Derek and Elizabeth's Fairytale Cottage in a Winter Wonderland

15 Dec 2011

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

Rustic charm beside Lake Tekapo

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Although it's not winter at Lake Tekapo right now, we couldn't resist showing you this photo of Derek and Elizabeth's home, known as Riverside Cottage, in wintertime. While those in the northern hemisphere may be having a white Christmas, Derek and Elizabeth are having a sunny one. (Check out our other photos to see what the cottage currently looks like.) It's just as pretty and magical in summertime, but with all that snow gone you can see that the house is a unique alpine-style cottage made of corrugated iron and weatherboards, painted Resene Rhino grey-blue. Heavy macrocarpa beams over the patio are used to support shade sails in summer.

How long have you lived in your home, and what first attracted you to it? We've lived here for five years. With the help of architectural designer Darren O'Neill, we built the house on a large, unique section of land in an elevated position beside the Tekapo River. A forest, walking tracks and the MacKenzie Basin stretch out behind the house. It is quiet and secluded, yet only a few minutes' walk to the village and lake.

Where did your inspiration come from? The area surrounding the house. We wanted to fit in with the mountain terrain of the high country, as the open views become part of the atmosphere of the house itself. With that in mind, we designed the bedrooms with 2.7 metre studs and the living areas with a 7 metre high, 45 degree pitched, timber beamed ceiling, to add to the alpine feel.

What was the biggest challenge with creating your home interior look? Imparting our vision to the builder!

What was the greatest success? The effect of the Douglas Fir timber beamed ceiling and the expansive feel of the living area. Also, the large windows and sliders, which make the most of the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Which space in the house do you get the greatest satisfaction from? Two spaces: the living area downstairs, and the mezzanine bedroom/living area with magnificent uninterrupted views to the mountains and lake.

What colours did you use? The exterior weatherboards are painted in Resene Rhino. Inside, we used Resene Parchment throughout the house, and Resene Foxtrot in the living room. We like light, earthy colours that blend with the high country and create a peaceful environment. Our colour scheme is particularly cosy in the winter when snow lies around the house and the wood burner is glowing. We had to consider the variations of climate – from cold but often sunny weather in winter, to hot and dry summers.

Get the look:
In the contrast of seasons, homes in snowy regions commonly experience extreme temperatures over the summer months. Dark colours on your home's exterior can look superb, but they can also attract a lot of heat. If you're considering a dark colour outside, it's worth opting for a Resene CoolColour, designed with special pigment technology to reflect more heat than a standard colour, reducing stress and heat build up in the surface.

Riverside Cottage

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The house's Resene Rhino exterior harmonises with the wild heather growing around it.

Alpine style

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Macrocarpa beams along the patio are used to support shade sails in summer.

In the pink

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The living room, painted in Resene Foxtrot, "is particularly cosy in the winter when snow lies around the house and the wood burner is glowing."

Loft space

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"The 45 degree pitched, timber beamed ceiling adds to the alpine feel of the house," say Derek and Elizabeth. This mezzanine bedroom/living area is one of their favourite spaces in the house.

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Resene Parchment

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the look

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colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
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Resene Parchment

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

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register h icon  look book

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.