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Nine Paint and Decorating Trends to Design with Now

The ripple effect created by recent challenges has been hugely disruptive for decorating and design trends, given the massive interruption to global supply chains and the cancellation of significant fashion and design events. However, this new reality has opened up more opportunities for creativity.

Resene has rounded up some of the top trending paint and decorating ideas to help inspire architects, designers and their clients, for everything from quick room refreshes to new builds.

Brown comes back around

Not since the 1990s — and, before that, the 1970s — has brown been as big a deal as it is right now. Hues like Resene Leather, Resene Dusty Road, Resene Brown Sugar and Resene Brown Pod are skyrocketing in popularity, likely for their ability to simultaneously ground and warm the spaces that they’re used in — both highly desirable qualities to bring into a busy, contemporary home. But unlike the one-dimensional browns of the 90s, these variations are richer and more complex with spirited undertones that love to be layered with one another or blended with greys, beiges and taupe, such as Resene Mondo, Resene Half Akaroa and Resene Half Nomad.

Timber touches

Given the natural beauty inherent to wood grain, it’s no wonder that timber walls, ceilings, flooring and joinery are all trending. But even if clients want to embrace a natural look, timber needs to be properly protected and maintained to keep it looking great for years to come. It’s important to protect timber from harmful UV rays, inside and out, so it’s recommended to use Resene Woodsman stain outside and Resene Colorwood stain inside to help block out some of the sun’s harsh radiation.

For the most natural look, choose a Resene wood stain colour that’s most similar to the wood’s natural colour. Or for a rich, more dramatic look, opt for a popular darker colour like Resene Colorwood Bark, Resene Pickled Bean, Resene Colorwood Iroko or Resene Pitch Black.

Lighter than air

Recent events have reminded all of us of the need to take (or make) time to switch off and tune into what’s really important: wellbeing and health. This turn towards self-care and wellness is materialising into a sweeping change of lifestyles and values, and a rethink of how this is brought into the design of homes.

A renewed love of honesty in materials, which favours those that come from nature, have made linen, wood, cane, clay and stone incredibly desirable to decorate with for their longevity and inherent beauty — along with light, bright and breezy Resene paint, timber stain colour pairings and low sheen natural look clear finishes to suit. Simple, pared down silhouettes and Scandinavian influences like whitewashed timbers in Resene Colorwood Whitewash and minimalist furnishings that focus on quality and sustainability over quantity are hugely popular.

Greens reign supreme

From fashion to interiors, there is no hotter hue right now than green. As recently as last year, it was lighter shades of sage that were the dominant variation, but there has been a sharp shift as greens have become less grey and instead have taken on far warmer and yellowed undertones. While paler celery greens, appetising avocados and lavish chartreuses are all relevant viridian varietals, it’s richly saturated and enticing olive greens that have come to the forefront of popularity. Distinctly comforting and cosy with strong roots in nature, it’s understandable why lush and leafy colours like Resene Olive Green, Resene Seaweed and Resene Woodland have become the most desirable for decorating as we try and seek solace in the midst of an increasingly complicated world.

The sky’s the limit

The world’s all-time favourite colour, blue, is always relevant. Evocative of the sea and sky, no hue is said to be more relaxing or restful. Blue stands for integrity, power, tranquillity and health, and is considered as beneficial to the mind and body. Cool, greyed and classic coastal blues such as Resene Nepal, Resene Frozen, Resene Blue Moon and Resene Midnight Express remain popular picks for interior decorating. But just like many of today’s popular hues, there’s plenty of indication that warmer varieties are set to make a big splash.

The new neutrals

After two decades of cool, flat greys and whites reigning as the preferred neutrals, there has been a shift towards warmer and more complex options. Character neutrals, which feature more depth in their subtle undertones, are all the rage. Stone greys, biscuit beiges, blush suedes, steeped whites, olive taupe, slate greys and complex pewters like Resene Cobblestone, Resene Anglaise, Resene Calico, Resene Tea, Resene Cargo, Resene Silver Chalice and Resene Blue Bark represent the new neutrals that are trending today. Immensely flexible thanks to their rich and intricate undertones, each of these hues make a solid base for those who like to regularly change up their accent décor. Simply layer them with warmer-toned accessories like Resene Fire and Resene Americano in the cooler months and crisper tones like Resene Quarter Frozen and Resene Zumthor when the mercury rises to regulate the ‘visual temperature’ of a space

Added dimension

Adding more texture to a space is a sure-fire way to up the interest in a room, and tongue-and-groove panelling and battens are highly fashionable ways to add literal dimension to walls and ceilings. However, decorators are coming up with more creative methods to incorporate them, moving past more predictable grids or dado rails in favour of designs with a clever twist or a more freeform attitude. Try building reverse wainscotting that protrudes out instead of being set in or upcycling old picture frames to create a unique look.

Tonal murals

Whether they bring attention to an architectural feature, fill an odd wall or act in the place of artwork, in-home murals are having a renaissance right now. With endless options for colours and shapes, imagination and creativity are the best guide for making the most of this trend.

Tropical motifs

Fronds from palm to monstera continue to grace wallpaper and textiles and are a chic way to bring elements of the outside in. But more and more, we’re seeing these patterns appear in more unexpected colour combinations. Rather than typical emerald and ivy greens, it’s designs with pretty pastel pinks, blues and beiges that have been popping up on our radar. Try Resene Wallpaper Collection 218741 on a statement wall or use it to cover dresser drawers or a door for an airy look.

Remember, when it comes to decorating, use the trends as inspiration but encourage clients to be true to what they love. There’s no point following a trend if it doesn’t resonate for them in their project.

View more of the latest decorating and colour trends in the new habitat plus — colour and decorating trends book, available to view free online.

View more information on Resene, including contact details.
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