, it isn’t just one particular type of brown that’s been dominating; cocoa, cinnamon, caramel and creamier coffee colours are all gaining traction. Look to Resene Americano, Resene Hairy Heath and Resene Kabul as particularly hot options, but don’t rule out bringing in touches of Resene Tide, Resene Alpaca or Resene Rebel to provide interest and contrast.

Cool blue hues

In lives full of busyness and interruptions, blue helps us filter out the noise and focus on what truly matters – bringing with it that much needed sense of calm and stability we all desperately crave. Like many other trending colours, today’s popular blues are dusty in nature – like a sky just before dusk, such as Resene Nepal, or a favourite pair of well-loved denim jeans, such as Resene Seachange. This move toward desaturated shades has been slowly occurring across the spectrum over the past few years, in large part driven by our desire to return our homes to calming, restful spaces.

Top trending blues have also taken on green undertones with Resene Green Meets Blue, Resene Ziggurat and Resene Awash being among the most covetable variations. Try them with muted smoky grey blues like Resene Blue Bayoux, pale greened whites like Resene Celeste or mercurial greys like Resene Mountain Mist. For a pop of interest, bring in a flash of bitter orange, rich ochre or peridot green such as Resene Mai Tai, Resene Tussock or Resene Flourish through small accents to finish the look.

Cool blue walls
Nature themed colour scheme

Blue room: Walls in Resene Seachange, arch and lipxped shelves in Resene Awash, floor and small vase (on shelf) in Resene Breathless, plant pot in Resene Rhino with stripe in Resene Breathless and triangle motif in Resene Awash. Trolley from Wooden Horse, rug from Grounded Homeware, brass storage unit from Mood Store, pendant lamps from Lighting Direct.   Top tip: Use paint to mimic on trend architectural elements like arches. It’s much easier to update if your style or tastes change.

Green room: Put an unexpected twist on the battened wall trend by installing them at 45 and 135 degrees then paint select pieces in a contrasting hue to really make them pop. Stone greys and camel browns work wonderfully as accents to olive greens. Walls in Resene Waiouru, cabinet, small table, tray and accent battens in Resene Gravel, floor in Resene Quarter Spanish White and vases and accessories in Resene Clover, Resene Dingley, Resene Gravel, Resene Highland and Resene Black. Sofa and chair from Me & My Trend, rug from Città, throw and cushions from Shut the Front Door, art from Simply Creative.

Back to nature

In our fast-paced world and ‘always on’ culture, most of us yearn for ways to disconnect. Our homes have now, once again, become the most meaningful place in our lives; one that may also have to do double duty as a workplace, but still needs to facilitate rest and rejuvenation.

While nature itself has long been a common inspiration for home décor, woodland tones including silvery sages such as Resene Bud, muddy stone greys like Resene Gravel and olive greens such as Resene Waiouru are among the most popular trending hues.

Luckily, these shades are all suitable for building tonal looks – an approach which is still very much on trend. Since tone-on-tone schemes are built on layering, the more you add, the more the whole scheme will hang together. The trick is to pick hues that complement with enough variation to keep things from becoming completely homogenous, and earthy greens like Resene Rivergum and Resene Mangrove are particularly excellent to work with when you’re trying to create a serene space but don’t want it to lack in interest or contrast.

Soulful neutrals

Given the efforts to turn our spaces into more relaxing places to spend time, we’re embracing living a more clutter-free and thoughtful life. Shades associated with minimalism, such as creams, beiges, greys, taupe and whites, have always been popular choices for anchoring interior colour palettes.

Neutral bedroom colour scheme
Layering a range of warm neutrals from off-white through to coal black makes for a rich, inviting and sophisticated palette ideal for a bedroom or living room. Wall in Resene Tea, floor in Resene Blanc, bedside table in Resene Bison Hide, lamp in Bison Hide (shade) and Resene Black (base), pots in Resene Napa and Resene Black and large picture frame in Resene Napa. Chair from Freedom Furniture, rug, throw and cushion from Città, bedlinen from Adairs.

Those looking to add comfort to their homes should pass by cold, flat greys and opt instead for warmer, soulful neutrals. Look to nude taupes like Resene Tea, greiges like Resene Stonewashed and warm stone greys like Resene Napa for the base of your colour scheme, which will bring that little extra ‘something’ to your space thanks to their subtle undertones.

Even whites have gotten creamier, and those that feature more colourful undertones have become desirable for their inherent simplicity that can also be manipulated with different types of lighting. Resene Quarter Spanish White – a timeless cream that shifts dramatically richer and deeper as the sun sets – is a reigning favourite for this reason. Try it with beige neutrals like Resene Blanc or deep dusk greens like Resene Warrior.

Feel-good hues

While they’re not for everyone, yellows and pinks do the job like no other when it comes to bringing cheeriness to a space.

Building a scheme anchored with soft buttery yellows like Resene Mellow Yellow or Resene Chenin is an easy way to add a refreshing burst of optimism to your home. Yellow is also known to bring out the best in other colours, so if your current scheme could use a pick-me-up, what better way than with a cheerful corn-coloured cushion, picture frame or throw? Use softer shades like Resene Sweet Corn and Resene Manuka Honey as accents to duck egg blues, earthy greys or olive greens like Resene Duck Egg Blue, Resene Schooner or Resene Quarter Grey Olive. Or, stick with classic mustards like Resene Cleopatra with sapphire blues, greyed whites or coffee browns.

Feel good colour hues
The cute wild animal design in Resene Wallpaper Collection 90561 is certainly a mood lifter. Try it in a living room with a floor painted in Resene Eighth Biscotti, accessories in Resene Wafer and a lamp in Resene Peace.

Pinks can also be comforting. Soft sunset shades like Resene Wafer, Resene Ebb or Resene Cashmere are hugely popular and work well on walls in wind-down spaces. Try them together in a tonal scheme or with accents in a sage green like Resene Peace and a deep inky blue like Resene Indian Ink.

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. Visit

You can get help with paint and wood stain colours and wallpapers without leaving your home? Book a free virtual colour consultation and a Resene Colour Expert will get in touch with you. Or, book an in store or home visit.

For more trend-focused tips: pick up a free copy of habitat plus – decorating and colour trends from your local Resene ColorShop or reseller – or, view it online. It’s packed full of ideas for how you can incorporate today’s fashionable colours into your home.

styling: Laura Lynn Johnston, Vanessa Nouwens, Melle van Sambeek
images: Bryce Carleton, Wendy Fenwick, Melanie Jenkins


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