David and Bronwen's Hotel California

08 Sep 2010

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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].

Such a lovely place

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After more than seven years of renovations to create their dream home, it’s pretty safe to say designer David and his partner Bronwen aren’t planning to check out of it any time soon. Originally two side-by-side Californian bungalows from the early 20th century, today their home is a sprawling house-studio-and-guest-accommodation combination, which is as much a journey through colour as it is through design eras.

David describes their style as “uncompromising, over-the-top, baroque traditional”, and says they wanted to realise the full potential of the original properties. “We wanted to see just how magnificent an Auckland bungalow could become. Coupled with a disdain for property subdivision and sections getting smaller, we felt it was a great idea to move in the other direction – join side-by-side sections and houses. We have always admired anyone who puts effort into their homes. We should spend on our living environments for our own enjoyment, not for some perceived monetary gain. That’s where leaky little boxes come from.” Colour-wise, they decided to choose “provocative colours that inspire and change mood from space to space, while ultimately connecting in a grandiose, opulent manner.”

What was the biggest challenge? Standing among the wreckage through seven years of massive build.

What was the greatest success in the renovation?
Standing amongst the wreckage through seven years of massive build.

Where is the space that you get your greatest satisfaction from?
No single space – the place works in a connected, complicated way. I love coming home to it from overseas business trips.

What’s your advice for someone trying to achieve a similar look?
Experiment with colour on walls, wallpapers, mix furniture as if you were Italian, don’t be afraid to get things wrong, be prepared to rework until it’s right, and no idea is a bad idea until YOU decide it is.

pictures Architectural specifier: Ron Dijkmans Paint effects: Artifications

Beauty and the beast

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The rhino head was made on commission for David by Tanya Marriott of Marmalade Monkey. Hotel California carpet runners through the house came from Source Mondial. The room was painted by a good friend of the owners, and David has described it as “a low-tech place where you can have a calm mind”.

pictures Architectural specifier: Ron Dijkmans Paint effects: Artifications

Night lighting

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Resene Blackboard Paint was used in the bathroom, which glows dark red in the light of a vintage Coca-Cola sign.

pictures Architectural specifier: Ron Dijkmans Paint effects: Artifications

A cosy corner

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Art Deco furnishings and lights work well against the bold wall colours used throughout the house (pictured Resene Wazzup).

pictures Architectural specifier: Ron Dijkmans Paint effects: Artifications

Stairway to heaven

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David describes the indoor swimming pool atrium as “Kelly Tarltons meets Howard Hughes”. The stainless steel, three-level stairway criss-crossing the space is known as their “Stairway to Heaven”.

pictures Architectural specifier: Ron Dijkmans Paint effects: Artifications

The master’s chambers

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Many of the soft furnishings and curtains came from Shibui design store in Mt Eden.

pictures Architectural specifier: Ron Dijkmans Paint effects: Artifications

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the look

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

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

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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.