Maureen and Paul brighten up a blank canvas

02 Aug 2018

On the surface, a home filled with beige walls has little appeal… but to Maureen and Paul, it meant they were given a blank canvas to fill with their favourite colours. And with Resene Anakiwa in the TV room and Resene Coast in the master bedroom, these homeowners didn’t hold back when decorating their character bungalow.

Maureen and Paul had been living between Wellington and the UK since they had met in 2006. They loved their time in the UK but we were looking for somewhere that had more options for weekend activities – and New Zealand won out.

When starting their property search, they spotted this Waikato home and both fell in love. Maureen liked its potential, the big deck and the ability to walk to Cambridge's town centre. Paul liked the style of the character bungalow, as well as the modern cathedral-style extension at the back of the house, leading to the deck and the garden.

Maureen tells us more.

What Resene colours and products have you used and what inspired those choices?

The whole house was beige and all the ceilings needed to be painted – so it was a blank canvas.

We used Resene White on all the ceilings to freshen up the whole house, apart for the bathrooms where we used Resene Half Grey Friars to make it feel more intimate.

Our master bedroom used to be the lounge and is very big. We wanted to make it feel cosier so painted it in Resene Coast – it’s an easy colour to complement and we think a luxurious colour for a master bedroom.

We used Resene Blanched Pink, a soft, serene colour, in our first bedroom, and fresh Resene Easy Rider in the second. The colour goes with anything – black, white, red, pink…

We went bold with the TV room, painting it in sporty blue Resene Anakiwa. We kept it neutral for the rest of the living areas: Resene Merino in the lounge, Resene White in the bathroom and yellow Resene Pipi in the kitchen.

How did you decide on the overall look of the interiors?

We don’t have a philosophy; we look at colour and work with it. The great aspect of paint is that if we don’t like it in a year we can change it.

We just knew we didn’t want to be bland. We chose colours we really liked. Our TV room is the boldest colour (in Resene Anakiwa) and we have grown to love it.

We decided to paint the lounge area a neutral colour because our furniture is so bright.

What part of the house are you happiest with?

My favourite is our master bedroom, because it’s huge. We also wanted it to be a special place for us so we invested in a great bed. It’s cosy in the winter, and in the summer, it’s a wonderful place to relax in the afternoon.

What is your advice for someone trying to achieve a similar look?

My advice is to spend a lot of time talking to each other and getting plenty of colour samples. Paul’s advice is to be bold and don’t be afraid of mixing colours.

What was the biggest decorating, renovating or building challenge for this project?

A few things. Agreeing on which colour for which room. Painting the window sills, ceilings, doors and window frames was also a big job. The ceilings were also very dirty and took a long time to paint.

Do you have a favourite colour, and if so why is it your favourite?

We found the range of Resene colours a joy to work with. The colours we have chosen here are now my favourites… for the moment!

Is there any other advice you have for renovating?

We had to live in our home for a while to figure out where the sun was in the winter and summer. The last room to be painted was our large living room and it took some time to agree on a colour. I’m glad we didn’t rush and found something that was a warm colour.

We rushed in too quickly to rectify some of the problems highlighted in our building report, such as the house needing to be rewiring. That was an expensive exercise. As we hadn’t lived in the house long we put electric points in the wrong places. Things to learn for next time!

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

lounge, tv room, blue lounge, living room, blue and red, UK inspired, blue living room

The TV room boasts the boldest colour in the home, painted in sporty Resene Anakiwa. The blue and red colour scheme, along with Union Jack bunting and English bulldog cushion, is a nod to the homeowners’ ties to the UK – they have lived between there and New Zealand for the past 12 years.

pictures Jessica Judge

kitchen, yellow kitchen, blue lounge, yellow and blue, pastel yellow

The kitchen is painted in a much softer palette of Resene Pipi on the walls and Resene White on the trims. The kitchen’s internal window and doorway looks into the bold blue TV room, painted in Resene Anakiwa. 

pictures Jessica Judge

master bedroom, bedroom, blue bedroom, dark blue walls, deep blue, mustard throw

The master bedroom used to be the lounge. To make it feel cosier and not so large, the walls were painted in deep blue Resene Coast. Accents of mustard and deep pink gives the bedroom a modern feel.

pictures Jessica Judge 

bedroom, guest bedroom, pink bedroom, pastel pink, dusky pink, pink walls, vintage, retro

The spare bedroom is painted in Resene Blanched Pink, a soft, dusky pink. This bedroom has more of a vintage feel, with retro-style linen and art print.

pictures Jessica Judge 

bedroom, guest bedroom, green bedroom, olive green, green walls, green and red

The second spare bedroom is painted in olive green Resene Easy Rider, which the homeowners love for being such a versatile colour.

pictures Jessica Judge 

bathroom, grey ceiling, white bathroom, blue cabinet, blue and white, white and grey

To make the bathroom feel more intimate, the ceiling was painted in Resene Half Grey Friars. The beauty of the tongue and groove walls speak for themselves, painted in Resene White.

pictures Jessica Judge 

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