Also, as objects representing happier times take centre stage, splashes of bold, uplifting colours are embraced.
Cheerful, optimistic yellows and oranges speak to people’s playful side, while tranquil blues and greens muster a sense of well-being and warmth. Vibrant mixes of purples, mustards, ochres and earthy tones celebrate the past.
However a few “romantic pinks” are creeping through, says Resene colour consultant Sarah Gregory.
“Really pretty, feminine ones. Even the blues and greens are really feminine, rather than trying to balance a neutral scheme,” she says. “Everything’s getting more cosy, feminine and frilly. And men are more comfortable with using those shades in a colour scheme.”
Alongside femininity lies retro as people look to surround themselves with nostalgia. Colour consultant Wendy Elers says people are bringing out pieces from their past and items that have a story to tell.
Sarah has suggestions for the new Resene colour range. For example Wild Thing, a star-bright yellow gold that’s bold, energetic and frivolous can be paired with blacks or blues such as Bowie, a clear litmus and cycan blue reminiscent of the 1960s.
Fleetwood harks back to the good old days with a gentle combination of green, brown and mustard yellow. It’s a good match for yellow greens, rouge violets and lemon sherberts such as Nirvana, Boogie Wonderland and First Light.
Oranges are murkier this year, Sarah says, although they are still full of fire and splendour. Ayres Rock is a modern take on burnt orange and teams well with reptilian olives (such as Evolution) warm greys (Kookaburra) and spearmint greens (Howzat).
“We’re seeing pinker oranges too,” she says, “almost a cross between red and orange. Pursuit is a good example. It works beautifully with deep black-blues like Nite Life to give a really funky look.”
Reds are still mostly blue-based, “cherry reds rather than in-your-face reds”, evoking energy, excitement and passion, she says.
“The richly sensuous X Factor sets the mood with its deep, plush tones while the brighter cherry red of Bullseye will heat things up without blowing a fuse.”
Pink, the sweet side of red, diverges into many hues from pale pastels to the more luscious. Smitten is a vivacious fuchsia pink with a pinch of violet while Devoted is a delicate cherry blossom blushed pink — sweetly feminine and soft, Sarah says.
Blues feature widely in the colour palette, from intense blues to washed-out indigo as well as cyan and lagoon blues.
Escape is refreshing and optimistic, a pale cerulean blue, dreamy and calm, she says.
“It’s the perfect complement to the stormy blue grey of Jetsetter. Deeply intense blues such as Magnum and Nite Life provide a viable neutral alternative to grey or black. The great thing about these blues,” she says, is that you can mix them with silver and get that real elegance that we used to see with black and gold.”
Purples vary from bold violet to the softened purples of dried flowers, such as Believe and Poet. They all have underlying warmth in common — they are ultra-modern, majestic or subtle.
Nature takes last season’s greens to a new level, with a broader, fresher more back-to-earth range, Sarah says.
Minty apple greens, like Kandisky, are one flavour of the season.
“People really love that fresh apple green.”
The new palette also extends to yellow greens, such as Koru and Nirvana and turquoise and emerald greens such as Zeal and Moxi. Crossover hues move from green to blue, such as Free Spirit.