What a transformation! Elegant Resene silver greys and blues take this 1930s Takapuna home from tired to triumph

31 Mar 2021

Designer Natalie DuBois had a challenge on her hands renovating this petite 1930s semi-detached home into a family space with room to move. With windows on three sides and only 180 square metres to work with (including the double garage), Natalie used Resene paints to transform the small, dark interior of this Takapuna home into a haven of light and colour. “My clients were clear about the colours they were drawn to,” says Natalie, who worked with a young family of four on this project.

“They wanted pure, strong tones of green, blue, purple and yellow. It’s so important to know what colours make people feel good.”

The family needed a neutral colour to act as a canvas for their bold and colourful furniture. Natalie used Resene Double Alabaster as the colour for the walls and ceiling of the living areas.

Instead of the furniture being overpowered by the surrounding interior colours, the crisp white walls now highlighted the pieces. The bright hues of Resene Double Alabaster immediately lightened the living area, reflecting natural light and making the room feel more spacious.

“Keeping the rooms refreshing and uncluttered was important. The crisp white and bright colours make it feel fresh and vibrant.

“The effect of this home is one of relaxation, where colour flows seamlessly with individual accents of fun.” 

Instead of opting for lighter tones in the kitchen, Natalie created depth and contrast by painting the cabinetry in Resene Half Tuna. “I chose Resene Half Tuna for its warmth and its timeless neutral look that could easily be introduced in other areas of the house,” says Natalie. Positioned against the bright Resene Double Alabaster walls, the cabinetry has become an elegant design feature in the kitchen. Natalie used Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom waterborne enamel tinted to her chosen colours for a soft and velvety look in the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. “Resene SpaceCote Kitchen & Bathroom gives the walls more protection, with anti-bacterial properties and mould inhibitors,” says Natalie. “The enamel makes the walls durable and easy to maintain, while at the same time keeps them looking smooth and tactile.”

Resene Half Tuna made another elegant appearance; painted on the walls of the master bedroom ensuite. “Every room in the house has its own personality, but still feels connected through a cohesive colour palette,” says Natalie. In the master bedroom, she created a peaceful retreat by painting the ceiling in Resene Double Alabaster and using the slightly lighter grey tone of Resene Half Stack for the walls. “Resene Half Stack is a soft yet solid colour that feels cosy and is easy to relax in.”  

Resene Double Alabaster is a grey based white which makes it perfect for pairing with darker colours. In the shared bathroom, Natalie used Resene Double Alabaster for the ceiling, but this time paired it with walls in Resene Quarter Stack. “The shared bathroom was very small and dark, so the light blue grey of Resene Quarter Stack made the room feel a lot larger and softer,” says Natalie.

The darkest room of the house, the powder room, was transformed into a moody alcove with Resene Blue Moon. This deeply rich room still needed to tie in with the home’s lighter colours, so Natalie used Resene Blue Moon on the ceiling, door and trim to create lively accents. “I love the fun aspect of the blue powder room, it’s my favourite room of the house,” says Natalie. “Choosing a fun colour for a powder room is great because the colour can be changed in the future and a whole new look can be achieved.” When choosing a coloured ceiling Natalie says it’s important to create a connection and introduce your chosen colour elsewhere, such as on the door, trim or even other areas of the house.

“I love adding a bit of fun to powder rooms. Ceilings don’t have to be boring.”

Natalie added depth in the kitchen with cabinetry in Resene Half Tuna. This contrasted beautifully with the crisp walls in Resene Double Alabaster.


Before (left): The kitchen before was dark and hadn’t been redecorated for decades. After (right): Natalie transformed the space using Resene Double Alabaster on the walls and ceiling and with new cabinetry painted in Resene Half Tuna.


The dark living spaces were brightened with the walls, trim and ceiling painted in Resene Double Alabaster. This reflects natural light and also complements the family’s cheery furniture.


The walls of the master bedroom were painted in Resene Half Stack. This solid colour makes the space calming and cosy. The trim provides a clean finish and is painted in Resene Double Alabaster


Before (left) and after: the master ensuite was brought to life using the deep shade of Resene Half Tuna on the walls and Resene Double Alabaster on the ceiling and trim.


The smaller shared bathroom has been painted in the light blue grey tone of Resene Quarter Stack, which makes the room feel larger and warmer. The trim is in Resene Double Alabaster.


The powder room is transformed with the brilliant shade of Resene Blue Moon on the ceiling. The door, architraves and skirting were all painted in Resene Blue Moon to ground the ceiling. You can achieve a similar distressed cabinet look using Resene Hippie Blue and buffing the cabinet with Resene’s Karen Walker Vintage Wax from Resene ColorShops. For a similar wallpaper effect try an Anaglypta pattern such as RD124 from the Resene Wallpaper collection painted with Resene Half Tuna or use Resene FX Paint Effects medium for a multilayered effect.


The laundry got a fresh new look with cabinetry in Resene Half Tuna and walls in Resene Double Alabaster.

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

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Resene Double Alabaster

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