Helen and Ian’s bold coastal garden

22 Nov 2018

There was no staying neutral for Helen and Ian Ivess when they made over their home exterior and garden. Instead of the common restrained palette of creams and whites, the couple opted for a bold Resene colour palette of dark smoky grey with deep red and fresh white on their property in the Taranaki seaside settlement of Oakura.

What makes the property unique?

Helen and Ian’s garden blends seamlessly with the neighbouring Matekai Park. They’ve enhanced the communal space by planting trees and putting in a bird bath popular with native birds such as tui and kereru.

The couple’s house began as a bach-like structure but after several additions and coats of paint, it now feels modern, airy and colourful.

Which Resene colours were used?

Pale Resene Seashell was applied to the northwest facing walls overlooking neighbouring Matekai Park while the front of the house received a covering of dark green-grey Resene Woodsmoke. Resene Burnt Crimson went on three of the garage walls and on another wing of the house. The base of the house and fences are in Resene Black and the deck is Resene Stack. The front door is painted in Resene Pohutukawa.

What inspired the colour scheme?

The couple opted for exterior blocks of colour after being inspired by the same technique on a local hotel.

“What I wanted with the Resene Woodsmoke was the colour of oil and that’s the closest I could find,” says Helen. “It was the sheen and shades you saw in different lights.  I wanted something like that which was dark but not black.”

Helen’s favourite colour is red but she is cautious of over-using it, restraining herself to the exterior, and the interior doors.

How does the garden tie in with the colour scheme?

The exterior tones are bright yet timeless, with the garden and trees enhancing this aesthetic. Helen enlisted the help of a landscape designer friend to plan the garden, which she has evolved. It is structured, so you see something of interest from every angle.

In one corner, the branches of a kowhai tree and feijoas arch over a buddha statue.

Down the side of the house, fronds of nikau palms add structure, along with staghorn ferns. Thick healthy clivia boast a range of yellow and apricot flowers.  Other shade-loving plants such as hellebores spread across the ground.

It is a harmonious and layered garden.  The boldness and organisation of the planting complement the strong exterior colours.

Images Jane Dove Juneau

See how one designer re-imagined this space.

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

garden, house exterior, grey exterior, grey house, red front door, house entrance

Helen Ivess indulges her love of red, but in a restrained way, like painting her front door in Resene Pohutukawa.

outdoor living, deck, house exterior, white house, white exterior, red exterior, veranda

The wide northwest-facing deck is the perfect spot to gaze into the neighbouring park. The weatherboards are Resene Seashell, with the garden wall at the back, in Resene Burnt Crimson. The deck boards are in Resene Stack, and the posts and veranda frame are Resene Black.

entrance, garden, tree lined entranced, grey house, grey exterior, blue house, blue exterior

The tree-lined entrance to the property, with a glimpse of the Resene Woodsmoke house. 

garden, house exterior, red exterior, grey exterior, grey house, red feature wall, house garden

The red wall of the garage in Resene Burnt Crimson.

house exterior, white house, white exterior, deck, outdoor living, garden, house garden

Wide wrap-around steps up to the veranda are painted in Resene Stack. The weatherboards on this part of the house are Resene Seashell and the veranda posts are Resene Black.

garden, palms, painted weatherboards, grey house, grey exterior, house garden, garden path

The strappy leaves of clivia and palms line the side path. The weatherboards are painted in Resene Woodsmoke.

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A grid of stepping stones connects the house and the garage. The weatherboards are in Resene Woodsmoke, which reminds Helen of the colour of oil.

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