John and Margie's Tranquil Hideaway

15 Nov 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 design duo's hidden haven

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Surrounded by lush subtropical gardens, John and Margie's home sits high on a slope overlooking the calm waters of Orakei Basin. Hidden down a private lane, the house is a well-kept secret, entirely invisible from the street. Designed in the 80s by Paul Higgins, it still has a contemporary feel, thanks to John and Margie's renovations. To brighten the interior, they painted the originally dark ceilings with white Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta, making a huge difference to the space. And while they have chosen mostly soft colours for the walls (going for whites, blues and greens throughout) there is the occasional exception - such as bright orange Resene Flashback in the guest bathroom.

How long have you lived in your home? Fourteen years. We were attracted by the amazing views and all-day sunshine. It is a very warm house and totally protected from the prevailing wind. We like the closeness to the city centre while feeling as though you are in the country. And the subtropical garden with lots of bird life.

Where did your inspiration come from for your home interior look? Just our own preference for clean uncluttered lines. We both work in creative and design areas.

What was the greatest success with your renovations? Painting over the dark ceilings. Once finished, it lightened the interior enormously and has given quite a marine feel to the home, which is appropriate with the wide water views.

Which space in the house do you get your greatest satisfaction from? The kitchen is fantastic and very workable, but probably we get most use from the lounge, which is very light and airy and has an open fireplace and high ceilings.

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

What colours did you use? The house exterior is Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta, with the front door and garage door in Resene Eternity and the roof in Resene Aluminium. (All the exterior wall colours we used were in Resene X-200 paint, the special acrylic waterproofing membrane paint, so that it will protect the house for a good long time.) All of the white interior walls, ceilings and trims are Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta. The lobby, office and feature wall in the lounge are Resene Arrowtown. The guest bedroom feature wall is Resene Bounty, the main bedroom feature wall is Resene Washed Green from the Karen Walker Paints collection, and the spa pool and garden room area is Resene Windblown Green, also from the Karen Walker Paints range. There is a feature wall of Resene Flashback in the guest bathroom.

Why did you choose these colours? Except for Resene Flashback, which is pretty bold and which we put into a darker bathroom, all the colours are fairly subtle and give some structure to the Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta. They are all reasonably earthy colours and they also complement the artworks we have on them.

Get the look:
You can make a space feel bigger or smaller, wider or narrower simply by changing the colour, like John and Margie have. By painting the ceiling a lighter colour, it reflects more light and the colour recedes so that the room feels spacier. When you're planning to change your paint colours, consider the lighting at the same time. If you are making a dramatic change from dark to light colours, or vice versa, you will need to check your lighting to ensure it complements your new colours and doesn't make the room too bright or too dark.

Take a seat

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The kitchen, painted in Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta, is sleek and modern.

Ceiling height

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The living room used to have dark ceilings, but John and Margie have painted them in Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta, making the space appear larger and brighter.

Fully booked

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The master bedroom has a feature wall of Resene Washed Green.

Eat your greens

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The dining room is painted Resene Flourish green.

Garden paradise

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Surrounded by a lush subtropical garden, the house sits high above Orakei Basin, giving it fantastic views. The exterior is painted in Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta, with the roof in Resene Aluminium.

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Resene Aluminium

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Resene Arrowtown

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Resene Flashback

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Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta

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Resene Washed Green

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Resene Windblown Green

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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.

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Resene Aluminium

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Resene Arrowtown

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Resene Flashback

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Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta

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Resene Washed Green

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Resene Windblown Green

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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.