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Diary of a renovation: colours

20 Jul 2015

You’d think that by working for a Resene magazine and website for several years, I’d be confident with colour. And I am… but there are just so many wonderful Resene colours to choose from. I kept picking a palette of colours for the house, then would dither, and change my mind.

So, like any wise renovator or home builder I decided to take advantage of the Resene colour consultancy service found at some of the Resene ColorShops. Nikki Morris is the one based out of the Newmarket store in Auckland.

Ten minutes after showing her my collection of inspirational images on Habitat by Resene and Pinterest… she had nailed it. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. Stunned, in fact, that she could get it so right so quickly. 

I love the new Nordic look of pale greys and white but over the years we have amassed a colourful collection of art and oriental rugs so needed colours that would work with those too.

Nikki’s suggestions included Resene Triple Athens Grey as a main wall neutral, Resene Alabaster for the ceilings and trims, then a tonal palette of blue/greys including Resene Oslo Grey, Resene Hit Grey and Resene Dusted Blue. My partner Ian has always talked about having a brown bedroom so she threw in Resene Kina Brown for that. 

This is a starting palette. Nikki wisely pointed out that it would be refined as Ian and I collected more permanent (and expensive) decor items such as the flooring and benchtops. Already I feel that I’ll probably swap out Resene Triple Athens Grey for the slightly warmer Resene Silver Sand. It had been on my list but then I saw a couple of bedrooms painted in Resene Silver Sand at my kitchen designer Liz Kerby’s home – and it looks amazing.

I may look at some of the grey-greens too, like Resene Inside Back, Resene Rolling Stone and Resene Hermitage from Card 31 of the Multi-Finish range. I’ve always been drawn to those colours.

I have a pack of Resene A4 drawdowns (you can order yours here) to take with me as I shop for other items, or to simply spread out around the house to gaze at!

Read more

Diary of a renovation: in the beginning
Diary of a renovation: design

Sharon Newey is editor of habitat magazine and habitat by Resene, and is a serial renovator and paint lover. Catch her renovation blog every fortnight, right here at