Talia and Chris cross to the dark side

05 Sep 2014

When Talia O’Connor and husband Chris Taylor along with their family moved to New Zealand, dealing with the challenges of renovating a villa was completely foreign to them. Having lived in new builds in Melbourne and previously in Europe, the wonky floors and layers of ancient wallpaper of their Dunedin villa had them scratching their heads.

Undaunted, within two months of moving in they had treated the expansive walls to a Resene paint job. Now darkly rich in Resene Fuscous Grey, the living room is still one of Talia’s favourite spaces. “It’s wonderful and cosy in winter, but also magical in summer because it’s a lovely light room.”

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

I love black, white and grey – I call them the non colours. Basically, anything on the spectrum from light to dark. I think using these neutral colours in an interior allows you to add colourful or textural accessories, and gives you such a lot of flexibility. I own an on-line homewares company called  MintSix and a lot of our product is colourful – like the bright pink pouffes, which look great against the deep grey walls.

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

No surprises, but it’s grey, from light silvery tones through to the dark charcoals. We did depart slightly for our main bedroom by using Resene Avalanche which is a dark inky blue-grey.

Tell us more about what you do.

As well as running MintSix, I also do interior consulting and styling. My clients tend to know that grey is going to come up as a recommended colour! My husband Chris works in real estate so he has a great eye for house design and interiors, too.

So what now for the house?

Because we did the painting early on, we’re now into the structural renovations, which is an eye-opener in terms of working with a villa. No single surface is straight and there are rotten joists.  It’s a challenge.

Photographed by Emily Hlavac Green for Homestyle magazine.

Read more: Monde and Michael's role reversal

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

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Talia’s love affair with black and white has extended to her recently renovated kitchen, where the cabinets are painted in a mixture of Resene Bokara Grey and Resene Alabaster.

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The master bedroom walls are rich and cosy, in Resene Avalanche. A peep through the doors shows a front door in Resene Howzat.

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Talia used a broad striped Resene Black & White wallpaper as a feature wall in daughter Sabien’s room.

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This black feature wall in Ellery’s room is actually Resene Blackboard Paint so that it can be used as a chalkboard.

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The living room is Talia’s favourite space in the house, with walls painted in her favourite colour, Resene Fuscous Grey.  The trims and other walls are in Resene Alabaster. 

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Retro chairs create a quiet corner with an arching lamp, cowhide and Resene Alabaster walls. 

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Resene Alabaster

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Resene Avalanche

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Resene Bokara Grey

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Resene Fuscous Grey

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the look

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colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
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Resene Alabaster

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Resene Avalanche

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Resene Bokara Grey

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Resene Fuscous Grey

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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.