Total Colour Award winners

two becomes one

This home was an investment property with two identical two bedroom flats on each floor.

The idea was to convert the separately accessed flats of the house into one big family home with the addition of a new interior stair combined with substantial internal remodelling plus a big new 30 square metre deck on the upper floor. The redundant downstairs kitchen and laundry was converted into the master bedroom and wardrobe.


Kitchen and dining room

The entire house was fully insulated and re-lined. The old single glazed aluminium joinery was replaced, two new skylights were added, a DVS system and woodburner were installed, new flooring was laid, the old tacky blue kitchen doors and drawer fronts were replaced with clear pre-finished birch ply and a new pre-finished black plywood benchtop was fitted. A Seratone lined bathtub and new sanitary fittings were also added.

A two tone pre-finished plywood window seat was custom made by a local joiner to provide a place to sit and enjoy the expansive views along the south east side towards the Cook Strait and to add extra storage with the inclusion of four big drawers and retractable CD shelves.

Inspired by Island Bay’s rugged southern coast, early on the idea in terms of material palette and colour choices was to go for an earthy, but sophisticated, clean look which incorporated a sense of warmth with complementing but distinct feature colours for the various spaces. Each room was designed with that in mind and ‘black’ was incorporated throughout the design as a re-occurring feature to connect the various areas and to add accentuated contrast to the respective colours.



The colour scheme began by selecting the main wall colour – Resene Quarter Nullarbor – for an earthy warm look with a sense of serenity. All other colours needed to work with the main wall colour and the final scheme developed over the course of 3-4 months. The ceiling colour needed to be reserved and neutral yet warm – Resene Half Alabaster was chosen – painted in Resene Ceiling Paint in dry areas and Resene SpaceCote Kitchen & Bathroom in wet areas.

The sense of calm and serenity was continued into the bathrooms with Resene Half Cut Glass.

The kitchen called for contrast and a warm spiced hue. Resene Dusty Road achieved just the right look. The adjacent laundry is deliberately bolder with a bright yellow to create the effect of a slightly bigger, light space, painted in Resene Wild Thing.

Yellow is repeated upstairs with a feature colour of Resene Happy in the upstairs living area. This vibrant colour is reminiscent of how the Frangipani flower creates a beautiful bright sense of sunshine, especially when the morning light bounces of it and ties back to family’s connection with Samoa.

The guest room’s feature colour was selected as bold red Resene Smashing to make a statement.


Toilet and vanity

The downstairs lounge colour of Resene Lightning Yellow was chosen by the family’s eldest son, who was 7 at the time, for a bright and striking effect in the kids’ lounge. He also suggested Resene Neva as a feature colour of choice for his shared bedroom. This colour is another bold tone which distinctly defines the room as a playful space and reminds them of Resene Wellywood which was chosen and loved in a previous flat.

For the feature walls of the master bedroom a peachy terracotta-like pastel tone was sought to create a warm and sensual feel and to provide a sense of shelter to the south-west facing window-less wall which packs quite a punch during heavy weather. Resene Roxy has created just the right atmosphere. The separating study feature wall was painted in Resene Duck Egg Blue to project a sense of calm and serenity for the mind.

For the ceiling trims a black charcoal band snakes through all the spaces in the house as a connective re-occurring element using Resene Double Foundry, a colour repeated on the stair stringers. Conversely the skirtings throughout are painted in ‘white’.



A Resene All Black gloss finish was applied to the stair balustrade posts to contrast the clear pre-finished ply. The same colour and finish was used for the yin/yang painted sliders in the laundry and upper bathroom including the door frames as well as for the wardrobe door pelmet in the master bedroom to create a sense of added elegance.

Resene Smashing complements the double slider in the laundry which draws a visual connection to the red Seratone used in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom. For the bathroom cavity slider white Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel complements the glossy Resene All Black finish.

Timber clear finished in Resene Qristal Clear Poly-Satin provides a counterbalance and brings out the grain and warmth of the timber in a beautiful sophisticated way, adding warmth to the range of colours used.



Resene Zylone Sheen and Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen were used throughout, with added Resene MoulDefender in wet areas to help provide added protection. Resene Super Gloss was used for the stair balustrade posts and sliders in laundry and upper bathroom for its elegant mirror gloss look. The skirtings were painted with Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel for the added gloss and quick dry time.

Every single wall in the house was painted or repainted. It was tricky to get crisp lines with no/minimal bleed around the black ceiling trims. Upstairs the trims were masked. Downstairs, the trims were finished at ground level then carefully cut, numbered and installed by the builders eliminating the need for the time consuming masking.

Building contractor: In-Depth Builders
Colour selection: Sven Heger, assisted by Tauamiti Johann Samoa Saleupolu Heger
Photographer: Joshua Joe
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2019

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