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turning over a new leaf

From Habitat magazine - issue 31, feature house

A post-quake overhaul inspired by its surroundings.

After the Christchurch earthquakes damaged Stephanie Waterhouse’s beloved 110-year-old villa, she had two choices before her: rebuild or move. Surrounded by acres of lush parkland, her mature neighbourhood, St Albans, is eclectic, interesting and centrally located. For her, it was an easy decision to stay in the area she loves and rebuild.

A soft blue interior
Using pops of colour in joinery
Living/dining: In the dining and living areas, the walls are painted soft blue Resene Longitude below the impressive gabled ceiling, which is in Resene Eighth Spanish White.  Joinery: For a pop of colour, some of the door and drawer fronts of the built-in joinery have been painted Resene Energise. The walls are in Resene Longitude while the ceiling and trims are in Resene Eighth Spanish White.

Top tip: Resene has many products to bring out the beauty of natural materials indoors, including Resene Colorwood timber stains and clear timber finishes, such as Resene Aquaclear for walls and Resene Qristal ClearFloor for floors.

With the support of architect Don Jamieson and architectural graduate Joshua Dubbeld, they set about creating a comfortable home that celebrates the area’s prevalent mid-century style while incorporating hints of contemporary design elements. The result of their efforts is a compact and considered build painted in a blend of Resene colours inspired by the raw, natural beauty of the Christchurch region.

Stephanie’s vision for her new home was one that used honest materials to craft an open yet comfortable layout with northerly oriented living areas to allow for enhanced natural lighting and heating. Don and Joshua made use of the available space on the site to create two gables with a covered courtyard in between that’s ideal for both at-home entertaining and private relaxation, allowing her to embrace an indoor/outdoor lifestyle.

An entrance hall as a stand-out feature
Kitchen colours
Entrance hall: Stephanie wanted the entrance of the home to be a stand-out feature, to welcome guests like a warm hug with walls in Resene Merino. What starts as a small and intimate space consumed with rich, natural fibres, the entrance hallway opens up into vast vertical space with walls in Resene Longitude and ceiling in Resene Eighth Spanish White.  Kitchen: Resene Longitude is carried through from the main living spaces on to the walls of the kitchen, as is Resene Energise – which is used as an accent on selected cabinet door fronts. The ceilings and architraves are in Resene Eighth Spanish White.

“Stephanie has a love of colour, which was evident in her existing villa. It was decided early on in the project that colour should be featured in abundance alongside natural, low maintenance materials,” Don explains.

She was especially passionate that her new home should represent the myriad of colours that exist in nature, especially hues reminiscent of the immediate area, such as the volcanic rock of Port Hills and the harbour where Stephanie goes for walks.

“The colour choices are intended to reference the surrounding environment as the eye moves from the earth to the sky, from the flora inspired green of Resene Norway, to the moody sky blue of Resene Longitude,” says Don. “Every colour leaves its own distinctive impression, while referencing the natural finishes."

The natural colour palette used on the exterior extends through to the inside of the home, blending seamlessly from the outside in.

“We wanted to evoke a strong sense of home and permanence,” Joshua says. “I wanted Stephanie to move into the house and immediately feel comfortable, like she had lived there her entire life."

Main bathroom colours
Light flooding into bedroom
A restful bedroom colour
Main bath: Resene Sakura frames the vanity area of the main bathroom. Above the high trims and shower surround, the ceiling is finished in Resene Eighth Spanish White, which was also used for the window architraves.  Light room: Light floods into the second bedroom from north-facing sliding doors, which open onto a private patio. The walls are painted Resene Secrets with trims in Resene Eighth Spanish White.  Aqua room: Resene Ashanti was used on the walls of the third bedroom, making for a restful space.
A mild and calming master bedroom
Resene Norway in the master ensuite
Master bedroom: The master bedroom is painted in mild and calming Resene Norway, which is perfect for a space intended for relaxation. A ceiling in Resene Eighth Spanish White helps reflect light back down into the room.  Ensuite: Looking into the ensuite, you can see the difference that lighting makes on Resene Norway, which was used both on the walls of the master bedroom as well as the ensuite. The architraves are painted Resene Eighth Spanish White.

To ensure familiarity, Stephanie reintroduced much of her furniture from her previous villa, salvaging a butcher block and transforming a kauri door into shelving for plants in the kitchen. She says she was keen to create a ‘honey glow’ within her home, producing the colours you see on the Canterbury Plains during summer when the fields are golden. These accents run throughout the home, which are emphasised by the use of timber and other natural materials.

Deeper into the property, the living spaces deviate from golden and copper tones, boasting lofty vaulted ceilings painted in warm Resene Eighth Spanish White. Light from north-facing vistas pours down through the skylights and plant life is dotted throughout, bringing raw natural elements directly into the space. Through to the dining room, the walls are painted in the soft, blue tones of Resene Longitude, capturing nature further. Each bedroom is painted a different shade of green, with Resene Norway in the master and Resene Secrets and Resene Ashanti in the spare bedrooms.

“The finished result is such a perfect home for me,” says Stephanie. “Everything was chosen for a reason, everything has a story and a place, especially in those materials and objects salvaged from the damaged house. And I love how the light changes all the colours depending on the time of day.”

An earthquake rebuild - a combination of old meets new
After Stephanie’s home was destroyed by the Christchurch earthquakes, she decided to rebuild. Her new home is a combination of old meets new with a colour palette inspired by the natural beauty of Christchurch. The exterior walls are clad in Integra Lightweight Concrete Facade with a Rockcote Cerano finish. The pergola posts are stained in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Pitch Black.

Top tip: Clean up concrete paths and driveways with Resene Deep Clean. Simply spray it on and leave it to work with Mother Nature to slowly clean up your exterior surfaces for you.


Paint it right

Choose the right Resene colours and paints for the job.


Conscientious colour

Conscientious colour

Stephanie was committed to her vision of a natural home, both in the colours and the materials used. Look to the Environmental Choice approved range of Resene paints to help you minimise odour and VOCs in your home, including Resene Zylone Sheen Zero with no added VOCs. In wet areas use the Resene Kitchen & Bathroom range with anti-bacterial silver protection and added mould protection with MoulDefender.

Style tip

Steal some inspiration from the accent colours in Stephanie’s bedroom by painting furniture and accessories in these on trend colours from the Resene The Range fashion colours fandeck.

Get the look

For a different spin on the exterior look, use Resene Lumbersider for a low sheen finish, Resene Sonyx 101 for a semi-gloss finish or Resene Hi-Glo for a high gloss finish on your cladding, tinted to Resene Merino and Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss in Resene Scoria for contrasting accents. For a natural looking finish on exterior timber, choose a Resene Waterborne Woodsman timber stain colour closest to your timber colour. This will help protect the timber and keep it looking good.


Architect: Don Jamieson Architecture Ltd
Images: Dennis Radermacher
Designer: Joshua Dubbeld

Alternative solution – emerald anchored elegance

A warm, welcoming and woodsy space to entertain

Designer Amy Moore suggests this alternative scheme:


I have given this dining space an organic feel through the use of green and timber while the angular forms of the white wire chairs give it a bit of an industrial edge. The stunning artwork draws your eye to the back of the room where it can continue on through the open shelving to the kitchen beyond, but it also brings the colour continuity of the Resene Quarter Rice Cake ceiling and adjacent walls on to the feature wall while furthering the nature theme. Where a visually solid table could dominate, a glass topped version creates a feeling of spaciousness. The large bubble pendant adds an element of drama when dining while tying together the mid-century modern details of the lounge chairs, table and accessories into one cohesive package.


Elegant emerald room
A bold colour goes a long way when used well. A verdant feature wall in Resene Dell defines this delicious dining room, filling it with colourful character. It’s flanked by adjacent walls and a ceiling in Resene Quarter Rice Cake while Resene Colorwood Teak brings warmth to the timber floor and wall. Choosing soft furnishings that match your wall colour helps them recede and create a greater sense of visual space. Lamp from Mr Ralph, throw and cushion from French Country Collections, curtains from Little & Fox, side table from Città.

Top tip: Resene Colorwood stains rejuvenate and enhance the natural beauty of timber indoors. Use Resene Aquaclear on walls and Resene Qristal ClearFloor on floors to keep them protected and looking great for years to come.

Teak platter with handle
Teak Platter with Handle; Annabelle’s
Nebula Art
Nebula Art; Runa and Holly
Hand Woven Art
Hand Woven Rug; Città
Arco Dining Table
Arco Dining Table Round; Freedom Furniture

Alternative solution – drenched in drama

Luxury built through layers and repetition

Designer Angelique Armstrong suggests this alternative scheme:


While this house is contemporary, there are elements of the dining space that feel like a call back to classic 70s design. The plywood details also give it a similar vibe to some holiday homes. I wanted to keep the furniture modern and have added a feature wall in one of the latest Resene fashion colours, Resene Excalibur, behind the buffet unit, which is topped with a vase of fresh lavender and other accessories that lyrically evoke the colours of summer. Against the classic Resene Colorwood Pitch Black timber stain of the ply and the Resene Alabaster walls, I wanted the room to feel fresh, homey and little different from the normal. This is accomplished through a layered blend of dark and light timbers with black and gold accessories while the repetition of round shapes helps create a unified space.

Contact: phone 03 356 2636   web

Despite the depth of colour in Resene Colorwood Pitch Black, taking it and the plywood across the back wall further opens up the space rather than closing it in. The key is keeping the ceiling and adjacent walls light and bright in Resene Alabaster and visually breaking up the space with the feature wall in Resene Excalibur. Angelique went for timber flooring stained in Resene Colorwood Uluru followed by a coat in Resene Colorwood Limed Oak to create even more layers within the space. Brass vessels, rattan tray and candles from Corso De’ Fiori, vases from Le Monde, crocodile tray from Regency Distribution.

Top tip: Minimise fly spots on ceilings with Resene Fly Deterrent. Designed to discourage flies from sitting on the painted surface, it reduces the appearance of unwanted fly spots and is especially helpful for high ceilings like this.

Tonon Flat Lounge 924 Chair
Tonon Flat Lounge 924 Chair X4; David Shaw
Jupiter Media Cabinet
Jupiter Media Cabinet; Corso De’ Fiori
Paloma Recycled Pine Table
Paloma Recycled Pine Table with Cone Base; CC Interiors
Bistro Round Mirrors
Bistro Round Mirrors; Corso De’ Fiori
Navicula Natural Medium
Navicula Natural Medium; David Trubridge

Resene Excalibur

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