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birds of a feather

From habitat magazine - issue 36, bathrooms

A bold peacock-blue powder room and a Resene Raven bathroom ensure this home renovation takes flight.

There are few things as lovely as relaxing in a bathtub to decompress after a long day. Although crisp, clean whites and soothing neutral paint colours are often associated with spas and wellness-themed bathrooms, interior designer Clare Kitching of Peachhaus Design and Development says bold Resene colour choices can create a room that is both striking and a sanctuary.

“When designing a bathroom, most people don’t come and say, ‘I want to use colour’ but I say, ‘Be brave and give it a go!’” says Clare.

A luxe grey-blue bathroom

A moody blue powder room

Bathroom: In the family bathroom, Resene Raven is a timeless shade of grey-blue and a luxe counterpoint to the white and grey found in the bathware and marble tiles. Resene Quarter Rice Cake is used on the skirtings, shutters and ceiling. Tiles from Tile Space, bath and tapware from Robertson Bathware, vanity and basin from Bathco. The floor is jarrah. Use Resene Qristal ClearFloor to protect timber flooring.  Powder room: “For the powder room, we wanted to create a dark, moody and elegant vibe,” says interior designer Clare Kitching. “We chose Resene Fast Forward as it’s a deep slate blue with undertones of green. This colour worked perfectly with the glossy peacock-coloured finger tiles up to the dado line and is the perfect backdrop for the brushed brass tapware and shelf.” Tiles from Tile Space, vanity and fittings from Robertson Bathware.

Clare was happy to find herself on the same page as her clients Mel and Joe, who were keen to embrace rich, deep colours in the renovation of their Remuera family home. The couple had moved to Auckland from San Francisco, where their previous house had a lot of colour. They wanted to make sure that this home felt similar.

“When I first met Mel, she said she did not want an all-white house, though she did want areas that were light and bright,” says Clare. What Mel envisaged for her Remuera residence was a Hollywood-glam vibe interspersed with mid-century modern furniture that would sit well with the 1930s bungalow. A powder room and bathroom were spaces that Clare felt could take some strong colour, and Resene Raven and Resene Fast Forward do the trick nicely.

“Joe is a sailor who is used to being out in nature with the sea and a varying backdrop of blue and grey skies,” says Clare.

“We drew on the colour palette of the ocean by using blues and neutrals to create a near-neutral palette while still infusing colour and life into the home.”

The blue-green palette continues in the powder room, a space without much natural light. Clare decided to play on the room’s natural assets and make it glamorous.

The family chose peacock-blue tiles, and Clare found a colour to match their glamour in Resene Fast Forward, a deep slate blue with a moody undertone of green.

“We painted everything in Resene Fast Forward – the walls, the back of the door, the ceiling. It’s definitely a dark colour when you’re in there, but the glossy tiles bounce the light around. We added in the walnut vanity and brushed brass fittings for the glam factor,” Clare says.

Tips for designing a bathroom

“Every space is different depending on how you use it,” Clare says, and she uses that as a starting point. “For instance, in the bathroom, Mel knew that they would not be tidying up all the time after the children, so we decided on what we wanted to see from the hallway. We hid the shower in an alcove and chose the bath as the showpiece, positioning it at the end of the room under a window.” The same logic applies to surfaces. “Think about the materials and how you will use them. We chose a hardwearing vanity surface in engineered stone for the kids’ bathroom that will take heavy use, whereas Mel chose marble for her ensuite.”

Clare adds that smaller spaces are ideal for being brave with your Resene paint colours. “It’s not a huge deal to change the colour if you really don’t like it, but my client Mel was pleased that she went bolder. You can choose classic in the fittings such as tiles, but the paint can always be changed out.”

Top tip  Bathrooms are one of the highest wear-and-tear areas of your home – moisture is an extra challenge for all surfaces. To withstand this, you need an enamel-style paint, such as Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen for walls, Resene SpaceCote Flat for ceilings and Resene Lustacryl for trims. If you are painting an adjacent bedroom, extend the paint finishes from the bathroom into the bedroom for a unifying effect. If you’re choosing whites and off-whites, use the Resene Kitchen & Bathroom versions of these products for added anti-bacterial silver and MoulDefender protection.


Powder power

Powder rooms or guest bathrooms and toilets are small spaces that can make a big impression. These small spaces are a fun place to try creative ideas, and if you change your mind, they can be painted over in an afternoon.

A tropical inspired powder room

A dark blue powder room

A natural green bathroom

Tropical room: This tropical powder room, designed by Whitewood Homes, combines a feature wall in Resene Wallpaper Collection 220125 with Resene Merino trims, cabinetry from Dezignatek, pink basin from Concrete Nation (available at Plumbline), tapware from Abi Interiors.  Blue room: Deep blue-green Resene Warrior is ideal for a small space with little natural light. Vanity, basin and LED mirror from Plumbing World.  Green room: Take a leaf from Mother Nature’s playbook with Resene Raptor paired with organic furnishings, such as this round basin from Plumbing World and wooden vanities or flooring in Resene Colorwood Natural protected with Resene Qristal ClearFloor.

1 Go wild with wallpaper

Powder rooms are a great place to try a fun Resene wallpaper print, especially since interesting patterns can visually expand a small room. Resene wallpapers come with codes and some designs are marked as washable, super washable, scrubbable or spongeable, depending on the level of humidity/steam they can withstand (ask your Resene ColorShop staff for advice). Unlike bathrooms, powder rooms generally aren’t affected by steam, so you can choose from a wider range of styles. Choose glam geometrics, bold florals, fruity tropicals or wild botanicals from the Resene Wallpaper Collection. For more wallpaper inspiration and for tips on how to hang wallpaper, see the free habitat plus – wallpaper book, available from Resene ColorShops or online.

2 Go dark and mysterious

Powder rooms often lack natural light, so why not embrace their dark side and use a dramatic colour to amp up the glamour? Try a rich blue such as Resene Warrior or Resene Indian Ink, a charcoal such as Resene Nocturnal or a deep crimson or purple such as Resene Burgundy or Resene Aubergine. Use Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen for easy cleanability and added durability.

3 Go natural

Nature-inspired spaces are a huge interior trend, and powder rooms are no exception. Try painting the walls in deep greens such as Resene Raptor, Resene Palm Green or Resene Seaweed and add organic touches with round basins, woven baskets, lush greenery and wooden vanities or blinds.

Resene Fast Forward

Words: Wendy Colville
Images: Jackie Meiring, Plumbing World, Whitewood Homes


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