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Birds of a feather

From the Resene/Your Home and Garden Colour Home Awards Competition - 4th finalist

A vibrant swatch of bird-patterned fabric provided inspiration for a refreshed family home.

This fabric inspired the colours in this project

In September 2019, Amy and Mark Arnold finished a complete renovation of their home in Te Awamutu. When it came time to choose colours, Amy was thinking an all-white palette would be the best solution.

“We’d done the kids’ [Levi, 4, and Hazel, 1] bedrooms in Resene Sea Fog before they were both born and thought we’d continue that theme,” she says. “But then I found Lizzy Higham’s Facebook page and was inspired to be a bit more fun, brave and creative.

“I must've bought about 50 testpots for this house – I was struggling to find a starting point! Then I discovered a piece of colourful bird-patterned fabric by Blendworth which absolutely sang to me and all of the colours were chosen from that.”

A mustard hallway was the first decision to be locked in; after trying about eight testpots, the couple decided on Resene Pizza on the walls, contrasted by Resene Alabaster doors and trims. The kitchen was next on the list for a bright injection of colour.

A green feature colour beneath the breakfast bar
Feature kitchen cabinets in orange

“I wanted something striking underneath the breakfast bar and had to consider how our hot pink table would look next to it,” Amy tells.

“We tried a range of greens, teals and blues and decided on Resene Saratoga; it’s turned out to be the colour that gets the most compliments. Both the Resene Saratoga and the Resene Rock Spray on the kitchen drawers felt so ‘out there’ when we were choosing, but they seem quite muted and conservative now!”

The living area, master bedroom and bathroom are painted in Resene Alabaster.

Amy and Mark Arnold
Amy and Mark Arnold

“All the other colours were lovely and warm, so I went into Resene Te Awamutu and asked, ‘What’s a white that’s a little bit warm?’ and they showed me Resene Alabaster,” Amy says.

“When we had two chairs my parents bought nearly 50 years ago upholstered in my bird fabric, the colour story came together perfectly. We are so thrilled with the final result and having colour around really brings us joy.”

Material things: This wooden armchair, one of a pair bought by Amy’s parents a half century ago, has been reupholstered in Lambourn Quincey fabric from the Library Collection by Blendworth, which inspired the Arnolds’ new colour scheme.


More Resene colours to try...

Resene Untamed

Resene Swiss Caramel

Interview by Sally Conor. Photography by Alice Veysey.
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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.

View more


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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.