1 look, 4 ways: open-plan living and dining room

06 Aug 2014

In an excerpt from our popular Habitat Plus interior colour schemes booklet, we check out how different a living area and dining room can look with different Resene colours.

See double

Nowadays, we love open-plan living, frequently allowing the spaces in our homes to run seamlessly into one another. This can present a problem – where do you end one colour and start another, or do you just use the one colour everywhere? This reconfigured villa has two rooms sitting side by side, so allows for a layered colour scheme. Getting the balance right and deciding if the contrast in the two colours should be subtle or significant is a challenge that’s fun to attend to.

Top tip: If you are nervous of using two different colours in one space, as in our living room example, you can test-run an infinite range of colours quickly and easily by using the Resene EzyPaint virtual painting software. Free from www.resene.com/ezypaint

Dine in style

While traditional dining rooms tended to be stand-alone affairs, only used on high days or holidays, today’s dining spaces are often integrated with the kitchen for an effect that’s airy, friendly and relaxed. If yours needs a spruce-up, have a play with some paint colour charts, and see if you can dream up a new scheme. Here, retro-based vintage colours are used for the new-look rooms, inspired by the furniture.

Painted furniture

The fashion for painted furniture lets you be even more flexible with your colour schemes, and have even more fun! When painting furniture, use Resene Enamacryl (gloss) or Resene Lustacryl (semi-gloss) waterborne enamels, which are tough and can be tinted to your favourite Resene colour. Painted furniture is a great option for those renting to get a fresh new look without needing to paint the walls.

Find out how the Resene colour expert put together the schemes for this book.

Also see our earlier excerpt as well as one from the Habitat Plus exterior colour schemes book.

Habitat Plus 1 look, 4 ways interior colour schemes is available at your local Resene ColorShop. 

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing editor Sharon Newey on [email protected].

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Crisp and cool, white never goes out of fashion and, of course, there’s white, and there is white. Even a quarter or half formulation can bring a whole new note to the setting. Here Resene Merino, a light, versatile off-white with a green undertone has been used in both areas to tie them visually together. Resene Quarter Merino is on the ceiling and trims.

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Staying with a neutral palette, this scheme takes the colours a little deeper and cooler. On the rear wall, the slightly acidic green-edged Resene Joanna provides a link to the landscape outside while Resene Linen, an earthy green that’s easy on the eye, adds a pleasing sophistication on the nearer wall.  Resene Half Alabaster is a wonderful choice for the ceiling and trims.

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You can almost hear the waves lapping on a nearby shore with this sea-inspired scheme. Many of us wouldn’t use two green-based colours like this side by side but this really works. In the back room, Resene Emerge is a soft sea-foam green, while in the closer area, Resene Pine Glade is a slightly sharper green. The near white of Resene Alabaster is used on both the ceiling and the trims. 

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Deep blues are the new black. In the rear room, Resene Rhino is an inky and smoky deep grey blue, strong and masculine, As a tonal contrast, Resene Neutral Bay is a serious, constantly changing weathered blue grey. Warming the scheme slightly with its versatile quiet cream tones is Resene Quarter Bianca on the trims and ceiling. 

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Peaceful and serene, the marriage of three very light colours gives this dining room a sense of tranquility. On the walls the owners have used Resene Ecru White, a classic barely-there beige with a tiny shot of green. Contrasting beautifully, crisp, cool Resene Black White makes the trims stand out.

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The colours of nature dominate this scheme with sea-green Resene Juniper taking pride of place on the walls. Then the timeless favourite Resene White Thunder is used to add punch on the trims and ceiling, while the cabinet appears in Resene Half Pearl Lusta. A lighter floor lifts this scheme, stained in Resene Walnut from the Resene Colorwood range.

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Staying with a vintage look, Resene Link Water is a purple blue with an edge of grey – almost baby blue but not quite. For rich contrast, the cabinet is painted in the steely grey blue of Resene Hammerhead. Adding a sweet and gentle touch, Resene Half Bianca is used on the trims and ceiling.

pictures purple dining room

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Like sunshine in a paint pot, the warm and cheery tones of Resene Pale Prim positively glow off the walls here. It works perfectly with the crisp white of Resene Alabaster on the ceiling and trims, while the cabinet is in the complex pale grey hue of Resene Harp. 

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Resene Alabaster

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Resene Black White

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Resene Ecru White

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Resene Half Alabaster

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Resene Half Bianca

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Resene Half Pearl Lusta

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Resene Hammerhead

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Resene Link Water

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Resene Neutral Bay

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Resene Pale Prim

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Resene Pine Glade

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Resene Quarter Bianca

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Resene Quarter Merino

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Resene White Thunder

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the look

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colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
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Resene Alabaster

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Resene Black White

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Resene Ecru White

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Resene Half Alabaster

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Resene Half Bianca

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Resene Half Pearl Lusta

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Resene Hammerhead

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Resene Link Water

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Resene Neutral Bay

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Resene Pale Prim

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Resene Pine Glade

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Resene Quarter Bianca

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Resene Quarter Merino

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Resene White Thunder

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the look

If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
Ask a Colour Expert service.