Revealed: How to create the latest colour trends from The Block NZ 2021

  • 25/08/2021
  • Sponsored by - Resene
Revealed: How to create the latest colour trends from The Block NZ 2021
Photo credit: The Block NZ on Three

For this season of The Block NZ we've seen some amazingly creative colours and designs, allowing us all to discover the latest trends and then replicate these in our own homes.

Newshub spoke to programme partner Resene about eight upcoming colour styles and trends you don't want to miss finding out about.

1. New neutrals and earth tones

After two decades of cool, flat greys and whites reigning as the preferred neutrals, there has been a shift towards warmer and more complex options. Character neutrals, featuring more depth in their subtle undertones, are all the rage. 

"Neutral colours are becoming warmer and making the switch from grey to warmer beige and tea colours," says Resene marketing manager Karen Warman. 

The high ceilings of Dylan & Keegan's family room are accentuated by the Resene Middle Earth feature wall and Rockcote Clay Decor fireplace supplied by Resene Construction Systems with a base colour of Resene Truffle. The Rockcote Clay Décor fireplace is a hand-applied clay plaster finish over plasterboard with a strata effect to emulate layered earth. The surrounding walls are in Resene Eighth Truffle with Resene Alabaster on the ceiling and trim.

Dylan & Keegan's family room.
Dylan & Keegan's family room. Photo credit: The Block NZ on Three

2. Today's take on tonal

"While tonal or tone-on-tone looks originated with layering multiple strengths of a single hue within a single space, today this trend usually sees a variety of colours being used together for added depth and interest," says Resene Marketing Manager, Karen Warman. 

"For example, rather than using Resene Tea on your walls, Resene Half Tea on your floor, Resene Quarter Tea on your trims and Resene Eighth Tea on your ceiling, mix and match a number of colours that have similar undertones together. Pair Resene Tea walls with a floor in Resene Blanc, furniture and trims in Resene Bison Hide and accessories in Resene Tapa for a richer look."

For even more texture, try layering a number of similar timber tones within the same space. Walls in Resene Silver Chalice look extra sophisticated with a wooden floor finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, timber furniture stained in Resene Colorwood Ironbark and accessories in Resene Quarter Sandstone, Resene Dune and Resene Mondo.

3. Toasty terracotta 

The word terracotta is borrowed from Italian and translates to 'baked earth', so it doesn't get much toastier or earthier than these clay-coloured hues. It's the oxidisation of the iron rich soils used to create the porous pottery which shares the moniker that you can thank for the colour, which is undeniably warming when used in quantities both large and small.

"Tap into a Tuscan vibe with walls and ceilings in popular varieties like Resene Wild West, Resene Crail, Resene Korma or Resene Sante Fe paired with warm off-white flooring in Resene Blank Canvas," Warman suggests. "Or invert the palette with walls in Resene Eighth Pearl Lusta and painted 'terracotta tile' flooring in Resene Tuscany with painted 'grout' in Resene Raven."

Dylan & Keegan's tongue and groove feature wall is painted in Resene Ayers Rock which contrasts with the crisp Resene Alabaster on the ceiling and architraves and off-white Resene Eighth Truffle on the walls.

Tim & Arthur's kitchen.
Tim & Arthur's kitchen. Photo credit: The Block NZ on Three

4. Minimal interiors and timber touches

Given the natural beauty inherent to wood grain, it's no wonder timber walls, ceilings, flooring and joinery are all trending. But even if you want to embrace a natural look, timber needs to be properly protected and maintained to keep it looking great for years to come.

It's important to protect your timber from harmful UV rays, inside and out, so it's recommended to use Resene Woodsman stain outside and Resene Colorwood stain inside to help block out some of the sun's harsh radiation.

"For the most natural look, choose a Resene wood stain colour that’s most similar to your wood’s natural colour. Or for a rich, more dramatic look, opt for a popular darker colour like Resene Colorwood Bark, Resene Pickled Bean, Resene Colorwood Iroko or Resene Pitch Black," Warman says.

Both Tim & Arthur and Rachel & Connie have paired wooden features with white walls for scandi and mid-century modern inspired interiors.

Marble accents and a minimalist approach in Tim & Arthur's kitchen complemented the walls, ceiling, and trim in Resene Black White. 

5. Down to earth

The decade-long obsession with motifs, colours, materials and silhouettes popular in the 1980s has waned and made way for 1970s influences. 

Warman says this is playing out through both colours but also with textures through earthy, handmade artisanal elements like pottery, macrame and dried floral arrangements. 

"When it comes to colours, look to browns from suede to espresso like Resene Dusty Road and Resene Felix, rich adobe terracotta like Resene Sante Fe and Resene Tuscany, avocado greens like Resene Avocado and Resene Lichen and biscuit beiges like Resene Double Biscotti and Resene Half Akaroa to bring today’s tones to your walls, flooring and furniture," she says.

Meg & Dan's winning room during week one.
Meg & Dan's winning room during week one. Photo credit: The Block NZ on Three

6. Wallpaper

Instant conversation starters, quirky and interesting wallpapers continue to be popular and are the perfect way to express your personality on your walls or ceilings. Give your visitors a reason to break the ice with bathroom, lounge, hallway or dining room walls in a cheeky selection from the Resene Wallpaper Collection.

"Go for a textured wallpaper - especially one with a golden patina – on the upper half of your walls paired with lower panelling and flooring in a charcoal black like Resene Double Foundry or Resene Nero and tactile textiles like velvet and leather for a lavish look," Warman says.

"If you can't find a golden wallpaper you like, choose a paintable Anaglypta textured wallpaper design from the Resene Wallpaper Collection and give it the Midas touch with Resene Gold Dust metallic paint."

Wallpaper has been put to good use this season on The Block NZ 2021. Meg & Dan's winning room during week one featured this use of botanical wallpaper on a large scale - another big trend.

Meg & Dan also used a statement wallpaper Resene Wallpaper Collection 5223-2 which they paired with Resene Black White on the walls and the ceiling. The Resene Wallpaper Collection RD7100  feature wall painted in Resene Pumice along Meg & Dan's staircase adds interest and complements the surrounding walls and trim in Resene Black White.

Meg & Dan's master bedroom.
Meg & Dan's master bedroom. Photo credit: The Block NZ on Three

7. Panelling

Panelling and built in wall features that give a room texture are big trends. Adding more texture to a space is a sure-fire way to up the interest in a room, and tongue-and-groove panelling and battens add literal dimension to your walls and ceilings. 

"Decorators are coming up with more creative methods to incorporate them, moving past more predictable grids or dado rails in favour of designs with a clever twist or a more freeform attitude," Warman says. "Try building reverse wainscotting that protrudes out instead of being set in or upcycling old picture frames to create a unique look. You can also vary your sheen level – try Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen on the wall with panelling in semi-gloss Resene Lustacryl."

Meg & Dan's master bedroom paired a relaxing feature wall in Resene Stack with bright Resene Black White on the surrounding walls, trim and ceiling. The cherry blossom design on Resene Wallpaper Collection CR75502 brings in natural elements and gives the room a Japandi feel. 

8. Japandi

Japanese inspired minimalism Japandi combines Scandi minimalism with Japanese influences such as cherry blossom motifs, and asian textures such as bamboo and rice paper.

The sitting area in Meg & Dan's master bedroom is painted in dreamy Resene Green Spring with crisp Resene Black White on the ceiling and trim. The doorway to the right leads to an extensive wall of storage and the ensuite with two showers. The side wall is in Resene Black White and Resene Wallpaper Collection CR75502 above the dado line.

While these eight key trends may inspire you to start creating, the best advice is always to speak to a professional to see what works best in your home. 

If you're planning on getting busy decorating soon, and are searching for some cool colour style tips and tricks, visit Resene's website,, book a Resene Colour Consultation, or ask a colour expert free online


This article is created for Resene