Dean and Delia’s delightful blue cottage by the sea

19 Apr 2018

What was once a modest bach in a seaside East Auckland suburb is now an eye-catching beauty, painted in an array of Resene coastal colours.

As its been told to homeowners Dean and Delia, their home was originally only one of six cottages built on their street, way back when the suburb of Bucklands Beach was still a holiday destination – around the early 40s.

In its first build, it was a tiny one bedroom bach. Over the years a room was added, the outdoor veranda was incorporated into the house, the doors were moved and, as they can tell with the outlay of the wooden flooring, walls were shifted and adjusted as well.

At a point during the 80s, the house also was lifted, shifted forwards on the site and re-piled. After that, the second storey was added to the main house.

For its latest renovation, Dean and Delia gave it a colourful makeover, avoiding beige and “wishy-washy whites” for the colour scheme. Instead, they went blue and beachy for the outside, and light, bright, warm and welcoming for the inside.

Delia tells us more.

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

That was easy: it needed to feel ‘beachy’ and ‘cottagey’ without being fussy.

And how did you decide on the colour scheme?

We love colour. Dean and I agreed on that from day one of our life together – no blah beige or wishy-washy whites for us if we can help it.

On the outside we had already decided that we wanted a sea cottage feel that would make the house stand out from its beige, black, brown and white neighbours. It’s a very cute house and needed a touch of ‘wow’ so we immediately agreed that it would be a shade of blue.

The family panel of judges all agreed on Resene Whirlwind with plain Resene White trim. What a winner! Plus, as our neighbours and friends laughingly remarked, our family is a little like a whirlwind and so it was well-suited!

On the inside, we wanted a home that felt light and bright but warm and welcoming. We wanted the colours to reflect our sense of humour and our love of laughter and togetherness. It was important to choose colours that could move through all four seasons without leaving rooms feeling cold or hot.

The Resene colour consultant helped us on our way by giving us the idea of rotating the same three colours throughout the house. We started with her colour suggestions but then went bolder in colour tone. Once we had a direction it was such fun.

What part of the house are you happiest with?

If we had to choose, we’d say our main bedroom. It was the most neglected space in the house. Typically, we spent our money, time and effort on the kids and the communal areas first. When we started the painting process, we decided it was high-time that we came first… so to speak. It turned out so well. And that amazing daisy light from IKEA just added the fab finishing touch we were looking for.

What was the biggest transformation?

The biggest transformation in the house was widening the little conservatory and passage that linked the garage and kitchen/dining room. This funny little space became a full dining room and family room that opened onto a generous deck for entertaining.

Opening up the space and adding the deck, as well as creating these two new rooms, meant that our dining table left the kitchen and we could finally create a dream kitchen in that space.

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

I don’t think anyone can really copy someone else’s look because it is so personal – and that is what we would say. Make your home personal. Have the courage to make your home – the place that costs more than anything else you own, that you spend more time in than anywhere else on earth, that houses your most precious people and things – yours. Make it all about you and your family… or dogs and cats, etc.

What was the biggest challenge for this project?

In general, working on an old house that doesn’t have a lot of plans or information that you can refer back to. It’s always a bit of a guess and gamble. We had to have a lot of Plan Bs (and Cs and Ds) and we were very flexible in how we approached solutions.

Do you have a favourite colour?

Dean loves the cool, relaxing feel of Resene Cut Glass – he says it makes him feel like he can just put his feet up and wind down.

I love Resene Double Dutch White. It’s that gorgeous, buttery, creamy, lovely warm yellow that looks the way a grandma’s hug feels.

Is there anyone else you would like mentioned?

Mel and Justin of DC Builders – so many good things to say there.

Props must go to the painting team that bravely tackled the crazy outside of our home: Sindabad Decorators, headed up by the friendly Alan. Efficient and fabulous!

Our photographer, Elise Burridge of Astrolabe Design Ltd, was amazing! Her gorgeous images gave us the chance to show other people the house in honesty. The rooms came out looking just the way they looked in real life and the light and colours and proportions were all correct which was just what we wanted.

Our brief to her was very clear: we wanted people to have an undistorted picture of every space so that they would walk in and not be disappointed or disoriented… and she did just that. She also added her own special eye that gave the viewer the chance to ‘feel’ what each room was like to live in.

The IKEA website and Australian staff were great to work with as well. They made getting a kitchen from one country to another effortless. And their quality, service and range is just phenomenal.

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

blue exterior, blue cottage, resene whirlwind, renovation

For the exterior, Dean and Delia wanted a ‘sea cottage’ feel that would make the house stand out from its beige, black, brown and white neighbours. They chose Resene Whirlwind, a swirl of blue, green and grey, with Resene White trims for the exterior colour palette.

pictures Elise Burridge of Astrolabe Design Ltd

white kitchen, open plan kitchen, renovated kitchen, renovating kitchens, resene double dutch white

Inside, the homeowners wanted it to feel light, bright, warm and welcoming. The kitchen is painted in Resene Double Dutch White, with trims in Resene White.

deck, blue exterior, blue cottage, resene whirlwind

The biggest transformation in the house was creating the open plan living and dining room, which leads out onto their deck – a perfect place to entertain. The exterior is painted in Resene Whirlwind, and inside is painted in Resene Cut Glass.

blue dining room, resene cut glass, sea cottage

Resene Cut Glass, seen here in the living and dining room, is Dean’s favourite colour in the house, which he says makes him feel like he can just put his feet up and wind down.

green lounge, resene pale leaf, sea cottage

The lounge is painted in Resene Pale Leaf, a calm misty green, the third main colour in the home’s overall colour scheme.

blue bedroom, master bedroom, sea cottage, resene cut glass

The master bedroom upstairs is painted in Resene Cut Glass which, along with the sunny deck, brings a beachy feel to the bedroom.

blue bathroom, pale blue, sea blue, sea cottage, blue ensuite

The main bedroom ensuite is also painted in Resene Cut Glass and has a contemporary meets coastal feel.

blue bedroom, kids bedroom, children's bedroom, marvel colour scheme, blue and red, resene onahau

Their sons are fans of Marvel and love the blue and red colour scheme – this bedroom is painted in Resene Onahau with red accessories to complete the look.

blue bedroom, kids bedroom, children's bedroom, marvel colour scheme, blue and red, resene polo blue

Another blue and red bedroom, inspired by Marvel, painted in Resene Polo Blue.

green study, resene pale leaf, outdoor deck

The upstairs study, painted in Resene Pale Leaf, also includes access to the upstairs deck, making it a welcoming place to catch up on work.

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Resene Cut Glass

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Resene Double Dutch White

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Resene Pale Leaf

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Resene Polo Blue

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Resene Whirlwind

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the look

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advice, try out the Resene
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Resene Cut Glass

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Resene Double Dutch White

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Resene Pale Leaf

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Resene Polo Blue

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Resene Whirlwind

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colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
Ask a Colour Expert service.