Anya and Richard go bold with eco living

15 Jun 2017

A low energy house painted in bold Resene colour, this Wellington home is a winner in more ways than one. Chosen as the Residential Interior winner of last year's Resene Total Colour Awards, it combines environmentally principles and an outstanding use of colour. Is it any surprise that the owner is an artist?

Belonging to Anya, a ceramic artist, and Richard Mowll, the property sits on a lush 1.3 hectare site on the hills above Tawa, Wellington. Determined at the start to have an eco friendly home, with a ban on white and beige interiors by Anya, they talked to four architects before finding one that understood their vision. The architect was Richard Wright of Aonui Architecture, who took their initial log cabin idea and helped them develop it into a sustainable home with strong interior colours.

Anya had a clear idea for her preferred palette for various spaces. It all started in the kitchen, painted in Resene Sunflower for the splashback and Resene Toto on the cabinetry... it organically grew from there, going bright and happy with Resene Golden Glow in the living room and master bedroom, with a splash of Resene Hullabaloo in the bathroom, and racy Resene Thunderbird in the kitchen and on the front door.

Architect Richard also had a helping hand with colour.

“The architect helped us by creating a colour palette on a piece of wood," says Anya. "He had the wood, the benchtops, the plywood colour of the ceilings, a section of floor tile and from that base we were able to choose colours using the Resene colour swatches."

The exterior was designed to fit into the environment, and finished in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Natural wood stain. The aim is to also have the entire 1.3 hectares planted in natives to restore the birdlife. 

Anya and Richard decided to stretch their budget for gabion walls at the front, which they don't regret.

"They are filled with rock from the Horokiwi Quarry, just two kilometres away, so it really is local rock," says Anya. "Our architect Richard Wright said they’d connect the house to the ground. He’s right. It feels like the house has grown from the ground, it’s not just arrived and in isolation.”

This story features in the latest issue of habitat – click here to read the magazine, filled with beautiful homes and inspiring ideas using Resene paint and colours.

Anya and Richard's eco home packs a punch with beautiful colour. The kitchen is painted with Resene Golden Glow on the walls, Resene Rough N Tumble on the bulkhead and Resene Thunderbird on the left. The splashback is painted in Resene Sunflower and the cabinetry is painted in Resene Toto.

pictures Jason Mann, words by Jill Wild. 

A few hours went into choosing the colours, which grew organically over time. Featured here in the kitchen and living room are Resene Thunderbird (red), Resene Toto (blue), Resene Golden Glow (yellow) and Resene Rough N Tumble (brown). 

Every room is painted in a different colour combo, with plywood ceilings throughout. In the living room and dining room, the walls are painted in Resene Golden Glow, with a feature wall painted in Resene Thunderbird. 

The other side of the living room is painted in Resene Rough N Tumble, continued behind the built-in book shelving and on the central bulkhead in the ceiling. The other walls are painted in Resene Golden Glow.

Bright and happy, the master bedroom is painted in Resene Golden Glow.

When their son Ilya was asked to pick a colour for his bedroom, he randomly chose Resene Feijoa, distracted by computer sessions. Fortuitously, the choice is perfect for this room with its grassy outlook. 

The couple also went for blue cabinetry in the bathroom, painting it in Resene Hullabaloo. The walls are painted in Resene Edgewater.

Anya and Richard stretched the budget to include gabion walls, filled with rock from a nearby quarry. The exterior is finished in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Natural wood stain and Resene Waterborne Woodsman Treehouse wood stain.

The exterior was designed to fit into the 1.3 hectare environment, and was finished in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Natural wood stain. The macrocarpa weatherboards were finished in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Treehouse wood stain.

The Mowll's bold red front door, painted in Resene Thunderbird.

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