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moon landing

From habitat magazine - issue 37, feature home

One small testpot led to one giant leap in the decoration of this couple’s home.

A colourful ribbon mural

Laura painted the ribbon mural in the hallway in one day using Resene Toffee, Resene Paper Doll, Resene Cutty Sark and Resene Swamp. Wall painted in Resene Alabaster and ceiling in Resene Half Alabaster.

Stepping through the doors of Laura and Krispin’s home in Te Awamutu is an out-of-this-world experience. There’s a ‘moonscape’ in the landing area near the front door (actually, an original mid-century feature wall in the 1960s home), its craters painted in the otherworldly Resene Cutty Sark like something out of The Jetsons.

Then there’s a psychedelic ribbon in Resene Toffee, Resene Paper Doll, Resene Cutty Sark and Resene Swamp guiding you down the hall into the living areas, painted in Resene Foundry, a bold charcoal colour. Pops of Resene Teal Blue and Resene Smitten showcase the children’s artwork.

A busy family lives here. Krispin is a large-animal vet; Laura is a former sewing teacher turned fashion designer. They have two energetic children – Elijah (4) and Violet (2) – and a baby is on the way. But although they’re busy, this is a family who knows how to have fun. Laura can’t keep up with demand for Albie, her range of fashion-forward breastfeeding clothes (“our new designs keep selling out”), and Krispin’s job sees him delivering calves at a moment’s notice (“the calves always seem to come in the middle of dark stormy nights”). Still, their goal – Laura’s especially – is to work at creating a home where the kids aren’t afraid to express themselves.

“I wanted the kids to be able to relax, put up their art on the wall, turn their rooms into a sea of colour and just have fun,” she says.

“I have lived in homes that are quite pristine with everything hidden away, and it’s quite stressful. I think it’s okay for your home to feel lived-in, especially if you are creative with your things. I have colourful little name tags indicating where the kids can put their shoes and display their things. Resene testpots are great for that.”

A family photo in the colourful newly decorated home

A wooden moon mural in the landing

Family photo: This colourful home suits this busy family. Krispin is a large animal vet and Laura runs Albie, a breastfeeding clothing company (she’s wearing one of her own designs). Violet (2) and Elijah (4) keep the couple on their toes and there’s another baby on the way.  Moon mural: The wooden moon mural in the landing is an original feature of the mid-century home. Laura painted it in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss tinted to Resene Cutty Sark. The walls are Resene Alabaster and the trims and ceiling are Resene Half Alabaster.

top tip  Resene Lustacryl is a durable waterborne semi-gloss suitable for doors, architraves, wainscoting and windowsills. The enamel-like finish is not only super hard-wearing but also easy to clean – a great option for busy families and pet-friendly homes.

Laura is a familiar face in her local Resene ColorShop, frequently popping in to pick up testpots, often in unexpected colour combos. Although the main wall of her home is Resene SpaceCote Flat tinted to Resene Alabaster (one of Resene’s most popular colours), it’s unusual to paint doors and architraves (as Laura has) in Resene Foundry. The rich charcoal is also used on feature walls in the living and dining rooms and in Elijah and Violet’s bedrooms.

“Resene Foundry is my favourite colour. It goes with everything and balances out the other colours. I’ve even used it in the children’s bedrooms. My mum was worried that if I put such a dark colour in their bedrooms, it would seem too serious, but it’s fun.”

In Elijah’s bedroom, inspired by a photo she saw in a habitat plus booklet, Laura teamed soft, warm blue Resene Ziggurat with Resene Foundry, creating a wave design using a curved cardboard template. It’s the perfect room for a pre-schooler whose interests are ever-changing – in the past year, he has been wild about animals, dinosaurs and now The Incredible Hulk.

“It’s cool for the kids to realise early on that they have unique tastes and interests that are different to their parents. I don’t particularly like Hulk Smash but my son is obsessed with The Hulk, and that’s okay.”

A lounge with a striking feature wall

An arch alcove painted in Resene Foundry

Lounge: Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Foundry is a striking feature wall in the lounge. The bar trolley painted in Resene Teal Blue was an op-shop find and the planter has an arch painted in Resene Teal Blue, Resene Swamp and Resene Pizza. White walls throughout the home are Resene Alabaster and the ceiling and trims are Resene Half Alabaster.  Arch alcove: Laura and Krispin created the arch alcove by placing a piece of ply over the top of existing shelving and painting it in Resene SpaceCote Flat tinted to Resene Foundry.

Violet currently loves pink, so her room has splashes of Resene Smitten and Resene Gelato. “It’s totally unintentional but my boy gravitated to blue and even though my daughter’s name is Violet, she wanted pink.”

As for Krispin, Laura admits she has a lot of creative freedom thanks to the fact he’s colour blind. “I think when he looks at our house, he probably sees it entirely differently to me. So that’s why many of the colour decisions have been left up to me.

“I decided to do the stripe in the hallway out of the blue one day, and my husband came home and said, ‘What are you doing?’” But even then, he doesn’t quite realise what it looks like – he probably thinks the stripe is painted with darker and lighter versions of the same colour. I can get away with a lot.”

But when it came to the moon wall, Krispin vetoed her plan to paint it in hotpink Resene Smitten. When they bought the home in 2019, it was a creamy colour and, to Laura, the craters looked a bit like Swiss cheese. She tried 10 testpots before deciding on Resene Lustacryl tinted to Resene Cutty Sark.

A dining room table painted in black

A kids bedroom with a wave design on the wall

Dining room: The legs of the dining table are painted in Resene Foundry to match the feature wall. Wall in Resene Alabaster and the ceiling and trims are Resene Half Alabaster.  Bedroom: Elijah’s bedroom also features a Resene Foundry wall teamed with Resene Alabaster and a wave design in Resene Ziggurat on the adjacent wall.

“We went for Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss as it needed a little extra sheen to highlight the craters. They collect dust quite easily, so having something easy to clean was essential.

“I’ve used Resene Lustacryl on the doors as the kids touch everything, and they always need to be cleaned. And I don’t know what they are doing, but everything always seems sticky.”

Colour – from painted second-hand furniture to vases and picture frames – is in every room, all painted with Resene testpots. An antique bar trolley in Resene Teal Blue is one of Laura’s favourite op-shop finds – aside from her antique sewing machines, that is. Laura currently has a vintage Singer with a stand painted in Resene Smitten and a Pfaff machine with a stand painted in Resene Retro and Resene Watermark.

“I love finding something in the op-shop, bringing it home, and painting it. I enjoy learning about history, and that’s also why I love having a home from the 1960s. I found out there used to be a little sewing room in the corner in what’s now an openplan area in this home. It’s nice that someone sat here sewing things as I do.”

Although she’s brave with colour now, when she and Krispin bought their first home, it took them a couple of years to have the guts to change anything. “It was only when we bought our first Resene testpot and started painting that we realised the Resene ColorShop was right there and it was so easy.”

Her advice for other homeowners wanting to dabble in colour is to give it a go. “It’s not like you’re knocking out a wall. You’re just putting on a bit of paint. And if you hate it tomorrow, the colour will be dry, and you can paint over it.

“I think knowing you have that freedom to change it whenever you like is freeing. And for me, I love living in a fun, colourful home – it’s inspiring.”

› Interested in learning more about colour blindness? Read more at

Paint it right

Choose the right Resene colours and paints for the job.

Be floored

Protect timber flooring with Resene Qristal ClearFloor. If your wooden floor is looking a little faded, rejuvenate the colour first with Resene Colorwood wood stain, before applying Resene Qristal ClearFloor. Or try a whitewash finish with Resene Colorwood Whitewash.

Using Resene paints to paint a wall mural

A plant pot painted in colour Resene colours

Wonder walls

Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen is a durable and waterborne paint you can use on walls, architraves and other high-impact areas. It’s an excellent option for children’s rooms because you can transform the surface into a chalkboard – great for creative play. For the ribbon design Laura used Resene Toffee, Resene Paper Doll, Resene Cutty Sark and Resene Swamp.

Pot luck

Salvaging old furniture and vases is not only affordable, but it’s easier than it looks, says Laura. ‘Resene testpots are cheap. So why spend ages finding the right vase to match your home when you can paint one exactly the right colour.” To paint smooth surfaces, such as ceramic or veneer, apply Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer before painting. To paint old wooden furniture, first prime with Resene Quick Dry.

Resene Watermark

Alternative solution – a touch of the tropics

classic style with a touch of the tropics

Resene Colour Consultant Jill Marsh suggests this alternative scheme:

Jill Marsh
Jill Marsh

I wanted to bring in some colour and texture to this lovely space. To give the room more options I enclosed the left wall and repositioned the heat pump to make the back windows larger. Resene Wallpaper Collection M37914 gives the left wall interest and I have carried the green and brown tones throughout the room. The nature-inspired colour palette features Resene Linen, an earthy, green neutral and green-toned cream Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream on the ceiling, window trims and skirtings. The timber flooring stained in Resene Colorwood Natural anchors the space. Other natural features such as the leather armchair and buffet from Freedom, timber pendant lights from Lightingplus and the fireplace and hearth in Rockcote Marrakesh plaster from Resene Construction Systems create a relaxing feeling.

email   web

Alternative solution – a touch of the tropics

Resene Wallpaper Collection M37914 sets the relaxed tropical tone of this living room. The dark green of the design gives the room a snuggly cocooning feeling. Resene SpaceCote Flat tinted to Resene Linen on the back wall and Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream on the ceiling in Resene SpaceCote Flat and trims and skirting in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss continue the fresh green tones in this room. Further natural elements are introduced through the flooring finished in Resene Colorwood Natural, the tropical palm from Nood and timber furniture including the buffet and chair from Freedom and pendant and floor lamps from Lightingplus. Rug and mirror from Freedom, couch from Target Furniture, curtains from McKenzie Willis.  llustration: Malcolm White

Lounge before alternative solution

Top tip  It’s best to order more wallpaper than you need. New wallpaper collections are regularly launched and older collections are usually deleted after three years, sometimes sooner. If you need to patch or replace any damaged paper, you may not be able to buy it anymore. Also, with graphic wallpapers, pattern matching can soak up extra rolls.

Balt .35 Timber Pendant, Lightingplus
Balt .35 Timber Pendant, Lightingplus
Villa Fringe Cushion, Nood
Villa Fringe Cushion, Nood
Resene Wallpaper Collection M37914
Resene Wallpaper Collection M379143
DEN Leather Armchair
DEN Leather Armchair, Freedom
Rockcote Marrakesh Lime Plaster Finish
Rockcote Marrakesh Lime Plaster Finish, Resene Construction Systems

Alternative solution – warm and family-friendly

family-friendly dining with a Moroccan twist

Designer Kathryn Lyons suggests this alternative scheme:

Kathryn Lyons
Kathryn Lyons

I’ve created a family-friendly dining room with soothing tones and some small pops of colour. As this space is for a family, I have selected durable Resene finishes and furnishings that do not show wear and tear. This includes easy-to-clean panelling painted in Resene Lustacryl tinted to Resene Cashmere and Resene SpaceCote Flat tinted to Resene Quarter Blanc on top of the wall. I have removed the window at the far end of the room, in addition to the pelmets, carpet and the hearth. In their place are Roman blinds and pine flooring stained with Resene Colorwood Rock Salt and protected with Resene Qristal ClearFloor. Every piece in this room is hard-wearing, allowing the whole family to relax at dinner time.

email   phone +61 448 466 881

Alternative solution – warm and family-friendly

The warm sandy tones of this dining room create a relaxed family-friendly atmosphere. Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss tinted to Resene Cashmere provides an easy-to-clean finish for the wainscoting, ideal when wiping off fingerprints. Beige-toned whites, Resene Quarter Blanc on the top wall and Resene Eighth Blanc on the ceiling, tie in with warm brown Resene Groundbreaker on the brick fireplace and feature wall. The rug and blinds from Benisouk give the room a Moroccan flavour and tie into the warm timber tones of the dining table and chairs from Cult Design. Lighting from Beacon Lighting, vase and bowl from Dinosaur Designs, artworks by Kara Rosenlund.  llustration: Malcolm White

Lounge before alternative solution

Top tip  Minimise fly spots on ceilings with Resene Fly Deterrent. This additive is mixed with selected Resene waterborne topcoats and discourages flies from sitting on surfaces reducing the size and impact of fly spotting.

Drop Leaf Dining Table
Drop Leaf Dining Table, Cult Design
Spanish Dining Chair
Spanish Dining Chair, Cult Design
Rattan Buffet, Corcovado
Rattan Buffet, Corcovado
Twinkles by Kara Rosenlund
Twinkles by Kara Rosenlund
Vintage Moroccan Rug, Benisouk
Vintage Moroccan Rug, Benisouk

Words: Emma Rawson
Images: Jane UssherI


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