Dave and Barb's divine Auckland retreat

19 Oct 2017

Hidden away in a secluded part of Auckland's North Shore, and painted in an array of soothing Resene colours, Warblers Retreat is Dave and Barb Milina's slice of paradise.  

The lodge was built in 2000 by a French couple and was only just completed when Dave purchased the property a year later. Soon after, he and Barb embarked on a total makeover of the house and garden, swapping bright yellow walls with Resene White Pointer. They also introduced softer colours for more of a retreat vibe, including Resene Casper, a pale grey blue pastel, in one of the guest bedrooms. 

Dave and Barb now enjoy the pleasure of Warblers Retreat with their large family, friends and paying guests, who stay in the studio or the cottage. Barb tells us more. 

How did you decide on the overall look of the interiors?

We wanted it to be light, bright and contemporary. We also didn't want the interior to compete with the garden views, which can be seen from the large doors and windows in all of the rooms. We really wanted it to feel that you could relax when you stayed here.

What part of the house are you happiest with?

The conversion of the kitchen walls, from being bright yellow to painted in Resene White Pointer. The original yellow clashed with the floor colour, whereas the white walls work so well now. They highlight the texture of the plaster walls, show off the detail in the kitchen units and help to feature the ceiling better. Overall it’s a lot softer on the eye and more relaxing. 

What is your advice for someone trying to achieve a similar look?

Use a base colour throughout that can be enhanced by complementary colours or feature colours. This gives a sense of continuity.

What was the biggest challenge for this project?

The scale. It was a total makeover of two dwellings, both inside and out. I did all the painting except for one small exterior part that couldn’t be reached by ladder and required scaffolding. 

Sourcing furniture took time as we had to start from scratch. There were many items we bought secondhand online and repainted to get the look we wanted. We used Resene paint for everything. Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer is a real winner!

Do you have a favourite colour, and if so why is it your favourite?

Resene All Black, the colour we've used for the exterior. We are avid All Black followers, of course. The building used to be a light pink colour, and painting it in Resene All Black completely changed the look of the whole place. It has a lovely deep blue base, which works well with the shutters and the silver aluminium cladding. 

Also anyone who stays in the Grey Warbler Room, painted in Resene Casper, say it’s a particularly peaceful colour.  

See more of this gorgeous retreat at www.warblersretreat.nz

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing editor Sharon Newey on [email protected].

Painted in Resene White Pointer, the living room has all the elements of a room to relax into – comfy couches, a forest outlook, and a guitar by the fireplace. 

The kitchen cupboards used to be a mustard yellow colour, later professionally painted in Resene White Pointer. Resene Cello has been used as an accent colour on the feature wall. 

Dave and Barb wanted the Kereru Studio to feel light, warm and bright, and used Resene Half Thorndon Cream on the walls. The wardrobe was painted with Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer, and then Resene White Pointer. The coffee table has been whitewashed with Resene Double Thorndon Cream and a dash of Resene Sea Green. 

The bedroom walls in the cottage accommodation are painted in Resene Quarter Sidecar, with Resene Half Thorndon Cream on the ceiling. 

Guests who stay in the Grey Warbler Room, painted in Resene Casper, say it’s a particularly peaceful colour.  

The bathrooms are painted in Resene Lemon Grass, one of the original colours in the house. The cabinets (previously honey coloured ply) were painted with Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer and then Resene Half White Pointer. 

The main entrance and hallway walls were painted with a combination of Resene White Pointer and Resene Half White Pointer. Previously being grey and yellow, the new change of colour made a huge difference to the light in the home. A colour match was made up by Resene to match the original pale beige skirting boards. This was named Resene Barbara’s Grey, after homeowner Barb. 

The house was originally a pinky colour. The homeowners repainted the exterior, along with the garden sheds and water tanks, in Resene All Black. 

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Resene All Black

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Resene Double Napa

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Resene Double Thorndon Cream

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Resene Double White Pointer

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Resene Half Thorndon Cream

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Resene Half White Pointer

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Resene Lemon Grass

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Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream

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Resene Sea Green

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Resene Double Napa

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Resene Double Thorndon Cream

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Resene Double White Pointer

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Resene Half Thorndon Cream

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Resene Half White Pointer

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Resene Lemon Grass

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Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream

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Resene Sea Green

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Resene White Pointer

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