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Golden gate

From the Resene/Your Home and Garden Colour Home Awards Competition - Grand Winner 2019

A sunshine-yellow front door welcomes visitors to this chromatically courageous home, winner of our 2019 Resene Colour Home Awards

This summer’s Resene Colour Home Awards have drawn to a close and we have our winners – Alison and Andrew Palairet of Hawke’s Bay.

In the process of gradually restoring their beautiful mid-century modern home to its former glory (with a few contemporary updates), this couple made some bold colour choices that could have risked looking garish but instead feel vibrant and age-appropriate for their 1965 house.

Yellow door

The couple are delighted with their win and the prize of $5000 towards their next colourful project. Here we catch up with Alison to find out more about their technicolour home.

When did you move to Hawke’s Bay and why?

We were living in Bayswater on Auckland’s North Shore and moved to Hawke’s Bay in 2015. We were outgrowing our beloved cottage and Andrew was ready for a career move. We considered all sorts of possibilities, from a different house in the same suburb to opportunities in Singapore and the Middle East, but in the end Andrew decided he just wanted the children to have a similar upbringing to the one he’d had.

Yellow door
Entry: A neutral base of Resene White Pointer is enlivened by Resene Supernova on the front door, as well as the terracotta of the home’s original brick feature wall.

What did you like about your house when you purchased it?

We are big fans of modernist architecture and fell in love with the 1965 build. The house sits in harmony with its environment and has a subtle asymmetry. It was designed to bring the outdoors in, with its high, open, beamed ceilings and transom windows.

The house is set on top of a hill so it combines a wonderful flat site for the children to play on, with a lovely outlook. The previous owners had created a beautiful garden that, albeit expansive, is easy to maintain. The remaining land is maintained by the neighbours’ sheep. It’s five minutes to school and 10 minutes to town so as far as lifestyle blocks go, it offered this city kid the best of both worlds.

Talk us through your renovations. What have you changed and in what order?

The first thing we did was astroturf the grass tennis court. Then we moved the kitchen into what was the dining room and opened it up to the living room (we turned the old kitchen into an extra bedroom).

Following that, we added an ensuite and dressing room to the master bedroom and reconfigured the very 1960s bathroom layout. The individual shower room, bathroom and toilet have become a family bathroom with a separate toilet and a powder room. We also painted throughout, ripped up the carpet and polished the concrete floors – but the concrete wasn’t working for us so we corked the living areas and carpeted the bedrooms and are thrilled with the result.

How did you want your home to look and feel?

Ultimately the interior needed to suit the structure. We wanted a home with welcoming spaces where we could relax and create, and provide comfortable accommodation for guests. We like our house to have character but by no means be pretentious. With active boys and pets it needed to be durable.

Living: The Palairets’ collection of classic mid-century furniture offers clues to the colours found elsewhere in the house, including a turquoise bathroom and deep blue bedroom.

How did you go about choosing wall colours?

I wanted a neutral throughout the living and bedroom spaces to create cohesion, provide a backdrop for our furniture, art and items, and enhance the architecture. The oversized front door was crying out to be the centre of attention so a bold yellow it just had to be. Being the smallest rooms and out of sight, the bathrooms were the perfect place to break with the neutrals and add colour.

How did you decide on blue for your bedroom?

I wanted to include a deeper colour to add richness, but anything too dark wouldn’t have worked as it’s a light room which gets flooded with morning sun. Resene San Juan is just right and I love that the room is neither overtly masculine or feminine.

Bedroom and kitchen
Resene San Juan brings a sense of calm to the master bedroom, as well providing a backdrop for Alison’s artwork.

Did your sons help choose the colours?

I always seek their opinion. You never know what creative contribution will pop out! In saying that, we stuck with Resene White Pointer in their rooms and added colour with furniture and accessories.

What do you love most about your home now?

It’s a welcoming home with character and the perfect size for our family. We’re really pleased with the colour choices.

What do you love about living in Hawke’s Bay?

It might be a cliché but the great climate, lack of traffic and the friendly people make for a great lifestyle. The kids have loads more room to run around than they ever would have had in Auckland.

Party palette: The smaller, more private areas of this home are painted in a rainbow of Resene hues, from Resene Clementine Orange in the powder room and Resene Supernova in the bathroom to turquoise Resene Keppel in the ensuite (not shown).

Is this your forever home or does your future hold another renovation?

We always renovate for us, rather than resale, and after months of painting walls and window frames, I’m keen to get back to the canvases. However, we usually just seem to be finished when another adventure presents itself.

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Interview by Sally Conor. Photography by Florence Charvin.
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Colour Home Awards
View more projects from the finalists and winners of the Resene/Your Home and Garden Colour Home Awards competition.

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