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From Habitat plus - decorating and colour trends 2021

Changing times require changing measures. With the popularity of cool greys slowing, colour palettes are showing signs of warming up.

A retro inspired stained wall in Resene Colorwood Ironbark

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. The future looks brown – but we promise that declaration is much better than it sounds!

One reason why brown is on the rise may stem from a desire to shift away from the pinker and redder palettes that have been pervasive. Warm terracotta and golden beiges are maturing, and browner tones have begun to come forward as a natural progression of those hues. The overall demand for increased sustainability and our growing need to feel more connected to nature, also makes brown a logical candidate for decorating. This hue previously experienced strong popularity in the early 2000s and in the 1970s, so its current upswing could also be attributed to a sense of nostalgia for those times.

Panelled wall: This timber tongue-and-groove panelled wall has been stained in Resene Colorwood Ironbark wood stain. Floor in Resene Quarter Spanish White, tall vase in Resene Canterbury Clay, jug vase in Resene Putty, low bowl in Resene Colins Wicket, plant pot (with tray on top) in Resene Double Pravda, Resene FX Crackle effect and Resene Quarter Fossil, small round vase in Resene Peace, lamp base in Resene Tapa and wooden storage box in Resene Double Pavlova. Shelving from Città, carafe set from Father Rabbit.

Resene Peace

Resene Colorwood Ironbark
A warm lounge with a painted floor
A warm wavy mural in blues, creames and browns
Painted floor: Wall in Resene Gold Coast, ‘tile’ painted floor effect in Resene Pendragon and Resene Hairy Heath, nesting tables in (from large to small) Resene Hairy Heath, Resene Pendragon and Resene Gold Coast with legs in Resene Noir and vase in Resene Hairy Heath. Art by Helen Bankers, pendant lamps from Monmouth Glass Studio, chair and ottoman from Soren Liv.   Wall mural: Back wall (from top to bottom) in Resene Zulu, Resene Antidote, Resene Sorrell Brown and Resene Lone Ranger, right wall in Resene Half Wood Bark, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash and plant pot in Resene Sorrell Brown. Chair and lamp from Homage.

Resene Noir

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Brown, according to colour and psychology experts, also stands for stability, reliability and safety. It reminds us of simpler times, recalls ancient rituals and brings to mind a more down to earth lifestyle. Brown is natural, comfortable and familiar and plays well with a wide range of colour schemes.

Unlike certain other colour trends, it isn’t just one particular type of brown that’s been dominating; cocoa, cinnamon, caramel and creamier coffee colours are all gaining traction. Look to Resene Felix, Resene Hairy Heath, Resene Pendragon and Resene Americano as particularly hot options, but don’t rule out bringing in touches of Resene Swiss Coffee or Resene Alpaca and Resene Monkey or Resene Rebel to provide interest and contrast.

Use mirrors to help reflect more light back into spaces that are painted in dark hues.

A warm toned mood board inspired by coffeee
A dark and moody lounge
Mood board: Background in Resene Felix, oval tray in Resene Bitter, tray in Resene Finch and painted vessels in (clockwise from bottom right) Resene Guardsman Red, Resene Roxy, Resene Ayers Rock, Resene Crail, Resene Rebel, Resene Vanquish, Resene Crail and Resene Papier Mache.   Sitting room: Wall and arch vase in Resene Monkey, floor in Resene Space Shuttle, table in Resene Kilamanjaro, tiny vase in Resene Americano and painted books in Resene Kabul and Resene Space Shuttle. Chair from Me & My Trend, rug from Freedom Furniture.

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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.