Grant and Maria's 1940s Manor with a French-Inspired Interior

22 Sep 2011

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

Shabby chic meets elegant charm

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Grant and Maria have lived in their St Heliers home for five years, but Maria had her eye on it long before then - she grew up nearby and had noticed the striking house whenever she passed by. "I jumped at the chance to view inside when it came on the market, and immediately loved the character features, high ceilings and spacious rooms," she recalls.

Rather than radically making over the house in their own style, Grant and Maria gradually made small changes over time. "The interior look has evolved naturally over the last five years," says Maria. "A holiday in France inspired the decor of many of the rooms, especially the touch of shabby chic in the girls' bedrooms."

What was the biggest challenge with creating your home interior? Choosing the interior paint colours!

Which space do you get your greatest satisfaction from? We love our living room - it's a great family space for any occasion. Whether we are lounging around with the kids watching DVDs, or enjoying a glass of wine by the fire in the evening, it works perfectly.

What is your advice for someone trying to achieve a similar look? Hold out for furniture you love, especially big ticket items like your dining table, chairs and sofas. Interior details, like wall colour and cushions, can easily be updated to change the overall look of a room, but it's likely that the bigger items will be with you for some time, so hold out for the right piece!

What colours did you use? We love the restful feeling that neutrals create, so we used Resene Thorndon Cream in the informal living room, Resene Parchment in the upstairs hallway and bathrooms, and Resene Half Parchment in the master bedroom. We find that the various Parchment shades work really well with antique wooden furniture. In the children's bedrooms, we used Resene Albescent White and Resene Half Surrender, which work really well with girly colours. We inherited the green Resene Opal walls in the formal living and dining areas when we purchased the house, and they are the only walls that we haven't updated, because it's a really great shade and nice to live with. It's a much stronger colour than I'd normally go for, but it works in this house.

Get the look:
When you’re painting interior walls, Resene Zylone Sheen is a popular choice. If you’re worried about indoor air quality, you can opt for Resene Zylone Sheen VOC Free which has the subtle sheen of the standard product but none of the VOCs. In high wear-and-tear areas, such as hallways, consider using Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen waterborne enamels. Waterborne enamels are tougher than standard acrylic paints so they make it easier to keep the walls cleaner.

Table talk

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The dining and kitchen area features fresh whites, antique wood, and soft green Resene Opal walls.

Al fresco dining

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The outdoor deck area, with a stylish water feature, is surrounded by a lush garden.

Family favourite

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Grant and Maria's favourite space in the house, the informal living room is painted in Resene Thorndon Cream.

Pale and interesting

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One of the bedrooms, inspired by French shabby chic style, is painted in Resene Half Surrender.

Street appeal

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The house from the street. It's easy to see why Maria noticed it long before she lived here.

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Resene Albescent White

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Resene Half Parchment

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Resene Half Surrender

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Resene Parchment

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Resene Thorndon Cream

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the look

If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
Ask a Colour Expert service.

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Resene Albescent White

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Resene Half Parchment

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Resene Half Surrender

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Resene Parchment

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Resene Thorndon Cream

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Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

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the look

If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
Ask a Colour Expert service.