Total Colour Award winners

Big Tomato, Coromandel retreat

From the Resene Total Colour Awards gallery — Coromandel

A typical 70s Coromandel coastal building has been given a serene, contemporary style with a colour palette that both evokes the owners' love of Asia.

Home desk

A typical 70s Coromandel coastal building with native bush on three sides and a seaview through pohutukawas has been given a serene, contemporary style with a colour palette that both evokes the owners' love of Asia and sits easily in the local environment.

It is a perfect container for memorabilia collected on frequent trips, while still providing an appropriate background for local art, crafts and some Pacifica elements.

Resene Butter and Resene Miso act as neutral anchors: their hints of yellow-green soften an underlying green/red complementary scheme, and provide a sympathetic background for existing soft furnishings and art.

Resene Blackwood stain gives old and new heavy macrocarpa beams a presence. This colour is continued outside too. It purposefully works with the dark staining of the wooden cabinetry echoing Asian design, and with authentic Asian pieces. Resene Top Gear gives the high internal 'slicing' wall drama – matching it to other walls would have closed the flowing, articulated open space into 'rooms'. Again, it echoes the dark Asian wood tones.

Contemporary kitchen and dining room

In the kitchen, Resene Hippie Green is a no brainer for West Coast Coromandel! Even more as it is reminiscent of so many Asian kitchens visited and appears in a treasured Batik hanging.

Outdoor shower
Neutral lounge

The bathroom features Resene Miso – its name too is a serendipity (the pivot doors were inspired from Japan) – its soft green provides a neutral backdrop for Chinese basalt, Chinese antique furniture pieces and exuberant Resene Paprika pivot doors. Resene Paprika evokes the colours of Chinese and Japanese lacquer ware.


The property was purchased in 1995. At that time it was occupied by a hippy commune – bustling with cluttered activity. They made candles, sandals and tee shirts, grew herbs and vegetables for local restaurants, and ran a five room backpackers hostel in the basement.

Modern kitchen
Contemporary lounge

The property was well known – iconic for its 'Big Tomato' resplendent on the verge, and famous for its eccentric history.

After purchase the main effort went into converting the backpacker rooms and retail shop into a luxurious holiday accommodation unit. Work in the owners' accommodation above was limited to scraping off the textured glitter ceiling and stripping the anaglypta wallpaper, and repainting walls and ceiling warm yellow in a forgiving high build impasto paint finish.

Red and white bathroom

2009 to 2011 was a time of catching up with deferred maintenance, fixing things that had never been done right in the first place, and taking the opportunity to relocate the bathroom into a reconstructed back porch, opening the living space through what was the old bathroom to the pool courtyard. This is now a favourite bar/sitting area, and has become known as the 'Raffles Room'. Even the bed spaces are an open continuation of the living space (although the guest bed space has been fitted with a full height cavity sliding modesty door).

Modern kitchen 2
Neutral bedroom

Interior decoration was completed in early 2011. Work continues on the exterior and to re-landscape the courtyard. The swimming pool is now a shallow ornamental pond with overhanging decks and an adjacent pavilion.

Colours used: Resene Blackwood, Resene Butter, Resene Hippie Green, Resene Miso, Resene Nest Egg, Resene Paprika, Resene Top Gear.

Products used: Resene Blackboard Paint, Resene Enamacryl, SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom, Resene Super Gloss, Resene Waterborne Colorwood, Resene Zylone Sheen.

Architectural Specifier: John Eaglen – John Eaglen Architectural Design
Colour Selection and Interior Design: John Eaglen and Linley Rose
Aluminium Joinery: Intext Architectural Systems, Albany; Fairview Windows and Doors, Kopu (Bathroom)
Benchtops: Dalgety Stone Ltd (t/a Trethewey Granite & Marble)
Cabinetry and Timber Joinery: Peninsula Joinery, Thames
Carpet: Hills Flooring
Plumbing Fittings: Franklins, Pukekohe
Timber Flooring and Basalt Slabs: Artedomus, Grey Lynnh
Photographer: Dmitri Kostelevski (Fernvision)

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Resene Total Colour Awards gallery

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Resene Total Colour Awards 2011

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