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can’t stop the feeling

From habitat magazine - issue 36, testpots

Style is more personal than ever this season as we crave comforting colours and ways to make our homes a sanctuary.

When the only certainty is uncertainty, we humans can be a surprisingly resilient bunch. We love style, and we love it even more when it serves a purpose. This season, the ‘can-do’ spirit is alive in our homes as we look for practical solutions to ‘make the best of it’ and ‘look on the bright side’. We’re spending longer indoors than ever before, with many of us realising that staring at four white walls seven days a week doesn’t bring out the best in us.

Call it a new age of self-reflection; we’ve become increasingly aware of how colour, texture and creativity affect our minds and bodies. Home trends are more about feeling and emotion than ever before. The new-season looks help us create a home that makes us feel like the people we want to be – whether that’s natural and earthy, bold and brave, creative or calming.

Blue master bedroom with battens

Lounge with warm brown toned neutrals

Bedroom: Battens are an easy way to add depth to a room, and by painting them in colours in an ombre effect, you can add softness to the space. Wall painted in Resene Rhino, battens in Resene Half New Denim Blue, Resene Neutral Bay, Resene Gull Grey and Resene Midwinter Mist and floor and pendant light in Resene Iron. Chest of drawers in Resene Gull Grey, bedside table in Resene Neutral Bay, bench seat in Resene Quarter Powder Blue and vases and accessories in Resene Half New Denim Blue, Resene Neutral Bay and Resene Rhino. Duvet and pillowcases from Foxtrot Home, blue cushion cover and rug from H&M Home, grey cushion covers from Adairs.  Lounge: Neutral wall colours are moving from grey-toned whites towards creams and warmer, brown-toned neutrals. Add further softness by painting organic oval shapes, repeated in the coffee table, mantelpiece and circular vases. Large floor vase with toetoe in Resene Quarter Delta. Other vases and tray in Resene Double Ash, Resene Quarter Delta, Resene Half Ash, Resene Eighth Arrowtown, Resene Half Arrowtown, Resene Double Thorndon Cream and Resene Half Thorndon Cream. Sofa from Danske Møbler, coffee table from Città, rug from Kmart. 

Top tip  New wallpapers are released regularly – see or your Resene ColorShop for more options.

Nature watching

In the past two years, many studies have revealed how spending time outdoors has positive effects on physical and mental wellness. Restrictions have made outdoor activities more complex, so it’s not surprising that we’re bringing the outdoors inside. Green is one of the new season’s hottest colour trends with fresh, bold and vibrant hues.

“Last year, we saw lots of greyed-off sage greens. Now, we are noticing a shift to slighter warmer, more yellow-toned greens,” says Resene Design Advocate Brooke Calvert. “For those seeking something a little more dramatic, deep, saturated and olive greens are the way to go.”

Look for grass, ivy and moss colours such as Resene Woodland, Resene Clover and Resene Dingley, or bold masculine racing greens such as Resene Jurassic and Resene Midnight Moss, which evoke a nostalgic Victorian parlour vibe. And pair them with furnishings made from earthy materials such as rattan and linen, grounded by flooring and panelling made from natural materials.

Resene Concrete Clear preserves the raw beauty of concrete, and Resene Colorwood Whitewash tinted to Resene Shade will offer depth to internal timbers while enhancing their natural grain.”

A cost-effective way to bring an earthen look to walls is to mimic limestone or mudbrick with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium. Choose sandy-toned colours such as Resene Half Canterbury Clay, Resene Eighth Canterbury Clay and Resene Double Spanish White.

Other earth-inspired hues to watch for are warm browns and terracotta colours. “Delectable colours such as caramel, toffee, chocolate, coffee and toasted, nutty hues are hugely popular and are a nice way to add warmth into our homes,” says Brooke.

“With names like Resene Moroccan Spice, Resene Cumin, Resene Korma, Resene Brown Sugar and Resene Espresso, who can resist?”

Old meets new

When the only constant is change, the past becomes a comforting place. Many of today’s trends channel bygone eras. Going hand in hand with the rise in greens and browns are biophilic Resene wallpaper designs. Many of these botanical wallpaper patterns – with their palms, banana leaves and bamboo shoots – have nostalgic qualities, making them versatile for homes of different eras.

Leafy biophilic wallpapers

Room with Hellenistic touches

Leafy wallpaper: Leafy biophilic wallpapers are a huge design trend, but they’re not limited to green. Resene Wallpaper Collection 832174 works well in place of a neutral wall colour and the pattern has an aged, distressed vintage quality that makes it both on-trend and timeless. Pair with adjacent walls in Resene Thorndon Cream, skirting in Resene Felix, flooring in Resene Colorwood Whitewash and furniture finished with Resene Colorwood Deep Oak wood stain for a touch of tropical yesteryear style.  Pink room: Create a space Aphrodite would love, with some Hellenistic touches such as faux marble plinths painted with Resene Alabaster and veining painted in Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Half Stack. The wall is cosy in Resene Cashmere and the floor is Resene Quarter Rakaia. Chaise lounge from David Shore, brass candelabra from Slow Store, sculpture and rug from Bo Concept, wall shelving from Good Form.

Some evoke the acanthus and larkspur patterns of Victorian designer William Morris (fabulous for villas), or the banana leaves that nod to Dorothy Draper’s famous Brazilliance print (first designed in 1937 and the ideal stately look in a renovated state house). The illustrative bamboo designs that echo Europe’s Japonism craze at the end of the 19th century are also making a comeback in the Japandi trend. They offer a natural simplicity that’s great for contemporary-style apartments.

A dark green bedroom

Bold colours give a sense of stability and have cosy cocooning qualities. To dial up the intensity, the wall, shelving and panelling are painted in the same colour, Resene Jurassic. Timber floor in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, bedside table in Resene Half Sea Fog and vases in Resene Inside Back, Resene Urbane, Resene Alpaca, Resene Half Rakaia and Resene Double Rakaia. DIY artwork in Resene Digeridoo, Resene Secrets, Resene Chelsea Gem, Resene Alpaca, Resene Rakaia, Resene Emerge, Resene Half Sea Fog, Resene Brown Pod and Resene Jurassic. Bedlinen, cushion, throw and lamp from Città, jug from Flotsam and Jetsam.

Bold colours give a sense of stability and have cosy cocooning qualities*

There’s comforting simplicity in the nostalgic pastoral aesthetic of the cottagecore trend, which evokes the thatched roofs and rustic charm of English country estates in whimsical floral or striped wallpapers and pastel shades like Resene Norway or Resene Half Fog. Meanwhile, the rise of wainscoting and panelling, first popular during the English Renaissance through to the Regency and Victorian eras, gives interiors a sense of stability, particularly when paired with bold ‘masculine’ colours such as Resene Jurassic or Resene Merlot. Or try a touch of Bridgerton ’femininity’ with Resene Wedgewood or Resene Relax.

Brooke shares an easy DIY trick for panelling for a quick way to achieve this popular look. “If you’re interested in the look of battens or panelled walls but lack the woodworking skills or budget to make them happen, try taking the backs and glass out of picture frames and screw, nail or glue the frames to your wall. Fill in holes as necessary, prime them in Resene Quick Dry primer and then paint them in two coats of your chosen Resene wall colour. Easy!”

Don’t overlook your flooring – classic checkerboard floors, also popular in this era, are making their own comeback (see checks & balances).

It doesn’t get any more old-school than the Hellenistic revival trend, where Corinthian columns and Greek-inspired amphoras and statues make us look at our dusty Classical Studies textbooks in a new light. It’s easy to mimic the effect of marble using FX Paint Effects Medium. Paint Corinthian columns or plinths in Resene Alabaster and create marbled veining in Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Half Stack.

* Bold colours give a sense of stability and have cosy cocooning qualities. To dial up the intensity, the wall, shelving and panelling are painted in the same colour, Resene Jurassic. Timber floor in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, bedside table in Resene Half Sea Fog and vases in Resene Inside Back, Resene Urbane, Resene Alpaca, Resene Half Rakaia and Resene Double Rakaia. DIY artwork in Resene Digeridoo, Resene Secrets, Resene Chelsea Gem, Resene Alpaca, Resene Rakaia, Resene Emerge, Resene Half Sea Fog, Resene Brown Pod and Resene Jurassic. Bedlinen, cushion, throw and lamp from Città, jug from Flotsam and Jetsam.

Punchy colour

Minimalism be gone. Our reaction to colour has had a seismic shift in the past 12 months. While white-on-white interiors dominated for many years, bold saturated colours are having their day as we seek stability and homes that have strength of character. Wine and aubergine colours such as Resene Merlot, Resene Mulberry and Resene Half Aubergine are popular while saturated blues such as Resene Coast (see deep blue see) or Resene Rhino have an immersive quality that is also restful.

Softly softly

Curve is the word. Curves, circles and soft edges are making their way all around the home in puffy couches, rounded furniture, kitchen islands and archways. Arches that evoke classic Mediterranean architecture are having a huge impact on the design of windows and doorways, as we seek comforting organic shapes. While creating an archway between rooms might not be feasible in your home, you can create curves through paint.

Adding arches in your home adds softness

A bedroom with a cottagecore look

Arch: Arches can add softness to a flat rectangular space. If they don’t fit into your architectural plans, arches are easy to achieve with paint, using a pencil, string and drawing pin like you would use a protractor to create the curved top. Arch painted in Resene Surrender, main wall and flooring in Resene Rice Cake and sideboard and flower vase in Resene Foundry. Other vases and ornaments introduce on-trend lilac, buttercup and pale orange colours with Resene Wax Flower, Resene Perfume and Resene Paris Daisy paired with powerful greys in Resene Foundry and Resene StackBedroom: Create the cottagecore look with touches of whimsy with soft pastel colours, dried flowers, floral bedlinen and a clever hand-painted cross-stitch headboard design. Wall in Resene Eighth Joss, skirting board in Resene Double Rice Cake and headboard in Resene Norway with cross-stitch patterned feature in Resene Woodrush, Resene Planter, Resene Karaka, Resene Half Malta, Resene Bandicoot and Resene Lemon Ginger. Bedside table in Resene Bandicoot and flooring in Resene Colorwood Whitewash. Bedlinen, cushion and throw from Città, jug from Junk & Disorderly, rug from Kmart, hat from Country Road. 

Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen is designed to bring enamel style toughness to broadwall areas such as bedrooms and living rooms. It will also transform any wall into a chalkboard, making it ideal for children’s bedrooms, offices or studies.

“Sculptural and curved shapes are gracing furniture as well as influencing the way we move our paintbrush,” says Rebecca Long, Resene Senior Architectural Representative. “Use curved shapes to create a striking, painted mural and introduce a welcoming feeling to your home.”

A simple way to create a painted arch is to tie a pencil to a piece of string. Attach the end of the string to the wall with a drawing pin and stretch it out until it is taut before using the pencil to sketch an arch. Other soft curves to try include squiggles (see go with the flow) and mid-century inspired circle patterns (see checks and balances).

Even neutral paint colours have a softer edge. The trend is for neutrals to move from the hard edges of grey-infused whites towards creamy, warm neutrals with warmer, cosier qualities such as Resene Pearl Lusta, Resene Spanish White and Resene Truffle.

Texture is the trick

Playing with texture is a way to add further softness to a room. Installing battens is an easy DIY trick to add depth to a space and they can be either nailed or glued to a wall. Create softness with straight battens with an ombre colour effect or layer battens on neutral walls to mimic the weave of fabric. Play with sheen levels – Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss can be used in combination with a matte paint such as Resene SpaceCote Flat to create layers of depth and interest.

Rebecca suggests exploring the Resene product range for other ways to create texture. “There are so many products to try. Resene FX Paint Effects Medium can be effortlessly layered to bring dimension and character to a neutral scheme. We’re seeing Karen Walker Chalk Colour paint and wax used to upcycle furniture for both smooth and sleek and raw and rustic looks. Resene Sandtex is the perfect product if you’re looking to introduce a relaxing, Mediterranean feel. Pair with lush greenery for the ultimate oasis escape.”

The new creativity

A heartening trend is that more of us feel comfortable welcoming art into our home or delving into creating art of our own. The art and design world’s perceived elitism has softened around the edges as many of us dare to try crafts and painting after experiencing their wellness benefits. For more inspiration see go with the flow.

The hottest design trends show we’re more aware than ever of how our homes affect our feelings and sense of self. Whatever your style and personality, there’s no better time to go back to nature, embrace your curves, go bold or give retro a go – whatever feels best for you.

Projects: Laura Lynn Johnston, Vanessa Nouwens, Melle van Sambeek
Images: Bryce Carleton, Wendy Fenwick


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.