Antanas and Tara's reno of two halves

10 Nov 2016

Returning from England twenty years ago, Antanas and Tara had just enough money for a house deposit and insurance.

Settling in Cambridge they found the perfect property, a simple 1920s weatherboards bungalow with no architectural embellishments or decoration... making it relatively easy to alter and add to when they could afford it.

Two decades later, and the house has been part of a series of ongoing renovation projects, the latest rendition painted in a range of soft Resene greens and blues. 

There's now now two parts to the house: the original building, with high ceilings, and timber doors and windows, and the more recent addition, a modern, open, north-facing living area.

"When we first bought the house, we envisaged that we would add to it gradually ‘in keeping’ with the original, enhancing the architectural style as we went," says Antanas, who is the principal architect of Waikato-based PAUA Architects.

"However, when it came to make the significant additions, we realised that we didn’t want to be bound to the traditional-type lifestyle that an older style addition would, by nature, shape."

The kitchen, dining and lounge areas, also known as the 'Big Room', are all interconnected, giving the homeowners the choice to interchange the dining room and lounge depending on the time of year... or when the mood suits.

"A fun aspect has been to change the character and colour in some of the rooms a couple of times, and to feel how that changes the nature of the spaces," says Antanas.

He tells us more about the home's design.

How did you decide on the overall look of the interiors?  

Perhaps an overriding philosophy was that we are happy to let each room have its own character and flavour, and therefore use of colour. 

In the older part of the house this was tied together by the continuity of the matai flooring, and the sharp gloss white ‘picture-framing’ of the window trim and the skirting boards. We wanted to accentuate and differentiate the construction elements; the flooring, the walls and the trim.

In the newer part of the house, the two key colours to work with were the grey of the natural concrete of the floor and honed concrete fireplace, and the oiled macrocarpa timber trim and kitchen cabinets. 

What part of the house are you happiest with?

Unsurprisingly, we find we live a lot in the ‘Big Room’, the new addition, at the sun and garden-facing part of the house. We have the wood fire on every night during late autumn and winter as it’s the sole form of heating (other than the solar gain caught in the concrete floor) and that is a totally captivating and satisfying experience.

About five years ago we put in the Decortech grooved timber acoustic ceiling into the 'Big Room' to counteract the harsh sound-bounce of the concrete floor. 

The new ceiling had a number of other advantages. The warm-coloured timber ceiling brought down the scale of the room; the space became more intimate, and we were able to improve the thermal insulation as well as the acoustic qualities of the room.

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

There is a lot of subtlety in colour. Perhaps the key thing is to recognise the colours that you relate to as a person, but also to consider the colours that you’re working with in your environs – including the nature of the artificial lighting and also where the sun is at a particular time of day. 

And use a handful of testpots first, remembering that the testpots won’t be a perfect reflection of the colour applied owing to the different paint texture/sheen level. But it allows you to see the colour in the daylight and also in situ where you’ll be applying the paint.

What was the biggest decorating, renovating or building challenge for this project?

Isn’t it always money? What one would like to achieve is always tempered by the available budget, but that’s a good discipline. The challenge is having to work out what not to compromise in the heat of the moment when stripping out cost.

How did you find working with Resene paint and colours?

I love Resene – the charts, and their passion for colour, product and the environment. And of course the colour range is now outstanding and astounding. The ColorShop counter staff appear well-trained and knowledgeable, and in my practice we’ve often used their technical services over the years.

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

dining room, blue, green, colour blocking, timber ceiling, paint ideas, paint trends

The kitchen, dining and lounge areas interconnect, allowing Antanas and Tara to swap the dining room and lounge around depending on the time of the year (or just on a whim).

The walls are painted in Resene Green Mist and Resene Bluegrass, chosen to complement the macrocarpa timber trim and cabinetry, the similarly-coloured timber ceiling and the grey concrete floor. 

green, living, room, north facing, sunny, paint ideas, paint trends

The north-facing living room area, painted in Resene Green Mist.

green, open plan, fire place, fireplace, paint ideas, paint trends

The 'Big Room' and how it interconnects. The Decortech grooved timber acoustic ceiling was installed to counteract the harsh sound-bounce of the concrete floor. The walls are painted in Resene Green Mist.

hall, hallway, stairs, blue, bungalow, paint ideas, paint trends

The original part of the house is a 1920s weatherboard-clad bungalow, with high ceilings, and timber doors and windows. The hallway is painted in Resene Jungle Mist and Resene White.

green, shutters, paint ideas, paint trends

Internal bi-fold shutters open up to reveal a view of the open plan kitchen, dining and lounge areas from Tara's craft room. The walls are painted in Resene Green Mist.

home studio, paint ideas, paint trends, summer house

In the garden is a home studio that also acts as a summer house... a place to escape to with a good book on a Sunday afternoon, says Antanas. The exterior is painted in Resene Half Innocence and Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream. 

exterior, pale blue, paint ideas, paint trends

The couple wanted a warm pale blue, "a subtle intrigue", for the weatherboards of the exterior, using Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss tinted to Resene Half Innocence. 

For the rest of the exterior, the window sashes are painted in Resene White, using Resene Enamacryl gloss waterborne enamel; the baseboards and sills are painted in Resene Sonyx 101 tinted to Resene Gravel; the window and door facings are painted in Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream, using Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel; and the roof is painted in Resene Titania, using Resene Summit Roof paint. 

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Resene Bluegrass

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Resene Half Innocence

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Resene Jungle Mist

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Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream

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