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Feelin’ groovy


From the Resene/Your Home and Garden Colour Home Awards Competition - second finalist 2020

A magic moment over a glass of wine gave rise to this retro-styled home that uses moody greens, rich timber and pops of vivid orange to create a calm yet cosy vibe

An orange front door

A love of mid-century design and Mad Men inspired this Katikati new-build, which combines the style of the past with all the convenience of the modern era, a combination that was reached due to a slightly unconventional design process.

“Around two years ago we sat down in a hotel room in Taupo with a glass of wine and decided to play a game called ‘sketch your dream home on the back of a napkin’,” tells Rachel Sawyer, who owns the home with her partner Shane Wright. “The two homes were almost identical. So we decided we’d better build it, just for fun.”

It took a while to find the perfect location for their home, now dubbed ‘the Napkin House’, until the couple came across an overlooked section. “It was proving difficult to sell as the land was complicated to build on and wouldn’t have suited a family. We quickly realised it would be perfect for us,” says Rachel.

Sea green retro lounge with built in wooden wall

With plans in place and the build underway, it was soon time to choose a colour scheme. The Karen Walker Paints for Resene collection provided the perfect palette.

“Inspired by the Bauhaus school of the 1920s it combines colours from an emotional point of view rather than a technical one,” Rachel explains. “The range groups colours together in a way that tells a story rather than simply matching them tonally; perfect for our little retro home.”

Kitchen cupboards in Resene Clockwork Orange create a vivid contrast with Resene Smoky Green on the walls, and in the bathrooms a surprising detail awaits – orange grout in between the white tiles. Colour also reigns outside, with a vivid clementine front door teaming with Resene Half Smalt Blue.

Retro orange and green kitchen
Green retro bedoom

The next big challenge? The landscaping. “With two acres to work with, there’s plenty to keep us busy,” says Rachel. “We want to extend the mid-century theme outdoors with sculptural elements and a formal garden. The rest will feature native planting to encourage birds, bees and anyone else who needs a home.”

More Resene colours to try...


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Text by Sally Conor. Photography by Alice Veysey.
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Colour Home Awards
View more projects from the finalists and winners of the Resene/Your Home and Garden Colour Home Awards competition.

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