2 living looks: Sandra and Nicola’s designer spaces

04 Dec 2014

The living area is the hub of any home – it’s where we spend most of our time and the place our visitors see. The style of this important space often dictates how the rest of our house looks, both in colour and in theme.

This week, we feature two gorgeous living areas which use the same main colour but to quite different effect. Wellington-based designer Nicola Blackmore of Domesticity responded to a brief for a youthful and colourful space with a dreamy palette of pastel colours, while Palmerston North designer Sandra Carroll of Colour & Design Group gave her clients a serene palette of colours to work with existing timber floors and pastoral views.

Both living areas show what a difference colour can make without needing to make structural changes. 

Nicola’s summery good looks

Nicola Blackmore took the uninspiring cream-coloured living room of this 1960s bungalow and responded to the brief for a well-functioning space which is youthful and colourful.

Her solution was to use a fresh duck egg blue, Resene Robin Egg Blue, as the main wall colour with soft pastel pink and summery yellow as accents.

Inspired by the colours of a cushion, Resene Pot Pourri was chosen to create a feature in the dining space, adding a hint of femininity to the space. Both the blue and the pink complement her client’s existing oak furniture and are replicated in various accessories around the room.

Nicola also removed the enormous floor to ceiling curtains which swallowed the windows and therefore made the room appear smaller. These were replaced with timber venetian blinds to complement the wooden floorboards. Glass wall sconces and a tired sliding door leading to the kitchen were also removed.

Nicola’s biggest challenge was creating a layout that used all of the space but kept it from feeling like a walkway. She defined the space by splitting it into three distinct areas  – somewhere to watch television, a seating area for reading by the windows, and a dining space.

She also created a very personalised artwork by the grass-cloth wallpaper that used to be on the wall. It was cut into three A4-sized pieces and given a whitewash paint effect to create patterns, then framed for the dining room wall. They look great and cost nothing.

See www.domesticity.co.nz for more of Nicola's projects.

Did you know... that you can achieve the whitewash look using various Resene products? Either use diluted Resene Lumbersider, Resene Colorwood Whitewash, or you can also mix a testpot of white paint with Resene Paint Effects. 

Sandra’s soothing solution

This project came about after Sandra’s clients found that the grey colour scheme of their recently purchased house left them cold!

They wanted a more soothing scheme with texture and warmth to better work in with the timber floors and doors, their furniture and the accessories collected both in New Zealand and overseas.

The scheme also had to tie in with the silvery grey of the aluminium joinery. This cool, dull colour didn’t inspire the clients at all, says Sandra, but is a main component of the home and impacts visually on all the rooms.

In response to the challenge, Sandra chose a calming palette of blues and teals for the main living areas, using Resene Robin Egg Blue as the main colour for the walls with Resene Green Meets Blue as a feature wall and the inky blue of Resene Avalanche for the kitchen splashback.  This colour combination cools the north-facing living areas on very sunny warm days.

The new scheme also works with – rather than competes with – the view of green pastures and the blue sky seen through the large windows.

Another challenge was the high sloping ceilings. The room seemed very cavernous before, but the use of a horizontally striped wallpaper brings the dimensions into scale.

To complete the scheme, Sandra chose the clean cream tones of Resene Triple Rice Cake for the trims, with Resene Alabaster for the ceilings.

To contact Sandra, email [email protected].

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

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Designer Nicola Blackmore responded to the brief for a youthful space by using Resene Robin Egg Blue for the living room wall with accents of pink and yellow. 

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A feature wall in Resene Pot Pourri adds a hint of femininity to the scheme while the three artworks are created from pieces of the old grass-cloth wallpaper that are used to cover the walls. 

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Another view of the living room in the 1960s bungalow, where Nicola removed heavy curtains to lighten the space. The walls are Resene Robin Egg Blue.

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The Resene Robin Egg Blue walls continues behind a white bookshelf.

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Three soothing blues and greens come together in the open-plan kitchen and family area with Resene Robin Egg Blue as the main wall colour, Resene Green Meets Blue as the rear feature wall, and Resene Avalanche on the kitchen splashback.

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The three colours (Resene Robin Egg Blue, Resene Green Meets Blue and Resene Avalanche) where chosen to work well with the warm timber tones of the joinery and furniture. The ceiling is Resene Alabaster and the trims are Resene Triple Rice Cake.

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Resene Robin Egg Blue beautifully frames the white cabinetry of the kitchen.

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Ornaments and artworks helped to inspire the colour scheme. The wall is Resene Robin Egg Blue.  

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Resene Alabaster

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Resene Avalanche

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Resene Green Meets Blue

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Resene Pot Pourri

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Resene Robin Egg Blue

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Resene Triple Akaroa

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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 Alabaster

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Resene Avalanche

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Resene Green Meets Blue

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Resene Pot Pourri

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Resene Robin Egg Blue

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Resene Triple Akaroa

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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.