Kaye and Dwight's heavenly new build

18 Jan 2018

Kaye Coyne and Dwight Whitney have a tradition of calling their properties Tengoku, after the Japanese word for ‘heavenly’.

Having spent some time in Japan, the Auckland couple have come to appreciate the significance of the word, as well as the culture’s colour palette.

And so, when it came to building their new home, they were naturally drawn to these heavenly-inspired Resene colours to use for the interior.

Upon walking into the home, it's a rich sensory experience of colour and character – from vivid Resene Azure in the dining room, to a pop of Resene Wild Thing in the hallway.

“This is the first time we’ve created a Tengoku home from scratch,” says Dwight.

“We dipped into the Japanese colour palette for special feature areas – ones that would be stunning in their own right but that would make our favourite artworks come to life.

"We were also seeking colours that would be at home in the comparable ‘island nation’ of New Zealand.”

And while the aforementioned artworks fill every inch of the home, believe it or not this is Kaye and Dwight’s culled collection.

The couple had previously owned large homes on larger lifestyle blocks, but for their next phase of life it was decided that small was good… or rather, smaller.

They found an 8000sq m piece of land with stunning north-western views, privacy and enough room for a few horses and their three dogs. The simple and efficient house plan measures 150sq m.

Then came the task of culling a lifetime’s worth of collecting art, accessories, furnishings, furniture and books. “We had to be ruthless!" says Dwight. "There was a lot of merging and purging.”

Kaye and Dwight decided to take their time finding the right place for their remaining art and objets, in turn choosing wall colours to complement them.

While colour reigns in this South Auckland home, the kitchen is one of the few areas that is bit more muted – but that doesn't make it any less interesting. 

On the walls and ceiling, the couple have hand-brushed Resene Half Dutch White rather than rolling it, to add character with the brushstrokes. They've used Resene SpaceCote Flat paint for its chalky finish.

Kaye pulled together the bespoke kitchen from separate pieces of second-hand and new furniture and cabinetry.

The bones may be new, but there's a lived-in, soulful feel to the home. Perhaps the meeting of colour and culture does much to create this heavenly feeling.

Tengoku-inspired colours

Kohaku is the combination of red (Resene Havoc) and white (Resene Half Dutch White) and signifies vitality and purity. White, in particular, is the colour of the gods. Red is the colour of the new day, the rising sun.

Midori is the colour of eternal life and consistency. Resene Dali or Resene Freelance provide the spirit connection.

Ai means blue, and a word with the same pronunciation means love. Blue also identifies life surrounded by the sea. Resene Azure mirrors the colour of the vast oceans.

Kin is gold and the colour of ripened rice which, when harvested, could be exchanged for literal gold. Resene Wild Thing provided the majesty of this royal colour with an exuberance and energy.

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

kitchen, white, neutrals, new build, japanese

The view from the kitchen into the living room may be a bit more muted than the rest of the home, but that doesn't make the area any less interesting – it contains a lifetime's collection of Kaye and Dwight's art and accessories. The walls are painted in Resene Half Dutch White.

living room, red, japanese, new build

In the corner of the living room, a flash of Resene Havoc is a cheery addition. The rest of the walls are painted in Resene Half Dutch White.

red, living room, new build, japanese

Owners Kaye and Dwight sitting in their living room, painted in Resene Havoc and Resene Half Dutch White.

blue, living room, japanese, new build

As you enter the home, the entrance foyer is painted in Resene Azure, setting the scene for the pops of colour that appear throughout the home.

yellow, entrance, hallway, hall, japanese, new build

In the hallway, Resene Wild Thing backs some of the home owners' treasured arts and objets.

yellow, entrance, hallway, hall, japanese, new build

When Kaye saw Resene Smalt Blue in an earlier issue of habitat magazine, she chose it as the feature wall of the master bedroom. The colour is off an older Resene chart, so try Resene Bismark as another option. 

The bedhead is a spare second-hand door, aged with Resene FX Crackle effect painted over a basecoat of Resene Black then topcoated with Resene Black White. 

exterior, white, new build, japanese

The unassuming exterior is painted in Resene Triple White Pointer. 

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Resene Freelance

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Resene Half Dutch White

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Resene Wild Thing

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Resene Freelance

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Resene Half Dutch White

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Resene Wild Thing

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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.