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From habitat magazine - issue 38, testpots

Designers and homeowners embrace feel-good hues, spawning an age of colour.

Spring is usually the season for new beginnings, but the renewal cycle has already kicked into gear in the design world. The pandemic brought prolonged disruption and, after some time ‘back to normal’, many of us are hitting the reset button. Workforce indicators show more of us are exploring flexible working arrangements or rethinking our careers, with many making career shifts into other industries. The latest Resene colours and wallpapers reflect this desire to foster a sense of wellbeing, balance and harmony in our homes.

A flora and fauna themed bedroom

Make flora and fauna jump off the wall by cutting out leaves and animals from Resene Wallpaper Collection 37990-3 and pasting them over the edge of the pattern.

Wall in Resene Bitter, floor in Resene Moon Mist, bedside table in Resene Hemlock, book in Resene Thorndon Cream and lamp base in Resene Aspiring and Resene Bud, with additional wallpaper wrapped around the lampshade. Duvet from Bed Bath & Beyond, cushion cover and throw from H&M Home, other cushions from Freedom, Home Republic and Adairs.

A three-tiered square design in sandy hues

This three-tiered square design in on-trend sandy hues works painted on a feature wall or as a headboard.

Large square in Resene Papier Mache, medium square in Resene Putty, small square in Resene Bullwhip, floor in Resene Rice Cake, console table in Resene Sandbar, bobble vase in Resene Bullwhip and DIY artwork and other vases in Resene Quarter Pavlova, Resene Papier Mache and Resene Bullwhip.

Greener pastures

As the world heals from its pandemic wounds, biophilic patterns and nature-inspired hues, such as green, brown and terracotta, are two of the leading design trends. It’s no secret that being in nature is good for our mental health, but the pandemic has put its beneficial effects under the microscope. A longitudinal study by the Department of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London measured the impact of going outdoors on people’s wellbeing. Researchers surveyed 35,301 people during lockdown periods and confirmed what many of us know anecdotally – those who spent longer outdoors showed decreases in depressive and anxiety symptoms and increased life satisfaction.

Green is the colour most associated with the outdoors and has been a trending colour in architecture, design and fashion for the past few years. During this time of significant change, it’s not surprising that the greens this season are even more luscious and full of life. On-trend greens have moved away from greyed out sages and eucalyptus hues towards vegetative greens such as Resene Bitter and Resene Scrub and vibrant sea and emerald greens like Resene Welcome, Resene Deep Teal and Resene Forest Green.

“Homeowners are using green tones on the interiors and exteriors of their homes. This is because green adds life to a space; bringing nature inside can often bring a sense of calm and serenity,” says Resene Colour Consultant Amy Watkins.

“As the trend has progressed, we are seeing growing use of warmer greens like olives and forest tones as they bring comfort to a space. Using a deep lush green like Resene Welcome on all the walls of a bathroom is a style statement, creating moodiness and a sense of luxury that makes for a restful setting.”

A cosy and comforting lounge with batten art

Resene Carpe Noctem provides cosy comfort in this lounge while batten art in Resene Epic, Resene Ocean Waves, Resene Boost and Resene Lakeside adds a refreshing splash of aquatic colour.

Flooring in Resene Colorwood Shade, coffee table and large plant pot in Resene Epic and small plant pot in Resene Boost. Sofa from Interior Warehouse.

top tip  When you're changing colours, test your paint colour choices by painting two coats using a Resene testpot onto A2 card leaving an unpainted border around the edges and view during the day and night.

The Resene Wallpaper Collection is also teeming with new growth, with many vibrant botanical and animal designs, such as Resene Wallpaper Collection 37990-3, ideal for bringing life to living rooms, bedrooms and even bathrooms and powder rooms (read more on jazz it up).

“The key to achieving the nature-inspired trend is to have dusty natural colour tones on the walls,” says Amy. “Colours like Resene Tua Tua or Resene Foundation maintain good depth and create a calming environment. You can also bring in grasscloth wallpaper or linen-textured designs, such as Resene Wallpaper Collection 407938, to add natural texture and tactile elements to the space.”

Other earthy tones to try as accent colours or statement hues are energising yellow-toned beiges such as Resene Papier Mache and Resene Putty or a green ochre like Resene Bullwhip. Burnt orange and paprika hues are the top trending colour searches for wedding décor on Pinterest right now – for a splash of these celebratory hues, try Resene Ayers Rock or Resene Thunderbird or create a retro vibe with mid-century oranges like Resene Clockwork Orange and Resene Tequila Sunrise. Pair with organic curves and arches to amplify the natural style.

Dial up the colour

A trending post on TikTok that asked users, “Is the World Turning Grey?” is very telling. The post on the social media platform and others that followed lamented the lack of colour in the world and quoted data from a survey of the objects from Britain’s Science Museum Group Collection. The survey showed blacks and greys account for about 40 per cent of all colours found in contemporary objects compared with about eight per cent in the year 1800, sparking a moral panic from TikTok users to “bring back colour”. These posts indicate a seismic shift in the design world as the world turns away from the grey-and-white minimalism that defined the early 2000s.

Neutrals have shifted away from cool grey tones to those with warmer undertones, such as Resene Spanish White and Resene Quarter Tea. Design, in general, is becoming braver with colour. “It’s an exciting time. We are entering an age of colour after more than a decade of achromatic design,” says interior designer Megan Harrison-Turner. “If dipping your toes into the colour realm again seems a bit daunting, stick to one colour paired with a neutral and pull the room together by using that colour in three different places,” says Megan.

Hang picture frames on the wall - design trend

Battens and panelling remain an interior trend, adding texture and dimension, but an easy DIY alternative is to hang picture frames on the wall. Wall and coffee table painted in Resene Thor, floor in Resene Merino, side table in Resene Sorrento and vases and tray in Resene Tea, Resene Thor and Resene Sorrento. Sofa from Nood, rug from Città, cushions from The Warehouse, H&M Home and Freedom, faux foliage from Adairs and Farmers.

An outdoor entertaining area with violet undertones

Resene Half Grey Chateau's violet undertones seen on the weatherboards and side table of this outdoor entertaining area make it an ideal pairing for on-trend violets, such as Resene Poet and Resene Jimmy Dean on the plant pots. Flooring in Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path in Resene Landscape Grey with stencilled pattern in Resene Off Piste. Egg chair, cushions from Nood.

Test the waters

While blues are eternally popular decorating hues, colour trend forecasters are predicting the rise of ‘wellness blue’ – an excellent place to start for those nervously dipping their toe into the colour revival. “The experiences of the past two years have highlighted the important links between wellbeing and green spaces. Now the benefits of blue spaces are being explored scientifically,” writes creative agency ColourHive. “Recent research points to the health benefits, including relieving stress and encouraging exercise, of time spent by and in water.”

Resene blues range from the dark depths of Resene Carpe Noctem to the tropical aquamarine shallows of Resene Boost and Resene Idyllic. Another trend on the rise is the use of wellness zones within homes, that is, areas dedicated to quiet activities such as yoga, meditation or reading. “Spaces where you can wind down, take a load off and minimise stress are more popular than ever,” says Resene Canterbury Design Advocate Brooke Calvert. “These spaces are often focused on soft and natural colours like dusted blues, sea greens, creamy whites, petal pinks, mushroom, mauves, cloudy greys and washed timber tones like Resene Double Duck Egg Blue, Resene Unite, Resene Meringue, Resene Awaken, Resene Kinship, Resene Ted and Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy.” Learn more about adaptable spaces on flex appeal.

A fun home office

Transform a home office into a fun space with Resene Wallpaper Collection M47705 paired with an arched wall painted in a sunset pink like Resene Awaken or Resene Coral Tree. To create terrazzo flooring, paint a base colour in Resene Rice Cake with random triangle shapes in Resene Awaken, Resene Comfortably Numb and Resene Grey Chateau.

A playful bedroom

Use barely there colours like Resene Urbane in place of neutrals to add playfulness to a space. Flooring in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy, side table and mirror in Resene Boundless, pendant lamp and vase in Resene Green Acres and rug in Resene Moonbeam. Yellow quilt and pillows from Adairs, lilac throw and pillows from H&M Home, mug from Freedom.

Core strength

Barbiecore, mermaidcore, pearlcore, cottagecore and Regencycore are just a few of the micro trends of late that have us exclaiming, ‘core blimey!’ While Barbiecore sees the rise of hot pinks such as Resene Scrumptious, mermaidcore and pearlcore celebrate gloss, metallic and iridescent tones (to get the look, try glazing your favourite vase in Resene FX Pearl Shimmer or try adding a touch of pewter with Resene FX Proton). Meanwhile, cottagecore evokes the whimsical country aesthetic of the arts and crafts movement of the 1920s (and its resurgence in the 1970s), and Regencycore nods to Jane Austen-era classicism. The unifying link between these disparate trends is a sense of playfulness and fantasy. If you want to embrace the spirit of 1970s boho freedom, as seen in the bestselling novel and spinoff TV show Daisy Jones & The Six, try hues such as Resene Smashed Avocado, Resene Liquid Gold and Resene Rebel. Pop stars Taylor Swift and Harry Styles have adopted this same 1970s vibe on the cover art for their recent albums.

A trend taking fantasy to the next level is ‘middle ages modern’, a play on mid-century modern, which also channels Tudor-esque style with jewel tones and dark wood stains, such as Resene Colorwood Shade and Resene Colorwood Dark Ebony, paired with warm whites such as Resene Half Pearl Lusta.

Just wanna have fun

A colourful trend, perhaps in retaliation to the "world turning grey" posts on TikTok, was the #fairlyoddparentschallenge, where users of the social media platform started posting photos of pink and green together. This trend is curiously inspired by the early 2000s children's TV show The Fairly OddParents. With content like this, a sense of childlike wonder has entered interiors with candy-coloured hues such as Resene Urbane and Resene Moonbeam and conversation-starting pop-art wallpapers like Resene Wallpaper Collection M47705. Because why not?

There's no better time to embrace change in your home, be it adding a little rockstar 1970s flair or simply ditching grey to warm up your neutrals. The great thing about paint is it's easy to make a switch again in future should life take you in another direction.

Resene Meringue

Resene Kinship

Resene Ted

Resene Breathe Easy

Resene Foundation

Resene Tua Tua

Resene Double Duck Egg Blue

Resene Green Acres

Resene Unite

Resene Smashed Avocado

Resene Boundless

Resene Comfortably Numb

Resene Idyllic

Resene Boost

Resene Lakeside

Resene Epic

Resene Ocean Waves

Resene Liquid Gold

Resene Awaken

Resene Shade

Resene Welcome

Resene Tequila Sunrise

Resene Carpe Noctem

Projects: Kate Alexander, Megan Harrison-Turner, Vanessa Nouwens
Words: Emma Rawson
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.

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