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From Habitat magazine - issue 25

A replica villa lets its owners blend old and new with a dreamy colour palette.

Green sitting area
*While most of the colours in the house are pale, Resene Spanish Green is used to define this sitting area.

In an ideal world, David Wraight's home would be painted in thick horizontal stripes of red and white, wrapped around a tall cylindrical form. But because he cannot live in a lighthouse, he and his wife Kirsty have settled in a beautiful newly built villa, with all the charm of an original homestead and all the comforts of a modern build.

Set on a hill in Marlborough's Fairhall district, the house wears classic lines of rusticated weatherboard, crisply finished in Resene Kangaroo, with Resene Sugar Cane trims, Resene Kokoda scrolls and a Resene Ironsand front door.

It looks like it has stood here a hundred years, built when this was farmland, and only recently been surrounded by the clean-cut lines of its contemporary neighbours. But this is, in fact, one of the newest builds on the block, and a perfect example of David's work – building replica villas.

Unlike traditional villas, the home is settled on a concrete pad, and stuffed to the gunnels with insulation. Externally it is classic, but inside the design is open-plan and built for sun and views.

White villa exterior
It's hard to believe that this is a near-new house, built by David Wraight Cottages. The weatherboards are painted in Resene Kangaroo, with Resene Sugar Cane trims.

When it came to decorating, Kirsty also selected the best of old and new, to create a home that in many ways remains true to a traditional villa. She used colour to set the mood and tone of the home, with a soothing Resene colour palette dominated by pumice whites, sea foam greens and quiet touches of taupe.

Gilt-framed art adorns the walls, and an oil painting by her great-grandfather is joined by similar works foraged from antique stores.

Stunning white kitchen
Light living room
Kitchen: Kirsty in her stunning kitchen, painted in Resene Quarter Cararra.  Living room: Kirsty wanted the main living area to be light, so chose Resene Quarter Cararra above the dado rail and Resene Triple Merino below.

Old armchairs passed down through her family have been covered with rich new fabrics, and sit alongside restored second-hand furniture. A wrought iron day bed rests in a window nook, looking over the Wraight's beautiful cottage garden, where 120 rose bushes provide a stunning backbone.

Kirsty has offset the villa's classic mood with a modern edge, including industrial lights and shades in copper and steel, that shed more than light on their surrounds. The kitchen is strongly influenced by homes in the American seaside resort The Hamptons.

Calming green and white bathroom
The main bathroom is a stunner, painted in the soft blue-grey of Resene Hermitage, with a Resene Quarter Cararra board and batten feature wall behind the freestanding bathtub.

Kirsty wanted the main living area to be light, so chose Resene Quarter Cararra above the dado rail and Resene Triple Merino below.

While most of the colour is subtle, she used stronger tones to help delineate space. A more formal seating area to one side is alluring in its splash of Resene Spanish Green. "Although it's bold and a lot of colour, it is still soft and calming," says Kirsty.

Neutral master bedroom
The master bedroom is elegantly finished in Resene Eighth Stonewall, set against the cooler white of Resene Quarter Cararra, with Resene Triple Merino in the ensuite.

Colours chosen for the bedrooms (Resene Eighth Stonewall and Resene Secrets) elegantly enhance the tongue and groove style panelling that covers the walls.

The main bathroom is a stunner, and well deserves its place as a finalist in the recent Your Home and Garden/Resene Colour Home competition. While the rest of the colours were fairly easy to choose, the bathroom took time (it's Resene Hermitage) and was finally inspired by a tile Kirsty found.

Villa hallway
Day bed details
Neutral dining room
Hallway: Vintage accessories enhance the home's character. The walls in the hallway are Resene Secrets, while the bedroom beyond is in Resene Eighth Stonewall.  Dining room: Resene Quarter Cararra is a main-stay neutral throughout the house, used in the open-plan dining and kitchen area.

The room's beachy feel must surely appeal to David, whose "dream house would be a lighthouse on a rock somewhere," says Kirsty. That will probably never happen, she says. "He'd have to convince me to live there too."

Instead, David's office wall is adorned with four embroidered artworks, made by a friend, depicting wave-lashed lighthouses on rocky outcrops. A lighthouse sculpture, commissioned by a happy customer, claims another wall of the house, and there are several books on the subject, too.

The next best thing to a stripy seaside tower is perhaps a home that respects classic architecture. David says he has always appreciated the 'Kiwi villa'. While on his OE, working in London, he saw many homes being restored, and worked on several. "It really grew my love for old architecture." His company allows him to indulge in new buildings that reflect the traditional design ethos he admires.

Top tip: Check out the Resene Heritage chart for some authentic colours for character homes. Available free at Resene ColorShops or resellers.

Did you know... that the latest Resene The Range fashion fandeck 18 is full of fashion colours, both bold and subtle?

*Get the look with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Spanish Green.

Accessories/credits: Lights: Mr Ralph. Builder: David Wraight Cottages, Day bed: Cinnamon House.

Alternative solution – heritage for today

a room that's handsome yet glamorous

Rachel Steinmetz of Appletree Designs suggests this alternative scheme:

Bedroom design before

I wanted to honour the character of this room, but add a modern twist. Dark green is my new black. Here, Resene Campground is the perfect contemporary take on a heritage green; its depth adds drama and moodiness and is offset by the crispness of Resene Alabaster trims and ceiling.

I've created a sumptuous yet aged look by using neutral textural accessories punctuated with the natural elements of leather and timber. This sparkling light adds a touch of glamour but it could easily be changed out for a rustic fitting for a more industrial look. The long mirrors behind the bedside tables help reflect light in a dark room, and enhance the feeling of symmetry around the bed. I love parquet flooring, and this one in Resene Colorwood Bleached Cedar has a modern twist with the grey colouring and a chevron pattern rather than the classic herringbone.

Alternative solution 1

Resene Campground walls create a moody richness, offset by Resene Alabaster trims and ceiling. The parquet flooring is finished in Resene Colorwood Bleached Cedar. Other products include flooring from Forte Flooring, a Black Boston Chair, Tamworth Stool and Connaught Bedside Tables from French Country, Apollo Mirrors from Trendy Mirrors, Linen Wing Buttoned Headboard and White Horse artwork from Oneworld Collection, Louton Armchair from Artwood, George Blanket from Furtex, Purl Thrown and Sove Bedlinen from Citta Design.

Top tip: See the Resene Colorwood stains brochure for a range of natural to brighter colours for refreshing interior timbers, available free from your Resene ColorShop or reseller, or order online from

phone 021 559 386   web

Accessories: Vermont Writing Desk, from Artwood. Glint Oval Chandelier, from French Country. Mokum Sadah curtain fabric, in colour Linen, from James Dunlop Textiles. Brushed Pewter & Wood Tripod Lamp, from CC Interiors. Custom-made cushions Appletree Designs.

Alternative solution – tropical haven

create a boho getaway with this dreamy room

Interior designer Angie Masutti suggests this alternative scheme:

Bedroom design before

Fresh and feminine, this latest shade of blush (Resene Dawn Chorus) from Resene gives off a bohemian, Mediterranean vibe when paired with the crispness of Resene Alabaster. The beautiful chartreuse of the bed quilt and the casual appeal of the Peacock Chair, headboard and beaded chandelier hint of hazy tropical days. The airiness of the room is further enhanced by the ever-popular Resene Quarter Spanish White on the ceiling while Resene Tea painted floorboards create just enough depth without compromising on the feeling of spaciousness. Painting the floorboards helps to achieve an eclectic feel, especially when teamed with a beautifully textured rug. The white wooden shutters enhance the summery tropical feel... imagine flinging them open to be greeted by views over an azure sea.

Alternative solution 2

Lazy days are calling with walls in Resene Dawn Chorus, trims and shutters in Resene Alabaster, a ceiling in Resene Quarter Spanish White and floors in Resene Tea. Other products include a Cockatoo Lamp, Honey Comb Brass Stool and Ben Ourain Rug from Republic Home, a Peacock Bedhead and cushion from Masutti & Masutti, and shutters from Luxaflex.

Top tip: For painted floors, use Resene Walk-on flooring and paving paint with Resene Concrete Wax, or Resene Enamacryl (gloss) or Resene Lustacryl (semi-gloss) waterborne enamels. The higher the gloss level, the easier the floor will be to clean, but the more it will show marks. If you want a softer effect, consider Resene Colorwood Whitewash or Greywash.

phone 0275 755 589   web

Accessories: Peacock Chair, from Masutti & Masutti. Clay Beaded Chandelier by Klaylife/LIM, Oval Basket with Leather Handles, from Indie Home Collective. Loom Velvet Quilt in Chartreuse, from Wallace Cotton.

words: Sophie Preece
pictures: Juliet Nicholas
illustration: Malcolm White

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