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Second nature


From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

A colour scheme like this one is a no-brainer for rest and relaxation.

As far as colour combos go, this one’s lifted straight out of nature’s playbook, making it both lovely and fool-proof. Lovely for a living space with large picture windows or stacker doors that let glimpses of the outside in, it creates a soothing, nurturing space ripe for reflection, reading and winding right on down.

A calming green living room

A natural green moodboard

A natural green moodboard

A calming green living room

Mood board: Background in Resene Quarter Fossil with A4 drawdown paint swatches (from left to right) in Resene Amulet, Resene Highland, Resene Norway, Resene Pale Leaf and Resene Rice Cake, vase in Resene Pale Leaf and plates in (clockwise from top left) Resene Amulet, Resene Pale Leaf, Resene Rice Cake, Resene Highland and Resene Rice Cake with dots in Resene Highland.

Green is said to assist in balancing our emotions, and the hero hue Resene Norway, a calming mid-toned green, is set against similarly gentle off-whites Resene Eighth Fossil and Resene Quarter Fossil on the wall and floor respectively, plus accessories in Resene Rice Cake. This set-up shows how a feature wall needn’t encompass the entire thing; a part-wall is just as effective – if not more so. Ours is flanked with cabinets in the same hues (Resene Norway and Resene Rice Cake; if you’re doing the same at your place, use painter’s tape to help you get the lines nice and clean), which form a cohesive scheme with a pair of timber-legged nesting tables also given this treatment. You could make more of a focal point of your feature wall by using it as the backdrop to a large-scale artwork in colours that reflect your green theme.

Paint is an easy and inexpensive way to layer colour into your life to really flesh out a palette and provide visual harmony. Choose Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen for your living room walls – it’s easy to apply, hard-wearing and has a slight sheen that reflects a little light, but it isn’t so glossy that it shows every fingerprint or ding. Update your existing vases or thrift-store finds with Resene testpots that are ideal for small projects. Prime vases with an undercoat of Resene Quick Dry, then add two coats of your desired colour. We opted for block colours, but you could use painter’s tape to create graphic shapes, stripes or other patterns.

A calming green living room 2

A green and beige living room

Paint: Large coffee table in Resene Norway, small coffee table painted in Resene Quarter Fossil, tall and round white vases on cabinets both in Resene Rice Cake, tall vase with big handles in Resene Amulet, small line vase in Resene Pale Leaf, spotted vase in Resene Amulet with dots in Resene Rice Cake and large bowl in Resene Highland.

Textures, too, bring visual and tactile interest to a living space. The hallmark of this type of aesthetic is natural materials: timber, linen, clay, rattan, glass – even the washed canvas of the couch. The stylist’s golden rule, the rule of three, is also observed in several locations in this well-considered yet laid-back room, with three items grouped together (two vases and a hurricane lamp; a jug, glass and hurricane lamp; a vase, tealight holder and rattan planter) to offer maximum aesthetic appeal.

Itching to add an accent hue to an otherwise tied-in colour palette? This line-up lends itself to the addition of lilac, like soft, atmospheric Resene Lola, ephemeral Resene Fog and delicate Resene Blue Chalk. Lilac is trending for its subtle suggestion of romance, and a hint is all you need to draw the eye. It’ll go beautifully with all the tones in this space, as would alternative accents in greys like chalky Resene Longitude, water-vapour Resene Emerge, pastel Resene Gull Grey; dusty pinks such as cherry Resene Gelato, light Coral Paper Doll and umber Resene Soothe; or sunshine pale yellows including summery Resene Half Moonbeam, creamy Resene Melting Moment and sugary Resene Sweet Corn.

Accessories: Sofa from Freedom, linen cushion cover from H&M home, sage cushion from The Warehouse, artwork from Etsy, hurricane lamps and chair from Freedom, basket from Shut the Front Door, tumblers and carafe from Citta, candle from Bed Bath and Beyond, floral cushion in lilac from Bolt of Cloth.

Project by Vanessa Nouwens. Images by Bryce Carleton. 2021


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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.