Total Colour Award winners

labour of love

Kakanui Beach

This Kakanui Beach house has a rich history as one of the oldest timber houses in North Otago dating back to 1872. The client had to make a big decision with a house of this age, whether to renovate or start from scratch with a new build.

Working with their draughtsman they started drawing up concepts for a new home that would have character features but could not get the desired look and kept coming back to the original home and what renovations could be done to the existing property. The decision was made to keep the original home and work out how to preserve the cottage feel while creating new spaces in keeping with the old but extend it with modern conveniences such as double glazing and insulation.

Otago beach house

This project was a whole house transformation with an extension to include a new kitchen with vaulted ceiling and new master bedroom. All walls were stripped back apart from two, the Baltic Pine wall that was rumoured to come off a European ship in the Kakanui estuary in the 1800s and a Rimu tongue and groove wall in the new living area.

The client opted for all new wooden joinery for the windows and had a new but old-style door recreated for the kitchen. Old windows stays and door handles were stripped back to the original brass and original doors were upcycled.

Blue kitchen

Kitchen cabinets

Wooden bench

The interior brief was to combine the historical cottage look with a coastal beach feel. As the central focal point to the home and new extension, the kitchen design was brought to life with blue v-groove cabinetry.

The colour inspiration came from two sources – the location of the home at the Kakanui coastline and the historical wallpapers used as a reference to the property’s past.


Lounge and doorways

Two site visits to Kakanui Beach and Campbells Bay provided the main colour cues that inspired the palette. Using Resene’s Colour Palette Generator,, photographs of the area were used to suggest starting Resene colour palettes. The colour team has found the Resene Colour Palette Generator has become such a great source of inspiration for their palettes now as they often use the North Otago environment as a key source of inspiration in their projects.

A final colour palette was chosen combining a palette of soft, sea blues and greens with the warmth of a colour that referenced the soft sand beach of Campbells Bay to the south of the property. The palette meanders through the home with Resene Quarter Regent Grey in the master bedroom, Resene Periglacial Blue and Resene Parchment in the kitchen, Resene Smoky Green in the snug, Resene Casper in the spare bedroom, Resene Half Black White and Resene Duck Egg Blue in the bathroom, Resene Abacus in the laundry and powder room and Resene Eighth Parchment on the ceilings, doors and architraves. Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen is used on wall areas with Resene Lustacryl on trims and joinery and Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom in wet areas.




It was rumoured that the Baltic Pine that lined the original front rooms was probably carried from the Kakanui estuary having been offloaded from a European ship. It had definitely seen better days. It needed a paint that would complement the scheme but also have enough depth to hide imperfections. Resene Smoky Green was chosen as the perfect mid tone colour to work in this room.

The original Rimu tongue and groove wall in the living area was retained, sanded back and then stained to reveal the beauty of this original timber.


Painted wood and wallpaper

When looking for flooring the client found some recycled from the Waiouru Military Camp gymnasium. The old claw foot bath was original to the home and was restored at a car painter firm in Oamaru.

This renovation has been a 30-year labour of love; the Kakanui cottage has been in the client’s family since 1960 and renovation plans started in in 1988 when they purchased a hand milled macrocarpa beam for the living room and leadlight windows from a garage sale.

The colour choices made within the home have brought this beautiful renovated cottage back to life and the client could not be happier with the scheme not only reflecting their beachside location but working harmoniously with historical patterned wallpapers.

Architectural specifier: Ian Perry, iDesign
Building contractor: Leo Mills and William Murray Building
Interior designer: Annabel Berry and Meghan Nockels, Design Federation
Painting contractor: A1 Decorators
Photographer: Rachel Wybrow Photography
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2019

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