Harriet’s dreamy scheme for a rebuilt farm cottage

15 Nov 2018

Charged with decorating a Waikato country cottage, designer Harriet Di Maio opted for a palette of soft heritage colours, reminiscent of those found in English country homes.

Her clients had almost entirely rebuilt their cottage, based around the footprint of the original farm cottage and wanted the interior and exterior finishing to reflect the building’s character with all the benefits of a warm, dry, modern home.

Harriet talks us through her design choices.

What was your brief for the house?

My brief was to retain as much of the character and feel of the old place as possible, even though it was being almost totally rebuilt. It was very important that it did not look or feel like a new house.

To achieve this, we kept most of the original weathered flooring along with the original paneled doors and high three-metre ceilings, and then recreated other features such as the paneled ceilings and window seat. We chose a mix of vintage and antique furniture and accessories to give the feel of a treasured country farmhouse.

We wanted to mix the warmth and character of the old, with the benefits of the new.

What Resene colours and did you choose, and why?

We used Resene paint throughout the house. We chose Resene Lustacryl waterborne enamel paint which has a semi-gloss finish for all the trims and to recreate the look of the old paneled ceilings and paneled hallway. These were often brushed on by hand to give a more authentic finish.

We chose Resene Bianca for the walls throughout most of the house as it’s a lovely warm white with a heritage feel. The hallway is Resene Linen, a restful sage green which blends beautifully with the coloured vintage glass lights we chose. Resene Half Washed Green is used on all the wardrobe doors throughout the house.

We also used Resene Half Robin Egg Blue on the large paneling in the master bedroom, which is a beautiful vibrant duck egg blue that makes the room sing.

The exterior of the house is painted Resene Quarter Tapa with Resene Half Bianca on all the trims.

Top tip: Check out the new Resene The Range fashion fandeck 20 for a range of on-trend colours but also many vintage, weathered blues and greys. See your local Resene ColorShop or reseller for a copy.

What part of the design are you most happy with?

I adore the whole house; it has such a wonderful feeling about it the moment you enter. My favourite room is the large mud room/laundry which is so airy and spacious. It works so well for my clients’ particular needs. This was the one room where we had really specific requirements, such as storage for all their home grown produce and, while a real challenge at times, it came together so well in the end.

What was the biggest design challenge for this project?

While recreating old features is usually more expensive than just building from scratch, to get the look and feel we wanted, we had to stick to our design vision throughout. This meant being really creative in sourcing materials and built-in furniture and fittings, and inspiring the builders to embrace the quirks of working with reclaimed and vintage materials.

Who else was involved in the project?

The wonderful builders from Jay Cowley Builder [http://www.jaycowleybuilder.co.nz/] who managed to recreate all our visions and ideas, however outside the norm some of the requests were. Scott Woolston from Remnant [http://www.remnant.co.nz/] built the beautiful bespoke kitchen island along with the rustic shelving units in the mud room.

For more about Harriet and her work, go to www.hdmdesign.co.nz

Images by Jane Ussher for NZ House & Garden magazine (except exterior).  

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

dining room, kitchen, white kitchen, white dining room, open plan living, cottage, heritage

Resene Bianca was chosen as the main neutral in the cottage, because of its warm heritage feel. Here, it’s used on the walls and traditional paneled ceilings in the open living, dining and kitchen area.

bookshelves, study, shelving, white bookshelves, living room, home office, white study

Resene Bianca covers the bespoke bookshelves which surround the door to the office. Resene Lustacryl waterborne enamel gave the semi-gloss finish Harriet was looking for.

hallway, cottage, heritage, green hallway, white hallway, vintage interior, interior ideas

The sage green of Resene Linen on the upper half of the hallways walls works beautifully with the Resene Bianca paneled sections as well as the vintage glass light fittings.

living room, lounge, heritage, white living area, paneled ceiling, high ceiling, white lounge

Paneled ceilings and walls in Resene Bianca emphasise the size and heritage features of the living area.

bedroom, master bedroom, blue bedroom, white bedroom, paneled wall, blue feature wall

A paneled wall in Resene Half Robin Egg Blue makes the master bedroom sing, against the warm white of Resene Bianca on the walls.

bathroom, white bathroom, freestanding bath, heritage bathroom, heritage house, white paint

Resene Bianca is also used throughout the bathroom to accentuate the choice of the heritage style fittings, and make the wood of the window frames stand out.

laundry, mud room, heritage house, wood features, white laundry, white mud room

The mud room/laundry is a key space for the country house and its owners. Resene Bianca is again used on the walls and ceiling to create a warm backdrop for the wood features of the room.

house exterior, heritage house, country cottage, grey house, grey exterior, grey cottage

The exterior of the almost completely rebuilt country cottage is painted in Resene Quarter Tapa with trim in Resene Half Bianca.

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Resene Half Bianca

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Resene Half Robin Egg Blue

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Resene Half Washed Green

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Resene Quarter Tapa

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Resene Half Bianca

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Resene Half Robin Egg Blue

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Resene Half Washed Green

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