Charlotte and Greg create colourful character in a newly constructed home

18 Sep 2019

Since Charlotte and Greg Quinn bought their first house in the UK in 2006, they have loved living in houses with a strong architectural style and plenty of character.

“Most houses there are built in the early 1900s, and we loved the history and style that each brings with it,” says Charlotte.

When the couple moved to New Zealand in 2011, they were drawn to the style of villas decorated in Resene that aggregate much of the country, but not particularly excited at the prospect of the maintenance owning one often entails.

“We could just see all of our weekends disappearing in a haze of house upkeep. While we aren't shy of a bit of DIY or hard work, it felt like a step too far for us.”

In 2017, Charlotte and Greg were fortunate enough to realise their dream of building their own home, one that is sympathetic to the character of a villa but with the conveniences and comforts of a 21st century build. The pair relished the chance to create something that was truly their own and met the needs of their family of five.

“We found a section that we loved in Cambridge while out riding our bikes, and everything just fell into place. We found an amazing building team, who had expertise in building in the villa style and they helped us to pull together something that we love to live in.”

Charlotte says that the inspiration for their Resene colour palette came about through a combination of factors.

“We wanted to keep the interior decor fairly in line with a true villa, but with a modern twist. We wanted something to tie the decor together and managed this through the use of Resene Triple Sea Fog throughout the home. The floral motifs tie the wallpaper choices together and pops of turquoise in each room help to give a cohesive feel to the decor.”

“The use of deep Resene Tiki Tour on the front door, Resene Java behind the shelves and turquoise in the bathroom and kitchen tiles help to ground the theme.”

When deciding on the look they wanted to go for, Charlotte and Greg did a lot of research into the style of the property they were trying to emulate.

“It was really important to us that the interior felt as authentic as possible,” says Charlotte.”

With the help of their builder – who offered period features such as lead light windows and other character-style interior and exterior details – the couple were able to create a sense of heritage authenticity.

Charlotte says that she and Greg were ecstatic with how things came together.

“We sourced a lot of interior items personally, and had no idea whether it would all come off or not. Some of the furniture items we already owned from previous homes, had been in our earlier house, and looked completely out of place in a house that was built in 2011. It wasn’t until we moved them into this house that they finally looked at home. In my head, everything looked great but I had absolutely no idea if it would all work in real life.”

Charlotte is most happy with the exposed interior brickwork, which the couple bought from a 1900s villa whose chimney had to be taken down and rebuilt as an earthquake precaution. “I also love all the tiling, the wallpapers, the kitchen, the tin panel under the kitchen bench, the deep Resene Wireless grey in the sitting room, the large glassed, sitting room doors, the entrance way. The subtle lighting that would have stood out if we got it wrong (but looks perfect), the front door, the bugs in the wallpapers that you don’t notice at first… I just love it all!”

Like most builds, though, Charlotte and Greg had a few stumbling blocks along the way.

“I think that trying to build a place with such a strong style brings its own challenges. We had to source items from a lot of different places and the logistics of bringing it all together was challenging. The taps came from Italy, the lighting and some tiles were from Australia, other tiles and the bath came from the UK, while the mantelpiece and the pressed tinwork in the kitchen and the bedroom were made to measure.”

For those looking to embark on a similar project, the couple recommends finding a company with experience in building in the style you’re seeking as they may be able to take some of the effort out of the decision making process.

“Although we sourced a lot of the items ourselves, we were able to hand the small details – the ones that really make the place – over to the building company; things like the architraves, the fretwork, the lead light windows, the skirting boards. I didn’t have to source any of those things myself, and they were able to find people to make the vision in my head become a reality,” explains Charlotte.

She also says that, if you’re really passionate about a particular build, then you should really go for it.

“You can always tell a half-hearted effort, and I was so determined that our home would end up looking like a villa. I researched, visited villas, read books, looked through demolition traders and never compromised on my style – and I think we pulled it off!”

“I love the way that the Resene Wireless colour grounds the sitting room and allows the wallpaper to take centre stage, and I really adore the Resene Foggy Grey kitchen cabinets; it looks effortless, and I think white would have been too stark.

Resene Sea Fog really sets off all the other features rather than competing with them. It’s a beautiful colour with plenty of depth without feeling too cold. My absolute favourite colour, though, is Resene Tiki Tour on the front door. The colour expert at Resene brought the colour to my attention and I am so pleased with the result. It’s classy and jewel-like, but understated.”

did you know... that you can still get Resene colours even if they are not on a current chart? View an A4 drawdown paint swatch at your local Resene ColorShop to check you like it and then staff can tint it into your chosen paint for you.

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing [email protected].

front door inspiration, front door ideas, blue front door ideas, resene paint, exterior inspiration

Charlotte and Greg’s front door, painted Resene Tiki Tour (Resene Tiki Tour is from an older colour collection, try Resene Fast Forward for a current alternative), invites guests in and gives off the vibe of a heritage-style home despite it being the entry point to a relatively new build. The architraves are painted Resene Double Alabaster.

entranceway inspiration, entranceway ideas, entranceway design, brick interior, resene paint

Upon entering Charlotte and Greg’s home, visitors are greeted by plenty of visual interest achieved through varied textures and interesting angles. The walls between the brick are painted Resene Triple Sea Fog and the trims, skirting boards, doors and ceilings are in Resene Double Alabaster. Resene Wallpaper Collection 341050 is visible above the dado in the lounge while Resene Wireless has been used below the dado line and for the architraves surrounding the windows.

wallpaper inspiration, wallpaper ideas, living room inspiration, living room design, resene

Resene Wallpaper Collection 341050 has been used to create character above the dado in the lounge. Resene Wireless (Resene Wireless is from an older colour collection, try Resene Quarter Bokara Grey for a current alternative) has been used below the dado line and for the architraves surrounding the windows. The trims and ceiling are in Resene Double Alabaster.

kitchen inspiration, kitchen ideas, kitchen design, white kitchen ideas, kitchen island inspiration

In the kitchen, a pressed metal feature was applied to the island to help create an authentic villa look. The walls are painted Resene Triple Sea Fog while the cabinets and island are painted Resene Foggy Grey and the ceiling and trims are in Resene Double Alabaster.

living room inspiration, living room ideas, living room design, white living room, brick interior

In the living room, the walls have been kept simple in Resene Triple Sea Fog to allow the brick fireplace to become the focal point of the room. The ceiling and trims are in Resene Double Alabaster.

wallpaper inspiration, wallpaper ideas, bedroom inspiration, bedroom design, floral interior

Resene Wallpaper Collection 341039 anchors Charlotte and Greg’s master bedroom. The rest of the walls are painted Resene Triple Sea Fog and the trims and ceiling are in Resene Double Alabaster.

wallpaper inspiration, wallpaper ideas, bedroom inspiration, bedroom ideas, wallpaper feature

Resene Wallpaper Collection 341043 defines daughter Josie’s bedroom as a feature behind the headboard. The walls are painted Resene Triple Sea Fog and the skirting boards and ceiling are in Resene Double Alabaster.

wallpaper inspiration, kids bedroom ideas, bedroom inspiration, wallpaper ideas, wallpaper feature

Daughter Elena’s bedroom features a wall papered in Resene Wallpaper Collection 375031, adjacent walls in Resene Triple Sea Fog and a ceiling and door in Resene Double Alabaster.

bedroom inspiration, kids bedroom ideas, blue bedroom ideas, blue feature wall, interior design

Freddie’s bedroom features a wall in Resene Into The Blue (Resene Into The Blue is from an older colour collection, try Resene Submerge for a current alternative). The wall at the right is in Resene Triple Sea Fog.

laundry inspiration, laundry ideas, mudroom inspiration, mudroom ideas, mudroom design, resene

A combination laundry nook and mudroom provides plenty of storage. The walls within the nook are painted Resene Wireless (Resene Wireless is from an older colour collection, try Resene Quarter Bokara Grey for a current alternative) while the adjacent wall (seen at left) is in Resene Triple Sea Fog. The joinery is painted Resene Foggy Grey and the ceiling, trims and skirting boards are in Resene Double Alabaster.

exterior inspiration, exterior ideas, exterior design, grey exterior, exterior paint, resene paint

The outside of Charlotte and Greg’s new build features weatherboards painted in Resene Double Stack and heritage-style details and trims in Resene Double Alabaster.

images Jessica Judge

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