Happy shades work well
Shades of lemon, lime and orange are happy, irrepressible colours; the colours of spring and summer.
They simply make us feel good. Dotting these colours around your interior is sure to perk you up.
True citrus colours are eye-poppingly bold, so you may not want to commit to splashing them all over every wall.
Think about whether you want the colour to be the star of the show or just a supporting role.
Another way to deal with the vibrancy is to tone the colours down a little, so turn lemon into a dusky honey (so instead of Resene Bright Spark, use Mellow Yellow), orange into melon (instead of Tango try Tacao), and lime into pistachio (Resene Lima and Hypnotic). The Resene Multi-finish palette cards are great for this as you can see colours of different intensity sitting side by side, letting you easily choose a slight more subdued version of a strong colour.
Let’s look at where these colours really come into their own.
■ Kitchens: Because your kitchen cabinetry visually often takes up a large portion of the wall space, you won’t end up seeing as much of the wall as in other rooms. So bold colour here is easier to live with.
■ Bedrooms: Kids’ bedrooms or play spaces that are packed with personality suit such upbeat colours. But make sure you don’t overdo it, or the energising power of citrus may keep your kids awake way past bedtime.
■ Bathrooms: With their zingy rejuvenating character, citrus tones look great in a cleansing space such as a bathroom.
■ Front doors: This is one ingredient of an exterior that you want to attract attention — even if it’s just to signal the way to go for visitors. So a stop-and-stare bright citrus shade is perfect.
■ Feature walls or areas: It may not be a matter of randomly choosing one plain wall to use as the canvas for your bright citrus shade, but how about a wall that is punctuated by openings or doors, or the lower half of the walls of a room? The end wall of a hallway, or a cheeky pop from inside a cupboard.
■ As an accent: If you are using citrus tones as accents only, follow the 10 per cent rule as a proportion to the larger space, and stick to one type of colour rather than a lolly scramble of lots of colour.
Having said that, you can use a ‘family’ of related colour, so colours that sit in the spectrum between yellow and green, or yellow and orange.
Or use varying shades of each colour, from straw through to intense yellow; from salsa verde green to olive; from burnt orange to pale papaya. You’ll be surprised how good they look together. Top tip: Be careful of using citrus tones on all of the walls of a room as the colours reflect off each other and become even stronger.
Test your colour first by painting a sheet of card with a Resene test pot, leaving a white border, and placing it in various parts of the room during the day and evening.