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Five must-have mauves for next-level sophistication

07 Dec 2021

Out of the way, flat grey – there’s a new darling neutral that’s come into vogue. Dubbed mushroom mauve, the hue has been surging in popularity within the fashion scene over the past year and has now begun bringing its own uniquely elegant mark to architectural and interior design. 

Today’s modern mushroom mauves are certainly not the dowdy hues from the 80s or 90s. Earthy yet ethereal, neither truly purple nor grey nor taupe, mauve has a unique undertone that blends the best aspects of all three into one sophisticated package. These subtleties and complexities not only give the hue its highly desirable je ne sais quoi factor, but it also helps it to blend beautifully with a wide range of other colours.

From smoky and sultry to delicate and subtle, one of these five Resene mushroom mauves is sure to pique the interest of your clients with chic tastes.

For the trend seekers: Resene Martini

Resene Martini is an ideal suggestion for clients that are keen to incorporate a selection of latest trending colours into their project because it blends so well with a range of popular picks. This soft and slightly taupe warm mauve makes a great backdrop for an accent palette of terracotta, olive green, sage green, warm white like Resene Prairie Sand, Resene Olive Green, Resene Bud and Resene Half Rice Cake. However, this adaptive hue also works wonders with espresso browns, smoky blue greys and violet-tinged pale blues such as Resene Sambuca, Resene Rhino and Resene Echo Blue, making it a flexible option for those that like to change up their décor and colour schemes regularly.

No matter what accent colours you choose to add, layering Resene Martini with a deeper mauve like Resene Innuendo is always a brilliant idea to bring extra dimension to your design.


Background in Resene Martini with large vase in Resene Innuendo, bowl in Resene Prairie Sand, small vase in Resene Half Rice Cake, large cup in Resene Bud and small cup in Resene Olive Green.

To pair with pastels: Resene Innuendo

Speaking of Resene Innuendo, this darker, smokier, minkier mauve is packed with mystery. While the hue would make a suave selection for the walls of a moodily lit restaurant or bar, it also makes a superb base for today’s popular quirky pastels like Resene Green Smoke, Resene Marionette, Resene Lemon Twist, grassy greens like Resene Dingley, inky navy blues like Resene Avalanche, leather browns like Resene Slate Brown and even classic blues like Resene Aviator.

Other chic non-pastel pairings for Resene Innuendo include warm whites, mushroom roses or tan ochres such as Resene Quarter Spanish White, Resene Anticipation or Resene Smooth Operator.

Background in Resene Innuendo, leaf plate in Resene Green Smoke and painted vessels in (from left to right) Resene Slate Brown, Resene Double Wheatfield, Resene Avalanche, Resene Marionette, Resene Deluge and Resene Lemon Twist.

As a base for a tonal scheme: Resene Ghost

As its name implies, Resene Ghost is on the subtler side of the mauve family. This lilac-infused grey mauve is inherently chic and begs to be put on the walls of a high-end retail, spa or dining setting.

While Resene Ghost can be used to counter cool pastels like Resene Snowy Mint and Resene Jagged Ice, we love it as the anchor of a tonal scheme piled high with mushroom mauves, both warm and cool, from the powdery Resene In the Mauve through to richly saturated Resene Jimmy Dean, Resene Zulu and Resene Matakana. Up the glam factor by adding gold, brass or silver metallics or bring this lofty scheme down to earth by pairing it with whitewhited floors in Resene Colorwood Whitewash.

Background in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt with A4 drawdown paint swatches in

(from top to bottom) Resene Jimmy Dean, Resene Zulu, Resene Matakana, Resene Ghost and Resene In The Mauve and painted vessels in (clockwise from top right) Resene Ghost, Resene Jimmy Dean Resene In The Mauve and Resene Matakana.

With a bold black and white scheme: Resene Memory Lane

About as complex as they come, Resene Memory Lane carries red, violet, blue and grey in its undertones. Rather than stealing the spotlight, this mid-range chameleon colour plays well as a supporting cast member to bolder combinations such as starkly contrasting black and white designs in Resene Black and Resene Elderflower, smouldering plums and burgundies like Resene RSVP, Resene Half Aubergine and Resene Volcano and acidic oranges like Resene Tangerine. Because it shies into the background, it’s not the hue in this combination that’s immediately going to draw your eye – yet, you would definitely notice if it was gone and the whole scheme would be at risk of falling apart without it.

If you or your client are after a more classic look, other ideal pairings for Resene Memory Lane include cool whites or timeless shell blues such as Resene Dreamtime, Resene Half Black White or Resene Duck Egg Blue.

Background in Resene Elderflower with geometric pattern in Resene Black and Resene A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Memory Lane, Resene RSVP and Resene Elderflower.

For beachy brights: Resene Tide

Energetic beachy blues and greens that pack a punch can be hard to balance, but barely-there mauve Resene Tide is up to the task. Resene Polo Blue and Resene Paradise are gorgeous picks for eye-catching accent colours with hues like Resene Soothe and Resene Swirl, which are on par with the soft chalkiness of Resene Tide. Along with a retro pink like Resene Florentine Pink and a crisp white like Resene Alabaster, this palette would be perfect for a patio setting that seeks to channel a quintessentially Palm Springs vibe.

If you’re after a different sort of look, Resene Tide also works well with a touch of ruddy red like Resene Tuscany or Resene Raging Bull, a soft beachy blue like Resene Jet Stream or a dark velvet brown like Resene Slugger.

Background pavers in Resene Concrete Stain Bleached Grey with Resene A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from top to bottom) Resene Polo Blue, Resene Paradise, Resene Tide, Resene Soothe and Resene Swirl, plant pot in Resene Rainee and vase in Resene Tuscany.

Still not sure which mauve is right for your project? Check out these other popular Resene violet-hued picks. And as always, be sure to test your colours in-situ (when possible) before you commit. If you’re working on a new build and won’t be able to see your chosen colours on site before they need to be specified, it’s best to at least order A4 drawdown swatches of those you’re planning to build your palette out of so that they can be viewed together at a larger scale and you can be more confident with your selections.

Order free Resene A4 drawdown swatches at – make sure your register or log in with your specifier details to order free.

styling Kate Alexander, Laura Lynn Johnston

images Bryce Carleton, Wendy Fenwick

Published: 07 Dec 2021