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elevate your bathroom

From habitat magazine - issue 39, bathroom

Quick ideas to refresh and revive your bathroom.

An elegant bathroom mural

Resene Wallpaper Collection E307401 adds elegant high drama to this bathroom without overpowering the space.

The walls are painted in Resene Thorndon Cream to match the background of the wallpaper and the ceiling is Resene Essential Cream with window and door trims in Resene Half Bianca.

Bathrooms are places of both retreat and high function. We want them to be visually inviting and pleasing places to be in, but they’re also high-use wet-zone spaces subject to plenty of wear and tear.

The good news is bathrooms are perfect for simple, often quick, projects offering high rewards for minimal effort (and expense).

Whimsical touches

Interior designer Megan Harrison-Turner is a fan of painting murals on bathrooms on one wall or as a frieze near the ceiling. It doesn’t need to cover the entire space. Instead, Megan suggests painting tendrils of wisteria and vines cascading down from one corner using Resene Poet, Resene Summer Green and Resene Laurel. “Add a couple of hot air balloons with your children’s names on them and some clouds against a pale blue wall in Resene Half Spindle or Resene Comfort Zone. A freehand mountain vista also makes an impact but is also really easy to execute,” she says.

If you’re unsure about your drawing abilities, try something geometric like a Mondrian design using block primary colours against white and black, Megan suggests.

Feast for the eyes

If you’re a fan of long soaks in the bath, consider painting your ceiling in an unexpected colour as a feast for your eyes when you’re lying back relaxing. Try a block shade in a bright cheerful hue like Resene Tequila Sunrise or go for a more soothing look in muted Resene Soiree. Go further if it takes your fancy by painting bold stripes or even a geometric design.

Resene Wallpaper Collection E307401
Resene Wallpaper Collection E307401

Resene Wallpaper Collection 295145
Resene Wallpaper Collection 295145

Resene Wallpaper Collection 38723-2
Resene Wallpaper Collection 38723-2

Refresh and revive

Stencilling over tired wall tiles that are 200 x 200mm or 300 x 300mm is a quick and easy update.


E307301 complements the mural behind the bath

Resene Wallpaper Collection E307301 is used on the panels of this bathroom door to complement the mural behind the bath.

Door frames are painted in the bright tone of Resene Half Bianca. When wallpapering in wet zones like bathrooms, opt for durable wallpapers that can stand up to moisture and being wiped down and cleaned. Resene ColorShop staff can help recommend options to you.

Megan recommends using stencils, “make your own or buy online, and use a limited colour palette of just two or three Resene colours – this works splendidly well. I’ve used sealer then Resene Lustacryl with really good results,” she says.

Sanding back a tired wooden floor is another way to add some flair back to a bathroom or toilet. Go for a bold colour, or even use a stencil to map out a faux-tile finish. Paint your whole floor in a light background colour, then, when dry, stencil your pattern in a darker shade over the top. Try a mix of bold blues like Resene Madison and Resene Skylight or go for layered neutrals with Resene Triple Akaroa and Resene Half Akaroa. A classic black and white check pattern in Resene White and Resene Black is another simple-to-execute look. Paint your whole floor in white then pencil out your black squares before painting them. Use low-tack masking tape for crisp lines and remove it just before the paint is fully dry. Or for a lightly washed look, apply Resene Colorwood Whitewash or a colourwash stain from the Resene We Speak Beach collection.

Use an accent pattern

A dramatic mural-style wallpaper like Resene Wallpaper Collection E307401 will immediately lend a touch of classic style to your bathroom. Take that same wallpaper pattern or a similar one, such as Resene Wallpaper Collection E307301, and add it to other accent areas of your bathroom such as panels, wall shelves or cupboard door fronts. Pick out a colour from the wallpaper to use for your Resene paint colour on adjacent walls.

Go all in

A small ensuite bathroom or separate toilet is the perfect space to embrace a full-on ornate wallpaper pattern on all four walls for an elaborate look that celebrates a small space. Try the tropical botanical vibes of Resene Wallpaper Collection 38738-3 or the florals of Resene Wallpaper Collection 295145. Finish the space with a large mirror with a frame painted in Resene Gold metallic and a gold lightshade or shimmering chandelier for some light-hearted bling.

Resene Wallpaper Collection 38738-3
Resene Wallpaper Collection 38738-3

Resene Wallpaper Collection E307301
Resene Wallpaper Collection E307301

Resene Living bathmats
Resene Living bathmats

top tip Wet areas like bathrooms need extra protection. Use the Resene Kitchen & Bathroom range with added silver antibacterial and MoulDefender.

Splash colour on a splashback

A block of colour or wallpaper behind your sink is a simple way to add colour or pattern to your bathroom without having to redecorate the whole room. Go for a faux-tile style wallpaper like Resene Wallpaper Collection 38723-2 or a simple block of your favourite Resene colour that contrasts with your walls. You can also paint over existing tiles or glass to give them a new life. Clean the surface with Resene Interior Paintwork Cleaner first. Seal with Resene Waterborne Sureseal, then topcoat in your favourite Resene colour tinted into Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss.

Stepping out

Elevate your bathroom with a Resene Living bathmat. The bathmats in this range are inspired by favourite Resene colours. Available from Briscoes.


Resene Skylight

Project: Moneuan Ryan
Words: Kerri Jackson
Images: Bryce Carleton


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Want to get your own free copy of future issues of habitat magazine?

Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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