From derelict to dreamy: Solo mum uses Resene Half Sea Fog to transform this 50s home into a misty retreat

Flood-damaged tiles, bug infestations and holes in the walls hardly sound like features of a dream home, but for solo mum Ché it was love at first sight. When the serial renovator first laid eyes on this 1950s Wellington home, she looked beyond the disrepair to the quality timber beneath. What initially started as a small project, painting a few walls in Resene, quickly escalated into a full-blown renovation with Ché rewiring, replumbing and even removing walls.   

Over the course of the four-year renovation, Ché juggled looking after her seven-year-old son Lakyn and working full time as a commercial property manager. “It was hard and there were no shortcuts,” says Ché, who has experience renovating previous homes.

“But the moment I walked into the house, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it and what colours I would choose for the interior. 

“I intended to stay put in this house so I took my time, years in this case, and it means I have a really lovely home at the end of it.”

A cohesive colour palette was key for the beachy atmosphere Ché had in mind. She used her Resene fandeck to select Resene Half Sea Fog as the hero colour, allowing the overall tone and textures of the space to flow from there. Ché paired Resene Half Sea Fog walls with crisp Resene Alabaster trim in the open plan kitchen, living and dining area, as well as in the two smaller bedrooms.

Resene Half Sea Fog is my favourite colour and I used it in my first home too,” says Ché. “It is so versatile and goes with both cool and warm tones.”

Resene Half Sea Fog on the walls of the kitchen area accentuate its light and easy flowing design, but Ché says modernising the space was no picnic. “Taking up the lino was the absolute hardest,” says Ché, who did the job herself with a small renovating tool and a spade. “It took weeks and was back breaking. 

Read more: Georgian-style heritage home gets a light and breezy refresh with Resene Double Sea Fog

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Read more: Maree brings sparkle to show home with Resene Triple Sea Fog and Resene Shark

“But the kitchen is now my favourite room of the house. People always gather in the kitchen, no matter the event and everyone can mingle in this space. It’s the happiest flow; from the kitchen to the dining room, lounge and out onto the deck.”  

Ché, who captures her renovation journeys on her Instagram page The Dwelling Diaries, got creative in the master bedroom, peeling off sections of the existing wallpaper and leaving parts of the wallpaper on the wall. She covered the walls in grey paint and sponged Resene Half Sea Fog over the top. Finishing the room with wicker furniture and sandy cream décor created a fabulous beach-themed space.

“I wanted an old, concrete texture and absolutely love the results,” says Ché.

While the interiors of Ché’s home are bright and sunny with splashes of white, the exterior tells a completely different story. Resene Double Cod Grey cloaks the exterior walls of the home. This moody black charcoal hue is striking against the window trims in Resene Black White. “I wanted this house to stand out,” says Ché. “I wanted a clean, crisp palette and something to make the greenery surrounding the property pop.

“I chose Resene Double Cod Grey because it makes me smile every single time I enter the driveway.”

Top tip: If you want to create a broken paint finish on your interior walls, such as the ragging, sponging or limewash effect, try using Resene FX Paint Effects medium. Resene FX Paint Effects medium is a tintable acrylic and can be used in conjunction with a basecoat tinted to your favourite Resene colour.  

To read more about Ché’s renovating journey, visit her Instagram here 

has created a beachy atmosphere in the master bedroom with the bright seafoam ceiling in Resene Alabaster and grey walls sponged with Resene Half Sea Fog. For a similar look, try the technique with a wall base coated in Resene Sandstone.      

Resene Half Sea Fog 
is sponged over the top of the Resene Alabaster walls to create a textured effect which makes the room feel cosy. The trims and ceiling are Resene Alabaster.

The entranceway offers a bright welcome with Resene Half Sea Fog on the walls and Resene Alabaster on the ceiling and trim.

Chéremoved walls and scraped off the kitchen lino by hand to create this open plan dream living space. She finished the room with Resene Half Sea Fog walls and Resene Alabaster ceiling and trim.

Ché’s favourite room, the kitchen, received a makeover with a lick of Resene Half Sea Fog on the ceiling and Resene Alabaster on the ceiling and trim.

The second bedroom opens out onto the deck and manicured lawn. Chécontinued her chosen colour scheme with Resene Half Sea Fog on the walls and Resene Alabaster on the ceiling and trim.

In the third bedroom, Ché chose monochrome décor to highlight the misty walls in Resene Half Sea Fog and Resene Alabaster ceiling and trim.

Ché kept some of the original features of the house, such as the tongue-and-groove panelling in the bathroom which she painted in Resene Half Sea Fog and finished with Resene Alabaster trim.

The moody exterior of the home in Resene Double Cod Grey pops against the resown lawn. Ché created a clean outline on the exterior trim with Resene Black White.  

Serial renovator Che wasn’t deterred by the state of disrepair in the home when she first began her renovations.

Published: 21 Jul 2021

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