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lovely bones get a lift

From Habitat magazine - issue 31, feature exterior

A fresh coat of paint makes for a striking transformation.

Situated at the end of a lovely cul-de-sac in Hamilton, not far from the river, Lisa Harvey’s home is a standard Huntly brick bungalow. Built in the 1980s, the original exterior finishes, while classic at the time, were beginning to tire and in need of a refresh.

Designer Deanna Hills of The Designery Room was enlisted to help. She says that her mandate was to modernise the house and give it a stylish look, bringing it up to scratch, without going overboard on budget. Her selection of Resene paint products and a simple colour palette were just the ticket.

Stricking painted black  brick exterior
A fresh coat of Resene Lumbersider tinted to Resene Element on the brick, gables and garage door, Resene Summit Roof in Resene Element on the roof, Resene Woodsman Pitch Black CoolColour on the cedar cladding and window heads and Resene Sea Fog on the fascia, spouting, soffits, posts, downpipes and garage surrounds made all the difference in this monochromatic modernisation.

Resene Element is a lovely soft black, which toned in with the old school bronze joinery, as we wanted to hide the joinery to an extent. We didn’t want to accentuate any of the timber elements, so we went for Resene Woodsman Pitch Black in the CoolColour formula. It flows seamlessly to the Resene Element on the bricks and also gives the house a lovely sense of height,” explains Deanna.

“We wanted to add some character and definition, so we used Resene Sonyx 101 tinted to Resene Half Sea Fog on the fascia and key pieces of trim. This black and white scheme gives a modern yet timeless look to the home and works really well with the existing materials and substrates.”

House before painting renovation
Garage before painting renovation
Before the refresh, the beige brick, weathered timber, steel garage door and tiled roof of the house was looking a bit on the tired side.

Deanna says that the right tradie was important to make sure the right finishes and products were used on the existing and weathered materials. “We also needed someone who took attention to detail. Our painters, Hallie Decorators, did an amazing job.”

“The main challenge was the cedar gable above the garage. This timber was left for too long and – let’s say it was past its use-by date. The painter ended up needing to organise installation of new timber.”

Serendipitously, the change-out ended up benefiting the overall design as they were able to get rid of the odd triangular shape from the front of the house and tone the horizontal boards in with the existing cedar window heads.

“The painted brick was definitely the most successful element of the project,” says Deanna. “It’s actually a very simple and cost effective way to modernise an old dated brick home.

It looks simply spectacular – like a completely different home."

Designer: Deanna Hills, The Designery Room
Painter: Hallie Decorators
Illustrations: Malcolm White

One exterior, two transformations

A trio of designers share some alternative exterior options.

While the actual redesign of the Harvey Residence was a knock-out, designer Deanna Hills of The Designery Room suggests this big-budget fantasy alternative:

This house has some lovely bones. We wanted to work with the existing structure but completely transform this house into a fresh modern home – with a Mediterranean twist. This option shows another idea for a relaxing home exterior, featuring a fresh white colour palette and a minimalist garden full of gorgeous greenery.

The seamless flow of Resene Whitewater to Resene Half White Pointer gives the house lovely simplicity. Adding in some beautiful raw copper features, which protrude out, frames the windows. This warm contrast mixed with the fresh white scheme, adds a modern twist to the home and tones in with the warm timber hues.

Phone: 027 845 3149   Web:

knock-out wood and painted brick exterior with white roof.
Deanna swapped brick for plaster cladding in Resene Half White Pointer broken up by raw copper window frames, joinery in Resene Element and topped it with a trapezoidal-profile steel roof in Resene Whitewater. Thin cedar stained Resene Waterborne Woodsman Limed Oak gives the front of the garage a flush, seamless look that’s echoed on the front door. NZ Handmade Terracotta Tiles; Middle Earth Tiles  

Alternative solutions

Since we were in daydream mode, we also let Kate Rogan and Eva Nash of Rogan Nash Architects take a crack at another stunning alternative scheme:

Our inspiration came from recent projects, both in the planning and the colour scheme. We find in urban areas people are forgoing the garage in favour of an extra living space. So with this in mind, we have altered the house to create another living area at the front and changed the cladding to cedar with a Resene Waterborne Woodsman stain. The rest of the scheme is also urban focused with the dark roof and joinery, the bagged brick walls are in a lighter colour to give relief to the scheme and tropical planting sets off the palette.

Phone: 09 361 2548   Web:

Stunning wood and brick exterior with black roof
Kate and Eva chose Resene CoolColour All Black for the roof, fascia, joinery, door and planters and Resene Waterborne Woodsman Natural for the cedar decking and garage cladding, which has been converted into a bonus room with glass doors to allow for indoor/outdoor living. The brick on the main portion of the house is painted Resene Merino. Keutia Palm.

Top tip: In hot summer conditions, a Resene CoolColour will help keep the coating, substrate and surface cooler, which can help to reduce heat transference inside. It performs optimally with darker colours that are the most prone to heat build-up, which makes it ideally suited for dark roofing and wall colours and darker decking stains.

Resene Natural

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Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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