Oh la la! A maximalist’s colourful home inspired by 18th Century France

27 Jan 2021

Eat your heart out Marie Antoinette. Claire Crosby doesn’t do anything by halves. Her home is packed with antique treasures and painted in bold colours such as Resene Cinderella – fit for a queen, or straight out of the pages of a fairytale.

“I’m a maximalist, for sure. You won't find any white walls or minimalist rooms in my home. I wanted it to be as if you had gone back in time and to look authentically vintage,” says Claire who runs the interiors business, Vintage Revival.

Her pink bedroom won best bedroom in NZ House and Garden’s Interior of the Year awards in 2015 and she’s carried on with the theme in other rooms in her home since.

“The pink room was inspired from a chateau I had seen in France. The colour, Resene Cinderella, was the perfect fit. Fit for Cinderella herself - feminine and peaceful. I love pink with gilded furniture. You saw a lot of that in the 18th Century.”

While pink makes her feel like she’s “sitting in a marshmallow” (in a good way), the Resene Como green bedroom is her new favourite. The room was inspired by the Harlots period drama which she binged during lockdown.

“I had been craving green for a while, so I knew I needed it. I took a snapshot of the room I loved and went into the Resene ColorShop and matched it. It turned out absolutely perfect. I feel I'm in an 18th Century boudoir,” says Claire.

Claire loves the Parisian chateau look as well as a few other European styles such as Rococo and Venetian. It’s an eclectic mix that makes her heart sing. Her European-inspired colour scheme continues into the hallway with Resene Arthouse on the ceiling and the walls with a custom pale pink, created for her especially by the Resene ColorShop. For a similar, slightly paler pink, try Resene Just Right.

“Contrasting colours can be very rewarding. You don't have to have a white ceiling and skirting. I'm not sure who made these rules but isn't it fun breaking them? I wanted it to be dark and moody at any time of the day or night, so the dark floor and ceiling are perfect for achieving that.”

The kitchen was styled like the galley of a Parisian apartment. The floor is Resene Arthouse with a stencil painted on using the custom pink and Resene Pale Leaf. The cabinets and walls are also painted in the custom pink and Resene Pale Leaf

A travel lover (in normal times) she’s collected pieces from all over the world including a mirror and bed in the pink bedroom which she bought from a dealer in Paris. She has even started her own online business selling vintage antiques called Vintage Revival, giving everyone a chance to own a slice of treasure in their own home. 

“I love antique pieces. If only they could talk. I often wonder where they came from and who used them. I hope people realise in the future that it's important to save our history,” says Claire.

Claire’s advice for anyone wanting to try French style is go with your gut, don’t be afraid of colour but most importantly have fun while doing it.

“Buy what you love and don't be persuaded by others' opinions. Your home should reflect your personality not someone else's. It's your home after all so be free in it.”

“If we take notice of nature we would be less afraid of colour. I believe it feeds our soul and our intuition tells us what colour we need at certain times.”

Top tip
Many of Claire’s furniture pieces are distressed to add to their aged look. Get the distressed look on furniture with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen and sand edges for a more weathered look. You could also try Resene FX Crackle effect to give an antiqued look. Or try Karen Walker Chalk Colour paints and waxes from Resene ColorShops for a matte finish perfect for vintage furniture.


The walls of Claire’s French-chateau inspired bedroom are painted with Resene Cinderella. The room won the best bedroom award at the NZ House & Garden Interior of the Year in 2015. The ceiling is Resene Bianca and the trims are Resene FX Metallic in Resene Goldmine.


The Resene Cinderella walls are accented by the gold detailing on the cornice using Resene FX Metallic in Resene Goldmine.


The walls, ceilings and trims of Claire’s vivacious bedroom are painted with Resene Como. To create the gold leaf effect, on furniture prime with Resene Quick Dry and use Resene FX Metallic in Resene Gold or Resene Gold Dust.


Claire used Resene Arthouse on the floor and ceiling of the hallway. The wall and ceiling rose colour is a custom pink colour created for Claire at her local Resene ColorShop, for a similar contrasting pink try Resene Just Right. She distressed the door, to add to the Old World charm.


The kitchen floor is painted in Resene Arthouse with a stencil of Resene Pale Leaf and Claire’s custom pink. The cabinets are Resene Pale Leaf and the custom pink, try Resene Just Right for a similar shade.


Viewed from the courtyard, this home’s exterior is richly coloured in Resene Arthouse with Resene White on the trims.

images Claire Crosby and Virginia Guy

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

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the look

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the look

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