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From Habitat magazine - issue 09

Bored with beige? Try something a little more adventurous in your home. Three interior designers lead the way.

Mid-century inspiration


Alasdair Hood of Jasmax is a fan of mid-century design, particularly the furniture of the period made from rich grainy timbers such as Teak and Walnut. It was a natural extension, therefore, to choose a graphic colour scheme reminiscent of that time, as well as a limited edition hand-painted Alexander Girard doll (originally designed for himself in the 1960s), relaunched by Vitra in 2006 and available from Cite.

Alasdair Hood

“The black, white and pale teal scheme is a nod to mid-century design but also holds its ground today. Resene Zomp sort of reminds me of the Air New Zealand livery of the 1970s and it’s the type of colour that looks great against rich reddish timbers like Teak and Walnut.

“I don’t like painted feature walls and feel that if you are going to do something, then do it properly.” Which is why he would paint all the walls of a room in Resene Zomp, with architraves and trims in high-gloss Resene Blackjack. Any recesses or alcoves, and the ceiling, would be painted in Resene Alabaster to give the space quite a sculptural effect. He would finish the look with timber or even better, cork floors. “You would need to have quite a large space for this scheme to work,” he says.

It’s also not a scheme that would work in a villa, he feels, but would be perfect for a mid-century or ex-state house, for example, or a more contemporary space.

Subtly acidic


Rachael Buxton of Interiors etc used this eye-catching Mademoiselle chair by Kartell from DeDeCe to inspire her colour scheme. Taking her cue from the sludgy greens and blues of the upholstery fabric, she chose Resene Secrets as her main neutral, accented by Resene Inside Back and Resene Fahrenheit.

Rachael Buxton

Says Rachael: “The subtle acidity of Resene Secrets and Resene Inside Back plays off against the energy of the chair. All three colours form a ‘family’ with blue-green as their base, and the two darker colours have similar tonal value. They balance each other out.

“Resene Secrets is a wonderful neutral. It’s relaxing but not cold, with hints of grey, yellow and green.”

Rachael recommends using Resene Secrets as the wall colour in a room, then Resene Inside Back as the secondary colour, perhaps using this sort of colour in the curtains. Then using Resene Fahrenheit as the accent colour. She believes these colours would work well in both contemporary and traditional styles of houses, and would be beautifully complemented by timber floors.

Rachel has worked in Pukekohe and Karaka, south of Auckland, for a number of years and recently opened a new retail space and studio in the old Karaka church on Karaka Rd.

Natural update


As a designer who specialises in bathrooms and kitchens, Debbie Abercrombie couldn’t help but choose a tile on which to base her colour scheme – a Multi-Stick from European Ceramic & Stone. “When it comes to the hard surfaces of a bathroom, for example, there is less variety, less choice, so it’s best to start with tiles or flooring you love and build a paint scheme from there,” she says.

Debbie Abercrombie

These are also the rooms of the house on which you spend the most money so while it’s always tempting to play it safe with all pale colours, Debbie sees this scheme as a progression from absolute safety. “With the deeper, richer browns and unusual tile [thin strips of mosaic], it’s a little different but still elegant and timeless.”

She has Resene Quarter Silver Sand as the main colour, accented with a metallic paint (Resene Bandit) for “a bit of fun”. If the metallic is too adventurous you could always substitute Resene Nest Egg, she says. “It’s an earthy scheme with white to freshen it up, very much at home in our land of nature and sea. It reminds me of pumice and sand, and could easily be used in the rest of the house with shades of blue and green.”

To complement the scheme in a bathroom or kitchen, Debbie would choose pale timber cabinetry.

words: Sharon Newey
pictures: Mark Heaslip


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