Amanda’s beachy modern take on mid-century

25 Jan 2018

When designer Amanda Neill helped renovate a 1970s architect-designed apartment in an Auckland beachside suburb, she skilfully combined the owner’s love of mid-century style with the colours of the sea. Now a palette of restful Resene blues gives the home a restful, welcoming feel. 

The owner and his late wife bought the apartment in 2015 while she was fighting melanoma. It’s one of a block of four units designed by Cook Hitchcock Sargisson and built in 1977. The apartments step back as they go up, allowing sea views to be a key part of the aesthetics. 

The owner already owned a mid-century Parker lounge suite handed down from his parents and was keen to carry the mid-century concept through. He spent many hours researching the style online during his stay in the North Shore Hospice and was inspired by some amazing mid-century restorations and renovations he found. His wife lost her battle with cancer shortly before the building work began. 

Amanda tells use more:

What was the client’s brief and how did your design and colour choices respond to that?

The client wanted to play with a modern take on mid-century elements, and at the same time connecting the interior with the environment outside. Varied shades of blue were introduced on feature walls, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and tiles, and soft furnishings, while the backdrop was fresh and white, keeping it light and airy. 

The main wall colour is Resene Alabaster, with ceilings in Resene Quarter Alabaster, and the palette of blues includes a feature wall in the lounge in Resene Ashanti, bathroom cabinets in Resene Inside Back and Resene Seachange, and some kitchen cabinets in Resene Ziggurat.

The ceiling over the kitchen was opened up, giving the area a spacious feeling and creating a high stud which sloped down. A key feature was the introduction of sapele timber, which has a mahogany colouring, in the kitchen and other cabinetry.

What was your overall design philosophy?

To create spaces that connected with each other and the environment while also reconnecting the mid-century design flavour to the integrity of the building. 

What part of the design are you most happy with?

I love the bold use of a combination of blues. They all sit really well together.

 What was the biggest design challenge for this project?

My client lost his wife during the process, and I really wanted to honour her during this process, and take any stress off the client.

He would say that his biggest challenge was to convince me to include a mahogany coloured kitchen. 

Building by Derek Armstrong and the team from North Shore Construction. Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry by Interno.

For more about Amanda Neill’s work see www.designworxnz.co.nz.

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

blue living room, blue, living room, modern, beach house, mid century, apartment

Original mid-century Parker lounge chairs were always part of the scheme for this home, now offset by a Resene Ashanti feature wall. The other walls are Resene Alabaster and the ceiling is in Resene Quarter Alabaster.

blue living room, blue, living room, modern, beach house, mid century

The unit looks out over the beach, so Amanda’s palette of blues including a feature wall in Resene Ashanti, reflects the location.

blue living room, blue, living room, modern, beach house, mid century, apartment, hallway,

The apartment now has an open and airy feel with Resene Alabaster walls, Resene Quarter Alabaster ceilings and a front door in Resene Ziggurat. 

blue kitchen, blue, modern, beach house, mid century, apartment, kitchen

The kitchen has a linear modernist feel with cabinets in a combination of Resene Alabaster, Resene Ziggurat and sapele timber. 

blue bathroom, blue, modern, beach house, mid century, apartment, bathroom

Colour-blocked vanity units are finished in Resene Inside Back, Resene Seachange and sapele timber. 

grey apartment, grey exterior, exterior

The apartment is one of four designed in the 1970s by Cook Hitchcock Sargisson architects. 

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