Hana and Samuel make space for six

23 May 2019

Artist Hana Carpenter and her husband Samuel, a historian, live in Lower Hutt, Wellington. Like many houses in the area, theirs was a three-bedroom 1940s weatherboard at the front of their section with a spacious backyard. But with three kids and another on the way and both parents working from home, the couple knew they were in need of more space, a better layout and fresh Resene paint.

“We were able to subdivide our section and build on the back to create a home more suitable for our family of six. We now have a 140m2 single level home with four bedrooms, an office and a studio,” says Hana. “It’s not huge, but I designed it specifically for our needs – so we have no garage, but all the interior spaces we need.”

In addition to the masterful reclamation of space, what makes their home particularly remarkable is the cohesiveness of the colour scheme. Because Hana uses Resene paint to create her artwork, which is displayed all over the home, the choice to use Resene Rice Cake for the interior walls and Resene Tapa on select pieces of furniture means the interiors match her work exactly – creating a completely unified look.

Hana tells us more.

Which Resene colours and products did you used?

“Our house exterior is Linea weatherboard, painted in Resene Armadillo with soffits and trims in Resene Half Rice Cake. The interior walls and doors are painted Resene Rice Cake with ceilings and skirtings in Resene Eighth Rice Cake. Our fencing is Resene Waterborne Woodsman Banjul – a warm soft black.”

How did you decide on the overall look of the interiors?

“I wanted a warm white for the walls to display artworks and make the spaces look airy and open. I also love natural surfaces like wood and cane so used those materials in flooring, lighting and furniture.”

What part of your renovation are you most happy with?

“I love the open living area and the ply built-in furniture, made for us by our friend Murray McGregor. I also love the sage green tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms. It was a privilege to be able to create a house specifically for our family, with spaces that work for us.”

What advice do you have for someone trying to achieve a similar look?

“Building is an interesting process because you can’t physically see everything together until it is done, so you just hope it all works. I used Pinterest to visualise everything I liked, then found New Zealand products that were similar. Having Resene paint samples and product samples together in a folder helped when choosing things.

“When I was choosing tiles, the interior consultant tried to talk me out of picking green, stating that white had better resale value. But I hate white tiles, and we built this house specifically for us. If in the future we do sell, I’m sure there will be someone out there with the same tastes as me! I like the warmth that subtle muted colours give off when paired with wood, so the house looks cosy and welcoming.”

What was the biggest challenge during the renovation?

“Being pregnant with severe nausea for the full term while trying to make decisions about the house. I was actually in hospital having the baby while the slab was being poured.

“Living in front of the build site had advantages but it was also hard too because you could look over the fence and see nothing happening at times.”

Which is your favourite Resene colour?

I love Resene Tapa. It is a beautiful soft warm grey which I have used a lot on furniture, including a desk and coffee table, as well as in my artwork.

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

living room, lounge, white lounge, white living room, white dining room, resene rice cake

The Carpenters chose Resene Rice Cake for the walls of their light-bathed lounge and dining area and went with lighter Resene Eighth Rice Cake on the ceiling and architraves.

living room, lounge, white living room, white lounge, smart storage, kids storage, window seat

With four children at home – Tom, Henry, Rose and Reuben – Hana and Samuel needed to make smart use of space in shared living areas. This custom ply bench and bookcase allows for plenty of storage for toys as well as a sunny spot for the little ones to curl up and read. The walls are painted Resene Rice Cake and the ceiling and architraves are in Resene Eighth Rice Cake.

coffee table, upcycled coffee table, painted coffee table, geometric pattern, resene tapa

Hana sanded down this mid-century modern coffee table but discovered it had stains that couldn’t be removed. As a clever solution, she masked out triangle shapes over the stains and painted them with Resene Tapa.

dining room, white dining room, neutral dining room, woven wall hanging, resene rice cake

Hana gave this second-hand desk new life when she sanded it down and repainted it in Resene Thistle with a contrasting drawer in Resene Tapa. On the wall, several pieces of Hana’s artwork hang – painted with Resene Blue Charcoal, Resene Rusty Nail and Resene Fire. “The woven wall hanging is a piece I commissioned from my talented sister-in-law, Anna-Rose Carpenter, to match the Resene paint colours I use in my work,” says Hana. The wall is painted Resene Rice Cake and the ceiling and trim are in Resene Eighth Rice Cake.

lounge, living room, white living room, white lounge, artwork wall, resene rice cake, neutral lounge

In the corner of the lounge, the couple’s favourite earth-toned artwork is displayed including one of Hana’s own pieces (top right) painted with Resene Blue Charcoal, Resene Rusty Nail, Resene Fire and Resene Rice Cake. The wall behind is also painted Resene Rice Cake and the ceiling and trim are in Resene Eighth Rice Cake.

home office, study, white home office, study nook, white home office, resene rice cake

The Carpenters reclaimed dead wall space to create an office for Samuel to work within the main living area. The walls are painted Resene Rice Cake.

hallway, white hallway, neutral hallway, resene rice cake, white paint, white painted walls

Post-renovation, Hana and Samuel’s new home layout has taken on an L-shape, with bedrooms and bathrooms branching off one main corridor. The walls and doors are in Resene Rice Cake and the trims and ceiling are in Resene Eighth Rice Cake.

entranceway, white entranceway, entranceway art, resene rice cake, neutral entranceway

The home’s entranceway displays one of Hana’s paintings, created with Resene Blue Charcoal, Resene Rusty Nail and Resene Fire. The wall is painted Resene Rice Cake.

house exterior, brown house, brown exterior, exterior inspiration, resene armadilo

The exterior of the Carpenter family home, painted Resene Armadillo with soffits and trim in Resene Half Rice Cake.

outdoor living, outdoor inspiration, stained fence, painted fence, black fence, resene stain

Rose and Reuben relaxing in the backyard in front of the fence, which is stained in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Banjul.

art studio. home studio, artist home studio, white studio, home work space, resene rice cake

In Hana’s studio, Reuben – her studio buddy – has space to create his own masterpieces alongside his mum. The walls are painted Resene Rice Cake and the trim is Resene Eighth Rice Cake.

To see more of Hana’s work, visit her website. Or, if you’re in the Wellington region, be sure to check out her exhibition at the Hutt Art Centre gallery – on now until 26 May 2019.

images Hana Carpenter

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