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Summer lovin’ – bring the bach home

From the Resene decorating blog

There’s nothing quite like that feeling that comes with a stint at the bach, or a family summer holiday of any kind.

An ocean inspired mural

A painted mural inspired by the ocean is a surprisingly easy way to evoke memories of beach holidays.

The wall is painted in a basecoat of Resene White Pointer with the watercolour effects created using Resene Half Breathless, Resene Half Dusted Blue, Resene Seachange, Resene San Juan and Resene Soothe. The skirting is painted in Resene White Pointer, floor in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy, pendant light in Resene San Juan, bench seat in Resene Colins Wicket and pot in Resene Apache. Cushions from Freedom. Project by Annick Rennell, image by Bryce Carleton.

Whether you’re in a house, a beach-side camper or a dreamy rural cabin, it’s always hard to leave those dreamy levels of relaxation behind to return to normal life. If only there was a way to evoke those same feelings of peace and calm year-round at home.

Good news! There is. With some thoughtful use of paint, colour, and texture there’s no reason you can’t re-create the balmy days of summer holidays every day of the year.

Embrace the environment

Resene Colour Expert Meryl Southey suggests the soothing natural tones of the sky, sea and sand make a great colour palette to play with when it comes to recreating a bachy feel in your everyday home.

“Those natural tones that can be found at the seaside are a simple way to bring the outdoors in to create the feel of a country or coastal retreat,” she says.

Merl suggests juxtaposing mid greens, beiges and blues, such as Resene Double Duck Egg Blue, Resene Half Robin Egg Blue and Resene Awaroa Bay to create an inviting, holiday feel. Pair them with calming off-whites such as Resene Chalk Dust and Resene Half Carrara or brighter Resene Alabaster so the space feels airy and open.

“To create some drama and interest without it becoming overbearing, try accent notes in deeper neutrals such as charcoal Resene Bokara Grey and greige Resene Tino Pai. An example of where to use these accents might be in wall panelling or a headboard,” Meryl says.

If you’re a fan of neutrals, opt for sandy tones like Resene Sand, Resene Desert Sand and Resene Bronco. These shades are remarkably versatile bringing warmth and depth to a neutral palette. You can add contrast notes in shades that will help create a specific holiday feeling or moment. Want a stunning sunset vibe? Try Resene Solitaire with Resene Tuscany and Resene Soiree. Want a soothing native bush setting? Try Resene Sand with Resene Green Smoke and Resene Mangrove.

Add instant texture

Textured finishes on walls that make them look just the right amount of weathered is another way to bring a relaxed feel to a room.

One simple and quick way to do this, Meryl says, is by using a textured Resene wallpaper. Try the natural fibre look in an off-white with Resene Wallpaper Collection 38819-3, or the parched earth look of Resene Wallpaper Collection 38833-2.

An interior painted with parched earthy tones and warm neutrals

Bring all the warmth of a summer’s day with parched earthy tones and warm neutrals.

These walls are painted in Resene Manhattan and skirting in Resene Dawn Glow, floor in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy, small Box on bench in Resene Rice Cake, bench seat and vase in Resene Ghost, box in Resene Sazerac, painted book in Resene Rice Cake and coaster in Resene Manhattan. Chair from Danske Møbler. Project by Moneuan Ryan, image by Bryce Carleton.

An interior painted with sea blues and sandy neutrals

Sea blues and sandy neutrals layer with other natural colours and finishes for an easy-breezy relaxed space.

Lower wall painted in Resene Dusted Blue with dado rail in Resene Atomic, and upper wall in Resene Linen, floor in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy, bench seat in Resene Double Pavlova, hooks in Resene Atomic, coat stand and shelf in Resene Diesel, items on shelf in Resene Seaweed, Resene Atomic and Resene Rivergum and lighthouse in Resene Colorwood Shade, Resene Sea Fog and Resene Double Pavlova. Cushions from Project by Moneuan Ryan, image by Bryce Carleton.

A more elaborate wallpaper pattern can also immediately change the feel of a room, even if it’s used just on one feature wall, or in framed segments. Try the fresh delicate blossoms of Resene Wallpaper Collection SUM206, or the beachy waves of Resene Wallpaper Collection IF2-003.

Wallpaper is also a fast way to add a block of bold colour that you connect with summer holidays. Try the lush botanical green of Resene Wallpaper Collection 537673, paired with Resene Alabaster, Resene Apple Green and an accent decor in gold or brass. If you prefer paint to wallpaper the fresh green of Resene Green House would give the same fresh, vibrant finish.

Good paint effects are another way to add visual texture to your space for that ever-so-slightly ‘undone’ look. Resene FX Paint Effects Medium is a simple way to add a weathered, limewashed or sponge-look finish that can really suit a coastal interior style.

To start, choose your colour from the Resene range and try mixing 60 mL of that colour (the size of a Resene testpot) per one litre of Resene FX Paint Effects Medium. Always test your effect before applying to the walls or other surfaces in your room. You can play with the finished effect by changing how much paint you add to the Resene FX Paint Effects Medium, how you apply your effect (such as with a rag, roller or brush) and what colours you use with the medium or as a basecoat.

Some combinations to try Resene Parchment over Resene Aspiring for a weathered concrete look, or Resene Anglaise over Resene Calico for a parched, beaten earth appearance.

Water and washed effects

Being near the water immediately makes most of us feel calmer and evokes memories of past holidays. Adding water-themed colour palettes and designs into your home can be a good way to recreate that effect.

Colours to try together include Resene White Pointer, Resene Seachange, Resene Half Breathless, Resene Half Dusted Blue and Resene San Juan. If you want to get really creative try them together to create a layered water-colour style feature wall. Use Resene White Pointer as a basecoat then mix the other shades with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium and apply over the dry basecoat using a large wet paint or wallpaper brush, roller or wet rag to blur the lines and help the colours to run together at the edges. Start with darker shades then add lighter colours.

Top tip:  Resene Hot Weather Additive can help slow the drying time of your paint to give you more time to create the effect you want.

Washed or stained timber surfaces also give a pleasingly relaxed finish to furniture, walls or other wooden features, Meryl says. “A stain is right on cue for evoking that weathered, faded look. The Resene Colorwood We Speak Beach collection of colourwash hues is inspired by the lazy days of summer and can be used on walls, upcycled furniture, floors and other interior wooden surfaces.”

Try the soft grey-green of Resene Shore Thing, the sandy white of Resene Becalm of the deeper charcoal of Resene Shade.

When it comes to what paint to choose for a relaxed beach house finish, Meryl recommends Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen. “It is a durable, washable paint that avoids a lot of finger marks on the walls and gives a lovely velvet effect.”

For an earthy softness she suggests Resene SpaceCote Flat for a matte finish, or Resene Room Velvet, a hybrid low sheen, which gives extra durability where required.

A natural toned colour palette

A natural toned colour palette, making use of Resene Colorwood washes and stains seamlessly connects this sitting room with the outdoors. The wall is painted in Resene Concrete, floor stained in Resene Colorwood Shade, cabinet and lightshade in Resene Nocturnal, trellis, stump stool and wooden planter in Resene Colorwood Bask, table in Resene Triple Concrete, wooden bowl in Resene Colorwood Shade and vase in Resene Gold Coast. Sofa from Freedom. Cushions and throw from Adairs. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

Indoor/outdoor flow

Connecting the inside and outside of your home is one of the simplest ways to amplify that sense of relaxed comfort you find in most holiday homes, Meryl says, and colour is an easy way to do it.

Try refreshing outdoor furniture or painting pots and planters with Resene Enamacryl (a tough waterborne enamel) or Resene Lumbersider Low Sheen (a low sheen waterborne paint) in colours you’ve used inside your home, or add interior furniture in materials often found outside like rattan and using a natural colour palette in greens and browns like Resene Wabi Sabi or Resene Open Sesame, or go for bold florals that reflect your garden like Resene I Dare You and Resene Coconut Ice. Decorate with foraged finds from the beach, bush or farm, Meryl says.

Natural light and life

Loads of natural light is a good place to start creating a summery feeling that lasts all year. Pull window dressings back to allow as much natural light in as possible. If privacy is an issue consider wooden or bamboo blinds that will still filter light through into your room.

If natural light is hard to come by, there are still some simple hacks that will help you make the most of what you have. Add a mirror to bounce around the light you do have, with added value that it can make your room feel larger and more open. You could also use a Resend Enamacryl gloss or Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss paint finish which will also add glints of extra light, or try touches of Resene FX Metallic which contains metal flakes that will help reflect more light.

If natural light is just too hard, make up for it with plants. At heart, most summery interiors are about the connection between inside and out. So, if you can’t flood your space with natural light, fill it with plant-life to bring the outdoors in. Go for a mix of varieties and sizes so you get a layer of greenery that will add the fresh notes you’re looking for.

Top tip:  When you’re trying to recreate the feel of summer bach holidays at home, don’t think too literally about the colours of a specific place. Think more broadly about how those summer holiday memories make you feel and choose the colours that help evoke those feelings.

Resene Breathe Easy

Resene Becalm

Resene Double Duck Egg Blue

Resene Awaroa Bay

Resene Open Sesame

Resene Bask

Resene Dawn Glow

Resene Soiree

Resene Tino Pai

Resene Shore Thing

Resene Wabi Sabi

Resene Shade

Resene Coconut Ice

Resene I Dare You

November 11, 2023

Visit your local Resene ColorShop for all the quality paints, wallpapers and colours you need for your project. If you need more helping choosing just the right colours for your place, book in a colour consultation with a Resene Colour Expert, virtually, instore or at your place. Simply visit to book. Or use the free Resene Ask a Colour Expert service.

Book a colour consult | Ask a Colour Expert | Ask a Paint Expert

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