Creative family’s eclectic home nestled in the Karangahake Gorge

After living off-grid on their land in the Karangahake Gorge for five years, Roshan and Metuisela felt it was time for something new. With busy working lives and their children growing up, it was time to build a more permanent home. “My husband was like, ‘I just want three things: a heat pump, a dishwasher and a flushing toilet. My list of requests was slightly longer,” says Roshan. Hues like Resene Persian Red and Resene Green Meets Blue have added both character and warmth to the new family home in a scenic country setting.  

“We have a beautiful spot nestled just above the Hauraki Rail Trail in the Karangahake Gorge. We wanted our house to blend into the surroundings, but have enough of a point of difference to give it that wow-factor.”

Roshan, a music teacher, and her partner Metuisela, a painter, say the process of building was a creative outlet for them. “We wanted the home to be comfortable year-round, express our eclectic and cultural personalities, be highly functional with no space wasted and finally, affordable.” Their dreams for a bespoke new build didn’t match their mortgage capacity or their budget so instead they chose to keep their design simple and enhance it with little extras to achieve a personalised look. These included including second hand high-end tapware, pendant lighting, antique leadlight doors to use as interior doors and old dressers to use as vanities.

“I would describe our style as eclectic, homely, artistic and cheerful. I love to be surrounded by beautiful things that have a function. I am a huge William Morris [the British textile designer] fan, too.”

Roshan says one of the best things she did design-wise was book an appointment with a Resene colour consultant. “I knew I didn’t want to have a boring house, I wanted to have wallpaper and use colour tastefully. But I had so many ideas in my head I feared all my colour ideas would have people in my home going into sensory overload.”

Roshan brought a stack of colours, wallpapers and photos of key furniture pieces to her appointment. “My Resene colour consultant was able to colour match the walls to the wallpaper I had in the bedrooms and bathrooms, and also helped link colours from each room so there was no jarring effect.” She advised the couple to refrain from using too much colour in places which already had a feature. For instance, keeping a little cubby in the hall a neutral colour using Resene Half Rice Cake, as the feature there was the leadlight door.

In the home’s entranceway, Resene Persian Red as a feature wall is warm and inviting. A textured wall hanging in earthy tones pops against the hue. The walls in the main living area and hallway were kept clean and simple in Resene Half Rice Cake – the perfect backdrop to let their art pieces sing. The ceiling and skirting boards were painted in a slightly lighter hue, Resene Quarter Rice Cake. “I love our living space, the gabled ceiling gives a sense of openness and a welcoming feel.”

In the master bedroom, Resene Wallpaper Collection 220124 adds an element of fun, with cockatoos perched on palms and hummingbirds feasting on berries. It’s been paired perfectly with the deep and moody Resene Swamp on opposite walls. “I absolutely love Resene Swamp in our master bedroom. The name does not do it justice. Coupled with the wallpaper, our room feels like a boudoir, lavish and sensual,” Roshan says.

In their ensuite, Resene Double Rice Cake has been paired with Resene Green Meets Blue on the lower panelling.

Down the hall in the kid’s bedrooms, Josua decided on the light green hue Resene Xanadu, after originally leaning towards a darker green tone. In Ariana’s room, the sweet and floral Resene Wallpaper Collection 375003 lines the wall behind her bed.

Roshan says building their family home came with plenty of learning curves. “The most helpful thing I did was ask people who had built their homes what they wished they had done. From these questions, I installed sensor lighting in the hall, heated tiles in the master bedroom, decided to not put in a fireplace (because a well-insulated house like house requires very little heating), a landing pad in the attic and a separate toilet.”

Bigger does not always mean better, she adds. “Rather than building big, we opted for creating a year-round comfortable house. We did this by boosting the thermal rating by increasing our insulation, using tilt and turn PVC windows, and designing the living spaces around the sun. Our house has three generous sized bedrooms with no wasted space, and so far has been cool in summer and warm in winter.”

Top tip: Choosing the right colours can be tricky, which is why Resene have a range of colour tools plus Resene Colour Experts to help you develop the right colour scheme for your next project. We have the entire collection of habitat magazines and habitat plus books available to view online. Once you’re inspired, a Resene Colour Expert can help you bring your look together.  Ask a Resene Colour Expert online, or book a Resene Colour Consultation. You can call your local Resene ColorShop, then gather up your samples and swatches for your consultation.


The walls in the family’s living area and hallway were kept fresh in Resene Half Rice Cake, the ideal background for art pieces like the tapa cloth and instruments like the guitars. The ceiling and skirting boards were painted in the crisp Resene Quarter Rice Cake.

“Our house is filled with pre-loved rugs and furniture sourced over the years from op-shops, friends and family and TradeMe. The cost savings were then invested in higher quality materials to improve the home’s thermal performance, such as insulation and joinery,” Roshan says. Walls in Resene Half Rice Cake and ceiling and skirting boards in Resene Quarter Rice Cake.

Our kauri kitchen table was once used in a wool shed up north. Rather than spending a fortune of wooden flooring, we chose to polyurethane the sub floor with OSB (oriented strand board) which can come up beautifully.” Walls in Resene Half Rice Cake, ceiling and skirting boards in Resene Quarter Rice Cake. To get your own distressed look on your kitchen counter, try Resene Seeker or Resene Aqua.

“Our entrance was designed so that north facing light shines through the front door and into the hallway,” says Roshan. Resene Persian Red as a feature wall is inviting. Surrounding walls in Resene Half Rice Cake and ceiling and skirting boards in Resene Quarter Rice Cake.

Utilising a little nook in the hallway, my clever brother-in-law was able to repurpose left over rimu from the kitchen to create shelves.” Surrounding walls and trims in Resene Half Rice Cake


In the master bedroom, Resene Wallpaper Collection 220124 adds an element of fun to the space. It’s been paired with Resene Swamp on opposite walls, with the ceiling and trims in Resene Quarter Rice Cake.

Josua originally wanted a darker green but settled on the light and fresh Resene Xanadu. Ceiling and trims in Resene Quarter Rice Cake.


Hidden from view, it’s only when you walk into Ariana's room that you see her beautiful wallpaper, Resene Wallpaper Collection 375003. Left wall in Resene Wafer. Ceiling and trims in Resene Quarter Rice Cake.


Rather than use new vanities, we opted for giving old dressers and mirrors a new lease of life.”Resene Double Rice Cake is paired with Resene Green Meets Blue  on the lower panelling. Ceiling and trims in Resene Quarter Rice Cake.


I love leadlight. This piece was purchased off Trade Me and its beauty and function works well in our home,” Roshan says. Walls in Resene Half Rice Cake and ceiling and skirting boards in Resene Quarter Rice Cake.





Published: 09 Jun 2022

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