Close Give Feedback
Resene Paints - home page
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube

heavenly union

From Habitat magazine - issue 27, spring/summer 2017 /18

Colours from the Land of the Rising Sun come together in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

You’d expect a modestly sized new house to have modest new interiors. Well, that’s not the case with Kaye Coyne and Dwight Whitney’s home on the hills south of Auckland.

Open up the door and you’re treated to a rich sensory experience of colour and character.

And it’s not just any colour. The vivid blue, rich red, bright yellow and emerald green have very special significance to the couple.

Having spent some time in Japan, they have a tradition of calling their properties Tengoku, the Japanese word for ‘heaven’. Says Dwight: “We love the word as it has power and also connects with the special affinity we hold for Japan. This is the first time we’ve created a Tengoku home from scratch. We dipped into the Japanese colour palette for special feature areas – ones that would be stunning in their own right but that would make our favourite artwork come to life. We were also seeking colours that would be at home in the comparable ‘island nation’ of New Zealand.”


the combination of red (Resene Havoc) and white (Resene Half Dutch White) signifies vitality and purity. White, in particular, is the colour of the gods. Red is the colour of the new day, the rising sun.


is the colour of eternal life and consistency. Resene Dali or Resene Freelance provide the spirit connection.


is blue and a word with the same pronunciation means love. Blue also identifies life surrounded by the sea. Resene Azure mirrors the colour of the vast oceans.


gold is the colour of ripened rice which, when harvested, could be exchanged for literal gold. Resene Wild Thing provided the majesty of this royal colour with an exuberance and energy.

The couple had previously owned large homes on larger lifestyle blocks so thought long and hard about what they needed for the next phase of their life. With a daughter, Holly, at university and Kaye’s mother Olwen living with them, they decided that small was good. Or rather, smaller. They found a 8000sq m piece of land with stunning north-western views, privacy and enough room for a few horses and their three dogs. The simple and efficient house plan measures 150 square metres.

Entrance and living room
Left: The Resene Azure entrance foyer sets the scene of the colour pops that appear throughout the house. Right: A flash of Resene Havoc is a cheery addition in one corner of the living room. The rest of the walls are Resene Half Dutch White.

Living and kitchen
The living room contains the couple’s down-sized belongings – a lifetime’s collection of art and accessories. The walls are Resene Half Dutch White.   Alternative solutions:Inspired by nature   › Show your stripes

Then came the task of culling a lifetime’s worth of collecting art, accessories, furnishings, furniture and books. “We had to be ruthless! There was a lot of merging and purging.”

But they also took their time unpacking and arranging, savouring each piece of art or objet as they found its new place in their new home. They found the right spot for their art, then decided on the wall colour to complement it.

Dwight and Kaye and the hallway
Left: Dwight and Kaye have happily downsized for their new home. Right: A pop of Resene Wild Thing sings out from the hallway leading to two of the bedrooms. The artwork was done by the couple’s daughter Holly when she was young, in the style of Austrian-Kiwi artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Left: Kaye saw Resene Smalt Blue in an earlier habitat magazine and loved it, so used the colour as a feature wall in the main bedroom. It’s off an older Resene chart so try Resene Bismark as another option. The couple used a spare second-hand door as a bedhead, and aged it with Resene FX Crackle effect painted over a basecoat of Resene Black then topcoated with Resene Black White.

Right: The ensuite has the same character features as the rest of the house. The walls are Resene Dali, which is from an older Resene collection. Try Resene Freelance as another option.

While Dwight has the interior heritage – his American parents were successful international interior designers – it was Kaye who took charge of finishing the home.

She crafted the very bespoke kitchen from separate pieces of second hand and new furniture and cabinetry, and both she and Dwight hand-brushed the paint onto the walls rather than rolling it so that the brushstrokes would add character. They even brushed the ceilings by hand. They also used Resene SpaceCote Flat paint for its chalky finish.

Looking at the house now, it’s hard to believe the couple moved in a mere nine months ago. For a new home, it has a deeply soulful feel. Perhaps it’s the meeting of colour, and the meeting of cultures.

Exterior and light and bedroom details Top Left: Aged with Resene FX Crackle. Top Right: Lights - Lighting Direct, Lighting Plus and Early Settler. Bottom: The simple exterior is painted in Resene Triple White Pointer. Rocks provide temporary landscaping as the couple plan their garden.

Alternative solutions - inspired by nature

Modern meets natural in this welcoming scheme

Designer Bonnie Brown suggests this alternative scheme:

This new scheme focuses on creating a soft, natural living environment from earthy, neutral tones. Inspired by the soothing tones of Resene Seaweed and Resene Sand, the room is fitted with soft natural furnishings such as jute, leather and seagrass for texture and interest. Touches of blush pink, black steel and brass combine with the natural approach to create a modern aesthetic. A cluster of three modern art prints are beautifully offset by the depth of the Resene Seaweed wall.


We were introduced to Bonnie via Open Lab, a design studio based within Massey University’s College of Creative Arts. The studio is comprised of professional designers, students, recent graduates and interns placed in industry roles.

Modern meets natural
Three wall colours – Resene Seaweed, Resene Sand and Resene Alabaster - come together to create a harmonious look. The ceiling and trims are in Resene Half Alabaster. Products used include an Oklahoma Three Seat Sofa and Soft Linen Short Table from The Axe, Swimmer’s Day Off print by George Art Print and Spring Shapes print by Samantha Totty from Endemic World, a Tom Dixon Beat Light Brass pendant from EDD, a Madras rug from Freedom Furniture and a Belly Basket from LET LIV.

Did you know... that Resene has a range of interior stains with both natural hues and more colourful options in the Resene Colorwood range? Pick up a colour chart free at your Resene ColorShop or order online at


Alternative solution - show your stripes

A fun yet stylish study and living space

Interior designer Jaimee Pryde suggests this alternative scheme:

I wanted to create a stylish but fun family space with a study/office area. Using the warm bold colours Resene Hot Toddy and Resene Sea Crest in deep horizontal stripes on the back and side walls brings fun and interest to the space. Resene Alabaster is used on the trims, ceiling and on the wall behind the couch as a calming counterpoint to the stripes.

The couch is in a soft off-white linen and wood frame to give a relaxed feel in the space while the Sahara rug adds texture. The octagonal mirror is a point of interest and is used to reflect light and visually increase the size of the study area within the set-back area of the room.

Phone: 027 364 0061   Web:

A fun yet stylish living space and study - photo
Broad stripes in Resene Hot Toddy and Resene Sea Crest are a fun element, while Resene Alabaster is a calm counterpoint. The floor is in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt while the desk top is in Resene Gumboot.

Did you know... When specifying cabinetry like this desk, make sure you ask for Resene Uracryl, a tough paint perfect for this type of job. You can choose from three sheen options and it will make sure your Resene colour looks its best. If you are painting it yourself, use hard-wearing Resene Enamacryl gloss waterborne enamel or for a lower sheen, Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel.


Search habitat magazine stories

Want to get your own free copy of future issues of habitat magazine?

Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

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.

Sign up for a DIY card and Save! Australia | New Zealand

› Return to Habitat 27


Order online now:
Testpots | Paints | Primers and Sealers | Stains | Clears | Accessories

Get inspired Get inspired ! Subscribe      Get saving Get saving ! Apply for a DIY card

Resene Paints Ltd

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us!

Resene Paints Ltd   –

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube
Videos on how to paint and stain your house

Welcome to our World of Colour!™
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.

What's new | Specifiers | Painters | DIYers | Artists | Kids | Sitemap | Home | TOP ⇧