Tina's bach to the future design

19 Aug 2015

Designer Tina Stephens of Roomie Interior Design was recently given a very personal commission – to redesign both the structure and the interiors of her parents’ home, using soft beachy Resene blues, timeless neutrals and a recurring pohutukawa flower motif.

Originally bought as a weekender 10 years ago, Rae and John Stephens moved to the property permanently soon afterwards. In a sleepy little waterfront gathering of homes in the Bay of Plenty, overlooking Matakana Island, it had a 1980s prefab house at the front with a 1950s bach at the rear and bordered the local reserve.

How did you decide on the overall look of the interiors? What was your overall philosophy?

The nasty 1980s prefab house was levelled and a new home was designed to keep the same 100 sq m footprint and to use the original shape to reflect the other baches along the waterfront. Since the property also has a bach, a sleepout and a caravan, the main house was created specifically for the two occupants, rather than as a large family home. They wanted a calm space with pared-back functional interiors, clean lines, and less visual clutter. A utility room and a small office were also included for work spaces, while the north-facing open-plan living space made the most of the aspect and the views.

The interior was focused around the pohutukawa flower, which is rampant along the coastline. I wanted to create a modern take on it, so incorporated images of the flower in the large kitchen splashback, included some Ingrid Anderson fabric for the light shades, and outside, did a fun mural on the fence.

What part of the house are you most happy with?

The main living area feels huge and is quite surprising considering the small footprint. The high pitched ceilings, up-lighting and, a neutral colour scheme based on Resene Sea Fog help increase the sense of space.

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

Play with colour and don't try and match everything. Each room can take on a different style, but do connect them with a soft base colour such as Resene Sea Fog or Resene Black White. Don't follow trends: use the natural environment and experiences in your own life to guide the way your home is styled.

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

Getting my parents out of the ‘resale’ mindset. They had bought (and built) and sold many houses before this one, and it was hard for them to think about building a home just for them. The idea that it would be more saleable if it had three bedrooms was a moot point, as the property was a lifestyle choice rather than a project to sell.

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

Orange, because it can work in so many interior styles, and adds a fun element. Aqua is also amazing as it complements so many other colours. Charcoal is fast becoming a favourite, too! 

Read more: Clayton and Melanie-Janes renovated railway house

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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Tina kept the simple shape and exterior treatment of the rebuilt house. She wanted to echo the look of old baches but give it a beachy twist by painting it the inky deep blue Resene Jaguar. 

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The 1950s bach at the back of the property is repainted in Resene Scarpa Flow to blend with the main house but using a softer chalky grey-blue tone. 

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Tina used Resene Sea Fog as the main interior neutral because its soft grey undertones are perfect for the large open-plan space which gets plenty of sun.  

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Resene Dusted Blue is used as a feature wall colour in the main bedroom, softening the room and giving it warmth. It works beautifully with the pop of red from the Samoan-made bedspread. The walls and ceiling are Resene Sea Fog. 

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Resene Clementine Orange is a bright and sunny orange but has a lovely chalky quality, says Tina. It brings cheer and warmth to the south-facing bathroom.

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Tina used various Resene testpots to create the pohutukawa mural on the fence. 

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The pohutukawa motif appears on the kitchen splashback and the lightshades. The walls and ceiling are Resene Sea Fog. 

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The house and bach before being rebuilt and repainted. 

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Resene Black White

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Resene Clementine Orange

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Resene Dusted Blue

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Resene Scarpa Flow

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the look

If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
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Resene Black White

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Resene Clementine Orange

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Resene Dusted Blue

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Resene Scarpa Flow

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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.