Ann and Noel mix soft with hard

30 Oct 2014

A careful blend of quiet Resene colours to sit alongside the raw beauty of plywood and concrete has resulted in a stunning home that responds to its wind-swept Wairarapa setting.

When Ann and Noel bought the land 25 years ago, they always dreamed of one day building a house, and moving off their farm. That day finally came a couple of years ago. Having built a concrete house before as a holiday retreat, the couple felt the material would suit the exposed nature of their new building site. Concrete was also used as an interior surface, along with plywood and a considered palette of soft Resene colour.

The house was designed by Lauren Wong and Evzen Novak of Studio Pacific Architecture and built by local builders King Tipoki and Vern Elliott.

What Resene colours and products have you used, and what inspired those choices?

Because we had built for the 360-degree views, we wanted the interior look to be quiet so as to not clash.

The fact we had chosen to have a concrete house was we also wanted an easy to maintain house. Hence internal and external walls were not going to be painted.

We used Resene Quarter Tea in the living areas, and with the plywood on the curved hall and the kitchen, I didn’t want the typical blonded ply finish to our kitchen and hallway – so we explored whitewash options. We wanted the timber grain to still be obvious but with white background. Our niece Tessa Macrae worked at the Resene ColorShop in Masterton so she suggested using Resene Rock Salt from the Resene Colorwood stains range. It was finished with a Resene AquaClear semi-gloss finish.

The only bright colour in the living area is Resene Wasabi green on the splashbacks in the kitchen. I chose it because the colour matched and blended at the same level with the grass outside.

What was the theory behind the bedroom colours?

In the bedrooms, I wanted more colour for the non-concrete walls, though again not too bright. The west-facing bedroom is Resene Blanched Pink, the east-facing bedroom is Resene Half Robins Egg Blue and the third bedroom/office is Resene Half Tea. The ceilings are Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream.

Noel believes we have created a very economical holiday plan, as we use the west-facing bedroom in the winter to take advantage of the warm sun late in the day, then move to the east-facing bedroom in summer for cooler evenings. The colours also suit the seasonal use with the warmer pink for winter and the cooler blue for summer.

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

Don’t be rushed into making colour choices. Follow your instincts and seek advice if you’re unsure.

What were the biggest challenges for this project?

We were the overseers of our project so anything that was not ordered or planned at the right time was down to us. For the most part we didn’t do too badly, although there were a few times it became rather stressful.

All of the contractors who worked on the house had challenges in one form or another. There were the curved walls that need ply or tiles to be fitted around them. Waterproof membrane had to be installed under and up the sides of the house to allow for the dirt to be pushed back up against the house once completed. The electricians and plumbers sometimes needed to do their installations before the concrete walls were actually made.

And the weather delayed the project. Some of the thermo concrete panels (from Lattey Civil & Precast in Hastings) sat at the bottom of the drive for several weeks as it was too windy to erect them.

Top tip: To keep concrete floors and benchtop looking good for longer, use Resene Concrete Wax. Or for concrete walls, apply Resene Aquapel as a water repellent finish, to keep the natural look of the concrete but help keep the water out. You can also use Resene Concrete Clear on concrete walls inside and out to protect the surface. 

Read more: Talia and Chris cross to the dark side

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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Resene Blanched Pink was chosen for this west-facing bedroom as a warm colour for winter use. Noel created the fabric headboards for the bedrooms.

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By contrast, the cooler tones of Resene Half Robins Egg Blue were used for this ‘summer’ bedroom which faces east.  

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The luxury bathroom takes advantage of the views with a perfectly placed bath. Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream complements the wall tiles.

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The curvaceous hallway has concrete on one side, and whitewash-effect plywood on the other, using Resene Rock Salt stain.

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The strongest colour in the house is Resene Wasabi, used in the splashbacks in the kitchen. The cabinets are plywood, finished in Resene Rock Salt from the Resene Colorwood stains range.

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The living areas are dominated by sweeping views over landscape below. Resene Quarter Tea on the walls acts as a warm toned, unobtrusive frame to the views. 

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The raw concrete exterior is the perfect addition to this dramatic terrain. House painted by Rigg-Zschokke Ltd of Masterton.

pictures Photographs by Terry Hann

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Resene Blanched Pink

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Resene Quarter Tea

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Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream

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Resene Robin Egg Blue

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Resene Rock Salt

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Resene Quarter Tea

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Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream

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Resene Robin Egg Blue

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Resene Rock Salt

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