George and Yvonne turn a neutral palette on its head

07 Feb 2019

When talking neutrals in a home, it’s understandable that your first thought would turn to shades of whites and greys. But for Nelson architect George Hilgeholt, neutral meant a home painted predominantly in black Resene Nocturnal.

The home, which was featured on Grand Designs NZ in 2017, is an energy-efficient beauty with heat- and noise-reducing SIP (structurally insulated panels) to help keep the house warm and quiet.

The home, which is located in an area prone to flooding, also sits on 90 wood piles to keep it clear of potential sea level changes and allowing it to be relocated should the it need to be moved.

George and wife Yvonne only went $22,000 over their $550,000 budget, a great feat for a 300 square metre home with all those features.

But back to that dramatic black interior. George had lived in all-black interiors before, and he liked how artwork looked against a black backdrop. It was also an experimental choice, one that paid off in the end.

Elmo Tobaiwa, branch manager at Resene ColorShop in Nelson, helped George with technical advice when it came to choosing which colours and sheen levels to use with a heavily black palette.

The ceilings and walls are made of Strandboard, which is usually varnished or stained to show the softness of the timber. George wanted to paint the walls but also wanted people to see that it wasn’t just plain plasterboard used for the interior.

To get this balanced effect, they decided on Resene Nocturnal, which showed both the texture while being a completely opaque colour.

“We also decided on a semi-gloss, so that the natural light from outside would bounce around the black walls and bring in more light,” says Elmo, who was impressed with the overall effect.

“The lounge living area looks amazing. I was sceptical for black ceilings and walls but with it being open plan, the Resene Nocturnal also makes it much cosier.”

But it’s not all black. Feature walls were painted in Resene Alabaster, Resene Flourish and Resene Tulip Tree. Parts of the floors were painted in Resene Napa, finished in clear Resene Concrete Wax.

While the idea of a mostly black interior is daring, Elmo says it’s great that George trusted his gut and went for it.

“I find a lot of people get talked out of their own colour ideas because somebody doesn’t like the idea,” he says.

“Many people come in with a great feel and people put them off. Colours should certainly fit the environment, but go with your instinct.”

See more of George and Yvonne’s beautiful home at www.facebook.com/granddesignsnz/

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

living room, lounge, black living room, black lounge, black and white interior, resene nocturnal

The Nelson home has a base colour palette of Resene Nocturnal, with feature walls in Resene Alabaster in the kitchen and living room.

dining room, black dining room, black and white, black ceiling, resene nocturnal, black interior

Resene Nocturnal in a semi-gloss finish in this home helps bounce natural light around the interior, making it feel more cosy than enclosed. The feature wall is painted in Resene Alabaster.

kitchen, dining room, black and white kitchen, black dining room, black interior, resene nocturnal

The open plan kitchen/living room looks out to the tidal estuary just beyond their property. The walls and ceiling are painted in Resene Nocturnal with a feature wall painted in Resene Alabaster.

bedroom, black and white bedroom, green feature wall, black bedroom, resene nocturnal

The black palette follows into the bedroom. Feature walls in Resene Alabaster on one side and Resene Flourish on the other gives this room its unique look.

study nook, lounge, black and white study, black and white office, black feature wall, orange

This study nook shows off the textured effect of the Strandboard, painted in Resene Nocturnal. The feature wall is painted in Resene Alabaster.

house exterior, deck, corrugated iron exterior, outdoor living, outdoor dining, red exterior

The exterior features corrugated iron walls painted in Resene Pioneer Red and Resene Noir, which is also known as the colour Windsor Grey.

house exterior, black house, black exterior, resene nocturnal, exterior inspiration

George and Yvonne on the deck of their Nelson home, which George designed and helped to build. The wall and soffits are painted in Resene Nocturnal.

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Resene Alabaster

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Resene Nocturnal

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Resene Tulip Tree

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Resene Nocturnal

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If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
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