September Window Shopping


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Bernina Northland Fashion Awards 2016

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Perfect colours for low-light rooms

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Perfect colours for low-light rooms

nice kitchen
still nice

The shortest day of the year may be behind us but any gloomy overcast or rainy days are not your friend if you already have a house or a room that suffers from lack of light.

You can add good lighting, or go around knocking holes in walls for new windows or for ‘borrowed’ light from another room. An easier solution is to use the right sort of paint colour on the walls to enhance what little light you have.

It’s not about painting everything white – that can appear stark, and more like you’ve taken up residence inside a chilly bin. Having said that, the ‘right’ white can make a huge difference.

Not all whites are created equal. Many currently popular whites have a smidge of black in them – Resene Black White, Resene Sea Fog and Resene Alabaster. These are very clean and versatile whites but they may create a shadowy feel in a low-light room. Check out the code that appears on the Resene palette card of these colours – you’ll see it starts with an N, which means it has a black base.

Now look at colours like Resene Merino, Resene Triple Rice Cake or Resene Blanc. These have a Y at the start of the code, meaning ‘yellow’. And as we all know, yellow is a warm colour that will bring a bit of sunshine to the room. You don’t have to go for a heavy cream to get the effect. These colours are a sophisticated, up-to-date take on cream.

The same goes for other neutrals. There are many warm light or mid-toned neutrals in the Resene colour collection that are on-trend and elegant - warm greys and calming stone shades. Check out Resene Triple White Pointer, Resene Truffle and Resene Cloud to see what we mean.

Then, of course, you can go all out and use yellow. It’s an intense colour that will reflect off itself, so use with care, especially in small spaces.

Other tricks to try

  • Paint the walls in a semi-gloss or gloss paint finish to reflect as much light as possible. The condition of your walls will need to be quite good, as gloss paint tends to highlight imperfections.
  • Use a large mirror to bounce light around the room. And glossy, sparkling accessories and furniture – a glass-topped coffee table for example.
  • Use light-coloured furniture and fabrics.
  • Use warm-coloured light bulbs but rather than flood the room with artificial light, use strategically placed uplights and lamps.

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