Karen Walker’s Guide to Experimenting with Chalk Paint at Home

Not everything in the home has to literally be shiny and new to make a statement. A rustic feel and antique look will always been on trend – and they can be easily achieved thanks to the range of Karen Walker Chalk Colour paints from Resene ColorShops.


The collection of chalk colours is an extension of the Karen Walker Paints palette, with the chalk finish creating a velvety, matte look that can be used to upcycle furniture or revamp a room. “I think all chalk finishes give a cosy feel but I especially love a full room in a dusty, cosy colour with a chalky finish,” says Walker. “There’s something about the worn-in, lived-in feel it gives that’s very grounding.”


The paints are available in all 42 of the Karen Walker Resene colours, and Walker says there’s something “comforting and cocooning” about the matte finish that differentiates the new collection. “I’ve always looked for a slightly worn-in, dusty, even attic-y feel for our colours and being able to execute them in an actual chalk finish is the perfect way for them to be seen,” she explains.

Walker has embraced the chalk look in her own home by playing with contrasting finishes. “I’ve always had a dry-looking finish throughout the walls of my home and throw a smoother, slightly shinier finish against it with much of the furniture,” she says.


While people experimenting with chalk paint might be tempted to start small, Walker says not to hold back. “Do the full room and don’t be afraid of the colour,” she advises, adding that we shouldn’t fear trying new things with our interiors. “It’s only paint! You can always paint over it if you don’t love it. Also, our paint colours are selected so that the colours in each story work with all the others.”

It’s true that Karen Walker Paints eliminate a need to wade through overwhelming paint charts. The range ensures timeless and stylish colours have already been selected for you. “There’s no way you can go wrong so just have a play,” says Walker. “The edit’s already been done for you.”


In addition to the new chalk finish, the new Karen Walker range for Resene includes two waxes that can be used to improve furniture’s depth and lustre. Karen Walker Vintage Wax can be used to create a French Provincial-inspired aged look, or Karen Walker Soft Wax helps to keep the matte look of the Chalk Colour paint finish while providing an extra protective layer.


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Curved Design: How to Embrace This Year’s Biggest Interior Design Trend

Soften your styling with curves, from perfect circles to organic shapes. Curved lines also add interest, flow and movement to a space, helping the eye meander around the room.

Mirror Mirror

Hill House by Decus Interiors, Photography Anson Smart

Round mirrors are becoming a regular feature in bathrooms. In a room that often has many straight, hard-edge lines, a round mirror softens the design and makes a design statement.

To add extra interest a back-lit round mirror can provide soft lighting and oversized round mirrors can make a dramatic impact.


Eichholtz Puck Mirror,

Round and repeat

Toorak House by Lucy Bock Design Studio. Photography: Sharyn Cairns. Australian Interior Design Awards.

Lines have many functions in interior design. They can help to create the look of height, width and movement. To create a feeling of balance it’s good to have a combination of horizontal, vertical, diagonal and curved lines.

Round shape adds a look of comfort and work well repeated through a space as seen in loungeroom of the Toorak House where curves are used in the armchair, side table, lamp, cushion and decorative items.


Platner lounge chair,

Helical Stairs

Tree House by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects, Photography Anson Smart

Curved/helical staircases have been around since Medieval times, designed to put attacking swordsmen at at disadvantage. Today that are used as an architectural statement, and a current favourite for interior designers.

While a curved staircase looks beautifully sculptural they are usually the most expensive type of staircase because they are the most challenging to build because of the curvature of the staircase and handrail, and the necessity to have different treads of different sizes and shapes.

Curved Pendant

Budge Over Dover by YSG, Photography Prue Ruscoe

A simple curved pendant provides an interesting focal point in the room and defines the space. When it comes to selecting the pendant size, material, colour and the height you hang the pendant are all important considerations for creating maximum effect.

If you are hanging a pendant over a dining table a designer’s tip is to choose a pendant that is a third of the table’s length, unless you want the pendant to be the feature and then you can go larger.

Hanging the pendant approximately 700mm above the table top is also recommended to allow enough space for people sitting at the table to not have their vision obstructed.


Gyro Chandelier from Coco Republic

Luxurious bathrooms

A freestanding round bath can look amazing and create a unique focal point. Traditionally a round tub is smaller and deeper, designed for sitting instead of lying down.

A round bath is a good option for certain type of bathroom layouts and with its rounded edges it softens the angles of the room and can create a spa-like atmosphere.

Casa Chiaroscuro by Biasol, Photography Derek Swalwell


Taizu Round Bath by Victoria & Albert