Habitat 16 - Back to the future
Habitat 16 - Back to the future - A riotous range of colours.
This 21-year-old architect-designed house has been kept as is in a recent update.
For an apprentice architect itching to show his colours, what better commission to have landed in 1987 than one where the client was enthralled with the Post Modernist/Memphis style? Followers of this style were known for seeking alternatives to the coolly functional designs of the time, expressing themselves with riotous colours, fun shapes, pattern and new materials.
Malcolm Taylor of Xsite Architects considers himself fortunate to have found such a brave client for his first project. Working alongside fellow architect Pip Cheshire, he helped refurbish the 1960s brick and tile “builder’s special”. It was to be just another garage addition but turned into a major reconfiguration and extension after Selma, the owner, completed an interior design course with Nanette Cameron. Says Malcolm: “She was fired up to take the home to a different level. Selma was incredibly trusting.”
So the home was completely gutted, the living extended and another storey with a void added to create a feeling of volume. And the local interpretation of Memphis style has resulted in a blend of nautical influences, theatrical elements, a dazzling array of bright Pacific colours and cleverly layered, textural paint finishes.
“There’s a lot going on in this house,” says Malcolm, “so you can afford to be brave.”
Now, 21 years later, Malcolm has returned to update the home – refurbishing the aging kitchen, laundry and bathrooms, adding new joinery in some rooms but leaving intact “a period of bold architecture”. Post Modernism attracts its fair share of sniggers and cheap shots. But Selma has no regrets about her flamboyant choices. Faced with revamping the house, she says: “I had the option of redoing things differently, going black and white like everyone else or staying with the playful colours we started with. But I don’t do beige. I love colour.”
So, while tired linoleum floor tiles in the living areas were replaced with a pre-finished oak overlay, Selma decided to leave the bold and beautiful distressed walls and refresh them with coats of paint.
The stately blue pillars in the entry remain (a paint finish blend of Resene Cove Grey, Resene Ship Cove, Resene Link Water and Resene Tuna) as does the glossy layered effect in the main bedroom – a mix of Resene Tory Blue, Resene Chetwode Blue and Resene Sea Green. Selma still loves it. “I looked at changing it but couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Lavished in a richly layered, rust red mix of Resene Crab Apple, Resene El Salva and Resene Brandy Rose, walls in the kitchen and dining area wrap around cabinets designed by Malcolm in the original colour, juicy Resene Fire Bush. The kitchen, previously painted in teals and blues, was redone in colours similar to the original. This time round, glass wall cabinets are finished with blue translucent film and backlit, while the underbench cabinets are in Resene Alabaster.
Every room in the house packs a powerful punch. There’s no consistent colour theme though Selma kept her neutral base, ice blue Resene Pattens Blue which offers cool relief in the living areas, and a backdrop to a colourful collection of furniture and art including the bright red Swan and Egg chairs and a bright orange glass vessel by Anne Robinson.
In Selma’s ensuite, original glass bricks were upgraded with an Italian block from National Glass in brilliant orange which adds a gem-like glow to the room.
Fuchsia pink carpet was specially coloured by Salle downstairs in the media room to complement the classic orange 1970s sofas from Domo, against walls in Resene Pine Cone.
In the adjoining guest room, Selma painted one wall in Resene Downy, a soft aqua. “I think it’s a really happy, feel-good colour.” Creating that emotional response is obviously important to Selma.
It was full-on in its day, says Malcolm, but the fact the home hasn’t dated says a lot about the common perception that playing safe adds longevity.
Basking in the glory of fun colour and texture, these spaces encourage a response. You can’t help but engage with the home and its architecture in a very positive way.
alternative solution - timelessly intimate
touches of garden colour enhance this scheme
alternative solotion - fresh fields
Want to get your own free copy of future issues of Habitat?
If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit Habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.
› Return to Habitat 16
Any personal data, such as name, address, phone, email details, supplied to Resene for the purposes of receiving newsletters, orders etc will be retained by Resene Paints Ltd. These will not be passed onto third parties. If you wish to opt out of communication from Resene please complete our contact us form.
Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online. See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.
|Australia: PO Box 924, Beenleigh, Queensland 4207
Phone: 1800 738 383. Fax: 1800 064 960
Email: email@example.com. Web: www.resene.com.au
|New Zealand: PO Box 38242, Wellington Mail Centre, Lower Hutt 5045
Phone: +64 (4) 577 0500, 0800 RESENE (737 363), Fax: +64 (4) 577 0600
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.resene.co.nz