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From habitat magazine - issue 39, storage solutions

Colour and creativity elevate storage solutions.

Creative application of colour not only adds visual flair to your interior, but it can also be used to turn mundane practical room features into lively talking points that add to the enjoyment of the space. The search for storage solutions is an ever-present challenge for most of us and with an innovative approach to colour, these essential additions can be elevated to something special and unique.

Elegant wall cavity shelving features in this bedroom

Dark walnut wood turns this practical wall cavity shelving into an elegant feature of this bedroom. It’s sealed with Resene Aquaclear, which allows the wood grain to provide a handsome contrast to the walls in Resene Quarter Duck Egg Blue, trim in Resene Quarter Black White and accents in Resene Blue Charcoal. Project by Anna Carin, image by Justin Alexander.

Uncover new space

One smart way to eke out extra storage space in different rooms is to make good use of your wall cavities. It’s a technique often seen on a small scale in shower cubicles to allow shelving for shampoos and such-like. There’s no reason why the same idea can’t be deployed in kids’ bedrooms, studies and kitchens.

Paint the lined interior of your cavity storage area in a bold contrast colour for dramatic impact. A vivid interior in Resene Thunderbird or Resene Retreat works particularly well in an otherwise monochrome interior of Resene Alabaster and Resene Nero. This contrast effect packs an even bigger surprise if hidden behind cupboard doors.

A functional shoe closet is serene and inviting painted in Resene Lazy River

Resene Lazy River turns this functional shoe closet designed by Alex Fulton into a serene, inviting space.

Resene Colour Expert Amy Watkins earmarks headboards as another opportunity to add both storage and colour. “Turn it into a feature using a colour like Resene Green Meets Blue and use a curved shape for added interest.” Simplify the project by replicating a headboard and simply painting your curved shape directly on the wall behind your bed in your chosen colour. Or try an irregular shape in a dramatic wallpaper design like Resene Wallpaper Collection 38720-2. Add shelves in a matching paint shade like Resene Aspiring or a bold contrasting colour like Resene Sante Fe.

The trick to creative and eye-catching storage solutions is to find balance in your colour scheme and play with texture, says Resene Colour Expert Meryl Southey. “Choose colours and finishes which complement your overall scheme, creating interest but not taking away from any decorative elements.”

If you’re simply adding multiple bookshelves to a living space it might make sense to keep them the same colour as the walls, to give the illusion of space and prevent the shelves from dominating the room. Meryl suggests varying the sheen levels of your paint finishes using Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or the Karen Walker Paints Chalk Colour paint and wax range, or add in textured Resene wallpapers for subtle impact.

If you have a feature decor piece in a beautiful colour on one shelf, look to repeat that colour in accent areas on the rest of your shelves in a painted vase or shelving brackets.

Ideas to try

Add a beautiful wallpaper, such as Resene Wallpaper Collection E307303, to one feature wall in your room, then repeat the pattern on wardrobe doors, drawer fronts or shelving to showcase those storage ideas, while making the whole space feel cohesive.

Wardrobes can be fun spaces to play with by adding contrast colours or wallpapers to the interior walls or shelves. If you can glimpse your wardrobe’s interior from within the main room, think about how you can use colour for a seamless or unexpected visual effect.

A multifunctional built-in headboard with shelving

This multifunctional built-in headboard, designed by Alex Fulton, in Resene Apple Blossom adds bedside shelving, light and storage to this bedroom as well as a visually stunning design feature. It’s teamed with Resene Wan White from the Karen Walker Paints collection. Image by Simon Devitt.

If you have pale walls in the main room in a colour like Resene Duck Egg Blue, try something tonally similar but much darker inside the wardrobe like Resene Dark Slate. You could also try the opposite with darker room walls and a pale wardrobe interior, or let yourself go wild and use the wardrobe interior to use bold brights you might not want to use in larger spaces like Resene Wild Side or Resene Coconut Ice.

Adding large wooden hooks to the walls of your children’s bedrooms is a useful way to reduce floor clutter from school bags and coats. Paint them in a spectrum of bright contrast colours. Large wooden boxes painted in your child’s favourite colours or Resene FX Chalkboard Paint, which comes in a range of colours, adds both storage and seating space.

Meryl also recommends experimenting with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium to give shelves, dressers and cabinets a weathered or limewashed effect that works particularly well on upcycled pieces.

Resene Wallpaper Collection 38720-2
Resene Wallpaper Collection 38720-2

Resene Wallpaper Collection E307303
Resene Wallpaper Collection E307303

A mudroom can be a particularly useful storage area in your home, perfect for muddy shoes, umbrellas and wet coats. If you don’t have the luxury of a mudroom, you can use a small area near your main entranceway, inside or out. Look for a large old wardrobe to refresh. Sand it back then paint or stain it in a stylish colour so it becomes a handy and elegant feature of your entranceway. If there’s no room for a large cupboard, even a wooden bench with a shelf for shoes can make a difference and provide decorative opportunities.

Designing simple yet elegant storage solutions is a fun and easy way to create more space in your home. Even better, punctuate your storage with a pop of colour for a handy feature that is both pretty and practical.


Resene Coconut Ice

Resene Lazy River

Resene Wild Side

Words: Kerri Jackson


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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.

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