How to choose a colour palette for your interior like a designer

Whether you are doing a major renovation or simply making a few changes, it pays to plan your colour palette early in the process. Here’s how to do it like a pro

How to choose a colour palette for your interior like a designer

Before you start renovating, spend some time thinking about the look and feel you are after in your home. Find reference images that inspire you, and experiment with Resene paint charts. Choose colours that work with your furniture and any rooms in your home you are not renovating.

Create a seamless look 

If you’re doing a reno – by extending your home’s footprint or simply altering the floor plan – painting both the new and old spaces will ensure a seamless connection. There’s nothing worse than walking into a home that has undergone a major renovation to find the new area freshly painted and the old part sad and untouched. If your budget won’t stretch to cover a professional, painting is one of the easiest things you can do yourself and well worth the time.

Link old and new

Connections can be created through furniture selection and colour choice. If you have Resene wallpaper in the new part of your home, consider pulling a key tone from this and introducing it into the older part of the house in a feature wall or nook. Another option is to buy a hero piece of furniture based on the colour of your wallpaper and bring this into the existing space.

Get your timing right

Consider at what stage in your renovation you will need to paint, and plan your budget and timeline around this. This will likely be once the reno is complete and before flooring is laid.


Floors are often overlooked when decorating. It’s easy to update them though. For a painted look, in a neutral room continue the wall colour onto the floor using Resene Walk-on. You can rejuvenate a stained timber floor with Resene Colorwood wood stain, or for a super quick update use Resene Colorwood Whitewash or Greywash for a scandi look.

Cabinetry and tiles

If you’re stuck with old cabinetry, laminates or tiles but can’t afford to replace them, paint over them instead. Apply Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer first to help the topcoats stick, then your favourite Resene colour.

Fences and pots

If fences are looking tired, a coat of Resene CoolColour Pitch Black stain will instantly bring them back to life with a modern look. Set against a dark fence, natural greenery absolutely pops. Plant pots will also benefit from a lick of paint, simply coat in Resene Terracotta Sealer and decorate with Resene testpots.

Garage and front door 

Don’t forget the outside when renovating. Welcome in guests with a colourful front door. Use Resene Enamacryl gloss to make the colour pop. It’s an instant update for your home for very little money.

All the colours seen here are from the Resene Total Colour System. Paints and colours are available from Resene ColorShops and resellers nationwide. or 0800 RESENE (737 363).

Words by: Vanessa Nouwens.

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