Despite being the wettest areas of the home, giving your kitchen, bathroom or laundry a bit of a makeover can be as simple as picking a paint colour.
The heart of the home
A full kitchen reno can be a major undertaking, but paint is an easy impact point to change – it's the most cost effective and the fastest way to freshen up and transform a space.
Colour can be used in many ways to manipulate a space to make it look bigger, lighter or maybe more intimate. It can also help to camouflage areas and enhance architectural features.
Glass splashbacks provide the opportunity to introduce painted colour behind the glass, and sculleries also offer the opportunity for a pop of colour. Painted walls with open shelving are a nice alternative to full cabinetry, offering the chance to introduce some paint colour on the walls.
What's trending in Kiwi kitchens right now? Black and white kitchens accented by plants are one on trend look that, when done well, will look classic for many years to come. The current look is to choose a softened black or charcoal hue. Resene Bokara Grey is a current favourite for cabinetry. Resene Nero is also popular, as is the deep grey of Resene Fuscous Grey.
The warmly dark and mysterious Resene Element is another option. A stark black such as Resene Noir combined with a warm white such as Resene Thorndon Cream is a classic combo for a traditional home, but it also works equally well in a contemporary one.
Make sure your kitchen specialist specifies the Resene colour and the Resene AquaLAQ paint finish so you get the genuine colour you have chosen. Many homeowners have horror stories of off white kitchens looking pink because the joinery supplier has tried to use a lower quality paint which doesn’t match the authentic colour.
When painting a wet area, such as a kitchen, bathroom or laundry, use products from the Resene Kitchen & Bathroom range. For walls, use Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom on interior wet areas that combines the benefits of a waterborne enamel with added anti-bacterial silver protection and MoulDefender to minimise bacteria and mould growth. Anti-bacterial silver is internationally recognised as a safe and healthy method of deodorising and sanitising surfaces that come in contact with skin, food and water.
For trim and joinery, use Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom and use Resene SpaceCote Flat on ceilings. Or if you prefer a semi-gloss sheen, use Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom for walls, trim and joinery.
Do your loo
Although you may need consent for a major layout change, you don't need it if you're only changing the look of your bathroom.
And while paint may seem the obvious starting point, interior stylist Megan Harrison-Turner suggests starting with the 'limiting aspect' – the product or material that offers the least amount of choice.
"This means choosing your Resene paint last," she says. "For example, if you really want a new coloured basin, chances are there will only be a few to choose from, so select that first, then your cabinetry, then your paint."
When you're ready for the painting phase, and personal style aside, your selection may depend on the size of your space. Larger bathrooms respond well to a palette of three to five hues and keeping them pale makes the room appear more spacious, whereas smaller powder rooms could be made even more intimate with just a couple of dark colours or a striking Resene wallpaper.
"Because bathrooms often see colours bouncing off each other at close range, related colours work well (such as blue and green) rather than complementary ones that are opposite to each other on the colour wheel (such as orange and blue),'' says Megan. "If you do want to go with a complementary scheme, opt for colours of darker and lighter intensities and use them in different amounts: 70:30, not 50:50."
A useful tool to try is the Resene Colour Palette Generator which lets you develop a colour palette from a favourite photo. Simply upload your photo and the palette generator will suggest colours to get you started.
And remember you're not just limited to walls. Paint on your ceiling, walls, woodwork and floor can really revitalise a tired room.
Megan says the right shade on the ceiling can make or break a space and the trick to getting it right is not to play it safe with white. However, she also recommends going slightly paler than you think as ceilings don't receive direct light.
Go for a greyed version of a colour rather than a sharp, clean one – try a friendlier pale grey such as Resene Flotsam or a green blue like Resene Half Emerge rather than colder pastel blue like Resene Half Frozen.
Consider not only the colours of your paints but also the finishes – they'll add to the visual texture in the room. Celia Visser of Celia Visser Design recommends using Resene SpaceCote Flat Kitchen & Bathroom for a matte look which is ideal for ceilings or Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom for walls. "The higher the gloss, the easier it is to wipe away steam, so I usually specify Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom semi-gloss for windows and doors," says Celia.
Low-sheen Resene Room Velvet is another great option that's durable and offers a lovely silky finish. For timber, Celia tends towards semi-gloss Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom, a durable enamel that can also be used on joinery and trim.
You can also look at the Resene AquaLAQ range, which is designed especially for cabinetry and joinery. It includes a full system from sealer options to colour coat to clear coat finish options, including a complete waterborne system of Environmental Choice approved sealer, colour coat and clear coat.
You can even paint over old tiles – prepare them to receive the new colour with an adhesive primer then paint on your favourite Resene topcoats.
Show your laundry some love
"Laundries are often hidden in cupboards or tucked away in the back of the garage," says Resene colour consultant Jill Marsh. "I have noticed a larger focus on bringing colour into these areas, which is often overlooked."
Colour can make a huge difference, and there are many ways to look at colours for the laundry, whether it's on the walls or with the accessories we use, like storage bins and tiles. But when deciding which colours to use, it's best to plan new items first, says Jill. "Take a look at flooring options – tiles, vinyl or a painted floor – and any cabinetry colours."
Consider the rest of your home too. If the redesigned laundry does not tie in with the rest of the house, it can be unsettling. Take special consideration of the rooms directly adjacent to the laundry, since these will most likely be visible when you are inside folding or ironing.
If your home has an existing theme or period features, consider continuing that within the laundry, or at least an altered version of it. Perhaps your home is a Victorian villa, which places importance on ornate details and quality workmanship. Your washer and dryer
obviously aren't going to be Victorian, but you can tie in the room with ornate shelf brackets for wooden shelving, wood-grain cabinetry or a heritage colour scheme.
"Laundry cabinetry has become a feature in this area using wood-grain instead of the traditional white, adding texture and interest and warmth," says Jill.
"Popular choices for laundries are aqua, blues and blue-greens, but there are also many options for laundries from the Resene Whites & Neutrals collection, including Resene Alabaster, Resene Half Black White and Resene Merino, to name a few."
"Look at colour schemes like Resene Unwind with Resene Rice Cake, Resene Half Cut Glass or Resene Seachange with Resene Alabaster. If you want to inject more colour and fun into the laundry, take a look at colours from the Resene The Range fashion colours fandeck."
Light is important in the laundry as it’s usually small and often situated on the south side of the home. "Always test your colour choices by painting a large piece of A2 card using a Resene testpot, leaving a border around it so the colour is not influenced by anything else," says Jill.
The walls should be covered in moisture-resistant plasterboard, then finished a paint specifically designed for wet areas.
"The best paint option for the laundry ceiling is Resene SpaceCote Flat, a water-based enamel,” says Jill. "For the walls use Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen. For the skirtings, window frames and doors, Resene Lustacryl, a semi-gloss water-based enamel, is ideal. Use the Kitchen & Bathroom versions of these products for extra protection with anti-bacterial silver and MoulDefender."
Wet areas are prone to mould, so if you find any during the prep stage, make sure you treat this first with Resene Moss & Mould Killer before painting. Untreated mould will grow through new paint finishes and ruin fresh paintwork.
If you need help deciding what paint or colours to use where, ask the experts at your local Resene ColorShop or get free advice online with the Resene Ask a Paint Expert service, or Resene Ask a Colour Expert service.
This article was created for Resene.