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From Habitat magazine - issue 09

Want a feature wall with a difference? Take this designer’s lead for a fun tile-look treatment.

Designer Marty Princep has always liked finding economic ways of doing something interesting with interiors. Before officially studying in design, he was the owner, designer and builder of the well-known Luminaire Vodka Bar in Beresford St, Auckland, where the interiors were all white – a look ahead of its time in those days.

Tile feature wall

That experience launched a passion for design which saw Marty study design and interiors for a couple of years in Wellington. When he returned, he struck a deal with good friends Gerard and Anna O’Brien – in exchange for staying with them, he would do up their house.

This wall sits between the house’s living area and the kitchen, and is actually made up of 88 separate 6mm-thick mdf ‘tiles’, hand-rolled in various Resene colours.

Marty, Gerard and Anna devised the colour scheme using Resene Brown Pod, Resene Dakota, Resene Half Blanc and Resene Quasar. The colours blend with the other walls, painted Resene Tea.

Marty did a dummy run of the scheme, painting small pieces of wallpaper and shuffling them around on an A4 scale model. He took digital photographs of the various schemes before editing down the choices to one pattern. “I didn’t want the patterning to look forced, or to be too obvious,” says Marty.

He then had a joiner cut the ‘tiles’ to exact size with a computer controlled saw. Of course, neither the wall or the hole in the wall to the kitchen are square, so some pieces were hand cut using a fine, sharp saw to fit.

The ‘tiles’ were then painted using a hand-roller, then stuck onto the wall using plastic tile spacers to position them. Marty jokes that when his friends want to sell their house, they can always just paint over the wall in a plain colour if it’s considered too adventurous for popular tastes. Or, if they get bored with browns, they could always use another colour scheme - variations of green, blue, or orange/reds, perhaps.

Watch this space.


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.