Cate turns ugly into snuggly

25 May 2015

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

Colour blocking does the trick

dining room, lounge, living room, interior

An ugly duckling of an interior has been given a makeover by homeowner Cate Foster of Auckland, inspired by a mixture of design ideas, Resene paint charts and some restrictive financial imperatives. She tells us the story in her own words:

Always an admirer of mid-century architecture, I was the only bidder at auction for a property many have christened ‘the ugliest in Devonport’. True, it bears no resemblance to its pretty villa neighbours, but me and villas have often not seen eye to eye, chiefly because of their jaw-clenching maintenance costs. This ugly duckling on the other hand was a mixture of concrete block and brick, and although in pretty much in need of a real going over was built like the proverbial.

The 1960s are here to stay

Two years later, thanks to Ken Bamforth,  the best builder buddy any woman could possibly want,  I now live in the renovated downstairs flat, surrounded by the colours and textures I like and that I feel fit the interior of a house of this type and era. Shades of white, chief amongst them Resene Alabaster in Resene SpaceCote Flat on the lowish ceilings, links the whole of the interior together.

In reference to the 1962 vintage of the house, all doors, skirtings and architraves are also Resene Alabaster but, as was also common back in 1962, in a shiny finish, using Resene Enamacryl Gloss. I had considered painting the trims a colour other than white but after a few bouts of dithering decided that this, like the ceilings, would be simple and unifying in what is admittedly only an apartment-sized dwelling place.

Delicious chocolatey brown

This left the walls to play with. I realised after looking at the possessions that have followed me for the past few years that I seem to like the concept of colour blocking, but again with subtly different textures to add interest. A chance find of a chartreuse green raw linen curtain at a clearance of earthquake-orphaned goods provided the starting point, and the last box of red, orange, pink and white glass mosaic tiles for the kitchen splashback at the knock-down price of $10 per sheet the second.

Now all I had to find was the perfect colour to tie these together and a chance visit from my daughter wearing one of her favourite milk chocolate and old rose pink combinations was the answer. Resene Rocky Road (an apt name that is exactly the shade of a particular type of rich milk chocolate) proved to be the perfect shade for the big bare wall in the living area and for the tiles and carpets in the bedrooms and bathrooms. Other walls are Resene Milk White, from the Karen Walker range.

Another retro touch was the use of Resene Citrine White from the Karen Walker range for the bedrooms and bathroom walls. Linked to the milk chocolate brown, it has that particular slightly retro ambience which is hard to pin down but definitely there. Throw in the chartreuse of the linen curtains (I dyed the sitting room ones to match), my parents’ recovered (by me) sofa in the TV room and orange and grey cushions and 1962 is here to stay.

pictures Photography by Frances Oliver

Shots of retro colour

retro, lounge, living room, timber floors, white interior, white paint, upholstered chair

Cate uses shot of retro colour with hot orange and chartreuse green against this monochromatic corner with its Resene Milk White walls and dark upholstered furniture. The grafitti photograph is by Daniel J Dixon.

A soothing touch of green

bedroom, neutral colours, pale green paint, green bedroom, interior

The bedroom walls are palest green, in Resene Citrine White from the Karen Walker range. 

An eye for illusion

living room, lounge, brown paint, white living room, feature wall, retro lounge

By painting the end walls of the long living room in a dark warm colour, Resene Rocky Road, she visually 'corrects' the room by making those walls appear closer. 

Making use of bargains

kitchen, white kitchen, mosaic tiles, kitchen splashback, feature splashback

Aclearance of earthquake-orphaned goods included a box of red, orange, pink and white glass mosaic tiles used for the kitchen splashback.

A chocolate dining space- yum

living room, lounge, brown dining room, feature wall, brown paint, white paint

A wider view of the living room, with its backdrop of Resene Rocky Road. The long photograph of the state houses is by Guy Robinson. 

The gallery effect

white hallway, white paint, gallery wall, white interior

Walls in Resene Milk White are the perfect background for a gallery of artworks in the wall leading from the kitchen. 

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Resene Alabaster

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Resene Citrine White

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Resene Milk White

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Resene Rocky Road

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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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Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

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Resene Citrine White

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Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

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Resene Milk White

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Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

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Resene Rocky Road

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Create your own mood boards of your favourite colours, photographs and information from habitat by resene.

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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.