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in the beginning

From Habitat magazine - issue 25

There were three cushions in orange, green and blue, used to inspire this home's vibrant colour scheme.

Green walls
*Kwiana café corner

It all began with three cushions. Innocent accessories that sparked a colour adventure for home builders and owners Robert and Linda Caldana. Each cushion had a simple cross motif but each was a different vibrant colour: green, orange and blue.

The Caldana's new home in Greymouth on the West Coast is clean-lined and contemporary. The couple chose a careful blend of materials and textures to give interest to the exterior. Then they continued that creative approach with the interiors, by using wellplaced blocks of energetic colour over textured walls: Resene Camarone (a clean jade green), Resene Tangerine (a juicy orange) and Resene Optimist (a vivid turquoise blue).

The use of such strong colour is balanced by a neutral and sophisticated backdrop of Resene Black White, used on most of the walls and ceilings. It's a bold approach most people would shy away from but which delivers up a distinctive home of delightful visual surprises.

Linda and Robert
Orange kid's room
Robert and Linda: Robert and Linda Caldana with Toby the dog. A mix of cladding and colour (Resene Black White and Resene Half Stack with fascias in Resene Gull Grey) adds interest to the exterior.  Bedroom: Son George loves his 3D anaglypta wallpaper (Wallton 164404) which reminds him of sports balls. It's painted with Resene Tangerine. Try the Resene Anaglypta and Resene Paint On collections for current wallpapers you can paint on.

The rear of the house has full-height windows that look out onto the rugged coastline. The green and blue walls represent the colours of nature and the ocean, and match the strength of the natural light that bathes the interior. Says Linda: "It creates a sense of oneness and connection with the environment."

Neutral lounge
The three cushions that kick-started the Caldana's colour journey.

While two of the colours are isolated to the bedrooms, Resene Camarone ripples throughout the house, starting at the dramatic front door. Next, it appears in what the couple call the 'café corner' next to the kitchen. "We like that this corner has a kiwiana feel, with the colour and the retro anaglypta wallpaper."

Blue and white bedroom
Acid yellow and crisp white accents look superb against the strong Resene Optimist textured feature wall in this bedroom. Other walls are Resene Black White.

That same colour is also used as a feature wall in the main bedroom, while in 14-year-old son George's room, the bedhead wall is Resene Tangerine painted over another 3D-effect anaglypta wallpaper. Says Linda: "We used it only on the bedhead wall so you get the colour impact when you enter the room but not when you are in bed. Resene Tangerine is an excitable colour!"

Green and white bedroom
In a change from the norm, the feature wall in this bedroom is to one side and not behind the bed. It's painted in Resene Camarone while the other walls are Resene Black White.

Despite using such vibrant colours, visitors often comment on the house's sense of calm. "It's certainly a special place to live," says Linda.

That could be, in part, because of the home's sustainability features and the attention to detail the couple has lavished on the house. When you own a building company, you can certainly afford to bring all of your knowledge and skills to your own home.

Modern kitchen and dining room
The sleek kitchen is visually balanced with a black frame, a bank of Miele ovens, and a stunning black granite island benchtop.

Sustainability features include a concrete slab foundation and concrete block walls to serve as thermal heat stores, good sun orientation, a solar water heating system, extra-high rated insulation, renewable resource timber, locally made concrete blocks, an HRV system, long-life LED lights, water efficient Methven taps, and low-toxicity materials including low VOC Resene Environmental Choice approved paints.

White home exterior
Green home entry
Exterior: Get the exterior look with Resene Lumbersider tinted to Resene Black White and Resene Half Stack.  Entry: Striking double doors in Resene Camarone set the tone for the home's colour adventure.

Locally made blocks from ViBlock are sealed with Resene Waterborne Aquapel to prevent water penetration and enrich their natural state.

Says Linda: "A sustainably built house often implies a sacrifice on style, but this house shows that that doesn't have to be the case."

The house has won a slew of awards, from Master Painters NZ, and from the Registered Master Builders at a regional and national level. While the Caldanas are justifiably proud of such achievements, the best bit is being able to live in a house they have built themselves and decorated with colours that they love.

Did you know... that Resene has an extensive range of low odour and low VOC Environmental Choice approved paints, primers, sealers and stains for you to choose from?

*Robert and Linda's 'kiwiana café corner' looks fresh and punchy in Resene Camarone, painted over an anaglypta wallpaper (Wallton 181401). Try the Resene Anaglypta and Resene Paint On collections from Resene ColorShops for current wallpapers you can paint on. Other paint colours used in the house are echoed in the tub chairs.

Accessories/credits: Builder: Robert Caldana Builder Ltd, Floor tiles: Quantum Charcoal Polished from Flooring Xtra. Ovens: Miele. Taps: Kiri by Methven.

Alternative solution – go troppo

splashes of tropical colour create a summery space

Debbie Omond of Compose Interiors suggests this alternative scheme:

I saw this room as an opportunity to add colour. Taking the lead from the green front door I chose a tropical theme with a hint of boho style. The pelmet on the back wall is the perfect spot for an inbuilt custom-made storage unit with a series of fun colour pops painted onto the wall behind, as well as a tropical-patterned wallpaper (Replik J929-14) for further depth and interest. The unit itself is painted in Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta to create a neutral frame, as is the ceiling and the other walls.

Alternative solution 1

The entrance is defined with a feature wall in Resene Spring Fever and helps to set the tone of what's to come. Polished concrete floors ground the whole design and allow the freedom to introduce interesting mats to anchor the seating area. Tropical patterned cushions, a richly coloured sofa, and a coffee table with a top painted in Resene Ruby Tuesday echo the colours and style used on the storage unit.

Pops of tropical colour – Resene Ruby Tuesday, Resene Sea Crest and Resene Spring Fever – and wallpaper adorn the storage unit on the back wall and are complemented by walls and a ceiling in restful Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta. The entrance is defined with a wall in Resene Spring Fever. Other products include a Merlyn Arcobaleno Chair from Interior Design Online, ornaments and a macrame hanging from Shut The Front Door, cushions from Tea Pea, fruit bowls and a wall planter from Me & My Trend.

Top tip: Use Resene Concrete Wax to protect concrete floors and other concrete surfaces, such as benchtops, from wear and tear, and scuff marks.

phone 021 144 7704   web

Accessories: Replik J929-14 Wallpaper, from Resene ColorShops. Black and White Diamond Patterned Rug, from Collected. Mini Ceramic Triple Cactus, Escape to Paradise Oasis Cushion, from Shut the Front Door. Oslo Three-seater Sofa in Teal, from Me & My Trend.

Alternative solution – rich respite

texture and dark colour create an enveloping haven

Anita Shirley of Harrisons Carpet suggests this alternative scheme:

I wanted to create a family space that feels warm, layered and enriching. Using earthy-coloured carpet and flooring in the foyer, as well as a strong Resene Coast feature wall, provides an anchor for the neutral scheme and brings a feeling of warmth and cosiness. Resene Alabaster is used as a contrast on the other walls, while the tones in the tropical-patterned cushions and artwork complements the taupe velvet on the corner sofa. Adding interest with textured accessories, from the chunky loop pile rug to the antique brass finish on the round coffee table and pendant, is key to enhancing the richness and depth of this scheme.

Alternative solution 2

A rich scheme has a feature wall in Resene Coast with foyer walls in Resene Quarter Tea and a front door in Resene Sambuca. Other products include a Puzzled Dots artwork from Linens & More, Harrisons Chiba carpet in colour 82, Harrisons Hibiscus cushion fabric colour Natural, Harrisons Bamboo roller blinds colour Walnut, gold velvet cushions from Furtex and a Viva side table from SM Interiors.

Top tip: Dark walls look particularly good with the velvety finish achieved by using Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen or Resene SpaceCote Flat.

phone 0800 421 001   web

Accessories: Harrisons Woodlands, from Planks 2555. Kennedy Round Button Chair, Taj Round Coffee Table in Antique Brass, from SM Interiors. MacKenzie rug in colour Straw, from Furtex. Bronte Corner Sofa in Mokum Vintage fabric, colour Sable, from Kovacs Design Furniture.

pictures: Stewart Nimmo
illustration: Malcolm White

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