Bruce and Diane’s tough beach paradise

07 Mar 2013

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

Where great times will unfold

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The earthy colours of the coast and the moody tones of the sky inspired Bruce and Diane when they decorated their new bach at Kariakau Beach in Hawke’s Bay. While the interiors are mostly plywood, protected by four coats of Resene Aquaclear in a satin finish, other colours were inspired by the natural surroundings - sand the colour of Resene Half Drought, the dark moody sea and sky in the winter (Resene Thunder Grey on Colorsteel) and the golden red-brown earth and pasture after a long hot Hawke’s Bay summer (Kauri Gum stained cedar). The couple wanted something that was striking to look at but which also blended with the environment.

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

"Our primary focus was to create an interior that was relaxed, cosy and inviting but also functional. We wanted to replicate an older-style bach interior, so decided to use lots of plywood panels with negative detail. Apart from the robustness of the plywood panels we also loved the feel and look of the grains and deep golden colours, which seem to change at different times of the day. We have four boys and they have lots of mates so the spaces had to be generous, robust and workable. We also created a separate space for our teenage boys with a bunkroom attached to the house by a covered breezeway. This is their space to ‘hang’ and they have access to a toilet and bathroom off the breezeway without having to come into the main house."

What part of the house are you most happy with?

"We especially love the kitchen and dining area but the bunkroom is a close second. Being a holiday home, the social space needed to function well and it does. The expansive bench space is great for large gatherings. The built-in bookcase is actually a structural wall of the house and ‘connects’ the kitchen to the dining area. It’s a fantastic feature and a great storage space for books, games, art and family mementoes. We’re still trying to fill it. This area connects with a huge outside deck, which captures all-day sun. We worked really hard on this part of the house as it’s here that all the great times will unfold."

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

"Look at lots of home and decorating magazines and cut them to pieces. Start to compile a complete style guide for each room in the house so you have a clear picture in your mind of what you want your house to look like and what you want each space within the house to deliver. When you’ve done that, find someone who understands your wants and needs, who listens really well and then work with them closely to achieve the result you want."

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

"The biggest challenge was deciding on the exterior cladding system – that would look great, be relatively low maintenance but withstand a harsh coastal environment. The Herman Pacific shiplap cladding, cedar fascia profile and Dimond LT7 metal cladding complement each other well and look fantastic."

Do you have a favourite colour, and if so why is it your favourite?

"It’s Resene Pohutukawa. A few years ago we saw a plywood kitchen and really liked the look of this but also wanted a bold secondary colour. We had quite a lot of debate with a variety of kitchen designers as to what the trim colour should be. Red didn’t really feature but we had an idea that a colour like Resene Pohutukawa would work well, and it does!"

Did you get design help with the project?

"Right from the start we had a very firm idea of the overall design, floor plan and materials we wanted. We took these ideas to Des Allen who listened to our ideas and delivered a floor plan and draft concept, which perfectly matched our thinking. Apart from some minor alterations we hardly deviated from the first draft of the house and the result is exactly as we had envisaged. Our builders (Malcolm & Matt Tibbles and Jeff Karika) also worked closely with us to deliver the look we wanted and were flexible enough to allow us to change things when we needed to." 

Golden, grainy and casual

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Plywood was chosen for its casual beachy look and toughness. It's finished with four coats of Resene Aquaclear Satin, while the American Oak timber floors are sealed with Resene Qristal ClearFloor 2K urethane gloss.

Giving a wall a second purpose

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The built-in bookcase is a structural wall of the house and ‘connects’ the kitchen to the dining area. It’s a fantastic feature and a great storage space for books, games, art and family mementoes. The wall itself is painted in Resene Merino. 

Bunking it

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With four boys with various friends, a bunk room was a must. Bruce Drummond from Millbrook Furniture designed and built the plywood bunk sets . There are three queen-sized bottom bunks laid end to end with king singles above, which means that this 7.2m x 3.6m room can comfortably sleep nine, and more if necessary. 

Making a connection

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A breezeway connects the main house with the bunk room. The shiplap cedar is Resene Wood X Kauri Gum supplied by Herman Pacific. The Colorsteel cladding is Thunder Grey with the trims matched in Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss tinted to Resene Thunder Grey. The aluminium joinery is also in Resene Thunder Grey. 

Getting bold with red

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The couple wanted bold secondary colour for the kitchen. "Red didn’t really feature in discussions but we had an idea that a colour like Resene Pohutukawa would work well, and it does!" The kitchen has chequerboard pattern stainless steel benchtops and was made by Molloy Joinery. 

A cocooning bedroom

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The main bedroom has a feature wall in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Oilskin while other walls are in Resene  SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Half Drought. 

Inspired by the colours of nature

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Another view of the exterior with its bold forms, finished in shiplap cedar in Resene Wood X Kauri Gum, supplied by Herman Pacific.

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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.