Total Colour Award winners

The Business Hive


Oamaru has been experiencing a period of business growth over the past five years with the return of the next generation of business owners to the region, expanding tourism market, renewed optimism and positivity.

The business hive signage

The owner of the Business Hive is one such returnee having come back to Oamaru from overseas to contribute and assist in the revitalisation of local business.

Alongside Design Federation’s role as designers, they also work within the economic development space having established a local networking group to support, inspire and promote like-minded business people to the region. So it was a meeting of minds when they were contracted to the interior of The Business Hive, a local shared space and hub for business people to connect.

The entryway

It was determined that the colour cues would incorporate the following:

Meeting room and seating
Meeting room

The office spaces needed to be functional, professional and inspiring. The objective was to ensure they were attractive to sell as permanent or semi-permanent office desks.

Colour was the main design element to enhance the dilapidated building and bring it to life.

The Hive brand brought to mind a buzz and the obvious colour choice of yellow both for its direct reference to the colour of a hive and to complement the proposed energy for the space. Choosing the right yellow as the central colour to bring the spaces together was critical as was the proportion of yellow to use within the space to ensure its impact.

Desk area
Meeting table with calming walls in blue

The client was attracted to fluoro brights, however this risked alienating a corporate market by having a yellow that was too bright. Instead a more mature yellow was sought to bring warmth and energy but not be overwhelming. Resene Good As Gold was chosen for its depth of colour and ochre notes. Combining this with accent colours in Resene Nero and Resene Half Grey Chateau created a contemporary, fresh, yet professional core palette.

The entrance needed to make an impact and after receiving the final logo it was decided to work a paint effect into the scheme that represented entering the hive. The main entrance wall with door leading into The Engine Room space was painted in direct reflection of the hive logo with a rounded door and a Resene Nero and Resene Sea Fog scheme. Supported by other walls in Resene Good As Gold it is a professional and energetic entrance.

The secondary colours had to speak of the Hive’s coastal location and, with a Wellness room as part of the scheme, a relaxed and calm ambience was needed in this space, achieved using chalky blue Resene Bermuda Grey for its calming, tranquil and balancing properties.

Black white and yellow office.
Yellow wall - and arch detail

In the Boardroom a corporate environment with an edge was needed. This was also the multimedia space where visitors could access projector for presentations. The concept was to take the beige mottled plaster walls and use colour to make them feel contemporary and relevant. By painting the main wall Resene Nero and then subsequent other walls in Resene Coastal Blue this completely changed the whole feel of the space, finished with large scale black and white artworks from a local photographer. Resene Coastal Blue also freshened up the kitchen at the back of the room, taking it from tired and run down to smart and sophisticated.

The main workroom is a shared space, more fun and open, and proposed to be interactive with a bank of computers and wifi, encouraging communication and openness. To keep this fresh, Resene Half Grey Chateau was chosen as the main wall colour with both ends of the room in Resene Good As Gold to keep the energy up. The other main wall was painted with Resene Magnetic Paint and Resene Blackboard Paint giving people the option for further interaction in their meetings and conversations.

The Engine Room gave the option for more creativity as this was a space where the owner felt working parents could come and this could act as a creche environment. The walls were painted the walls in Resene Whirlwind and Resene Half Cut Glass with another feature wall with Resene Magnetic Magic and Resene Blackboard Paint to provide an interactive space to satisfy both parents and children.

On the north Side of the building was The Meeting Room which, while north facing, was a dull room due to a small exterior window. Using a half wall paint effect of Resene Quarter Fuscous Grey and Resene Sea Fog ensured the space felt light and bright, while masking imperfections in the wall. This paint effect was complemented by painting the metal beams in Resene Good As Gold.

Two exterior bathrooms needed freshening up and were completed with Resene Cello and Resene Whirlwind to hide imperfections in the walls and work with the overall scheme.

This project is the perfect example of how paint can completely transform a space. The building was very run down to begin with and rather than cover up features paint was used to enhance them. The client was overwhelmed with how paint changed the whole feel of her business and it has given her the support she needed to be proud and launch it to the community.

The overall look is energetic and thriving, providing a place where businesses are encouraged to grow and flourish.

Client: Cara Tipping- Smith, The Business Hive
Colour selection: Annabel Berry
Painting contractor: A1 Decorators
Photographer: Rachel Wybrow Photography
Stylist: Meghan Nockels
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2018

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