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5 wallpaper and colour pairings worth considering on your next project

15 Jun 2022

There’s no doubt wallpaper is having a renaissance but it’s hard to avoid letting past experiences colour our current design decisions. Wallpapers of the past are night and day in comparison to the range and versatility of Resene wallpapers today giving more options than ever to individualise each project.

While many of us have memories of the wallpaper designs from the 70s and 80s which often could overwhelm an interior, today’s designs are much more versatile and available in different scales of patterns to suit many room dimensions and different types of architecture. These days we no longer have to be so worried about wallpaper dating a space, contemporary wallpapers are not only easy to apply but are also easy to remove making updating your client’s space with new and current wallpapers each season that much easier.

More and more clients are calling for wallpaper patterns and murals to give the space colour, texture and a sense of joie de vivre. But with so many designs available, choosing the right wallpapers to meet your client’s needs and creating a complementary colour palette can be just the finishing touches you need to accentuate the building’s design.

Added botanicals

Resene Wallpaper Collection 37520-2 + Resene Kombi + Resene Stromboli + Resene Duck Egg Blue + Resene Tangaroa


Resene Wallpaper Collection 37520-2 is a detailed pattern and can be used on more than one wall. Due to the scale of the pattern, blocks of dark colour on furniture or below the dado line balance this design. Resene A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from bottom to top) Resene Rice Cake, Resene Tangaroa, Resene Duck Egg Blue, Resene Stromboli and Resene Kombi. Vases painted in Resene St Kilda with stripes in Resene Tangaroa and Resene Stromboli. Other vases and ornaments in Resene Duck Egg Blue, Resene Scoria and Resene Stromboli.  

Botanical wallpapers are some of the most sought after by clients due to the calming qualities of nature inspired designs. Think about the scale of the pattern, a tightly packed pattern like dense ferns of Resene Wallpaper Collection 37520-2 is ideal for a room with a high stud or for use on half of a wall above the dado line. Balance out this design’s apparent busyness with deep sea greens and blues like Resene Stromboli and Resene Tangaroa. Accent colours in yellow-toned green like Resene Kombi or rusty red like Resene Scoria helps to break up the blues.

Play with scale

Resene Wallpaper Collection M37809 + Resene Rice Cake + Resene Cutty Sark + Resene Eighth Lemon Grass + Resene Soothe

Even large scale wallpapers can feel ‘quiet’ when paired with muted colours. Resene Wallpaper Collection M37809 creates tranquil living and bedroom spaces when paired with soft matching colours in Resene Rice Cake, Resene Eighth Lemon Grass and Resene Soothe. Add a punch of bold sea green with Resene Cutty Sark on furniture to ground the dreamy space.

Don’t be hesitant of larger scale botanical patterns. Large and small scale patterns can be used in a small room and big leafy designs can seem less busy than small intricate patterns. To create relaxing spaces choose patterns which have neutral or near neutral tones or use the Resene ColourMatch online tool [hyperlink to] to pick out matching Resene colours to create cohesion. Resene Wallpaper Collection M37809 is a large leafy design but its grey-infused pastel palette makes it ideal to use in areas which call for softness. Pair with Resene Eighth Lemon Grass as a barely there green or as an alternative to an off white neutral like Resene Rice Cake and add accents in Resene Soothe and Resene Cutty Sark.

Circle back to geometric

Resene Wallpaper Collection 538021 + Resene Apache + Resene Tussock + Resene Hot Toddy + Resene All Black + Resene Sea Fog + Resene Quarter Friar Greystone


Resene Wallpaper Collection 538021 features a Bauhaus style geometric pattern which creates movement and comforting symmetry. Due to the achromatic nature of the pattern it can be paired with stark whites like Resene Black White and bold primary colours.  Timber background in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash with Resene Wallpaper Collection 538021, A4 drawdown paint swatches in Resene Apache, Resene Tussock, Resene Hot Toddy, Resene All Black, Resene Sea Fog and Resene Quarter Friar Greystone and plant pot and candlestick in Resene All Black.

Geometric wallpaper designs have an association with modernism and mid-century architecture of the 1950s, 60s and 70s but there’s something incredibly contemporary about using a bold geometric in a modern space. The shared interest in minimalism in the 2000s and mid-century are one of the reasons these designs still feel chic. Geometric designs such as Resene Wallpaper Collection 538021 have a sense of movement and comforting repetition that breathes life into a stark architectural spaces or big open areas. In an achromatic design like this, a vibrant accent colour like Resene Apache, Resene Tussock and Resene Hot Toddy will break up the space and stand out against the black, white and grey pattern.

Bold bygone

Resene Wallpaper Collection FOL301 + Resene Half Solitaire + Resene Colins Wicket + Resene Deep Sea + Resene Clockwork Orange

Resene Wallpaper Collection FOL301 is inspired by the decadence of French cabaret Folies Bergère in the roaring twenties. Pair with earthy browns such as Resene Colins Wicket, warm neutrals such as Resene Half Solitaire and jewel tones like Resene Deep Sea. For a playful touch pair with a mid-century style orange like Resene Clockwork Orange.

Harking back to the drama of an era associated with decadence will bring glamour and drama to a space. In a space with a high ceiling go bold with an oversized design such as Resene Wallpaper FOL301, a geometric design with touches of the lavish roaring twenties vine leaves and stylised grapes. The scale of this design makes it particularly well suited to large rooms or public spaces like restaurants that call for a touch of drama and intimacy. To contemporise the style play with colour palettes that nod to other eras beyond the 1920s.  Incorporate the brown tones of Resene Wallpaper Collection FOL301 into a 1970s-inspired design accentuated with colours such as Resene Clockwork Orange or Resene Colins Wicket – disco meets the Great Gatsby.

Chintz chic

Resene Wallpaper Collection 220460 + Resene Half Solitaire + Resene Tulip Tree + Resene Merlot + Resene Billabong

Create a cottagecore look by pairing Resene Wallpaper Collection 220460 with traditional rich contrasting colours such as Resene Merlot and Resene Billabong and pops of gold with Resene Tulip Tree. Resene Quarter Spanish White is a warm neutral which will mimic the colour of calico, a nod to the origins of chintz.

While chintz has in the past been a synonym for tackiness, chintz floral patterns are making a resurgence. Chintz first appeared as wood block patterns printed on calico from Indian in the 16th Century and had another resurgence in the 1980s, an era often associated with new traditionalism. This floral trend, has returned again on both the fashion runway and in interiors and stems from a desire for simplicity, nature and tradition following some unsettling times. Resene Wallpaper Collection 220460 is a delicate pink pattern that adds prettiness to a bedroom but can also be incorporated into traditional maximalist designs in public spaces and living rooms when paired with contrasting patterns like stripes or rich jewel tones like Resene Tulip Tree, Resene Merlot and Resene Billabong.

View the latest releases in the Resene Wallpaper Collection online and see the full collection at your Resene ColorShop.

Published: 15 Jun 2022