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How to work in an eye-catching statement hue into your colour scheme

From the Resene decorating blog

Are you someone who is naturally drawn to a vibrant colour, and want to bring it into your home in a tasteful way? The good news is you can!

Many of us like to keep colour subtle in our homes, but some of us feel a calling to make more of a statement. Staying true to our tastes ensures our homes are extensions of who we are, and it encourages others to be bold with their decisions too.

A home office painted in bold colours

A blue child's bedroom with red accents

Home office: Layer your bold colour in different shapes across a wall for a fantastic, lively impact. Wall in Resene Soothe, mural arch and lines in Resene Sebedee, mural circle in Resene Merlot. Mural stripe (at far right) in Resene Coral Tree. Mural shapes (at left) in Resene Streetwise. Floor in Resene Sea Fog, desk in Resene Jaguar, chair in Resene Yuma and plant pot in Resene Coconut Cream. Project by Annick Larkin, image by Bryce Carleton.  Bedroom: Hot red accents bring a playful approach to this child’s bedroom. House-shaped shelves are in (from top) Resene Jalapeno, Resene Hammerhead and Resene Breathless, walls are in Resene Bunting, the floor is in Resene Sea Fog and the bookshelf is in Resene Hammerhead. The wallpaper ‘headboard’ and bedside drawer front are in Resene Wallpaper Collection LL-05-07-4. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

There are numerous options available. First – and so on-trend at the moment – is the mini mural. You might have a large open-plan living area with limited full-wall space. Why not find a small section of that wall and go for it?

Start by drawing your design in pencil on paper, before practising with your Resene testpot in your standout hue on card. Once you’ve decided on the right scale for your design, apply it in paint to your wall. Try using three different colours within your mural for added adventure. For contrast, ensure your background is light. Or you could paint your wall in the dusky red of Resene Half Coral Tree and paint a mural onto it in pale Resene Quarter Alabaster for the reverse effect.

Do you have a dado in your home? Paint it in your bold colour, leaving the area above in a pale neutral for contrast.

A kitchen/dining room with bright pops of cheerful colour

Small pops of bright, cheerful hues make a big impact in this white kitchen. Walls in Resene Rice Cake, ply floors finished in Resene Aquaclear, kitchen cabinet in Resene Aura, shelf in Resene Atlas, stools in Resene Away We Go, Resene XOXO and Resene Party Zone, ‘maze’ plant pot in Resene Rice Cake with Resene Away We Go and vases in Resene Away We Go, Resene XOXO and Resene Party Zone. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

You may have a section of a room that is suited to one purpose – a sewing area, office or reading nook – such gems may not fill the whole room with four walls, but what they do have can be painted in your vibrant colour. While using these spaces, people tend to benefit from a little stimulation, so what better way to provide this than with a beautiful colour? Leave one of the walls white and colour any shelving on that wall in the bold colour for repetition and continuity. For instance, orange lovers might feature soft Resene Sour Dough on one wall of an office nook, while the perpendicular wall and shelving would resonate in bright Resene Whiskey Sour.

One way of adding a bold colour is a simple thin line of it on your wall. You can even try playing around with it at varying heights and angles. You’ll need high-quality painter’s masking tape, a level, ruler and a testpot of your chosen colour. Section the strip you want to paint with tape on either side of it, ensuring it is level and straight, and paint between the exposed gap. Once dry, peel back the tape and you’ll have your horizontal line in your desired colour, stretching across the width of a wall.

Painting a headboard on your bedroom wall or a curved block of colour on your study wall gives the chance to tie in a powerful colour too.

A sitting room with painted wall design

A lounge with a watercolour wall mural

Room with thin painted line: Simple yet effective, a thin line in an eye-catching hue across a wall can give it a smart refresh. Walls in Resene Quarter Truffle with a triangle design in Resene Bismark. Floor in Resene Bismark, shelves in Resene Bismark, large vase (with greenery) in Resene Nero, coasters in Resene Dusted Grey, plant pot in Resene Kabul, smaller vases and candle holders in Resene Pizza, Resene Kabul, Resene Nero and Resene Dusted Grey. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.  Room with watercolour mural: Bring a wall to life with bold colours as seen here on a wall in Resene Solitude. Watercolour mural in Resene Paint Effects tinted to Resene Tussock, Resene Saratoga, Resene Elephant, Resene Pirate Gold, Resene Calico, Resene Cobblestone and Resene Bubble White, floor in Resene Chino, sideboard in Resene Elephant with drawers in Resene Half Copyrite and handles in Resene Chino, nesting coffee tables in Resene Saratoga and Resene Tussock, tall jug vase (with eucalyptus) in Resene Half Copyrite, large bowl in Resene Calico, large round vase in Resene Elephant, tealight holder in Resene Kombi, coasters in Resene Solitude. Other vases in Resene Tussock, Resene Gimblet and Resene Calico. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

Painting a feature wall or colour blocking, where you apply your bright colour across a section of one or two walls for effect, are also useful methods of bringing in bright colour to your home. It is important to get the balance visually right, so as you layer these tones, also layer your furniture and décor too. This will ensure you get the balance even in the room.

Penny Fussell, interior designer from Home Creative says allow for maximum impact by choosing complementary tones in trim colours and textiles that allow your bold hue to sing. "Select the right neutrals for trims and architraves – will a grey-based or yellow-based neutral create the sharpest contrast?" she says.

If creating a feature wall in your statement colour, choose a colour for the other walls that will not compete, Penny says. “Pull that colour right back to allow your hero colour to sing," she says. "Then, carefully pick your cushions, accessories and window treatments to tie in tonally.”

A painted blue plate against brown backdrop

A bright and colourful kids room

Plate: The bright and bold blue of Resene Wet N Wild pops dramatically against a wall in Resene Tacao, table in Resene Cararra, and vases (from left to right) in Resene Just Dance, Resene Tacao and Resene Route 66. Project by Leigh Stockton, image by Bryce Carleton.  Kid's room: Kids thrive on bright colour especially when used in a playful way they can interact with. The wall here features Resene Saltpan (top), Resene Highland (bottom), Resene Trojan (Mountains), Resene Bubble White (clouds and mountain caps), Resene Shark (roadway) and Resene Broom (dashed lines). The floor is in Resene Highland with roadway in Resene Shark and dashed lines in Resene Broom. The toybox is in Resene Sebedee with lid in Resene Broom, chair in Resene Anise, shelves in Resene Java (left) and Resene Japanese Laurel (right). Accessories on the shelf are (from left to right) in Resene Broom (plant pot), Resene Shark (bud vase), Resene Japanese Laurel (bowl), Resene Anise (small vase), Resene Sebedee (plant pot), Resene Bubble White (tiny vase), Resene Java (bud vase) and Resene Sebedee (tall vase with greenery). DIY Roadway Bookends in Resene Shark and Resene Broom with toy cars in Resene Sebedee, Resene Untamed and Resene Mystery. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Bryce Carleton.

A child never thinks twice about climbing a tree, they just go for it, says Laura Heynike, director of Pocketspace Interiors. “Selecting colour should be the same,” she says. “Find that statement hue you adore and build it up from there. You’ll need a support palette around it, so it doesn’t seem random. Think about the ‘hue family’ and start with another colour in the same line two shades darker or lighter. This will provide a good base. Then you can look at a contrasting colour that doesn’t overpower the eye-catching hue.”

“For example, if I choose Resene Nourish as my hero colour, I would opt for Resene Rivergum to complement it and Resene Moccasin to contrast against it. As a result, Resene Nourish will be lighter and come up unchallenged.” The key, Laura says, is to make sure Resene Nourish is replicated in other elements such as cushions, and artwork so the hue makes its mark in the space. “Alternatively, if you are a monochromatic kind of person, pick your feature colour and build the palette above and below the hue’s depth tint. Just make sure your styling celebrates the statement hue to achieve the best balance in your space.”

Resene Colour Consultant Brenda Ngatai suggests trying a Resene testpot of the colour that you feel may be taking you out of your comfort zone. “Paint it on a large, clean piece of cardboard, e.g. A2 size, ensuring you paint two coats as that becomes the true colour,” she says. Attach it to the wall in the space you’re considering painting and simply live with it for a few days. “You’ll develop a feeling for it. To continue a connection with the colour, different strengths of the colour can be used in cushions, art and mats.”

Resene Mystery

Resene Aura

Resene Nourish

Resene Just Dance

Resene Away We Go

Resene Untamed

Resene Route 66

Resene XOXO

Resene Party Zone

October 27, 2020

For help getting started with your decorating project, ask a Resene expert at your local Resene ColorShop.

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