Julia and Alastair say yes to French romance

04 May 2017

Earthy Resene Double Grey Olive walls, dark chocolate oak floors and ceiling roses... you'd be forgiven for thinking Julia and Alastair's home is from a much earlier decade. 

When the couple sold their previous home, a 1910 villa, they had come to love all the extra features these homes had to offer and decided to build a replica. Although it took a lot longer than expected, they stuck to their guns... and their new build has all the charm and character of what they set out to achieve. 

Julia is the owner of Relique, where she sells her unique jewellery designs – from her business to her home, she's created beauty all around her.

She tells us more about her family's new build.

Tell us about the project.

When we took on building our new home, the housing company was to build the shell while we undertook the fitout and decorating. Our previous house sold quickly at auction so we decided to build a triple garage on the new site to live in while our new home was being built. What was estimated to take about 6 months turned out to be around 19 months with all four of us cramped in the garage! Quite an adventure for ourselves and our two boys Alex, 8 and Aidan, 4.

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

It had to have a character feel so we worked hard to add as many extra details as the budget would allow – high skirting, colonial style architrave and I even had ceiling roses made in Wellington then freighted down.

I wanted a warm, relaxed space that I could fill with artwork and treasures from my ventures around various antique and second hand shops. A lot of the side tables were bought second hand and then painted in Resene colours to give a French Provincial feel. Mixed with new furniture it seems to co-exist really well.

What part of the house are you most happy with?

I love the more relaxed living area. It captures the sun, has the warmth of oak flooring and an amazing outlook through the huge bay window. A great place to curl up with a book!

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

If you can do a lot of the work yourself, it will save you a ton of money. It seems anything slightly out of the ordinary seems to cost twice as much. And second hand pieces really help to add to the ambience... solid wood is so much nicer than MDF.

What was the biggest challenge for this project?

Time – with two young boys there were a lot of guilty moments of not enough time being spent with them. And the fatigue... painting until 2am definitely puts a strain on things.

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

I love Resene Double Grey Olive. It has a real earthiness and looks fabulous with dark wood.

How did you find working with Resene paint and colours?

I love Resene paint. It's a fantastic, durable product and the finish is always outstanding. With two boys it has to be able to stand up to a few scuffs and knocks!

Is there anyone you would like mentioned in the article?

We did most of the decorating work ourselves but we were super impressed with the builder from Dynamic Construction who tackled our kitchen mantle. He had no plans to go by except for a picture of what I wanted. We are really pleased with how it turned out.

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

The lounge is painted in Resene Double Grey Olive, a colour that works well with the dark chocolate tones of the oak floor. The trims are painted in Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta. 

The look extends to the French Provincial-style kitchen, with walls painted in Resene Double Grey Olive. The trims are painted in Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta. 

In the formal living room, the couple's love for the Victorian era inspired their choice of this gold baroque patterned wallpaper from their local Resene ColorShop. This pattern has since been discontinued, but you can get a similar look with wallpaper from the Italian Classic collection, available from Resene ColorShops. 

They have used the same wallpaper in the master bedroom with walls painted in Resene Double Grey Olive. The home is filled with upcycled furniture and antique treasures collected by Julia, further lending to the French Provincial feel.  

They went lighter for the bathroom, painting the walls in Resene Double Spanish White. 

Julia enjoying the sun in the lounge, painted in Resene Double Grey Olive. 

The exterior is in keeping with the early 1900s villa look they wanted, with decorative trims painted in Resene Half Thorndon Cream and weatherboards painted in Resene Grey Olive. The front door is painted in Resene Blackjack.   

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Resene Blackjack

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Resene Double Grey Olive

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Resene Double Spanish White

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Resene Grey Olive

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Resene Half Thorndon Cream

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Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta

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Resene Blackjack

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Resene Double Grey Olive

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Resene Double Spanish White

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Resene Grey Olive

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Resene Half Thorndon Cream

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Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta

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