See how this 120-year-old Wellington villa finally got the renovation it deserved

08 Jun 2020

When Hannah and Tim first set eyes on, what was at the time, the worst house on one of Wellington’s most well-known streets, they knew they could restore it to its former glory. “We immediately fell in love with the historic suburb,” says Hannah. With other character-filled homes dotting the neighbourhood, she had an ambitious vision: “I wanted us to be known as ‘the beautiful villa with the red door’.” And now, after years of hard work and a sophisticated Resene colour palette invigorated with a splash of bold red Resene Poppy, Hannah’s vision has been realised.

The house was originally built pre-1890 in classic New Zealand villa style, but thanks to a host of renovations over the decades, it had lost many of its charming character details by the time Hannah and Tim stumbled across it. They subsequently spent many hours going through council archives trying to piece together what the house originally looked like.

When the ambitious couple started the renovation, they discovered 120-year-old weatherboards hiding beneath the textured stucco that had been added to the house in 1950. They also found hints of original fretwork and veranda details from the original house. “It was like travelling back in time,” says Hannah.

For the exterior colour scheme, Hannah had a rough plan for beige grey cladding with white joinery, and after a consultation with a Resene colour expert, she walked away with a warming greyscale colour palette to give the villa new life.

Her modern classic scheme consisted of Resene Alabaster on the joinery as a bright and fresh accent, Resene Triple Rakaia on the weatherboards to provide a soft, mid-tone base and Resene Nocturnal on the roof for a beautiful dark contrast, “it’s harmonious, but with visible contrast – the perfect combination,” she says.

The interior colour scheme is just as effortless. “People say neutrals are boring,” says Hannah, “but I believe it creates the perfect canvas to do anything you like… I throw colour in with bedlinens, cushions and lighting.” The walls and ceilings in the kitchen, living and hallway are painted with Hannah’s favourite colour, Resene Sea Fog. Architraves, skirting and joinery in Resene Alabaster provide a crisp complement to the muted, grey tone of the walls. Heritage details, such as arches and panelling have helped to restore this old dame to her former, proud self.

Hannah and Tim’s master bedroom heroes a feature wall in Resene Shark, a deep ebonised charcoal. And, true to her word, Hannah has brought in more colour through lovely, warm mustard shades, similar to Resene Noosa, in the bedding and lighting, as well as subtle pops of pink and grey in the cushions and art.

In stark colour contrast, the guest bedroom is resplendent in the soft, restful hue of Resene Periglacial Blue. A beautifully upholstered grey bedhead, similar to Resene Pale Slate, and royal colours such as Resene Aviator are anchoring pops of colour in the elegant space.

The latest addition to Hannah and Tim’s renovation was the study, or ‘man cave’, attached to their garage. “We painted the whole room in Resene Black with the intention to use the whole wall as a blackboard,” says Hannah.

The interiors are fresh and modern, but with the nod to the home’s heritage Hannah was after. Her favourite space in the house is the veranda. “It looks especially great when my white iceberg roses are in bloom,” she says. “I love the villa façade and the front courtyard; it was the last phase of the renovation and it felt like it was the icing on the cake.”

Cherry blossoms, which were planted the same year of the birth of their son Noah, pop against the fence painted in Resene Black. “The house grew with our family and seeing the garden flourishing reminds us of how much we’ve accomplished,” Hannah says.

Of course, nothing can compete with the beautiful colour of their red front door, painted in Resene Poppy. Hannah says, “In Scotland, people paint their door red when their house is mortgage free. Even though we’re not there yet, we liked the idea so much that we decided to paint it red to give us aspiration to get there one day. We later learned that a red door means ‘welcome’ in the art of Feng Shui.”

Top tip: Resene FX Blackboard Paint is ideal as a blackboard finish inside or out. Or opt for Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Black.

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

Red front door villa Resene Poppy

Hannah chose the memorable red hue of Resene Poppy for the front door of their Wellington villa. It makes for a beautiful feature against the exterior, which is painted in Resene Triple Rakaia with joinery in Resene Alabaster and complemented with a striking fence in Resene Black.

Red front door Resene Poppy

Resene Poppy was the perfect hue to help Hannah realise her vision of being “the beautiful villa with the red door.” The door is flanked with Resene Triple Rakaia and trimmed with Resene Alabaster to provide a lovely neutral base, allowing the brilliant red door to stand in the spotlight.

Resene Sea Fog arched hallway

Inside, Resene Sea Fog lines the impressive panelled walls and ceiling in the hallway leading to the living room while Resene Alabaster features on the skirting and architraves.

Kitchen dining Resene Sea Fog

Resene Sea Fog, Hannah’s favourite colour choice, is carried on into the kitchen and dining room. Beautiful contrast is achieved with the waterfall black marble island and pendant lights in similar shades to Resene Black. Soft grey, similar to Resene Mercury, can be seen in the dining chairs and balances the crisp white and striking black in the space.

Resene Sea Fog living room

Resene Sea Fog also features in the living room with Resene Alabaster on the skirting and architraves. Lush indoor plants bring life and colour to the contemporary space.

In the master bedroom, a feature wall in the deep charcoal hue of Resene Shark makes a striking statement. Resene Sea Fog on the ceiling reflects light down into the otherwise moody room while the accent hues of warm mustards, similar to Resene Noosa, pale pink, similar to Resene Paper Doll and soft grey, much like Resene Flotsam, add depth and interest to the space.

light blue bedroom Resene Perglacial Blue

The guest bedroom heroes the soft, calming hue of Resene Periglacial Blue. The ceiling is painted in Resene Sea Fog and the skirting and architraves in Resene Alabaster. Tonal blues really give this space a serene feeling – try layering in Resene Half Dusted Blue and Resene Blue Moon for a similar look in your home.

home office Resene Black

The study walls are adorned with Resene Black. Hannah consulted the experts at her local Resene ColorShop and opted to have the colour tinted into Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen, which works just like a chalkboard and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. The ceiling is in Resene Sea Fog and the architraves are in Resene Alabaster.

Resene Triple Rakaia grey home exterior

Resene Triple Rakaia was the perfect choice for Hannah, who wanted a “warm greyscale exterior.” Resene Alabaster on the trims provides a crisp contrast.

Red front door villa

Beautifully maintained white iceberg roses add character to this restored home. Exterior painted in Resene Triple Rakaia, front door in Resene Poppy and joinery and fencing in Resene Alabaster.

images Hannah Kang

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Resene Triple Rakaia

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