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

a happy alliance

From Habitat magazine - issue 28

A sensitive redesign lets bold colour and stunning harbour views live side by side.

A dramatic island

Although the owners of this Wellington house aren’t afraid of colour, when architect John Mills first showed them a proposed scheme for their renovated Roseneath home, there was a sharp intake of breath.

“Our previous house in Karori was painted 50 shades of white,” laughs the owner. “John is known for his use of colour but we were still a little surprised by his choices. However, we trusted him and now we’re so glad that we did.”

The resulting four-level home is a riot of vibrant blues and jewel-toned greens, alongside more subtle shades of lavender, grey and lemon. It won a Maestro award in last year’s Resene Total Colour Awards.

Dining lounge
Resene Bermuda Grey frames the extra-long dining table. The wall colour on the left is Resene Half Fossil and on the right is Resene Half Robin Egg Blue. Alternative looks for this home's dining room... a soothing natural scheme | soft meets bold.

“The hero of this house is the expansive harbour view,” says John. “So while I didn’t want the interior palette to detract from that, there was an opportunity to not only enhance what was going on outside but also to create a cooler look and feel, because this is a very warm house.”

Externally, the use of two colours (Resene Crisp Green and Resene Tea) helps to express the form of the build and highlight the entrance, says John.

Colour isn’t the only thing these homeowners changed; initially the plan was to revamp only the kitchen of the 1920s house to make it more user-friendly for their four teenage sons. But one thing led to another and John ended up leaving almost no stone unturned.

A dramatic island is a centrepiece of the kitchen with timber stained in a range of Resene Colorwood wood stain colours and urethaned in various gloss levels. Resene Woodstock is used on the wall to the left, with Resene Half Robin Egg Blue to the extreme left.

Exterior and kitchen
Left: Resene Crisp Green helps define the home’s entrance. The other weatherboards are in Resene Tea. Right: Architect John Mills surprised the owners of the house with his colour choices.

The biggest change was in the living area on the first level. “It just needed a little tweaking to make it work for our family,” says the owner, who bought the house primarily because of its views and all-day sun. That included removing four walls, repositioning the entrance closer to the street, re-aligning the dramatic black kitchen along the southern wall and cribbing space from the previous kitchen to create a pantry.

Not only did that improve the flow, it also gave the family space to spread out… and to reclaim a 3.2m long dining table they’d had made for their previous larger home out of storage.

John also had an open brief to create the striking mahogany kitchen island made by an artist. The front of the 4m long worktop comprises planks of native wood (stained or urethaned in various Resene products) and a copper toe-kick, which adds texture to the space.

John’s design included extending the living space 2.5m over the existing deck and adding a new deck to the side of the house which is better sheltered from the prevailing northerlies. Now 2.4m high glass doors provide unrestricted sea views.

John added two projected copper-clad bay windows, as a nod to the home’s original bay windows. The copper, which is designed to weather with age, evokes a maritime feel and provides a striking connection with the ships that pass across the bay below.

The interior palette was designed to add interest but not detract from the harbour views. The walls here are in Resene Half Fossil and Resene Alluring.

Hall and study
Left: Glass balustrades, skylights and walls in Resene Endeavour bring drama and light to the stairwell. Right: The study is a restful space, now painted in Resene Woodstock.

Because the owners see themselves using the house as an apartment once their children leave home, the master wing is located on the same level as the kitchen and living spaces. Large sliding doors close off the space when the couple want privacy. “When the kids aren’t here we can live entirely on this level.”

The original master bathroom was completely gutted, including replacing the bath with a generous shower. Space borrowed from the original bathroom allowed for a bank of ceiling-high storage cupboards that run the length of the hallway. A second compact bathroom was painted in lavender Resene Alluring, which contrasts nicely with bright orange vintage Scandinavian pendant lights.

Although the revamped living level is now flooded with natural light, the rest of the house needed to be given the same treatment. Adding glass balustrades on the two internal staircases and large skylights did just that, as well as increasing the sense of space.

Get the look with...

Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Endeavour

Get the look with Resene Cut Glass

Resene Lumbersider tinted to Resene Crisp Green

Stains from the Resene Colorwood range, finished in Resene urethanes.

Light by David Trubridge

A large roof deck which uses previously inaccessible space has proved a hit with family and friends. With its sweeping views over Oriental Bay across the harbour to the Hutt Valley, it’s easy to see why.

It might have taken a year to achieve their dream house, but the owners says the renovation journey was relatively painless. “If you’d told me a few years ago I’d be living in a house with bright blue and green walls, I would have probably laughed at you. But it really works in this house and I’m definitely a colour convert.”

Did you know... that the best paints to use for exterior weatherboards are Resene Lumbersider, for a low-sheen finish, Resene Sonyx 101, for a semi-gloss finish, or Resene Hi-Glo for a gloss finish? All are tough paints formulated to withstand the effects of the weather.

Words: Sharon Stephenson
Pictures: Paul McCredie, Nicola Edmonds

Alternative solution - monochrome with a twist

A soothing natural scheme for all seasons

Laura Lochhead of Pocketspace Interiors suggests this alternative scheme:

This interior scheme is simple to achieve. The palette is natural, and reflects the easiness of our casual lifestyles. A dark moody feature wall in Resene Fuscous Grey anchors the dining area, and is echoed in charcoal accessories while Resene Half Beryl Green is a pale crystalline green, used on the other walls. Resene Colorwood Whitewash on the floor and Resene Colorwood Greywash on the front door allow the beauty of the wood grain to show through. Natural tones meet bold darker accents to provide depth, warmth and Scandinavian style rolled into one. The mixture of dynamic lines brings the space into balance. Don’t be afraid to explore the monochromatic palette by Resene to add interest into your space.

Phone: 09 212 6820   Web:

A soothing natural scheme for all seasons
A feature wall in Resene Fuscous Grey teams with main walls in Resene Half Beryl Green, the floor in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, the ceiling in Resene Milk White and a front door in Resene Colorwood Greywash. Products featured include Broste Cutlery in Black from Living & Giving, La Chamba tableware from Milly’s Kitchen, a 2-Drawer Oak Console, The Sea and Me Print and Octagon Mirror from Flux Boutique, an Albion Floor Rug from Freedom Furniture and an Aston 6-Light Pendant from Lighting Direct. Illustration Pocketspace Interiors, Malcolm White.

Did you know: that Resene has a range of stains and oils so you can stain both interior and exterior timbers? Check out the Resene Colorwood range for indoor use, and the Resene Woodsman collection for outdoor use to find colours that range from naturals to brights.

Illustration: Pocketspace Interiors, Malcolm White

Alternative solution - gain your stripes

Soft meets bold in this striking scheme

Interior designer Nicola Manning suggests this alternative scheme:

Bold geometric shapes painted as stripes on the wall contrast with the softer curves of the chairs and accessories to create the theme for this scheme. Resene Clockwork Orange is one of my favourite brighter Resene paint colours so I have made this colour the strong accent in this scheme, using it for the front door and a stripe in the wall. A painted wall feature is a great way of having fun with your favourite paint colours and is easy to do – simply use low-tack masking tape to mark out the different segments to paint. To counteract the vibrancy of the orange, the strong neutrals of Resene Stack and Resene Nero are also used on the wall, along with the main colour of Resene Quarter Silver Chalice.

Phone: 09 523 0108   Web:

Soft meets bold in this striking scheme
A smart paint treatment sees stripes of Resene Nero, Resene Clockwork Orange and Resene Stack on Resene Quarter Silver Chalice walls. The front door is painted in Resene Clockwork Orange while the oak floors are finished with Resene Colorwood Whitewash. Products featured include a Langham Floor Lamp from Eunice Taylor, Elements Checkered Chairs from Cuchi, a Montego Dining Table from Soren Liv, a Brutalist Footed Vase and Menagerie Bird Bowl by Jonathan Adler, an Ombre Ovoid custom-made rug from SF Design, and Casting Shadows artwork by Jamie Adamson and Archetypal Leaf Orange 1 by Liz McAuliffe artwork, both from Mobile Art Gallery.

Top tip: When creating stripes on a wall like this, use low-tack masking tape from your Resene ColorShop so that existing paint isn’t damaged.

Illustration: Malcolm White


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 28


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 ⇧