Laura and Michael’s award winning black and white beauty

For anyone that thinks black and white is boring, it couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to the home of Laura and Michael of the Bay of Plenty.

On the outside, Laura and Michael’s house wears a dramatic coat of Resene Black and Resene Black White, a sharp contrast against the rolling green hills behind it. Laura always knew she wanted a black house with white windows because of the dramatic contrast and smart look.

Inside, the walls are predominantly painted in Resene Black White to showcase artwork and to give a look that will stand the test of time.

Black, white and grey feature inside the home interior accessories with subtle pops of colour, often seen in the artwork (Laura’s favourite colour to use right now is Resene Surfs Up, a deep delicious summer sea blue).

To break up the white on white, anaglypta wallpaper from the Resene Wallpaper Collection adds texture in Laura and Michael’s bedroom, also painted in Resene Black White.

The kids chose the colours of their feature walls, with aqua blue Resene Riptide in 10-year-old Briar’s room and Resene French Grey in 12-year-old Conrad’s room. Their feature wall is made of pegboard, which allows them to arrange their artwork as they please and change it without having to put nails or Blu Tack® on the walls.

The main bathroom features an original black clawfoot bath, which Laura has always dreamed of having in her home. It complements the angled ceiling in the bathroom painted in Resene Black – after looking at many black ceilings online, Laura was brave enough to go ahead with the look.

She admits to being slightly nervous at the decision of a black ceiling but is pleased how it turned out. It also disguised the bulkhead, which she wasn’t too fond of. The black vanity and shower finish the look.

Laura also has a home studio that opens out onto the garage to allow her to run art workshops. The studio has one perforated plywood wall where she displays her colourful artwork, painted using Resene paint.

This is the second house the couple has built and this time the brief was for a timeless classic, with a bit of a barn look to suit their semi-rural surroundings.

The home won builder Calley Homes a gold medal at the Master Builder’s House of the Year 2017 for Bay of Plenty/Central Plateau PlaceMakers New Home $450,000 - $550,000.

She tells us more about the award-winning home.

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

As an artist and art teacher I have a keen eye for interiors. I had a definite idea in my head of what look I was going for and used home magazines and Pinterest to create interior boards to help narrow down my ideas.

What part of the house are you happiest with?

The kitchen, living and dining area. I’m pleased with how all my ideas gelled together and created a cohesive look. There are many things here that I’m happy with how they turned out – the concrete mantelpiece and hearth, the barn door, the tongue and groove ceiling, the pressed tin light shade over the dining area, the kitchen joinery (love the tall island bench that hides the mess behind!) and the feature lights in the kitchen.

What is your advice for someone trying to achieve a similar look?

Read lots of home magazines and search Pinterest for ideas. Also, bounce off ideas with someone whose opinions you trust and has similar ideas to you about interiors. In my case it was my mum Hillary. Her biggest advice to me was to trust my gut instinct.

What was the biggest challenge for this project?

I know our builder Cole would probably say it’s the tongue and groove ceiling. It wasn’t in the original plans, but we could see once the plasterboard went up that it didn’t have that classic/barn look we were going for. I know there was a lot of work and in the end we could all see it definitely made the space.

The lighting over the kitchen needed an innovative solution because it would have had to hang from the vaulted ceiling over the kitchen bench and to me that wouldn’t have looked right. Brent from Ampt Electrical came up with the industrial pipe that changes out from the wall to hang the feature lights on. When the pipe went up I was a little unsure – but when the lights got hung, it really did become the hero piece and the finishing touch to the kitchen.

Finding the right fittings was also a challenge. I didn’t want to go with standard fittings and wanted to be a little bit different. I did a lot of searching on the internet and many fittings were ordered online, which sometimes felt a little risky, but all worked out.

Do you have a favourite colour, and if so why is it your favourite?

Even though I do have a monochromatic home, I do love colour! My favourite colour I’m using in lot in my art paintings at the moment is Resene Surfs Up.

Is there anyone else you would like mentioned?

A special mention and thank you to our builder Johnny Calley from Calley Homes for making my ideas come to life, giving great advice and building us a house worthy of its gold medal at the Master Builder’s House of the Year 2017.

See more of Laura's art at and

Published: 26 Apr 2018

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

Black and white house, black exterior, white roof, pool, outdoor, deck, painting exterior

Laura likes the dramatic contrast of a black and white exterior and chose Resene Black on the exterior and Resene Black White on the trims for their new build.

Interior, white walls, white ceiling, living room, lounge, sloping ceiling, black and white

Inside, the home is predominantly painted in Resene Black White, with tall, sloping ceilings and an abundance of natural light.

Kitchen, white, grey, modern, interior, sliding pantry door, bench, light kitchen, appliances,

The home has a timeless classic look to it, with all the modern amenities that come with a new build. The walls and ceiling are painted in Resene Black White. The sliding door is painted in Resene Scarpa Flow.

Kitchen, living room, lounge, white, grey, wood, high ceiling, light, white interior, dining room

The kitchen overlooks the dining room and lounge, all painted in Resene Black White.

Lounge, living room, grey interior, grey and white, shelving, couch, brown

The second living room is a more intimate area, painted in Resene Scarpa Flow. The ceiling is painted in Resene Black White.

White, master bedroom, wallpaper, paint, interior, sliding door, grey, light

To break up the white on white in the master bedroom, the walls are covered in anaglypta wallpaper from the Resene Wallpaper Collection to create texture and then painted in Resene Black White.

Bedroom, white, paint, interior, pink, grey, wood, light white walls, pastel

The second bedroom is also painted in Resene Black White, decorated with pretty pastel accents and trendy linen.

Bedroom, feature wall, girls bedroom, white, pink, peg board, aqua, interior, paint, turquoise

Ten-year-old Briar chose Resene Riptide for her feature wall, painted on a peg board where she can pin and arrange her artwork as she pleases. The rest of the bedroom is painted in Resene Black White.

Bedroom, kids, white, grey, red, peg board, interior, children's bedroom, feature wall, light paint

It’s Resene French Grey for 12-year-old Conrad, whose room also features a peg board feature wall. The rest of the bedroom is also painted in Resene Black White.

Bathroom, black ceiling, black and white, white tiles, shower, clawfoot bath, interior, paint

Laura had always dreamed of having a black clawfoot bath in her bathroom. The bath matches the Resene Black ceiling, which disguises the bulkhead. The rest of the walls are painted in Resene Black White.

Garage extension, workshop, white, grey, sliding doors, light, interior, shelving, study

Laura is an artist and holds art workshops in an extension off the garage of the house. The walls are painted in Resene Black White.

Painting, artwork, black, white, neutrals, interior

An example of Laura’s artwork, painted using Resene paint.

the look

If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
Ask a Colour Expert service.