10 Lively Ways To Bring Colour Into Your Home
Tired of your all-white interior? Consider adopting one (or many) of these brilliant options
1. Off the wall
While neutrals will always have their place, we’re moving on from stark whites and steely greys and seeking comfort in warmer hues, says Resene colour expert Rebecca Long. Classic neutrals such as Resene Eighth Canterbury Clay can be used on all four walls and look great paired with rich mustards and textured rattan furniture. Meanwhile, blues offer a fresh, uplifting approach to colour without sacrificing warmth.
“The key is to select a blue with a subtle green undertone such as Resene Conch and pair it with a smoked blush hue such as Resene Blanched Pink,” says Rebecca. “Layer warm timbers, thick rugs and vibrant art and transform your blue living room into a cosy haven.” Or go bold with a spicy terracotta such as Resene Sante Fe, which can be used on a statement wall or throughout a room for maximum impact.
2. Accent accessories
Award-winning American interior designer Kelly Wearstler once said living without colour is like living without love. Before you go putting your dull dinnerware on Tinder, consider adopting a one-off piece or two. Add a little joy to your day by serving a glass of chilled water (or something punchier) from a colourful jug, like this cheerful glass design by Hay, $79, from Makers’ Mrkt.
3. The tile files
Where once we might have brought colour into our bathrooms through a bright towel selection, we’re getting more adventurous with our permanent fixtures. Blame lockdown and all that time spent at home staring at the same drab walls for our newfound love of tile-infused creativity. That’s not to say the latest styles have to shift us out of a relaxing mindset, with calming coastal colours in soft blues and sages proving popular.
“We’re seeing a lot of organic influences in the colours from the environment, with interiors connected to water and land,” says TileHaus co-founder Renee Woolcott. “Softer hues, beiges and soft tans are popular, as are bold colours and blushes as more of a statement” — like these mint-green statement tiles from TileCloud, an Australian brand new to New Zealand (exclusively through TileHaus).
Coloured tiles can be incorporated by using them on half a wall, tiling a shower in a block of colour separate to the rest of the bathroom, or on a distinct area, such as over a ledge to avoid them overpowering the space. Select a complementary grout colour for a finished look. “Don’t be afraid to go with something you really love,” says Renee. “There’s so much inspiration out there that really, anything goes.”
4. Cut 'n' paste
Wallpaper has come a long way since the twee florals of your childhood bedroom. Now you can make just as dramatic an impression with your wallpaper selection as you can with a colourful painting. Bring shades of nature in, like this dusky example from Resene Wallpaper Collection 1838.
5. Daring drapes, calming curtains
If we learnt anything in lockdown that we can apply to our homes this winter, it’s to embrace colours and textures with hibernation in mind. “People are cocooning, wanting to make their homes softer and more inviting to live in,” says Amanda Stewart, showroom manager at Lahood Window Furnishings. “A movie room is a great opportunity to feature bold, rich drapery — this will help with the sound and light, and make you feel wonderfully luxe and cosy.” Velvet has never looked or felt so indulgent, like these drapes from Bespoke by Catherine Martin by Mokum, from the Marjorelle Collection.
Meanwhile, pink and green — a colour combo popular in the late-40s — is also making a comeback, reflecting our desire to tune in to the planet, says Amanda.
6. Rug up
Injecting a little colour underfoot is a great way to warm up your living spaces, and like other aspects of interiors this year, style-savvy home-owners are looking to the environment for inspiration. “Bring the outside in,” suggests Celine Le Couteur, showroom manager at The Ivy House, where rugs come in a variety of earthy shades. “More people are becoming directly inspired by their outdoor surroundings or a particular place in nature that makes them feel calm.”
She recommends matching your rug with similarly toned homewares — but more importantly, choosing a sustainably produced product, like The Ivy House’s Armadillo Agra range, made from New Zealand hand-knotted wool.
7. Fabric flair
Maximalism and “visual optimism” are the sentiments driving this year’s interior colour trends, says Annie Moir, design director of James Dunlop Textiles. Add to that the global movement toward health and wellbeing and it’s no wonder nature-inspired shades, encompassing the full spectrum of blues, greens, sun-baked clays and terracottas, are popular right now. That hankering for carefree times has also led to the resurgence of an interior colour last popular in the 70s. “Brown is slowly resurfacing and is being embraced, especially in tactile fabrics such as boucle and velvets as well as warm neutrals — whites, cream and parchment,” says Annie.
Not sure where to start? Anchor the room with a statement furniture piece — like this lagoon-coloured bed upholstered in graphic Gala fabric from James Dunlop’s Fireworks Collection — and soften it with earthy bed linen and accessories.
8. On the wall
Set the mood for your interior by selecting art in your favourite colours. This colourful ‘The Togo’ print, $95, from Paper Plane encapsulates this year’s Palm Springs-inspired shades: desert browns, ochres and blues.
9. In living colour
Liven up your living space with a potted plant in an uplifting hue. Try a pink and green-leaved aglaonema, a yellow-flecked philodendron brasil or a syngonium with leaves the colour of ballet slippers. Or create an entire wall of cheerful pots and greenery, as in this example by The Plant Project.