Debbie Turns Three Grotty Flats into a Magnificent Family Home

04 Aug 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].

Colourful new life for a neglected villa

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When Debbie first bought this Dunedin house, it was an unloved villa that had been converted into three small flats. "They were old, grotty and unusually shaped, with tiny kitchens and bathrooms fitted in strange places," she recalls. Debbie did some research into the property and found that it had been built in the late 1800s for the Valpy family. Back then, it was a stunning kauri villa with a slate roof, surrounded by a large piece of land, with hardly a neighbour in sight. Inspired by photos she found of the original house, Debbie decided to take on the mammoth job of restoring it to its former glory as a four-bedroom family home.

What did you want to achieve with the renovation? Great spatial flow with a formal lounge area and a separate open-plan family living/kitchen/dining area. I also wanted large bedrooms, and I particularly wanted a master bedroom with an ensuite.

What was the biggest challenge with creating your home interior? Keeping the integrity and feel of the age of the villa but modifying and upgrading it to be comfortable and modern.

What was the greatest success? Replicating the plaster ceiling and border in the main lounge, which was very expensive to do, but worthwhile as it is an amazing feature. The original fireplace had been removed and plyboard put over the top, so I had to fill in the hole and replace the surrounds.

Which space in the house do you get your greatest satisfaction from? It's very hard to choose, as each area was a challenge, but I'll pick the hallway. It had very old French handpainted wallpaper panels over scrim. I tried to source a printer that would be able to replicate the wallpaper, but it became too expensive, so I chose wallpaper with a similar feel to replace it and donated the old wallpaper panels to the Early Settlers Museum for their archives.

Why did you choose these paint colours? I liked their warmth and the way they all went with each other. I used Resene Napa and Resene Tea on the house's exterior, Resene Tea in the hallway, Resene Napa and Resene Clockwork Orange in the main lounge, Resene Cab Sav in the kitchen, Resene Tea and Resene Wasabi in the bathroom, Resene Linen and Resene Avocado in the bedrooms, Resene Salt Box and Resene Half Pearl Lusta in the master bedroom, Resene Half Pearl Lusta in the ensuite bathroom, and Resene Pearl Lusta on ceilings, scotia and architrave doors.

pictures Interior colour scheme by Amanda Neill from Designworx http://www.designworxnz.co.nz Get the look: Old homes often have very uneven walls. If you have a lot of imperfections you are trying to cover, try using a lower sheen paint, such as Resene SpaceCote Flat or Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen. They will help to hide surface imperfections compared to higher sheen paints. Another way to make an imperfection or awkward portion of an area less obvious is to paint it the same colour as the surrounding area. This will help it to blend in, and you can then use a feature colour elsewhere if you want to redirect attention.

Feature ceiling

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The main lounge has been painted with Resene Napa with a feature wall of Resene Clockwork Orange. In this photo, you can see the stunning plaster ceiling and border (painted with Resene Pearl Lusta) that Debbie had made as a replica of the original.

pictures Interior colour scheme by Amanda Neill from Designworx http://www.designworxnz.co.nz

Red, red wine

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The modern kitchen has been painted with Resene Cab Sav.

pictures Interior colour scheme by Amanda Neill from Designworx http://www.designworxnz.co.nz

Antique charm

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This bedroom has been painted with Resene Avocado.

pictures Interior colour scheme by Amanda Neill from Designworx http://www.designworxnz.co.nz

Dream world

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The master bedroom has been painted with Resene Salt Box.

pictures Interior colour scheme by Amanda Neill from Designworx http://www.designworxnz.co.nz

Go green

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The main bathroom has been painted with Resene Wasabi and Resene Tea.

pictures Interior colour scheme by Amanda Neill from Designworx http://www.designworxnz.co.nz

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Resene Clockwork Orange

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Resene Half Pearl Lusta

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Resene Clockwork Orange

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Resene Half Pearl Lusta

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