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Being bold

NZ House & Garden, Resene / Colour expert

Stylist and store owner Gem Adams has a renewed love affair with stronger colours.

Tell us about your work and business.

I co-own and operate Blackbird Goods, lifestyle, homewares and clothing stores in Hawke’s Bay with my talented better half, Nathan. I am also an editorial stylist working with magazines and brands such as Resene to create room inspiration.

Gem Adams - stylist and store owner

Gem Adams - dining room design

Gem Adams: Gem Adams in front of a wall painted in Resene De JaneiroDining room: Floor in Resene Dingley and Resene Quarter Spanish White, wall and bench seat in Resene Pale Leaf, table in Resene Fahrenheit, chair in Resene Spanish White and small jug (used as a vase) in Resene Clover.

Why do you love working with colour?

I haven’t always been so gung-ho with colour, often opting for layers of neutrals, but lately I can’t get enough. Maybe it’s moving into our not-so-new abode, a 1985 Ian Burrow-designed A frame. It’s a home that lends itself to bold moves.

Also, our four-year-old daughter wants to wear every colour under the sun and gave me a “rainbow room” brief. I love pushing myself to create things that I wouldn’t naturally be drawn to, and the end result is that much more enjoyable. Resene colour really is the ultimate way to change the look and feel of a space.

Do you have any golden Resene colour rules for homeowners?

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Homes are supposed to be enjoyed, to not look exactly the same as next door’s. Resene testpots or Resene A4 drawdown samples are your absolute BFF, so that you not only see the colour on a larger scale, but also how it feels in your home, how the light bounces off it and ultimately if you want to live with the colour.

I also find running with a tone or two throughout a home is helpful to make it feel cohesive. Whether you’re keen on clean, muddied, deep or bright colour, this helps to create a well-considered space.

What are your current three favourite Resene colours and why?

I am playing with Resene Sante Fe for a 5.5m-high wall in our house and love how the soft terracotta tones work with our terracotta tiles. At the moment I’m drawn to fresh greens so Resene Dingley fits the bill perfectly. And harking to my true neutral roots, Resene Half Spanish White has been well used and loved over the past year – and looks like it will continue to be!


NZ House & Garden. January 2022

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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.

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