The perfect neutrals: This seaside home is anchored by a simple but stunning grey palette

04 Feb 2021

"Know the rules to break the rules,” is Nicky Scott’s interior design motto. Their 1920s bungalow has been home to the interior designer and her partner Andrew, and their two girls, Hannah and Bella, for nearly 20 years yet despite her rebellious mantra there’s a sense of harmony to the home. Nicky has installed a sense of balance and maturity to her home with a palette of Resene colours that demonstrates her deep understanding of the science of colour. 

When the couple bought their home it had been recently renovated providing a blank canvas for Nicky’s calm colour palette of greys, charcoals and whites.

"Overall the palette is pretty simple - white and grey with accents of ochre" describes Nicky. “The walls throughout a lot of the home are Resene Milk White, cool and clean without a hint of cream, so it stops the walnut floors from looking too red.”

Nicky chose Resene Fuscous Grey for the master bedroom to frame the view and change the feeling of the room. "The dark grey gives, what could be an overly bright bedroom, a moody and encapsulating feeling,” says Nicky.

Nicky’s palette of greys continued down the stairs with Resene Half Fuscous Grey in the hallway and Resene Gunsmoke in the bathroom which provides warm backdrop to the hard edges of ceramic and glass. 

Resene Ash, a soft smoky grey, features in the landing bathroom, which when combined with the filtered light through the mottled glass give this room a gentle, serene feeling.

The cohesive palette across the whole house gives Nicky the freedom to shift things around and accessorise to the seasons. “I purposefully have linen that can mix and, match between bedrooms - the same with furniture and lamps,” she says.

The simple palette, which includes darker and lighter walls, also lets her art collection shine. "We buy what we love and then figure out where we'll put it. I'm especially enamoured with our gallery wall, which includes a couple of pieces by our daughters".

When choosing colours Nicky considers the light, ceiling height and style of architecture of the home. "I usually know what's going to work. But I still will always use a Resene drawdown and place it around the house and watch what happens in different lights". This was especially important when choosing the exterior palette says Nicky. "Colours can look so different with light from varying directions at certain times of the day".

The final exterior colour palette, chosen to complement the interior, is Resene Eighth Friar Grey on the weatherboards, Resene Quarter Milk White for the soffits and trim, garage door in Resene Tuna, and Resene Bastille for the front door. 

Nicky's advice for creating a unified restful home is to "go with your gut, work from the heart" and – of course her rule breaking mantra. “When you bring in something that 'shouldn't work' that’s when the magic happens". 

images Bayleys 
words Kate Alexander

Contact Nicky at Nicola Scott Interiors [email protected]


Resene Fuscous Grey in the master bedroom makes a striking backdrop for Nicky’s art collection. The trims and ceiling are Resene Eighth Friar Grey.


The Resene Half Milk White window trims and Resene Quarter Milk White Ceilings tie in with the Resene Fuscous Grey master bedroom.


Resene Milk White is used throughout the home including the snug. The trims are Resene Quarter Milk White.


Resene Gunsmoke gives the downstairs bathroom a simple elegance.


The hallway, seen here from the kitchen, is painted in Resene Half Fuscous Grey. The kitchen wall colour is Resene Milk White, the door frame and trims are Resene Half Milk White.


Resene Half Ash in a guest bathroom works well with the natural light and gives the room warmth and softness.


This home is painted in Resene Eighth Friar Grey on the weatherboards and Resene Quarter Milk White for the soffits and trim. The garage door is in Resene Tuna which complements Resene Bastille on the front door.

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

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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.