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Hill House

With a colour lover as the owner, this project needed to truly embrace colour...

Hill House

‘Hill House’ is a new three bedroom home located on a prominent Napier Hill site. The building form responds to the 270° panoramic views around Hawke’s Bay, existing site contours and the tight local council restrictions.

The design challenge lay in creating a private yet open plan home while maintaining the stunning views in all directions. The client wanted large roof overhangs, expansive decks for relaxation and a separate area that could easily accommodate grandchildren and visitors. A low maintenance ‘future proofed’ home was also a key requirement. This was achieved by choosing easy care materials, and by incorporating a lift serving three levels. High level opening windows provide passive cross ventilation throughout the home while large roof overhangs shade the facade.

Kitchen and view

The spatial layout was strongly influenced by existing site contours. Interior spaces were designed around two ‘axis’ that frame significant views in different directions together with the client’s area requirements for a large integrated kitchen, dining and living room. Bespoke built-in units and screens help to define areas within the open plan. Windows have been carefully located adjacent to the screens so that the play of light and casting of shadows on the tiled floor will change throughout the day.

Cedar has been used extensively throughout the home both internally and externally for durability and a warm aesthetic.

Kitchen colours

The inspiration for the colour scheme came from the bold and energetic client who loves bright colours. The kitchen was designated as the focal point of the house with the use of colour while the rest of the home is generally quite neutral in Resene Zylone Sheen in Resene Black White (grey white). The client wanted a magenta kitchen, and the complementary colours of the island kick and the entry hall were chosen for their matching intensity. Resene Colour Me Pink (bold pink) was chosen for the magenta feature. The oversized pantry door matches the Island kick in Resene Daredevil (fluoro orange). To complete the kitchen look, Resene Black (lamp black) is used around the TV and on the skirting behind the glass.


The entry is on the eastern side of the house and was designed to be a darker space, breaking out into the open plan larger lighter space. Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Maestro (blue gree) was chosen to help achieve the architectural intent.

Resene Black White was used throughout the rest of the house as it was the perfect shade of white to complement the modern architecture and to keep the aesthetic fresh. The splashback was chosen to tie the kitchen colours together.

Kitchen details -1

The client had custom made rugs with colours of the kitchen incorporated into them. These have been placed in the living rooms which are in the same open plan space. The rugs draw the kitchen colours into the living area in a different texture and plane.

This project won the Resene Total Colour Residential Interior Award.

Kitchen details -2

The judges thought: “With a colour lover as the owner, this project needed to truly embrace colour. It has not only embraced it, but created such a rhythm of colour, it just makes you want to dance. Sunbursts of colour provide an explosion of colour. The vibrations of colour and the organic design of the splashbacks are energetic and motivating. Colour is taken beyond the kitchen teamed with a more neutral backdrop and timber so the space is lively but not overwhelming.

Exciting, brave and pretty. Cooking will never seem like a chore again.”

Architectural specifier: Neil Fenwick Architects
Building contractor: Richard Kepa Builders
Client: John Harrison
Interior designer: Whitehouse Interiors
Painting contractor: Colourcraft
Photographer: Sarah Horn Photographer
Winner: Resene Total Colour Residential Interior Award
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2017
From the Resene News – issue 4/2017

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