Susie works her magic on an 80s do-up

11 May 2017

Turning a dated 1980s townhouse into a restful haven was a challenge seized upon by interior designer Susie Cropper. Faced with faux brass, pink bathroom fittings, peeling floral wallpaper and yellowed cedar panelling, she used a calming palette of Resene neutrals to transform this Auckland townhouse.

The windows on the upper floor were very steep, triangular and high pitched with large dramatic exposed beams painted in chocolate brown. Needless to say, the very tired dwelling (untouched since it was built) needed some love. Susie was the one to bring it back to life. She tells us more:

What was the owner’s brief and how did you interpret that?

The warmth and character of the newly refurbished dwelling created a restful sanctuary which is exactly what the owner required.

The owner requested a ‘mid-century’ feel and a relaxing home. He was inspired by the clever neutral harmonies in the work of leading British designer Sir Terence Conran. Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream worked perfectly to enhance the light, while also working with the existing sage green carpet. 

How does the neutral palette work as a whole?

The Resene colour palette was chosen to neutralise the nasty yellowed woodwork and create a restful haven with Scandinavian influences. Painting the extraordinary beamed ceilings in neutral Resene Truffle worked wonders.

Both bathrooms and a new kitchen were transformed by Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream and Resene Half Thorndon Cream, which picked up the freshness of daylight, but without the glare of other bright white colours. All skirtings and window frames were painted with Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel to complement the new wall colour. 

As this was a very sunny north-west facing property, it was important to embrace the light but not be overwhelmed by it. Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream has a life of its own in this property, creating grey tones, warm neutrals and an overall feeling of happy calmness – essential for my client, a retired gentleman.

What was the biggest challenge for this property?

This architecturally designed townhouse had very high pitched upstairs ceilings and exposed beams which were a real challenge to interpret with paint colour. The ceiling needed to be recessive not dominant. Resene Truffle was chosen as this worked beautifully with the Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream walls to calm down the drama of both beams and angled ceilings. This also served to work together with the complex conservatory ceiling design in the downstairs conservatory – also painted in Resene Truffle. 

Painting the stained cedar trims was another challenge. It was treated thoroughly with Resene StainLock to ensure that all bleed from existing stain was stopped in order to get the final result. It worked very well and the new paintwork is excellent.

All window frames and doors were painted with a Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss finish which made a dramatic departure from the existing cedar woodwork.

For more about Susie and her work, see www.susiecropper.com.

Susie used a palette of Resene neutrals to turn this 80s townhouse into a restful haven. The homeowner wanted a mid-century feel, which is prevalent in the furniture choice throughout the home. The walls in the living room are painted in Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream. 

The dining room is light and inviting, painted in Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream. 

It leads out into the conservatory, which features an exquisite ceiling freshened up with Resene Truffle. The walls are painted in Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream. 

The home boasts a new kitchen, with walls painted in Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream and cabinets painted in Resene Half Thorndon Cream. 

The bathroom is another place that pulls in the sunlight, featuring a stunning high pitched ceiling painted in Resene Truffle. The walls are painted in Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream. 

Susie wanted to embrace the abundant natural light that fills the north-west facing property. Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream in the bedroom hits the right note, creating a sanctuary-like feel to the space. 

The designer chose to paint the high pitched ceiling and large beams in Resene Truffle, to make them recessive rather than dominant. It works beautifully with Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream on the walls. 

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