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Bassett Road Renovation

Most see neutrals as the easy option, but choosing the right neutral colours can really make a home sing...

Bassett Road Renovation

As part of a modest renovation to the rear of a 1900s villa in Remuera, the aim was to create a modern kitchen sitting harmoniously within the historical villa, and to showcase the client’s collection of art and objects.

A few simple design elements bring light and space to the kitchen, living and dining. The kitchen wall was slightly extended to allow a larger kitchen in which the husband-and-wife clients can comfortably cook side by side. The kitchen opens to the living area across a breakfast bar to easily entertain large family groups. A wall was removed to relocate the dining into a more formal setting enclosed on three sides. The deck was extended to give views out to the Waitemata, and a new stair from the deck connects the living areas to the garden, which slopes down into a green verdant valley.

Green and white living room

The husband is a scientist, the wife is an artist and lawyer, and together they brought a wonderfully rigorous attention to detail, especially regarding the efficiency of the kitchen and storage elements. There was a clear vision to use a strong colour for a feature wall on which to display the client’s artwork. Colours were tested on a 3D digital model of the villa, prior to specifying the final colours.

The inspiration for the feature wall came from the deep, dark colour choices used in galleries such as the National Gallery and John Soane Museum in London, which allows the colours of the art to glow brilliantly against the sombre background.

Feature wall and artwork

The main art wall is painted in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Timekeeper (blue green), a striking dark colour along an internal wall which faces south. The artwork is protected from direct sunlight, and lit by adjustable artificial lighting in the evening. The remaining walls are Resene Tasman, a calming blue green which beautifully complements the natural stone benchtop and restored Kauri flooring. Resene Tasman (soft aqua grey) also works with the various blue objects and glass artworks which are displayed on white shelves painted in Resene Half Rice Cake (starchy white), and in a painted alcove with glass shelves.

The height of the ceilings is accentuated by Resene SpaceCote Flat in Resene Eighth Rice Cake (noodle white), a white also used on the window trims and cabinetry to reflect the light around the space. Together the palette contributes to a warm and comfortable home which encompasses art and family life. The project went smoothly due to a wonderful builder, Mark Conway, and the clients write that they wouldn’t change a thing.

This Bassett Road Renovation by Emma Morris Architecture won the Resene Total Colour Neutrals Award. The judges said: “Most see neutrals as the easy option, but choosing the right neutral colours can really make a home sing. Interesting shadowing and light in this home play with the neutral palette, adding an extra layer of interest. Your eyes wander comfortably through the space, the perfect backdrop to showcase favourite possessions. Different colours on the horizontal and vertical planes provide a soft contrast.

This home is simply beautiful in neutral – with a soothing and calming ambiance that many homeowners would love to have in their own home.”

Architectural specifier: Emma Morris Architecture Ltd
Building contractor: Mark Conway
Colour selection: Lucy McGillivray and Nikki Morris
Photographer: Sam Hartnett
Winner: Resene Total Colour Neutrals Award
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2017
From the Resene News – issue 1/2018


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.