From Habitat magazine - issue 32, feature house
A designer’s home gets a refresh to welcome its new owners.
It's not every day that an interior designer's home hits the market – but rarer still is when that same designer helps with a customised redecoration of the property so that your new home is picture perfect from the moment you move in. However, that was the case for the lucky new owners of Kelly Gammie's Auckland home.
Through her business, Eucalyptus Design & Interiors, Kelly is known for going above and beyond for her clientele. When she was getting ready to leave the house behind – which she described as being "stylish but sombre" at the time – she aimed to make it a little lighter of heart for those about to call it their new home.
One thing that the new owners wanted the four-storey home to retain was its texture, especially in terms of Kelly's talented use of wallpaper. They also wanted the palette to remain neutral – limited to shades of black, white and grey – but with a fresh look and feel that would work seamlessly with the elements that were to be retained, such as the drapery and kitchen. Rather than painting the space tip to toe in a single neutral hue, Kelly brought in layers of black, white and grey with subtle variations. This approach helped to soften the feel of the home and create an illusion of extra light and space.
"As the designer, it was advantageous to have had a personal involvement with the home," says Kelly. "It enabled me to know how the natural light worked in the space. For instance, the main living room has limited natural light, so I knew the new colour palette needed to create brightness from within."
Kelly says that the large black and white cockatoo artwork, the centrepiece in the living area, was her main inspiration for the colours and textures she incorporated in the new design. "We pulled Resene Wan White out of the picture's neutral tones and used it for the panelled walls. It is a really clean fresh white and works perfectly with the selected wallpaper."
Resene Wallpaper Collection 218951 was used behind the artwork, which is hung on the longest wall in the open plan layout. Stretching eight metres, the design connects the living and dining areas to visually expand the space, making it feel larger yet intimate at the same time. Kelly says she chose this pattern in particular to be a subtle feature, one that wouldn't steal the show but instead would blend in beautifully and complement the key decorative elements of the design: the drapes, cushions, flooring and artwork.
"The gentle pattern of the bird's feathers provided inspiration for the wallpaper design, which works perfectly both texturally and tonally. The two-toned wallpaper lightens the room while bringing in contrast without making it feel cavernous," explains Kelly.
The glass fronted display cabinet is the only truly dark tone retained in the living and dining room. Painted Resene Blackjack, it makes the perfect backdrop for illuminated art glass while also creating a shadowing effect behind the fireplace, which is painted Resene Double Concrete.
According to Kelly, it's hard to find a better white for ceilings than Resene Double Alabaster. "It works with just about anything you want to put on the walls."
Resene Wan White was selected not only for the panelled interior walls but also for a solid feature wall outside as well as a privacy divider that does double duty as a neutral backdrop for a collection of tropical plants. "The hue pops nicely against the Resene Tana weatherboards and the Resene Woodsman Nutmeg stained balustrade," says Kelly.
"The palette is circular," she explains, "with colours flowing through the interior and exterior spaces." Resene Woodsman Nutmeg is seen again further down in the courtyard to link one space to the next while the fencing is a combination of Resene Woodsman Nutmeg and Resene Woodsman Crowshead. This deep black stain is used on both the fence and lower deck, which links back inside to the Resene Blackjack display cabinet."
Top tip: To continue your wood stain colour inside and out, use Resene Colorwood indoors and Resene Woodsman for exterior timber surfaces.
Because it was her second time decorating the property, Kelly says that the challenges for the redesign were quite minimal. The most significant ones had already been overcome when she initially renovated the home.
"The challenge that is always present for a designer is taking requests on board for many different people and then translating them not only to a cohesive design, but also making them relevant to the project. This is almost always the case when working with clients. I have been thanked on several occasions for keeping my clients' marriages together during the renovation process," she laughs.
"Of course, it was a challenge to have to leave this home to its new owners, as we had really loved living in it. Fortunately, the new residents loved the finishes, textures and feel of the home as much as us."
"I believe the most successful element for me was creating a home with distinctly separate zones of living, kitchen and dining areas all within an open plan environment. It was my objective to avoid the cavernous feel that can sometimes be created with these layouts. With my clients, I'm starting to see a desire to shift towards separate intimate zones, yet still within an open plan space."
Did you know... Interior bare concrete tends to attract dust and marks that can be hard to clean? Protect interior concrete walls with Resene Concrete Clear for an easy clean surface that looks good for longer.
Having trouble picking the perfect white? See the Resene Whites & Neutrals collection for a range of neutrals in varying strengths from bright white through to pure black and everything in between.
Choose the right Resene colours and paints for the job.
Pattern play: Layering a variety of different patterns within the same room is a great way to inject it with personality. The key is to pick designs made up of the same colours so they don't overwhelm. With thousands of options available and new designs introduced monthly, there are plenty of patterns to love in the Resene Wallpaper Collection that can be used on walls, ceilings, doors, drawers or inside bookcases to create a standout space. See the latest designs at your local Resene ColorShop.
Style tip: Character neutrals, while still easy to live with, can help to bring some soul to your space and keep it from feeling cold. Look to shades like Resene Quarter Cougar, Resene Half Fossil or Resene Barely There from the Resene The Range Whites & Neutrals collection.
Get the look: Having trouble finding curtains to go with your favourite Resene colour? The Resene Curtain Collection may be just what you need to dress your windows and complement your room's décor. It's a range of fabrics designed to work with popular Resene colours. The selection includes fashion stripes and patterns through to solids, sheers and neutrals designed to blend with a wide range of interior schemes. Try a sheer like Resene Pause curtains in Naturalle Voile underneath a heavier design like Resene Echelon curtains in Naturalle for a similar look to Kelly's design. See the full collection at www.resene.com/curtains.
Mix and match for casual comfort and contrast
Designers Georgia Brian and Shayden Whipps suggest this alternative scheme:
We wanted to create a space that emulated modern comfort, so we started with the colour scheme. Resene Quarter White Pointer on the walls and ceiling set the spirit, and we dressed it up by adding a mixture of natural wood tones to the room, including the sofa and timber table. The gallery wall invites a pop of subtle colour and adds a feature to what could have been a forgotten wall. The kitchen is both contemporary and eclectic with its ceiling-mounted exposed shelving. Resene Triple Dune on the lower cabinets is bold but contrasts nicely. The timber flooring stained in Resene Colorwood Uluru is a nod to a boho aesthetic in combination with the soft furnishings and sculptural pendant lamps.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.moochstyle.com
Top tip: Resene wood stains and urethanes help to enhance the beauty of timber flooring while protecting your investment. Inside, use Resene Colorwood to rejuvenate the colour in your wooden flooring, walls, ceilings and furnishings. Outside, use Resene Woodsman to enhance, rejuvenate and protect timber.
Sage greens make a stylish statement
Resene colour specialist Brooke Calvert suggests this alternative scheme:
I wanted this open plan living, dining and kitchen space to feel relaxing and a place where you could feel at home. The linen sofas, luxurious sheepskin elements and natural timbers have been used to soften the space and create a feeling of calm. Pops of brass have been brought in through the tapware and floor lamp to add a touch of glam. The beautiful coral pink on the far back wall in Resene Just Dance is echoed through the soapstone table piece and kitchen accessories, while the fresh and warm white walls in Resene Quarter Rice Cake work to enhance the timber tones throughout the space, including the floor finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash. Sage green tiles on the splashback draw your eye in, which then moves to the bench seat, bringing a little extra drama – which is what it's all about!
Phone: 027 215 6949 Email: email@example.com
Top tip: See the Resene Whites & Neutrals collection for a range of easy to live with hues in varying strengths – including plenty of stylish character neutrals.
Search Habitat Magazine Stories
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.