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positive reinforcement

From habitat magazine - issue 35, testpots

The latest styles create good vibes through colour.

Unsurprisingly, since trends are often a reaction to what’s going on in the world, this season’s colours and styles have one thing in common – positivity. Even though the hottest new looks couldn’t be more varied – hello, cottagecore and Palm Springs – they all reflect that we have much to be thankful for and we’re creating spaces that reflect this sunny outlook. Recent times have been challenging, and as a result, many of us appreciate the things that truly bring joy: family, friends and a healthy home. There’s much we can do to make our homes soothing and inviting through colour.

A Greek inspired courtyard

A white-on-white Scandi style bedroom

Courtyard: Decorate your outdoor living space in a way that reflects a favourite holiday destination. This Greek inspired courtyard features fresh coastal colours such as Resene Nebula used on the weatherboards, Resene Sea Fog on the pergola and Resene Woodsman Uluru on the deck. Pair these fresh colours with classical furniture and accessories. Amphoras and pot plants in Resene Sea Fog, Resene Eighth Tea, Resene Cloud and Resene Yucca. Sofa and armchair from Poynters, coffee table and side table from King, throw from Città, fan palm from Freedom.

Bedroom: White-on-white Scandi style takes on warmer tones with Resene Triple Pearl Lusta on the walls and a wooden headboard in Resene Colorwood Whitewash. Wall in Resene Half Pearl Lusta, floor and pendant lamp in Resene Eighth Pearl Lusta, DIY artwork in Resene Half Black White, vases and bowls in Resene Triple Bison Hide, Resene Half Bison Hide and Resene Grey Olive and chair in Resene Jaguar. Linen from Foxtrot Home, cushion and pink vase from Città, candleholder, throw and mug from Blackbird Goods.


Resene Colorwood Whitewash

Patio perfection

Nature-inspired hues continue their dominance, but this season these colours are infused with peaceful, chalky qualities that give our homes a softer edge. Countless studies have demonstrated the calming qualities of being outdoors and its wellness benefits. So, when redecorating an outdoor living area, it makes sense to use colours that highlight nature. Resene Nebula, fittingly described as a cloudy patch of light blue, is an excellent choice for exterior weatherboards – the uplifting colour sits beautifully, yet quietly, in a landscape, and is particularly handsome paired with earthy tones, such as Resene Yucca and Resene Eighth Tea and decking stained in Resene Woodsman Uluru.

Also consider a pergola, which can connect a home’s interior and exterior spaces, create a focal point in the garden and cast cool shadows in summer. Find instructions for how to build your own at Try painting yours in a versatile off-white such as Resene Sea Fog and growing jasmine or a grapevine over the structure (‘Albany Surprise’ is an easy-to-grow grape classic). The grape foliage will be cool-toned in the summer, yellow in autumn and lose its leaves in winter.

Neutral territory

The tides are changing when it comes to neutrals. Designs are drifting away from cold grey off-white hues towards warmer tea-and-biscuit colours. Even Scandi-inspired white-on-white is taking a warmer tone with the rise of Resene Colorwood Whitewash and Resene Pearl Lusta, the comeback kid of the Resene Whites & Neutrals collection. Once one of the most popular whites, Resene Pearl Lusta was overshadowed by grey whites – but now this classic yellow-tinged white is back, reminding us how versatile and comforting it is. If you’re not quite ready to make the shift to a yellow-based neutral, warm up a cold white with a pinch of spice. Stripes or trims of on-trend earthy brown Resene Cumin will help warm up cooler whites such as Resene White Pointer.

A 70's deco inspired bedroom

Battens on dark living room walls

Bedroom: Spicy brown hues that hark back to the 70s and Deco-inspired archways are big in the design world right now. Wall and skirting board in Resene White Pointer, stripes and arch in Resene Cumin, floor in Resene Half Raven, side table in Resene Indian Ink, plant pot in Resene Cloud and vases in Resene Cumin, Resene Half Raven and Resene Coast. Duvet cover and pillowcases from Foxtrot Home, cushions and throw from Città, antique artwork is stylist’s own.

Living room: Battens don’t need to stretch the entire length of the wall, hang them asymmetrically for a dramatic effect. The walls of this lounge are Resene Nocturnal with battens in Resene Half Tuna, floor in Resene Colorwood Bark, top of coffee table and side table in Resene Half Tuna, lamp base in Resene Blue Smoke, lampshade in Resene Nebula and vases and ornaments in Resene Yucca, Resene Half Tuna, Resene Nebula and Resene Tiara. Sofa from King, mirror and grey cushion from Freedom, throw and green cushion from Adairs, triangle cushion from Allium, lamp from Kmart, books and rug stylist’s own.

Painted archways that nod to 1920s Art Deco are having their time on social media, but if your space isn’t large enough for an arch, try an arch stripe. Paint a striped border on the top of a wall and simply elongate two of the stripes and create a curved edge by using a pencil attached to a string and drawing pin. Extend the string until taut and rotate to sketch an arch, then paint.

Another option for jazzing up a neutral wall is battens, which can be glued or screwed to a wall. They needn’t be applied in a uniform grid – try attaching them asymmetrically to a wall painted a dark neutral colour, such as cosy Resene Nocturnal.

Under the Tuscan sun

Scorched oranges and terracotta hues are making a statement in our homes. Although bold, shades such as Resene Wild West and Resene Sante Fe are so versatile they can be used indoors and out and particularly suit baches or bohemian-styled homes. Use Resene FX Paint Effects Medium in tonal terracotta shades to replicate the uneven handmade look of stucco, mudbrick or adobe – it will also soften the impact of vibrant colour (for an example of a neutral version of this effect, see page 19).

If these desert-inspired shades are too bold for your walls, choose a warm neutral colour, such as Resene Blank Canvas or Resene Spanish White, and paint furniture in the spicier colours. In outdoor spaces, you can’t go wrong with terracotta pots, which should always be sealed with Resene Aquapel & Terracotta Sealer before painting in your favourite Resene colours.

Terracotta colour trends

Cottagecore looks

Sitting room: The terracotta colour trend works for both interior and exterior spaces. Soften these bold Tuscan colours using Resene FX Paint Effects Medium and mimic the look of stucco or mudbrick. Wall and large vase in Resene Wild West with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium coloured with Resene Sante Fe, floor in Resene Blank Canvas and table and daybed base in Resene Korma. Cushions and glass from Città.

Entryway: Enjoy the good life, even if you live in the city, with the cottagecore look. Vintage greens and browns paired with whimsical dried flowers are key aspects of this nostalgic style. Add a touch of whimsy with a painted checkerboard floor in Resene Dingley and Resene Quarter Spanish White. Wall in Resene Pale Leaf, cabinet in Resene Clover, chair in Resene Brown Pod, hook rack and shelf in Resene Toorak and vases in Resene Triple Spanish White and Resene Half Villa White. Basket and throw from Blackbird Goods, candle and book from Paper Plane.

Cottagecore galore

Rustic vogue, cottagecore – whatever you call this country aesthetic – we’re craving the good life right now, big time. This trend channels the English countryside, with nature-inspired browns and retro greens such as Resene Dingley (a fairy tale forest green), dried flowers (see page 73) and floral wallpapers (see page 33). Outdoors, gardens bloom with traditional English annual and perennial flowers (see page 66). This nostalgic trend has the same comforting simplicity that has seen us baking sourdough, knitting and bingewatching period dramas such as Bridgerton and The Queen’s Gambit.

Checkerboard floors, as seen in Westminster Abbey and the Queen’s Staircase at the Palace of Versailles, are now popping up in contemporary interiors in need of a touch of whimsy. The checkerboard design is easily created at home with Resene Walk-on paint and masking tape. Paint two coats of the lightest colour and allow to dry thoroughly before taping out the grid using a set square to create 90-degree corners. Use a roller to paint the darker shade in the exposed gaps, repeat with a second coat before removing the tape carefully when the paint is almost – but not completely – dry. Use Resene Black White and Resene Blackjack for a classic black and white look.

Mauve it, mauve it

You’ve probably heard of millennial pink, but how about millennial purple? While many shy away from purple and lilac, a misty mauve such as Resene Ghost is nothing to be frightened of. The colour debuted on recent fashion runways, with houses such as Max Mara, Prada and Valentino adding 80s-inspired youthful vibrance to their collections. When used in interiors, soft purples have calming and optimistic qualities and can be used in place of a neutral.

Purple is also both traditional and progressive. For many centuries, it was associated with royalty thanks to purple dye’s rareness and cost. The colour first became more widely available in 1856 when chemist Henry Perkin accidentally discovered the world’s first synthetic purple dye, dubbed ‘mauveine’. For this reason, mauve is dominant in turn of the century Art Nouveau and Art Deco interior styles, symbolising nature, glamour and a new freedom of colour.

Create a contemporary tonal mauve look with Resene Ghost and Resene Santas Grey or, in a sparkling nod to the past, add metallic accents with Resene Gold Dust, Resene Silver Aluminium or Resene Bullion.

Top tip: Resene SpaceCote Flat is a tough, waterborne paint ideal for indoor areas. It has a matte finish, which can help mask imperfections in older walls.

Mauve walls as an alternative to neutrals

A Palm Springs inspired mural

Sitting room: For an alternative to neutral walls try mauve and build a tonal palette with a blend of warm and cool purples. Wall in Resene Ghost, battens in Resene Santas Grey, floor in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt, DIY cloud painting in Resene Gumboot, Resene Matakana, Resene Zulu, Resene Jimmy Dean, Resene Santas Grey, Resene Ghost, Resene In The Mauve and Resene Sea Fog with frame in Resene Sea Fog and vase in Resene Jimmy Dean. Chaise lounge and side table from Nood, throw from H&M Home, rug and glass from Freedom, all other items are stylist’s own.

Patio: Start California dreaming with a Palm Springs-inspired mural. The mural is painted in Resene Polo Blue (sky), Resene Paradise (pool and agave), Resene Rainee (agave), Resene Soothe (main wall), Resene Swirl (left wall), Resene Martini (ground, step sides), Resene High Tide (door and window) and Resene Half Black White (pool edge). Patio pavers in Resene Concrete Stain Bleached Grey, large plant pot in Resene Half Black White, rattan plant stand in Resene Half Black White, tray in Resene Polo Blue and vases and pots in Resene Rainee and Resene Soothe. Sun lounger and side table from Poynters, towel from Tessuti, bird of paradise and palm plants from Nood, sunglasses from Le Spec.

The great escape

As our interior and exterior spaces become more positive and playful it’s time to become an escape artist. Graphic 2D design is an 80s-inspired trend and a mural in this style can transport you to poolside Palm Springs – no plane ticket or swimming pool required. Palm Springs’ desert environment inspires the dusty pinks, like Resene Soothe and Resene Swirl, that this style is synonymous with.

Studies have shown that, like other crafts, painting itself is excellent for mental health and the repetitive motion of brushing distracts us from mental ‘noise’. Use an exterior mural as a chance to give yourself a mental break while you paint your getaway.

These comforting decorating styles show how, with a few simple changes, it’s easy to infuse your home with positivity. Our homes nurture what’s important in life – friends and family – and with a touch of colour, the outlook is always rosy.

Projects: Gem Adams, Laura Lynn Johnson, Vanessa Nouwens
Images: Bryce Carleton, Wendy Fenwick


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