Reviving mid-century charm

Renovations are never easy, but when you have plenty of Resene shades at your fingertips, you can create a timeless look that you will cherish for years to come. This cedar-clad 1960s mid-century style house is a great example of a remarkable transformation, bringing renewed life to the beloved family home. 

The project, executed by Stacey Gillies Interiors and Elevate Architecture, focused on reimagining the kitchen and living spaces to achieve a seamless flow and contemporary aesthetic while preserving the mid-century charm.

The main areas in the home were curated with a colour palette of blue and white with Resene Coast taking centre stage on the walls. The deep navy hue brings warmth and mood to the interiors, creating a cosy and intimate ambiance. The addition of an Escea gas fire, paired with plantation shutters, enhances both functionality and aesthetics, providing filtered light and privacy.

Tongue-and-groove wall panelling in Resene Coast extends the design narrative into the living and dining areas, visually connecting the spaces and adding an illusion of height to the low ceilings. 

The living room features Resene Coast, a stark coastal blue, complementing the black fireplace and elegant décor.

Resene Ceiling Paint White painted on the ceiling, beams and window trims offers a stunning contrast to the walls in Resene Coast.

One of the main ideas for this project was to turn the kitchen into the hub of the home – a space for family gatherings, entertaining friends and daily meals. This space had a complete overhaul, with specific emphasis on functionality, durability and a nod to the mid-century era. The curved island bench, adorned with vertical oak battens, not only makes a bold statement but also creates a connection to the home's architectural roots. The incorporation of these battens above the island cleverly conceal the extractor fan while turning it into a distinctive design element.

Resene Black White plays a pivotal role in bringing the kitchen to life. This colour choice, coupled with timber selections, flooring and a concrete benchtop, provides a clean and fresh look, contrasting elegantly with the lush green. The kitchen trims are framed in Resene Black White, and complement the blue walls in the adjoining spaces, creating a harmonious and refreshing atmosphere throughout the home.

Resene Black White and Resene Ceiling Paint White make this kitchen a fresh and open space, showing off the timber features and dark cabinetry.

The dark cabinetry in the kitchen effortlessly contrasts with Resene Black White on the walls. Use Resene Colorwood Pitch Black to blacken the finish of your timber cabinetry.

The Caesarstone benchtops, featuring a grey concrete-look, seamlessly blend with the black birch ply woodgrain cabinets and an oak island, enhancing the kitchen's contemporary feel. Half circle pull handles not only serve a functional purpose but also resonate with the curved island and mid-century design elements.

The scullery, a versatile addition, offered much-needed storage, and new timber flooring unifies the kitchen, living and dining spaces.


The dark blue of Resene Coast on the dining wall provides a backdrop for colourful artwork. The timber flooring and furniture work to ground this room, complementing the timeless Resene Black White on surrounding walls. The ceiling and beams are painted in Resene Ceiling Paint White. 

Black fittings and furnishings offer a contrast to the walls in Resene Black White, creating a neutral backdrop for the wonderful décor in the dining area.

One of the challenges involved overcoming the quirks of an old kitchen, including redirecting plumbing pipes and rebuilding a bay window foundation. The unexpected discovery of a lost engagement ring during the demolition also added a sentimental touch to the renovation journey.

The end result is a harmonious blend of mid-century charm and contemporary functionality, with Resene paints playing a crucial role in bringing the family’s vision to life. The choice of colours not only highlights architectural elements but also reflects the client's personality and preferences, making this Auckland home a true reflection of timeless style and thoughtful design.

Interior designer: Stacey Gillies,

Architectural Designer: Brett Dobson, Elevate Architecture,

Images: Jackie Meiring

Top tip: There’s a certain wild beauty about today’s dark paint colours, and if you’ve been debating going dark, these evocative shades can actually be used for different effects. One way is to really commit to one shade. If you can match your couch and armchairs to the shade of your walls, and add tonal elements, you’ll create an intriguing, comforting space that embraces the current trend to ‘colour drenching’. You can even paint the ceiling dark. Have a small room but scared to paint it dark? The often-quoted ‘rule’ is that you shouldn’t use dark colours in small rooms or the space will feel claustrophobic, but this is not true. If you use colours with a cool base rather than a warm one, they visually recede and don’t dominate the room – just keep bold or fussy patterns to a minimum – and check your lighting as you may need to tweak it if you’re going for a major colour change.  Use a flat finish, such as Resene SpaceCote Flat, to help your dark wall colour recede even further.

Published: 22 Feb 2024

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

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