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rare bird

From Habitat magazine - issue 32, feature house

A designer’s home gets a refresh to welcome its new owners.

It's not every day that an interior designer's home hits the market – but rarer still is when that same designer helps with a customised redecoration of the property so that your new home is picture perfect from the moment you move in. However, that was the case for the lucky new owners of Kelly Gammie's Auckland home.

A lounge with drama and elegance
Designer Kelly Gammie's redecoration of what was once her own home, while much lighter and brighter, retains its drama and elegance. The main wall in the open plan living, dining and kitchen space is in Resene Wallpaper Collection 218951, the panelled bulkhead is in Resene Wan White, the ceiling and trims are in Resene Double Alabaster and the timber floor is stained in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt.

Through her business, Eucalyptus Design & Interiors, Kelly is known for going above and beyond for her clientele. When she was getting ready to leave the house behind – which she described as being "stylish but sombre" at the time – she aimed to make it a little lighter of heart for those about to call it their new home.

One thing that the new owners wanted the four-storey home to retain was its texture, especially in terms of Kelly's talented use of wallpaper. They also wanted the palette to remain neutral – limited to shades of black, white and grey – but with a fresh look and feel that would work seamlessly with the elements that were to be retained, such as the drapery and kitchen. Rather than painting the space tip to toe in a single neutral hue, Kelly brought in layers of black, white and grey with subtle variations. This approach helped to soften the feel of the home and create an illusion of extra light and space.

Panelled wall ad texture and interest to the main living space
A master bedroom rich in texture
Lounge: Panelled walls and a bulkhead in Resene Wan White bring plenty of texture and interest to the main living space. The fireplace surround is painted Resene Double Concrete to bring further depth while the display cabinet beyond it is painted Resene Blackjack. The ceiling is in Resene Double Alabaster and the floor is finished in Resene Colorwood Rock Salt.  Bedroom:The master bedroom is rich with texture but still looks light and airy with walls in Resene Double Concrete, batten panels in Resene Wan White and the ceiling in Resene Double Alabaster. Outside, the weatherboard cladding is painted Resene Tana.

"As the designer, it was advantageous to have had a personal involvement with the home," says Kelly. "It enabled me to know how the natural light worked in the space. For instance, the main living room has limited natural light, so I knew the new colour palette needed to create brightness from within."

Kelly says that the large black and white cockatoo artwork, the centrepiece in the living area, was her main inspiration for the colours and textures she incorporated in the new design. "We pulled Resene Wan White out of the picture's neutral tones and used it for the panelled walls. It is a really clean fresh white and works perfectly with the selected wallpaper."

Resene Wallpaper Collection 218951 was used behind the artwork, which is hung on the longest wall in the open plan layout. Stretching eight metres, the design connects the living and dining areas to visually expand the space, making it feel larger yet intimate at the same time. Kelly says she chose this pattern in particular to be a subtle feature, one that wouldn't steal the show but instead would blend in beautifully and complement the key decorative elements of the design: the drapes, cushions, flooring and artwork.

"The gentle pattern of the bird's feathers provided inspiration for the wallpaper design, which works perfectly both texturally and tonally. The two-toned wallpaper lightens the room while bringing in contrast without making it feel cavernous," explains Kelly.

Lounge, dining and kitchen space, colours and textures
The timber batten panelling on the fireplace surround was made using new 60mm pine skirting on ply sheeting to create both texture and strength. Previously painted deep and dark Resene Double Cod Grey, the panelled surround was repainted Resene Double Concrete for the new owners to brighten up the space while the display cabinet was painted darker Resene Blackjack. The ceiling and trims are in Resene Double Alabaster and the panelled walls and bulkhead are in Resene Wan White. In the kitchen, the birch batten ceiling is stained Resene Colorwood Rock Salt, which was also used to stain the timber flooring. The kitchen cabinetry is painted in Resene Lusta-Glo tinted to Resene Quarter Friar Grey with handles in Resene Double Cod Grey.   Alternative looks - boho meets contemporary chic | serene in sage
Kitchen cabinetry and wall colours
Shutters in the luxe bathroom space
Kitchen: Kitchen cabinetry in Resene Lusta-Glo tinted to Resene Quarter Friar Grey with handles in Resene Double Cod Grey, ceiling in Resene Double Alabaster and panelled walls in Resene Wan White. A hint of Resene Colorwood Rock Salt stain was used on the birch panelled timber ceiling to reflect the same stain on the floor below.  Bathroom: Shutters regulate the natural light and privacy in the luxe bathroom space. They're painted in Resene Lusta-Glo tinted to Resene Double Cod Grey and the ceiling is in Resene Double Alabaster.

The glass fronted display cabinet is the only truly dark tone retained in the living and dining room. Painted Resene Blackjack, it makes the perfect backdrop for illuminated art glass while also creating a shadowing effect behind the fireplace, which is painted Resene Double Concrete.

According to Kelly, it's hard to find a better white for ceilings than Resene Double Alabaster. "It works with just about anything you want to put on the walls."

Resene Wan White was selected not only for the panelled interior walls but also for a solid feature wall outside as well as a privacy divider that does double duty as a neutral backdrop for a collection of tropical plants. "The hue pops nicely against the Resene Tana weatherboards and the Resene Woodsman Nutmeg stained balustrade," says Kelly.

"The palette is circular," she explains, "with colours flowing through the interior and exterior spaces." Resene Woodsman Nutmeg is seen again further down in the courtyard to link one space to the next while the fencing is a combination of Resene Woodsman Nutmeg and Resene Woodsman Crowshead. This deep black stain is used on both the fence and lower deck, which links back inside to the Resene Blackjack display cabinet."

Resene Woodsman Nutmeg is on the deck
The two-tiered outdoor area maximises entertaining space while keeping yard work to a minimum. The decking and surround on the upper deck are in Resene Woodsman Nutmeg. The weatherboard cladding is painted Resene Tana and the privacy screen (behind the potted plants) is in Resene Wan White.
Resene Crowshead timber stain for lower deck
Painted backyard fence in Resene Blackjack
Kelly chose Resene Woodsman Crowshead timber stain for the lower deck and rear fence as a call back to the Resene Blackjack display cabinet inside. The side fence, deck surround and balustrade are stained Resene Woodsman Nutmeg and the cladding is in Resene Tana.

Top tip: To continue your wood stain colour inside and out, use Resene Colorwood indoors and Resene Woodsman for exterior timber surfaces.

Because it was her second time decorating the property, Kelly says that the challenges for the redesign were quite minimal. The most significant ones had already been overcome when she initially renovated the home.

"The challenge that is always present for a designer is taking requests on board for many different people and then translating them not only to a cohesive design, but also making them relevant to the project. This is almost always the case when working with clients. I have been thanked on several occasions for keeping my clients' marriages together during the renovation process," she laughs.

"Of course, it was a challenge to have to leave this home to its new owners, as we had really loved living in it. Fortunately, the new residents loved the finishes, textures and feel of the home as much as us."

"I believe the most successful element for me was creating a home with distinctly separate zones of living, kitchen and dining areas all within an open plan environment. It was my objective to avoid the cavernous feel that can sometimes be created with these layouts. With my clients, I'm starting to see a desire to shift towards separate intimate zones, yet still within an open plan space."

design: Kelly Gammie, Eucalyptus Design & Interiors
images: John Mailley

Resene Echelon

Did you know... Interior bare concrete tends to attract dust and marks that can be hard to clean? Protect interior concrete walls with Resene Concrete Clear for an easy clean surface that looks good for longer.

Having trouble picking the perfect white? See the Resene Whites & Neutrals collection for a range of neutrals in varying strengths from bright white through to pure black and everything in between.

Paint it right

Choose the right Resene colours and paints for the job.

Pattern play: Layering a variety of different patterns within the same room is a great way to inject it with personality. The key is to pick designs made up of the same colours so they don't overwhelm. With thousands of options available and new designs introduced monthly, there are plenty of patterns to love in the Resene Wallpaper Collection that can be used on walls, ceilings, doors, drawers or inside bookcases to create a standout space. See the latest designs at your local Resene ColorShop.

Playing with patterns

Style tip: Character neutrals, while still easy to live with, can help to bring some soul to your space and keep it from feeling cold. Look to shades like Resene Quarter Cougar, Resene Half Fossil or Resene Barely There from the Resene The Range Whites & Neutrals collection.

Get the look: Having trouble finding curtains to go with your favourite Resene colour? The Resene Curtain Collection may be just what you need to dress your windows and complement your room's décor. It's a range of fabrics designed to work with popular Resene colours. The selection includes fashion stripes and patterns through to solids, sheers and neutrals designed to blend with a wide range of interior schemes. Try a sheer like Resene Pause curtains in Naturalle Voile underneath a heavier design like Resene Echelon curtains in Naturalle for a similar look to Kelly's design. See the full collection at

Alternative solution – boho meets contemporary chic

Mix and match for casual comfort and contrast

Designers Georgia Brian and Shayden Whipps suggest this alternative scheme:


We wanted to create a space that emulated modern comfort, so we started with the colour scheme. Resene Quarter White Pointer on the walls and ceiling set the spirit, and we dressed it up by adding a mixture of natural wood tones to the room, including the sofa and timber table. The gallery wall invites a pop of subtle colour and adds a feature to what could have been a forgotten wall. The kitchen is both contemporary and eclectic with its ceiling-mounted exposed shelving. Resene Triple Dune on the lower cabinets is bold but contrasts nicely. The timber flooring stained in Resene Colorwood Uluru is a nod to a boho aesthetic in combination with the soft furnishings and sculptural pendant lamps.

Email:  Web:

Alternative look - boho meets contemporary chic
Georgia and Shayden's light and bright space shows how pared down furnishings can add further openness while mixing a variety of shapes and adding in darker colours creates interest through contrast. Gallery wall in Resene Eighth Akaroa, other walls and ceiling in Resene Quarter White Pointer, floor in Resene Colorwood Uluru, lower cabinets in Resene Triple Dune. Sofa, vases and basket from Freedom Furniture, dining table from Loft, dining chairs from Hello Dear Interiors, wall hanging from Flux Boutique and pendant lamps from ECC. illustration: Malcolm White

Top tip: Resene wood stains and urethanes help to enhance the beauty of timber flooring while protecting your investment. Inside, use Resene Colorwood to rejuvenate the colour in your wooden flooring, walls, ceilings and furnishings. Outside, use Resene Woodsman to enhance, rejuvenate and protect timber.

Greypands Pendant lamps
Graypants Pendant Lamps, from ECC
The Don Stumpy
The Don Stumpy, from Hello Dear Interiors
Anders Coffee Table
Anders Coffee Table, from Freedom Furniture
Don Concord Armchair
Don Concord Armchair, from Mr. Bigglesworthy
Gallery Wall #3
Gallery Wall #3, from Maiko Nagao

Resene Colorwood Uluru

Alternative solution – serene in sage

Sage greens make a stylish statement

Resene colour specialist Brooke Calvert suggests this alternative scheme:


I wanted this open plan living, dining and kitchen space to feel relaxing and a place where you could feel at home. The linen sofas, luxurious sheepskin elements and natural timbers have been used to soften the space and create a feeling of calm. Pops of brass have been brought in through the tapware and floor lamp to add a touch of glam. The beautiful coral pink on the far back wall in Resene Just Dance is echoed through the soapstone table piece and kitchen accessories, while the fresh and warm white walls in Resene Quarter Rice Cake work to enhance the timber tones throughout the space, including the floor finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash. Sage green tiles on the splashback draw your eye in, which then moves to the bench seat, bringing a little extra drama – which is what it's all about!

Phone: 027 215 6949  Email:

Alternative look - sage greens make a stylish statement
Brooke kept the main elements of the open plan kitchen, dining and living area neutral but incorporated on trend terracotta, sage and blush through the back accent wall in Resene Just Dance, the splashback and other small accessories. The rest of the walls and trims are in Resene Quarter Rice Cake, the ceiling is in Resene Eighth Rice Cake and the timber flooring is finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash. Dining table and chairs from Me & My Trend, sofas from St. Clement, shelving from Bob & Friends, sheepskin (on chair) from Wilson & Dorset, sheepskin cushions from Bohème Home, pendant lamp from The Workroom Wanaka, floor lamp from MENU and salt and pepper grinders and soapstone dish from Paper Plane. illustration: Malcolm White

Top tip: See the Resene Whites & Neutrals collection for a range of easy to live with hues in varying strengths – including plenty of stylish character neutrals.

Meir Kitchen Gooseneck Mixe
Meir Kitchen Gooseneck Mixer, from The Kitchen Hub
Protea Print
Protea Print, from Father Rabbit
Piastrella Collection Olive Mix
Piastrella Collection Olive Mix, from Tile Space
Benmore Bench Seat
Benmore Bench Seat, from Ico Traders
Ava Velvet Cushion
Ava Velvet Cushion, from The Design Store

Resene Just Dance

Resene Whitewash

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