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Colour tips and information

Choose colour with confidence and creativity with Resene Colour Choices. Enjoy life in total colour. Get more life in your colour and more colour in your life with the Resene Total Colour System. Thousands of colours to choose from for all your interior and exterior decorating needs or let us create a custom colour match to suit your style.

Decking out the home office

Decking out a home office

Whether it’s the hub for a 40-hour working week for your business, a sometimes satellite office to keep you up to date, or a space to pay household bills and organise the family, a home office should offer a comfortable, practical space to get things done. So when it comes to design, creating an environment that ensures productivity is key. Big or small, your office need not be dull and boring. Embrace a design aesthetic that suits you and watch your creativity soar... more

Updating your laundry room

Let’s face it – doing the laundry can be a mundane task. Yet it has to be done. So why not make your laundry area a happier place? An overhaul can be beneficial not only for added functionality but to create a more soothing, less dreary mood. Whether yours is relegated to a poky cupboard or located in a room of its own, a fresh dab of paint and updated features can help you establish a practical, pleasant space... more

Decorating your kitchen...

Decorating your kitchen

Wondering what colour to paint your kitchen? Look to the current trends for inspiration. While natural wood remains popular in kitchen decor, sophisticated hues have been gaining ground in recent years. Deep greens and steel blue greys are set to take centre stage, with even darker hues making a dramatic appearance... more

Making the most of small spaces...

Making the most of small spaces

Dark paint or light paint for a small room? That’s the ultimate question for small-space dwellers. After all, we’re frequently told that smaller rooms should be painted with light colours. But Resene colour consultant Nikki Morris says you needn't be afraid of embracing either... more

Top bathroom decorating trends

Dreaming of staying at a five-star resort? Don't bother – simply create your own paradise at home with high-tech gadgets, botanical hues and natural materials. Today’s bathrooms are all about luxury and high-end design. Follow these four trends to bring your dream bathroom to life... more

Use of contrast colours can help people use and navigate a space.

Colour contrast

We are often asked about colour contrast and how to figure out what is enough of a colour contrast. LRV (Light Reflectance Values) work on a 0-100% scale and are a measure of what the colour looks like. So if you need a contrast of 30% LRV then you would need a colour of say 40 LRV and 70 LRV to give the required colour contrast difference of 30% LRV. Use of contrast colours can help people use and… more

How to make the most of colour in kids' bedrooms

How to make the most of colour in kids' bedrooms

As fads come and go and little kids become big kids, decorating your child's room can be tricky. Your child's tastes are constantly changing, and their room needs to change as much as they do. That might simply mean a change in paint colour, a more sophisticated duvet cover or a desk that's suitable for homework as opposed to toddler artwork. Or it might mean a complete overhaul. Either way, a child's bedroom design should be fun and functional, and colour is a great place to start... more

Using Colour for Health and Wellbeing

Using colour for health and wellbeing

If you're seeing red because you're green with envy, then you might wish to think pink instead. Or blue or soft green. Certain colours are known to influence our wellbeing and stimulate positive emotional responses. Even chronic illnesses can in some way be influenced by colour, most specifically mood, emotion and some aspects of mental performance... more

Choosing powdercoat colours for window joinery

Let there be light

Windows - lots of them and the bigger the better - is what it is all about in regards to our homes. New build houses and many renovated older houses favour powder coated metal windows. They are low maintenance, colour fast and available as traditional, classic and contemporary styles. Often the windows will match the roof colour - but not always... more

Making colour work for your retail space

Making colour work for your retail space

For retailers, shopping is the art of persuasion, and colour is a crucial factor. It can influence our emotions. It defines a product, and it can define your retail space. Most significantly, colour is the first thing we notice... more

Choose your roof colours first

The high view – the world of roof colours

A question often asked is 'What colour should I paint my roof?' and mostly it is asked after all other colour decisions have been made for the exterior of the house... more

Colours that go with wood

What goes with wood?

It occurred to me today while walking through the bush reserve near my house that trees are wonderful. So is what they are made from - wood. We love wood.... more

Colours for teenagers

Colours for teenagers

As kids grow up, the old bedroom theme of bunnies, Barbies and Disney characters may not work quite so well any more. Pastel pinks and pale blues are no longer a given. Sophisticated patterns and colour palettes are more appealing... more

Give your outdoor space a fresh face with some clever, budget-friendly decorating tricks

Resene backyard

Lacklustre backyard? Cue colour accents. Even the grungiest space can be transformed with a lick of paint and a few stylishly arranged items. And it need not break the bank. Give your outdoor space a fresh face with some clever, budget-friendly decorating tricks... more

Colours in the work environment

Colours in the work environment

Feeling blue? Blame it on the colour of your workplace. Just as colour in our home environments can affect our emotions, studies have shown that the colour on our office walls can have a significant impact on our productivity and wellbeing... more

Masculine style

Masculine style

When you mix together a palette of metal, leather, concrete and fabrics like wool and tweed, and throw in some straight lines and geometric patterns, you begin to create a space that would typically be deemed 'masculine'. Like a well-tailored wardrobe, it's a style that represents strong, no-fuss lines, deep colour tones and finespun fabrics... more

Decorating in a feminine style

Decorating in a feminine style

In search of the perfect feminine style? When it comes to decorating, adding femininity to a room need not mean girlie or over-the-top pink. Feminine interiors can range from subtly sweet to smart and sophisticated, to elegant or flirty fun. Pretty pastels are fine, but too much may result in overboard cutesy. Temper pastels with white or soft metallics and add in personal feminine details... more

Blending masculine and feminine styles in interior decorating

Blending masculine and feminine styles

From raw industrial design to feminine floral chic, everyone has different tastes. Some of us crave minimalist simplicity while others prefer an eclectic mix. But while balance is the key to any design, just how do you appeal to two different taste aesthetics? Men and women are typically attracted to different colours, which can prove difficult when choosing colour schemes for interiors. One way to balance an interior for couples is to choose a two-colour scheme... more

Warm rich colours are more suitable for elderly people than pale or neutral colours

Colours for the elderly

Determining which shade of paint best suits a specific space should be done not only by considering the area and its particular use but the individuals who will be using it as well. As we age we tend to look at life differently – and we literally see it differently as well. The lenses of our eyes begin to yellow, causing a reduction of clarity. Pale colours and colours of similar intensities become more difficult for the aging eye to discriminate, so a higher contrast in colours may be needed to discern various items around us... more

painting can modernise tired furniture

Jazzing up furniture

When it comes to giving your home a facelift, the difference is all in the details. Painting tired furniture is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to revive a room's décor. Mismatched garage sale finds or worn-out hand-me-downs can be turned into instant show-offs. In much the same way that a dull outfit takes on a new life with accessories, furniture can be injected with character and contemporary styling with paint... more

Outdoor makeover

Outdoor makeover

If your stucco or brick surfaces are looking outdated, bring them into the 21st century with a modern makeover. An exterior facelift instantly transforms the look of a home, and a fresh coat of paint is all that's required. “Loads of people don't like their bricks so painting them gives them a really modern look,” says Resene colour consultant Sarah Gregory. “In fact new housing developments are using painted brick... more

choosing a paint colour for your ceiling

Colour on the ceiling

When it comes to choosing a paint colour for your ceiling, most of us would opt for a shade of white. For years, white has been considered the safest option for our loftiest wall – and it's true, most times it's the perfect choice – but a white ceiling is not always the right ceiling. Just as colour on our walls can add drama or sophistication to a room, colour above us can transform a room's look and feel... more

Colour basics

Colour basics

As human beings, colour influences everything in our world from art and science, to what colour we paint our walls, to how we dress. Interior designers use colour to create certain atmospheres and psychologists may use it to influence moods. Yet what do we know about the mechanics of colour? If we said colour was a function of light and biology you might think we were nuts. But in reality, light stimulating the retina of the eye is what creates our perception of colour. Specifically, colour is light of different wavelengths... more

Feature walls

Feature walls

There's no quicker, easier or more affordable way to make a statement in a room than to give it a coat of brightly coloured paint, but if you're nervous about using too much colour, you can play it safe, but still make a statement, by introducing a feature wall. Feature walls – now often referred to as statement walls – add vibrancy and personality without overpowering the rest of the room, and they allow you to be more daring with colour without having to go all out. Paint is not your only option though. There are many other creative alternatives. ... more

Preparing for sale

Preparing for sale

Is your home buyer friendly? When it comes to selling your house, first impressions count. A well-polished house appeals more to buyers than a down-and-out one. Which means it's important that your home looks its best while it's on the market – and that may mean a spruce-up is on the cards. But there's a big difference between making smart, cost-effective changes to maximise interior and exterior appeal, and carrying out costly renovations... more

Colour healing

Colour healing

Have you ever noticed how different you feel in some rooms to others? A room painted with red walls can make you feel energised or excited, while a room with blue walls can promote calmness and relaxation. Colour has the power to transform not only our homes but the way we feel, our behaviour and our general efficiency. It can stimulate or subdue, motivate or mollify; it can even have a profound and healing effect on us... more

Colour therapy

Colour therapy

From the restful feeling we get when surrounded by calming blue colours to the motivation and stimulation we receive from reds and oranges, it's no secret that colour has the power to transform our emotions. But our attraction to certain colours may indicate areas of imbalance. Understanding how and why different colours affect us can help us achieve good health and wellbeing... more

Shopping for colour

Shopping for colour

When it comes to decorating, choosing the right paint colour can be a daunting exercise. It's not quite as simple as picking your favourite hues and slapping paint onto walls haphazardly. Choosing colours involves many decisions. What is the room to be used for – relaxing or activities (different colours evoke different emotions), what is the relationship between each colour (colour is affected by the colour next to it), how much natural light comes in (light changes our perception of colour), and so on. Not only that, these days we're confronted with literally thousands of paint colours from which to choose. Confusing, right? Actually, there are a few tricks to help make shopping for colour easier... more

Regional colour trends

Regional colour trends

For the most part, the current colour palette is comprised of feel-good colours – yellows, oranges, reds and blues – and nature-inspired greens and earthy neutrals. But travel from region to region and country to country and you'll often find slight variations in colour preferences. Geographic location, cultural diversity, demographics, the surrounding landscape, fashion and current events all play a part in influencing colour choices regionally. For example, homeowners in the subtropical north may favour a cool palette, while those in colder climes may opt for warmer tones... more

Colour trends for kids rooms

Kids colours

When it comes to decorating children's spaces, it helps to see a room through the eyes of a child. Beyond pint-sized furniture and hip toys, a stylish mix of colours, patterns and fabrics can create the perfect blend of cheer. Old or new, bright or pale, it isn't necessary to conform to any design rules. The sky is your limit and the key is to simply have fun... more

How to be brave with colour

How to be brave with colour

Where to start - how to pick colours that are going to work for you and your home... Start at the beginning which isn't always the paint colour for the walls. Sometimes it is acknowledging that the house (exterior or interior) or specific room looks a bit lacklustre and identifying what you have (and don't plan on getting rid of) and trying to sort out whether there are big changes to make (new carpet, curtains or furniture or in regards to the exterior new roof or new powdercoated windows) or just minor changes to create a new look... more

Your own style of interior decorating

What makes a good home?

A good home is one that you can't wait to go back to. It is instantly welcoming, with a personality that grabs you the moment you walk through the front door, and perhaps even the moment you turn into the driveway. When making your home your own, don't be afraid to go with your own sense of style and your convictions - after all, you are the person who will have to live there... more

Colours of the 1990s

Colours of the 1990s

Fashion and decor reflected the dirtier colours and minimal look of Gothic, Grunge and Hip Hop. A classless society developed due to the economic recession, businesses fell on hard times and the electronic age altered lives. The world wide web was born in 1992, waistlines of mens' pants dropped lower than the interest rates, cargo pants, cowboy boots, floral skirts, stonewashed denim were de riguer and smaller was better – laptops and mobile phones and pay rises... more

Colours of the 1980s

Colours of the 1980s

This era was all about major changes both industrial and economic. Pac Man video games, Walkman radios, boom boxes and personal computers coincided with the end of the Cold War, hard rock, heavy metal and ‘glam rock' music with the bizarre makeup and glitter and – the ultimate luxury – carpet in the bathroom and toilet. Women had big hair, even bigger shoulder pads in their ‘power dress' suits and casual clothing embraced ripped jeans, crop top sweatshirts, neon bright clothing, leg warmers and head bands lots of lyrca and Aviator sun glasses... more

Colours of the 1970s

Colours of the 1970s

Though there was a carryover of the Hippy sub culture from the late 1960s the 1970s embraced several aspects – the home spun/creative and ultimately rustic/romantic country style with Laura Ashley mini printed floral wallpaper and fabrics and peasant maxi dresses and the upwardly moving disco dancing Afro permed, platform shoe and hot pants, jump suited and bell bottom brigade who were free and easy – part of what was called at the time the ‘Me' decade – full of student protests, feminism, environmental issues, fuel/oil crisis and the ‘space race' – helped by the advent of microwaves, VCRs, shagpile carpet and lava lamps... more

Colours of the 1960s

Colours of the 1960s

After the post war 1950s oatmeal, cream and strong clear pastels inspired by the new plastics fashion was all about bouffant hair, stiletto heeled shoes, Jackie Kennedy and Elvis Presley and a few intellectual types who were Beatniks and then very quickly swung over (Swinging 60s) to a decade of radical change, rebellion, vibrancy and a desire for freedom – of any sort... more

50 Shades of Grey Resene style

50 Shades of Grey Resene style

If you're more of a decorator and less of a bookworm, you might like to try some of our favourite fifty shades of grey… more

Learn about colour with the Everywhere colour series

Learn about colour with the Everywhere colour series

Human eyes have approximately 12 million rods and 7 million cones in them - that's a lot of things in a small place! These help us to see everything around us, including sending colour information to our brain so that it can help us to see colour. Colour can be bright or dull, warm or cold, natural or made artificially. It can be blue, red, yellow, purple, orange, green and much more! The Everywhere colour series is designed for children and will cover lots of things about colour and has projects you can try out for yourself to find out how things work. Colour is magical and lots of fun to experiment with... enjoy... more

Complement your Patersonrose linen with Resene paint and colours

Complement your Patersonrose linen with Resene paint and colours

Patersonrose and Resene have teamed together to bring you Resene complementary colour suggestions for the Patersonrose linen range. So now you can choose your linen and colours quickly, easily and with the confidence that it will work well together when you're finished.  When you're planning to paint it's worth remembering that children's bedroom areas can come in for a lot of wear and tear... more

Decorating on a budget

Decorating on a budget

With a little planning and help from Resene you can rejuvenate your living space in a weekend for $200 or less! Tired of your current living place? Planning to move, but now find you're staying put longer than intended? Don't despair. If the prospect of redecorating seems daunting, start with an easy project and work yourself into the bigger jobs... more

Tips from Resene Paints on painting decks

Get deck-orating!

First impressions count. A nicely stained or oiled deck can make a huge difference to how your deck looks and how well it lasts. Stains and oils help to protect decks from the weather, so your deck stays in better shape and is less prone to drying out, splitting and causing splinters and the like... more

Tips from Resene Paints painting doors and windows

The finishing touches – doors and windows

Doors and windows are a hardworking part of your home – they are prone to the weather and mechanical action as they are regularly opened and closed... more

Fence painting and staining

A fence you can be proud of

Fences can have a huge impact on the way you feel about your home as they are often the first thing you see when you get home and something you see every time you look out the window or enjoy your backyard, if you're lucky enough to have one. A weathered, worn or peeling fence is an unwanted reminder that it needs some attention... more

Tips from Resene Paints for painting roofs

Top protection for your roof

Before you choose a Resene roof paint system, check the condition of your roof. For example, is it new, weathered or rusty? Details like these will help you get the right advice when you visit your local Resene ColorShop or Reseller, and a better result when you come to paint... more

Tips from Resene Paints for painting bathrooms

Bring out the best in your bathroom

Bathrooms are one of the smallest rooms in the house and are generally cluttered with towel rails, basins and showers/baths. While this can make them a decorator's nightmare, it also means you can afford to be a little more courageous with colour. If your original colour choice doesn't work, you can repaint a small bathroom quickly... more

Tips from Resene Paints for painting kitchens

Bring out the best in your kitchen

The kitchen is where you will tend to spend a lot of time, especially if you are the main chef in your household. Make sure you are comfortable with your chosen colour scheme. Bright, invigorating colour schemes can boost energy levels... more

Discover decorating colours that suit your colour personality

Colour personality

Have you ever felt that the colours in a room weren't to your taste but didn't know why? It may be that they didn't fit with your colour personality! Colour personalities can be defined many ways. To help you find your colour personality Resene has used the seasonal concepts... more

Colour suggestions for children and the elderly

Colour suggestions for children and the elderly

There is a cycle of changing colours that affects our mind and body through the different stages of life. These are reflected in our changing colour preferences. Children have colour likes and dislikes according to individual character and stage of development... more

Feng Shui provides guidelines to harness Ch'i energy.

Feng Shui

Feng Shui, an art form to some and science to others, has long been used in China to help humans live in harmony with their environment, harnessing the beneficial energies (Ch'i) that surround all of us to maximise opportunities for happiness, abundance and contentment. Ch'i is the energy, the fluid life force that can be found in all living things, created whenever things are done perfectly. Feng Shui provides guidelines to harness this Ch'i energy... more

Vastu decorating provides guidelines for creating a harmonious home or space.

Vastu decorating

Vastu is somewhat of an Indian equivalent to Feng Shui, based on related elements but interpreted in a different manner, yet still providing guidelines for creating a harmonious home or space. Its purpose is to align the spaces we live and work in with the beneficial effects of universal life energy to maximise the vitality and freshness of our surroundings… more

Top tips for a tiptop paint finish outside

Top tips for a tiptop paint finish outside

Planning to paint outside? There are plenty of ways to improve your home with paint... more

Some tips to make painting your home easier and safer

DIY not as tough as it looks

Are you planning on giving your home a facelift? Are you faced with peeling weatherboards and no excuse? Take heart - the job may not be as tough as it looks. And according to Resene specialists, following a few simple guidelines will help ensure painting efforts are effective, lasting and importantly, safe... more

How to choose the right flooring and carpet for your home

What's underfoot? - choosing the right flooring for your home

Flooring needs differ depending on the room to be furnished - in practical rooms such as kitchens hard flooring may be preferable to the soft flooring such as carpet that is typically used in bedrooms. When choosing flooring... more

Choosing the right lighting for your home

Shed some light on the situation - choosing the right lighting for your home

Lighting can make or break your room scheme. Lighting can diminish minor surface imperfections present on walls and ceilings when used carefully. A hastily planned lighting scheme can have the opposite result accentuating the same imperfections that you are trying to hide... more

Choosing the right curtains for your home

Hung up on curtains - choosing the right curtains for your home

Originally designed for purely practical reasons, curtains are a key part of your room's colour scheme. When selecting curtains make sure you keep their practical uses in mind to ensure that you select curtains that will not only look good but that will also be functional... more

How to choose the right furnishings for your home

Adding the furnishings - choosing the right furnishings for your home

Always arrange furniture so that it is convenient to use otherwise visitors may end up constantly rearranging your furniture for you. Generally it is best to allow for easy traffic flow through a room, but in an open plan area the furniture can also be used to break the large space into smaller cosier areas... more

Villas, bungalows and character homes

Bringing out the best in your villa, bungalow or character home with paint

In the early 1990s, in conjunction with leading conservation architect Ian Bowman, Resene developed a set of colour guidelines that reflect the various historical periods of home design - the Resene Heritage Colour Chart. These colours reflect the authentic heritage colours originally used on heritage homes and buildings throughout New Zealand.

Getting started is sometimes the hardest part of any journey, however we hope this advice will help you on your way with tips, advice and information relevant to painting your place, and preserving your own corner of New Zealand history... more

How to choose the right colours for your home

How to help someone choose colour

Chances are you may be asked once, or many times, to help a family member or friend choose colours for their projects or give an opinion on colours they have chosen

It is very important that you see what it is they want to co-ordinate with. If elements are going to change then it is wise they pick up samples of things they like so a colour scheme can work towards this aim and not oppose it... more

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Beating the trends article… an excerpt from Interior Details magazine


The first question I'm nearly always asked is 'How do you name colours?' followed shortly thereafter by 'How do you know which colours are trendy?' And while the trends have moved on year by year, the same two questions continue to pop up reinforcing our ongoing fascination with colour.

Resene BullseyeColour trends are loosely the rules of current fashion that determine the main colours that will appear in fashion, cars, decorating and the like enabling manufacturers to focus on a smaller range of colours rather than attempting the impossible of covering off all colours in all styles and sizes. However the need for personalisation and colour trends are a somewhat uneasy combination because by definition if everyone follows the colour trends precisely then individual uniqueness will be lost. It's a balancing act - one that designers tend to manage well but home decorators can struggle with, which is why we are seeing the increasing reliance on colour consultants for residential projects.

Resene develops its colour trends based on a variety of information including colour trends reports from international colour forecasting groups combining these with trends in international magazine layouts, international fashion and tailoring this wealth of information with our experience as to what colours suit the local market based on previous colour introductions and use. Typically we find that the European market will have a stronger focus on sweeter, warmer colours such as pinks and purples and less focus on the natural hues. In contrast, the New Zealand environment sees a more dominating use of blues and greens reflecting our nature and coast while the Australian environment sees a more dominating use of hot dusty hues with oranges and yellows. These differences reinforce the importance of filtering international trend information to ensure the resulting palette fits with local tastes. Local colour trends information is not used in our colour trends forecasts as these tend to focus on what is already here rather than what exciting things are still around the corner.

Resene ScrumptiousWhen developing The Range fandecks we sometimes find the line between showcasing the upcoming trends and forming the upcoming trends is blurred... by selecting a few colours from an infinite range available we are essentially narrowing trend choices to those colours. The optimist might say that these colours then become popular because they are truly in fashion, while the pessimist might say they are the colour trends purely because that was all that was offered. In reality they are probably both right.

As a paint manufacturer we are luckier than most when it comes to showcasing colour trends - with thousands of colours in our Total Colour System palette, selecting up to 200 hues based on their current fashion rating rather than their ability to generate significant ongoing sales is easily done. Not so for the manufacturers of more enduring products who must commit to a smaller range of colours and ensure each stands alone as a sales performer. Typically this forces their selections back into safer, more classic choices that can be accented by the brighter hues of the more changeable decorating materials such as paint.

Resene BiscottiPerhaps the most difficult part is not determining the trends but determining the timing of when that specific trend will emerge, peak and wane and then co-ordinating that colour life cycle with our colour development to ensure we have the colour when it is inbound rather than outbound. With communication making the information world a smaller place, the speed of change is ever increasing, making the timing of changes ever more critical to having the right trends available at the right time.

And as for those colour names? You'd be surprised at how quick 100 colours can be named when you have good sunlight, a combination of minds, a huge long list of options collected over time and a sense of humour. And the hardest colours to name? No it's not the whites and neutrals - every year, it's the greens.

Resene Seaweed
Resene Kandinsky
Resene Duck Egg Blue
Resene Frozen

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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.