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Five soothing colour palettes for chill-worthy spaces

05 May 2021

Stress has a way of sneaking up on you. It often doesn’t take much, and it may be as simple as feeling flat out at work or like you don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done. Your clients are in the same boat; but the difference is, they might not even notice how much of an effect their colour choices are going to have on the spaces they’re about to occupy. Help steer them in a more soothing direction with one of these five soulful Resene colour palettes.

Sky blue + sapphire + cloudy greys + blush suedes 

Our natural surroundings are a logical source for seeking inspiration for a space that could use some extra solace. Sky blues and cloudy greys like Resene Mystery and Resene Grey Seal are not only a classic coupling, they’re also inherently restful hues. But supple and slightly rosy suede beiges like Resene Dapper and Resene Crowdpleaser that carry an almost tactile softness are a somewhat unexpected pairing that might push the envelope even further. Be sure to add in a small dose of sapphire like Resene Bewitched to ground this airy palette and weave in a layer of sophistication.

Background in Resene Quarter Emerge with A4 drawdown paint swatches from top to bottom in Resene Mystery, Resene Bewitched, Resene Grey Seal and Resene Grey Area, bowl and candlesticks in Resene Dapper, bird ornament in Resene Crowdpleaser and vase in Resene Grey Area.


Gold + ochre green + whitewashed timber

It’s hard to feel stressed when faced with the cheerfulness of yellow, especially when it’s a golden, earthy, adobe clay-like variation like Resene Influential. Use it as a pick-me-up in an otherwise neutral scheme decked out in timber finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, a floor in a warm ochre green like Resene Colins Wicket and furniture in a warm, sharp yellow like Resene Rice Cake.

Plywood background finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from top to bottom) Resene Influential, Resene Colins Wicket and Resene Rice Cake, coat pegs in Resene Swiss Caramel (left) and Resene Rococo (right) and bowl in Resene Rice Cake.


Layered character neutrals + toasty terracotta

While a single earthy, character neutral could be enough to make a colour scheme sing, layering up a series of them that each have their own uniquely complex undertones can make for a particularly rich and soothing look. Blend Resene Colins Wicket, Resene Double Lemon Grass, Resene Soya Bean, Resene Triple Ash and Resene Double Sisal across an array of surfaces and top it off with top notes in Resene Korma for a space that’s not only comforting but also compelling in its richness. For bonus points, bring in textured wallpaper such as Resene Wallpaper Collection RD171 on a single wall – or even the ceiling – to turn up the tactility.

Background in Resene Parchment with Resene Wallpaper Collection RD171 painted in Resene Colins Wicket and A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Double Lemon Grass, Resene Soya Bean, Resene Triple Ash and Resene Double Sisal and jug in Resene Korma.

Sea glass + celadon

Glassy blues and greens can help to calm a busy mind, and while hues like Resene Kandinsky, Resene Aura and Resene Nourish are on the brighter side than many of our soothing recommendations, their soft and dusted nature keeps them from feeling too stimulating. For best results, use small quantities of a range of tonal blue-greens and back them with a comforting neutral like Resene Half Spanish White.

Background in Resene Half Spanish Whitewith A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Kandinsky, Resene Aura and Resene Nourish, woven mat in Resene Nourish and round board and picture frame in Resene Kandinsky.


Charcoal black + caffeinated browns + oatmeal

If nothing comforts quite like a warm cuppa, it makes sense that we find solace in caffeinated colours like Resene Sambuca, Resene Rebel, Resene Route 66 and Resene Barnstorm. While it can take some convincing to get a client to go for an off black on interior walls, those that are brave enough to take the plunge are bound to find the look extremely comforting and cocooning. Break things up with oatmeal coloured accessories – especially ones that have a highly touchable and tactile texture.

Tongue-and-groove background in Resene Suits with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Rebel, Resene Route 66, Resene Barnstorm, Resene Sambuca, Resene Poured Milk and Resene Noir, vase in Resene Noir and tea light holder in Resene Barnstorm.


projects Gem Adams, Kate Alexander, Vanessa Nouwens

images Bryce Carleton, Melanie Jenkins

Published: 05 May 2021