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From habitat magazine - issue 38, editorial

No matter how hard you plan a home design, plans change along the way.

Emma Rawson - editor
Are you working on a project with Resene paints, stains or wallpaper? We’d love to see it! Please share it with us on email, Instagram or Facebook.

‘The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray’ is an adage adapted from a line in a poem called To a Mouse written by Robert Burns in 1785. It could easily have been called To a House. No matter how hard you plan a home design, plans change along the way. I found myself reflecting on exactly that recently when I realised the colour palette I’d planned so carefully for our outdoor area wasn’t going to work because the newly installed patio roof made the space darker than intended. To avoid the site becoming like the Bat Cave, I changed Resene Ironsand to Resene Double Merino to bounce more light around.

I thought about old Rabbie Burns again when watching builders demolish parts of the fence my partner Andrew built with my dad a few years ago. The fence in its heyday was glorious (although admittedly in a slightly overengineered chevron design), built from pine and stained in Resene Woodsman Natural. It was intended to keep our tiny dog Frida, a griffon weighing in at 4.4 kilograms, safe and sound. Due to her size, we (naively) thought the one-metre-high fence would keep her within our gates. One week after we built it, I received a call while at work from the pound. “Do you have a little dog called Frida? She’s escaped and is running around at the dog park.”

Soon fence 1.1 was under construction, with Andrew nailing 60 centimetres of trellis to the top, turning the fancy chevron design into a shonky-looking Shawshank-style prison. The following week, I got another call telling me that Frida had once again scaled the fence and walked herself to the dog park. Eventually, we caught our furry Andy Dufresne red-handed (or should that be red-pawed?) climbing the trellis like a ladder. Vertical slats were added to fence 1.2 to replace the trellis, which has now been superseded by professionally built fence 2.0.

Frida has never escaped again, although she’s also an inside dog for precaution. At habitat, we hear stories like this all the time: homeowners build homes intending them to look a certain way only to find life takes another path – be it thanks to growing families, health changes, council plans or naughty pets. If this sounds like your family, check out our story on fluid home design. And if your dog turns out to be a pint-sized parkour athlete, check out our story on pet-friendly homes (where naughty Frida makes a cameo appearance). We love to hear your renovation stories (hopefully, more successful than my fence saga) and see photos of your projects. Send them to

Happy reading!
Emma Rawson editor


When you work at Resene, you get used to hearing everyone’s paint or colour story when you meet them. While, now and again, the stories sound like they should be on a comedy show of how not to DIY, most decorating stories are uplifting and remind us just how much joy and transformation a little paint can bring to the world.

There are those who dream of new kitchens and bathrooms, but perhaps right now they have to settle with a ‘good enough’ update while they save up for their dream space. A fresh paint colour is a quick way to make what seems like a currently unliveable space enjoyable while the saving takes place.

There are those who want to remember happier days; who revive treasured memories using favourite colours on heirloom furniture to enjoy a little nostalgia every day.

Then there are those who ooze colour. They live in homes that most of us wish we’d be bold enough to put together, while secretly knowing we’ll still be living with neutral walls tomorrow.

In amongst all those is the real unsung hero – the paint itself. We all like to think and talk about the paint colour, but it’s the paint itself that is doing the heavy lifting. The paint formula and quality colour tinters make all the difference in making sure that your colour keeps looking like the colour you chose for as long as possible and that your home is well protected.

So next time you’re choosing a favourite colour, take the time to think about the paint you’re choosing too and enjoy the best of both for longer.

Happy decorating!
the Resene team

Exterior colours mentioned plus two of my favourite colours from the Resene The Range fashion colours, Resene Rulebreaker and Resene Epic

Resene Rulebreaker

Resene Epic

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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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