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Decorating and colour trends 2021, Habitat plus

Welcome — We've found ourselves in the midst of a unique time in history that has thrown us all for a curve.

Whatever our plans were, they’ve either been disrupted, cancelled, shifted or have evolved into something else entirely. With our whole world rocked by change, the driving factors of colour and design ‘trends’ as we’ve known them have also been turned on their head.

Our mission is now one of care; both for ourselves and our greater community – and we need colour trends, inspiration, ideas, rooms and spaces that embrace this. More than ever, there is a desire for soothing and calming spaces in our homes, but we also need spaces that are stimulating to spend time in – much more time, perhaps, than we might be used to.

Whether you’re looking to alleviate stress, work from home more comfortably, or just want to mix things up, this habitat plus is full of ideas for how you can shape or reshape your spaces in ways that suit you and your family’s lifestyle. To keep things simple, we’ve curated ideas into a range of moods so that no matter what your style or taste, you’re sure to find something in the following pages that could inspire everything from a quick weekend refresh to a total home makeover. Happy decorating!

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Paint, wallpaper, decorating and colour trends 2021

Sit back, relax and enjoy all the articles from this Habitat plus booklet! Simply click on the story below of interest and read the full article or use the search function for a particular topic.

2020 Trend Spotter Look for this 'trend spotter' symbol to find out where you can learn more about another hot trend shown elsewhere in this booklet.


Cool and calming blue

Cool and calming

One of our all-time favourite classic colours has been making a huge buzz: blue. Evocative of the sea and the sky, the colour blue brings together the deepest depths of the ocean with the lightness of the seventh cloud. It stands for integrity, power, tranquillity and health and is considered as beneficial to the mind and body... more


Back to nature

Back to nature

In our fast-paced world and ‘always on’ culture, most of us yearn for ways to disconnect. The stress we are exposed to each day can easily become overwhelming, and it influences the way we feel about our homes. Recent developments have brought a major shift in how our dwellings are being used. From a place to sleep, eat and take a shower, our personal space has now, once again, become the most meaningful place in our lives: one that may also have to do double duty as a workplace but still needs to facilitate rest and rejuvenation... more


Neutrals with soul

Neutrals with soul

Given the efforts to turn our spaces into more relaxing places to spend time, we’re embracing living a more clutter-free and thoughtful life. Shades associated with minimalism, such as creams, beiges, greys, taupe and whites, have always been popular choices for anchoring interior colour palettes. But until recently, it seemed like the neutral everyone was after was cold, steely grey and it was seen as the epitome of what’s fresh and contemporary... more


Nature as an inspiration for interior decor

Dawn to dusk

For elemental, nature-inspired colours with a truly contemporary feel, dusty desert and terracotta hues simply can’t be beat.

Seemingly baked with heat, these rosy earth hues are inherently cosy and lend themselves well to lounges and other rooms you like to linger in. Browner shades are becoming the variation of choice over the earlier pinker versions meaning deeper clays... more


Minimalist Mediterranean

Minimalist Mediterranean

The importance of today’s home acting not only as a shelter but as a retreat can easily be reinforced with the right choice of finishes. While there are a number of decorating styles that can help accomplish this goal, there are not many that match the warmth and comfort of a minimalist Mediterranean-inspired design. These types of homes are havens for everyone who thrives in sun-kissed places that bridge the gap between outdoor and indoor environments... more


Sunny side up - cheery, energetic spaces

Sunny side up

If you’re looking to adopt a more optimistic mood in your home, look to rich warm colours, bold patterns, shapes and textures. Yellows, oranges and reds do the job like no other when it comes to bringing cheeriness and energy to enliven and invigorate a space... more


Nature as an inspiration for interior decor

Dark and dramatic

Deep, fully saturated colours have captured the imaginations of courageous colour lovers seeking a refreshingly different look for their homes. Moody blues, greys and browns in particular, such as Resene Indian Ink, Resene Armadillo and Resene Monkey are making some serious waves – especially when layered with darker and lighter variations in tonal schemes. These hues are ideal for building up a deeply layered cocoon-worthy look in spaces where you want to linger longer, such as a bedroom or lounge... more


Sultry and sophisticated spaces

Sultry and sophisticated

These rooms are places where you feel chic; where you can be well-dressed and feel that you belong. But more than that, a sophisticated interior has the ability to make a grand statement. It’s not about having ultra-expensive furniture and rare art; it’s about being well-tailored and well-balanced... more


Easy breezy

Easy breezy

Whether you have a bach or simply want a similarly casual and comfortable vibe at home, don’t look past beach colours that evoke the sea, sky, sand and surrounding scenery to create a soothing space. Try a delicate greyed blue like Resene Half Dusted Blue, a chilled-out ice blue like Resene Oxygen, a sea glass green like Resene Nebula or a cloudy white like Resene Sea Fog... more


Coffee break

Coffee break

Changing times require changing measures. With the popularity of cool greys slowing, colour palettes are showing signs of warming up. Beige and taupe are becoming the ‘new’ go-to neutrals offering dreamy elegance. The retro obsession of recent years has helped quietly sneak in pops of brown décor, but now that we’re in the new decade, it seems we’ve reached a tipping point for chocolate hues to make a bigger splash... more


Inspired exteriors

Inspired exteriors

We’ve been seeing more and more pops of colour being introduced to home exteriors, adding refreshing curb appeal among oceans of neutral weatherboards. Whether it’s a section of creatively-coloured cladding, a front door in an eye-catching hue or a collection of freshly painted pots lining your front walkway, it often doesn’t take much to make your home a standout... more


Trending timbers

Trending timbers

Inside, blonde tones that evoke a Scandi vibe like Resene Colorwood Natural, Resene Colorwood Rock Salt or Resene Colorwood Whitewash are favourites. But when it comes to outside, there is no hotter choice than black for fences and weatherboards. Try Resene Waterborne Woodsman Pitch Black for a fully saturated urban contemporary look or go for Resene Waterborne Woodsman Sheer Black to see more of your timber’s grain and get an appealing rustic country barn aesthetic... more


Other trends

Other trends

Some more up and coming colour and decorating trends... throw a curve • different strokes • a twist on terrazzo • changing stripes • tide lines swell • block it out • wild things • mini murals • eke out a niche • built-in seating • plum has just begun • fab floors • a look for the ages • within arm’s reach • day and night ... more


Stylists colour loves

Stylists' colour loves

Annick Larkin • Vanessa Nouwens • Gem Adams • Kate Alexander • Megan Harrison-Turner • Greer Clayton • Amber Armitage • Emily Somerville-Ryan • Melle van Sambeek... more


2021 colour and decorating trends from Habitat plus

Habitat plus #13
Decorating and colour trends 2021

Contributing stylists: Gem Adams, Kate Alexander, Amber Armitage, Megan Harrison-Turner, Laura Lynn Johnston, Annick Larkin, Vanessa Nouwens, Emily Somerville-Ryan, Leigh Stockton and Melle van Sambeek.

Contributing photographers: Bryce Carleton, Wendy Fenwick, Melanie Jenkins and Dennis Radermacher.

Selected photos courtesy of Nood, Owen and Judi Richards and Studio2 Architecture.

Oceans of light and airy white bedding have been layered with stormy blues that pull the colours of the art out into the room. The side table in Resene Fast Forward and the tiny vase in Resene Indian Ink play up the green undertones that are present in the darkest accent cushion while the vase in Resene Mystery and the lamp base in Resene Raindance bridge the gap in contrast between the darkest hues, the Resene Quarter Emerge batten wall and the Resene Quarter Concrete floor. Duvet set and cloud cushion from Ezibuy, pillowcases and throw from Allium Interiors, dark cushion from Adairs.


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