Mark and Jennie's Red and Black Cottage in the Woods

12 May 2011

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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].

A radical renovation

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Set in dense West Auckland bush, Mark and Jennie's once diminutive cottage is now a bold statement in modern house design, thanks to a radical rebuild and the use of dramatic paint colours. Originally, the dwelling was a one-storey, two-bedroom traditional weatherboard painted in a Tuscan colour scheme. "It was a cute, compact cottage with potential," the couple recall. Mark, an Architectural Designer and member of ADNZ, decided to put his design skills into practice, adding another bedroom and an additional living room to the house.

"The design is informed by the original house," explains Mark, "but it has been made bold and contemporary by the use of strong forms and monopitch roofs." The striking external colour scheme, which includes Resene Gunmetal and Resene Jalapeno, is a key element of this new look.

The re-build involved careful navigation among an abundance of native trees, including many mature kauri. As well as proving a challenge for the builders to work around, the trees also deprived the house of natural light. To counteract this, Mark employed the use of skylights in the ceilings and Resene Thorndon Cream on the walls, making the home interior appear lighter and, consequently, more spacious.

What was the greatest success in the rebuild? The family room - it is expansive and light-filled. And it has a fantastic view of the back garden and surrounding native bush.

Which space do you get your greatest satisfaction from, and why? The large master bedroom on the first floor, which looks into the treetops and is very restful.

What is your advice for someone trying to achieve a similar look? Make the most of natural light with skylights, choose white trims to set off wall colours, and get an Architectural Designer to advise on structural changes.

Why did you make the colour scheme choices you did? To keep the interior neutral and warm, and to make a bold statement on the exterior.

pictures Architectural Designer: Mark Callander, ADNZ, at Creative Arch www.creativearch.co.nz Get the look: A feature wall is a great way to create a focal point for a room, and it's a popular option for a wall with a fireplace to draw attention to it. Feature walls are easy to create - mask off the area you want as your feature wall using low-tack masking tape. Then paint the feature wall area and be sure to remove the tape before the paint dries. Most feature walls only need a litre or so of paint and can be done in half a day, so you can quickly get a whole new look.

Tree house

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The new exterior of the house is made of James Hardie Titanboard painted with Resene Gun Metal, and Lineaboard in a custom-made Resene red tint.

The sky's the limit

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Skylights, large windows and bifold doors fill one of the living rooms with an abundance of natural light, while also connecting the area with the lawn and bush outside.

All fired up

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A feature wall in Resene Mondo accentuates the cosy fireplace and adds interest to the cottage's original living room.

Easy living

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The Resene Thorndon Cream walls and pale floors work with the additional windows to make the living area feel light-filled. Mark also maximised space and light in the stairwell (seen on the left side of this picture) by using a glass side on the stairs instead of a wall or handrail.

Making a splash

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The kitchen splashback, like the front door, is painted with spicy red Resene Jalapeno.

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the look

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colour to use or need colour
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Resene Quarter Tana

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Resene Thorndon Cream

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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.