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Building a Pacifica look with an eastern flair

From the Resene decorating blog

Pacific style design with an eastern influence may seem incongruous until you think about the key motifs they share.

A lounge with Pacifica and eastern influences

Add to your Pacific Eastern theme with a palm printed wallpaper, such as Resene Wallpaper Collection design 384501. Use it to paper a feature wall, as a background to minimalist furniture or frame up a piece of it for instant artwork.

Broadly speaking, both heavily feature bare wood and natural textures with a strong connection to the outdoors in the choice of colours, finishes and design features. Where one style is perhaps more relaxed in design with easy flow outdoors, the other is perhaps more often associated with formal clean lines and crisp edges.

Combined, the two create a beautiful luxe minimalism that fits nicely between the often austere Scandinavian style and the riot of carefully clashing bold colours that is also on trend. The result should be a comfortable, calm space perfect for the Kiwi lifestyle.

Start in neutral

The simplest way to adopt a Pacific-Eastern style is to start neutral. Rather than white on white, think warm putty-toned whites such as Resene Half Tea or Resene Parchment and add in layers of lighter and darker neutral tones.

Resene Double Sisal is a lovely warm, brown-toned green that works well as a base colour for this palette. It connects the interior space with the natural colours outside and is given extra interest when used alongside other textural naturals such as Resene Double Napa, Resene Half Villa White or Resene Sea Fog. Add interest to the palette with touches of deep green such as Resene Permanent Green or dark brown like Resene Dark Web.

Keep wood floors natural with stains like Resene Colorwood Natural or Resene Colorwood Dark Rimu and, for added texture, use mats woven in natural fibres. If you’re opting for carpet, go for neutrals in bamboo and beige or anchor the look with a soft charcoal like Resene Porter.

A hallway with a colourful stencil feature

This uniquely gorgeous stencil feature in this hallway painted on top of the Resene Quarter Spanish White walls was created using Resene testpots in Resene Rumour Has It, Resene Desperado, Resene Dawn Chorus, Resene Popcorn and Resene Dusted Blue. It’s natural, woven vibe paired with plants and the simple tables has Pacific-Eastern style written all over it. Project by Gem Adams, image by Melanie Jenkins.

A watery blue reading nook

Watery blues, like the Resene Duck Egg Blue walls and Resene Inside Back floor in this reading nook, blended with simple design and woven textures is a perfect example of Asian-Pacific style. Project by Claudia Kozub, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Keeping it cool

Opting for a Pacific-Eastern style need not mean sticking strictly to a neutral palette, though. You can apply the same principles of luxe minimalism to a more personalised colour palette to create a soothing escape.

Instead of sticking to walls in cream or beige, you could use a soft blue, green, yellow or even pink in the same way you would a neutral. Try Resene Half Dusted Blue, Resene Aura, Resene Moonlight or Resene Ethereal. Keep the edges of the space soft and minimalist with Resene Colorwood Whitewash or Resene Colorwood Greywash on the floors, and even shelves or tables.

Add one or two pieces in a darker, bolder shade from the same palette and finish with plenty of natural fibres where you can in cushions, light fittings, curtains and mats.

A Japanese inspired interior

This Japanese-inspired look has walls in Resene Double Sisal, a floor in Resene Parchment, a side table in Resene Scrub and a jug in Resene Korma. The plant pot is in Resene Mai Tai and the woven planter is in Resene Double Lemon Grass. Project by Gem Adams, image by Wendy Fenwick.

A minimalist Asian-Pacific interior

The Asian-Pacific space has a minimal, contemporary vibe with just enough of an earthy edge to keep it grounded. A two-tone approach has been used for interest, with Resene Bud on the back wall and Resene Siam on the side. Deeper vegetative greens like Resene Paddock and Resene Jurassic enrich the tonal appeal of the room. Project by Gem Adams, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Colour it in

One way to add your own flair to a Pacific-Eastern style is to go bold with colour. Instead of a neutral or muted wall colour, try something saturated and bold such as Resene Twisted Sister gold or Resene She’ll Be Right turquoise.

Think about using shades that work well with natural timber finishes on your flooring and furniture. The timber tones will keep things from being too overcooked, so your colour provides a touch of luxe, while everything else is kept fairly minimalist.

Add touches of complimentary colour in your decoration such as other sunbaked shades like Resene Swiss Caramel or Resene Moonbeam for a gold palette or Resene King Tide or Resene Slipstream for the turquoise. Touches of creamy neutral in Resene Poured Milk or Resene Quarter Spanish White on windows and trim, or other accessories, will also cool the space down.

As a general guide, keep your furniture architectural and interesting without being too busy so that it doesn’t compete for your attention with the bold colour choice.

Fifty shades of green

With a connection to the natural environment lying at the heart of Pacific-Eastern style, green is a key colour that will often pull together your other colour choices into a coherent space.

Use plenty of leafy green plants and echo those shades with accessories in shades such as Resene Permanent Green or Resene Colorwood Crowshead.

You could layer your whole minimalist luxe look with shades of green from Resene Family Tree to Resene Kandinsky even adding a motif or two in gold for an extra touch of luxury.

Try replacing your traditional creamy neutral with a muted, pink-toned shades such as Resene Despacito and layer on notes of Resene Mother Nature and Resene Away We Go for a tropical rainforest effect.

Hot tip: A pink toned neutral would also work with deep browns such as Resene Sambuca.

It’s all in the textures

The key to really bringing a Pacific-Eastern style to life is in finishing with lots of layers of natural texture and plants.

Opt for a mix of leafy and minimalist plants such as palms or elegant bare branches with lush greenery to get that combination of luxe and minimalism that really defines this kind of look and connects your interior with the exterior.

Use plenty of natural fibres and textures such as cane, rattan, linens, twine, and bare wood in different shades and think about wood stains or washes that can add depth to your colour scheme while still showcasing the natural materials.

The other way the natural environment is expressed in Pacific and Eastern style is through motifs and patterns influenced by plant-life and the sea, so take those into account when you’re decorating. Add leaf print artwork or wallpaper or think about on-trend fish scale tiles as a couple of suggestions.

Keep the lines clean and the decoration unfussy. You should aim for a balanced and uncluttered space that still exudes comfort and relaxation.

Other minimalist luxe ideas:


Resene Poured Milk

Resene Slipstream

Resene Despacito

Resene Moonlight

Resene Aura

Resene Ethereal

Resene Raindance

Resene Eighth Bokara Grey

Resene Swiss Caramel

Resene Twisted Sister

Resene Yes Please

Resene Away We Go

Resene Mother Nature

Resene Family Tree

Resene King Tide

Resene Virtuoso

Resene Porter

Resene Dark Web

February 08, 2019

Visit your local Resene ColorShop for more colour ideas and all the expert advice and products you need for a superb finish on all your decorating projects.

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