Susan helps ravaged house rise again

25 May 2017

A ranch-style home, painted in Resene Rodeo Dust, by American-born designer Susan Templer. You've got to love the irony.

Susan was enlisted to help the owners of this Auckland home, after a catastrophic fire destroyed the kitchen, bathrooms and almost everything they owned. Before the fire, the rooms were painted in all different, bright colours, filled with rich, embroidered curtains and lush, heavily patterned furnishings.

This time around the clients wanted a subtle Italian influence in the decor, which is most obvious in some of the tile choices, particularly the entry and the kitchen backsplash, along with the blue and earthy shades used in paint and furnishings. The clients still wanted strong pops of colour, but balanced with a lighter aesthetic.

Where deep blue or red fabrics have been used in the two lounges, wall colours are more neutral in earthy Resene Rodeo Dust. In the bedrooms, by contrast, deep blue accent walls in Resene Hammerhead are offset by white furnishings, fabric and walls in Resene Half Spanish White. Susan tells us more.

What was your overall design philosophy?

My design philosophy is to help the client create a home to their own personal style and taste. I work closely with the client, using photographs and other tools, to get a sense of what they like. We shop together for materials, selecting products that the client loves and I ensure that they will work well together. In this way, each of my projects is different and is a reflection of the client’s personal taste.

What part of the design are you most happy with?

With a few small changes, the house has been turned into the perfect entertaining space for this very social couple. A couple of walls were removed so that the old dining room, kitchen and family room are now one big space, seamlessly flowing into each other with practical and attractive cabinetry delineating the separate areas.

The very large, but underused, main lounge is now furnished to serve as both dining and living room. During parties, guests move seamlessly from nibbles at the island, to dinner at the table, to chatting or playing games in the lounges.

What was the biggest design challenge for this project?

Having lost almost all of their possessions, refitting this house as a home was a massive undertaking for all concerned.

In addition to replacing large items and rebuilding the kitchen and bathrooms, the homeowners had to replace every little item, from bedding and towels to wall art and even decorative accessories. 

They are still in the process of trying to rebuild a life and memories that were lost, but for now this house is once again a welcoming home.

See more about Susan and her work at www.templerinteriors.co.nz.

The kitchen, family room and lounge are painted in Resene Rodeo Dust, an earthy tone that frames lighter elements, such as white cabinets and window coverings.

pictures Larnie Nicolson

The walls painted in Resene Rodeo Dust work really well with the deeper tones in the furniture (some of it natural rimu) and floor. 

Susan chose Resene Buttery White for the kitchen cabinets, a gentle contrast to the ceiling and trims in Resene Quarter Spanish White. 

Resene Rodeo Dust continues in both living rooms, where the abundant natural light brings out the earthy tones of the walls and rich, warm reds in the flooring. 

Resene Spanish White is used on some walls to lighten the rooms and flow through to where the spaces look onto the hallways, also the same colour. 

The bedrooms have an accent wall in Resene Hammerhead, matched to the bedding. Susan chose the colour to create a sharp contrast to the bright white fabric, used for window coverings in the master bedroom and the headboard in the guest bedroom.

Where tiles weren't used in the main bathroom, Susan had the walls painted in Resene Half Biscotti, with the ceiling painted in Resene Quarter Biscotti. This continues the look of the tile and keeps this small space from feeling too busy.

Beautiful colours come into play with Susan's colour scheme, from the earthy tones of the tiles to Resene Hammerhead as a feature wall in the bedroom. The ceiling is painted in Resene Quarter Spanish White. 

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Resene Buttery White

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Resene Half Biscotti

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Resene Half Spanish White

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Resene Hammerhead

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Resene Quarter Biscotti

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Resene Quarter Spanish White

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Resene Rodeo Dust

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the look

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Resene Buttery White

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Resene Half Biscotti

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Resene Half Spanish White

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Resene Hammerhead

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Resene Quarter Biscotti

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Resene Quarter Spanish White

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Resene Rodeo Dust

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Resene Spanish White

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