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a new wave of coastal living

From Habitat magazine - issue 30

Seven years after building their house, it was time for interior designer Annabel Berry and husband Simon to test out some new waters.

While colour lover Annabel was still keen to stick to a coastal scheme, she felt like the light walls were beginning to feel a bit too shallow. “I’m obsessed with blue,” she says. “While my personal aesthetic still tends towards coastal hues, when we were choosing the new palette, I found that I wanted more depth and texture. The main living, dining room and kitchen were originally Resene Milk White, we added a tongue-and-groove feature wall to complement other heritage features in the home and painted it grey Resene Loblolly and did the rest in Resene Atomic.”

Kitchen lounge area
For the tongue-in-groove panelling on the feature wall in the main living, dining and kitchen area, Annabel picked Resene Loblolly with Resene Milk White trim. Alternative solutions for dining room: Floral flair | Toasty and traditional.

“Simon is always part of the decision-making and it took several days before we landed on the colours. I presented my top five preferences to him and hung painted Resene drawdown swatches in different positions on the walls so we could see how the light touched them at different times of the day.”

“We kept the white architraves and skirtings because they really work with the coastal theme. We reupholstered the lounge suite in a rich tan fabric and introduced an heirloom couch from my grandfather.”

The media room - with its fireplace, bookshelves and recessed screen - is where the adults in the family hunker down when the children are in bed. They chose Resene Green Meets Blue, which is reminiscent of sea glass, for the walls and repainted the Resene Milk White trims.

“ When we were choosing the new palette, I found that I wanted more depth and texture.”

Left: Deep and dramatic Resene Atomic radiates throughout much of the home’s major living spaces.  Right: Resene Green Meets Blue, which is reminiscent of sea glass, was used for the walls of the media room. The trim was repainted with a fresh coat of Resene Milk White.

Top tip: Drawdowns are A4 painted swatches so you can see a larger swatch of each colour. They cost the same as a testpot and can be ordered at any Resene ColorShop or online at Annabel suggests living with the drawdowns for several days to see what looks best.

Annabel believes that children need a room that reflects them as an individual and that it should be updated every few years as they grow. She encourages her clients to get the input of even their youngest children before choosing the colour schemes for their bedrooms. So, naturally, the Berry children helped choose their paint colours.

Seven-year-old Mia was ready to move away from the mostly pink scheme she’s had since infancy and wanted a neutral background to display her artwork. Together, she and her mother chose the grey-white Resene Cloud. Sporty Jackson, who’s five, went with Resene Plantation green on his walls, while loud and bouncy four-year-old Boe’s room stayed the same with its feature wall of horizontal stripes in Resene Milk White and Resene Smalt Blue (Resene Smalt Blue is from an older colour collection, try Resene Casal for a current alternative).

Girls room
With a little help from Mum, seven-year-old Mia picked Resene Cloud for her bedroom walls, which serves as a neutral backdrop for her colourful artwork.

Girls room
Left: Five-year-old Jackson, went for Resene Plantation walls, which contrast beautifully with the Resene Milk White trim.  Right: The feature walls in four-year-old Boe’s room are finished in horizontal stripes in Resene Smalt Blue and Resene Milk White and a map to inspire dreams of far-away lands. (Resene Smalt Blue is from an older colour collection, try Resene Casal as a current alternative.)

Top tip: Resene colours are still available even if they are not on a current colour chart. View an A4 drawdown paint swatch at your local Resene ColorShop to check you like it and then staff can tint it into your chosen paint for you.

Simon and Annabel couldn’t be more pleased to keep the original décor they chose for their bedroom. “We love it, so we didn’t change it,” says Annabel. “The walls are Resene Coast, my favourite navy blue, and we have Resene Atlas with white tiles and a dark timber vanity in the ensuite.”

However, after a few years, even the most professionally applied paint job can begin to look a bit weary. Annabel advises clients to repaint rooms every five to ten years. With children’s bedrooms, she recommends that you should aim for every three to five.

Even when you have a strong concept like she did, Annabel thinks that many still struggle with finding ways to bring it to life. “A lot of people are afraid to use colour or try to use too many shades and tones of colour,” she says. “Fortunately, it’s not all that expensive to engage a colour consultant to bring together a cohesive and coordinated colour scheme and, quite often, the first consultation is free.

Left: Deep and dark Resene Coast in the master bedroom sets the scene for a sleeping sanctuary.  Right: Resene Blue Dianne teamed with a Resene Milk White ceiling are a striking match in the main bathroom.

“Engaging an interior designer helps you to think outside the box. Why choose neutrals when there are so many different options out there? A consultant can help you to use colour bravely, to be colour confident, and to have fun with your colour.”

To prepare for a consultation with an interior designer, Annabel recommends that you build up a catalogue of images that appeal to you. This can be done either online, through sites like Pinterest and or in a scrapbook with photos from magazines. “Save images of anything that makes your heart leap with joy when you see it,” she says, “and especially the colours and tones that most appeal to you.”

Note: Paint finishes tend to come in for higher wear and tear when there are children and pets in a house. Choose Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen for a more durable paint finish. On ceilings, opt for Resene SpaceCote Flat, which can be wiped clean.

Designer: Annabel Berry, Design Federation
Words: Nathalie Brown
Images: Rachel Wybrow

Paint it right

Choose the right Resene colours and paints for the job.

Annabel’s clever solution for displaying family photos makes use of colourful adhesive frames that can be switched up as new memories are made. Get the same look by using double-sided tape to stick photos onto shapes painted in Resene colours that contrast with the wall.

Use Resene Magnetic Magic as a basecoat on the wall then apply Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen (here in Resene Loblolly) for a wipeable and long-lasting surface. Attach your frames using quality magnets and shuffle them whenever it suits you.

Photo wall

Protection from moisture

Get the ensuite bathroom look with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Atlas. On the ceiling use Resene SpaceCote Flat Kitchen & Bathroom with the anti-bacterial protection of silver and the mould inhibitor MoulDefender.

For added texture, try it over one of Resene’s paintable wallpapers.

Moisture protection

Style tip

The crisp coastal blues Annabel picked look especially contemporary thanks to their high contrast. Picking a mix of watery blues in light, medium and dark values can help you achieve something similar in your home. Try these on trend colours from the new Resene The Range fashion colours.

Resene Bewitched

Resene Raindance

Resene Slipstream

Alternative solution - floral flair

Mid-century modern meets vibrant floral glamour

Designer Fiona Saville suggests this alternative scheme:

Before photo

I drew the inspiration for this solution from vivid Resene Bismark, which I’ve echoed in the artwork and petal chairs, as well as the vintage pieces used in the adjoining room. The rich colour palette includes strong claret and teal balanced with soft pink with gold accents and off-white Resene Poured Milk trim, while the flooring stained in Resene Colorwood Bark natural wood stain and furniture pieces ground the space and provide a balance for the glittering accents. The buffet is a vintage mid-century piece, which can be professionally stripped and restored. It feels good to bring something old back to life again rather than always buying new items, so I love it when my clients are open to trying to mix it up a bit!

As a colour designer, Fiona loves the chance to use bold colours. The Resene Virtuoso statement wall behind the dining table provides a dramatic backdrop for the modern, colourful artworks and pale rose dining chairs. The other walls in the room are painted in Resene Ethereal to lighten and balance out the rest of the space. The trims and doors are painted in Resene Poured Milk and the ceiling is in Resene Quarter Solitaire to provide a high contrast with the accent wall and the flooring stained in Resene Colorwood Bark natural wood stain. All the artwork in the space is from Urban Road.

Top tip: Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen keeps glare at a minimum when you’re working with rich, dark colours while also providing a durable finish.

Designer: Fiona Saville. Phone: 0402 205 656. Web:
Illustration: Malcolm White

Frank Dining Chair in Rose Tan, Brosa
Antares Small Nickel Chandelier, Regency Distribution
Butler Occasional Table in Marble/Gold, Freedom Furniture
Bermuda Rug in Silver/Lilac, The Rug Collection Australia
Mercer + Reid Ariel Velvet Chair in Teal, Adairs

Resene Poured Milk

Resene Virtuoso

Resene Ethereal

Resene Poured Milk

Alternative solution - toasty and traditional

French provincial with a touch of glamour

Designer Susan Templer suggests this alternative scheme:

Before photo

My design pairs elegant finishes with a dose of glam. The dark woods, bright sofa, and patterned fabrics are offset by the lighter accent wall in Resene Crowdpleaser, which matches the golden tones in the chair and pairs well with the blues in the sofa and curtains. A peek of Resene Liberty, seen through the open door to the adjoining room, also picks up the same blue tones. The large mirror and big, sparkly chandelier add a bit of bling that feels so right with the French provincial style of the furnishings. Affordable items have been mixed with more expensive signature pieces because, while it makes sense to invest in furniture that will get the most use, like the dining table, chairs and sofa, you can save on decorative accessories, like the mirror and chandelier.

Traditional lounge
Susan’s design swaps the tongue-and-groove panelling for a smooth wall finish in Resene Crowdpleaser. The ceiling and trims are in Resene Eighth Spanish White and the remaining walls in deeper Resene Quarter Spanish White. Through the doorway, the feature wall is in Resene Liberty with walls and trim in Resene Eighth Spanish White. The timber flooring has been finished with Resene Colorwood Deep Oak natural wood stain. The Cavaillon Chairs at the head and foot of the table are from Montigny Furniture and the Claridge Sofa by Jonathan Adler in Lisbon Petrol Velvet is from Republic.

Top tip: Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen keeps glare at a minimum when you’re working with rich, dark colours while also providing a durable finish.

Designer: Susan Templer. Phone: 021 288 6248. Web:
Illustration: Malcolm White

Beaded Bevelled Mirror, Mainly Mirrors
Chicago Dining Chairs in Black Velvet/Cherry Wood, Montigny Furniture
RL4040 Iron Nickel Plated Chandelier, Urbano Interiors
Rive Gauche Dining Table, Montigny Furniture
Adari Denim Curtain Fabric, Warwick

Resene Crowdpleaser

Resene Liberty

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