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coast meets country

From Habitat magazine - issue 21

The colours of a driftwood-strewn beach on a bright summer's day gently wash over this designer's own home.

The soft greys and whites of driftwood and sand; the luminous teal blue skies of North Otago. These are the colours that inspired the interior of Annabel and Simon Berry's home on the rolling downs behind Oamaru.

Beach themed bedroom
A stunning feature wall is created with broad stripes in Resene Smalt Blue and Resene Half Milk White.

At the same time, other features in the house – like the replica tongue-and-groove doors and dado panels – reflect the rural setting of their newly built home and their love of character detailing.

Simon, CEO of the multi-award winning Whitestone Cheese company, lured Annabel from Christchurch to Oamaru in 2010. She found her niche as the general manager at Tourism Waitaki and the couple married the following year. They built their four-bedroom home in 2012 and have three children: Mia (two), Jackson (16 months) and newborn baby boy Boe.

Beach themed kitchen
The kitchen is part of the open-plan living space, painted in Resene Half Milk White.

While Annabel was on parental leave with Mia she completed a Diploma of Interior Design. "I've always loved design and styling, so I launched my new business, Design Federation."

Blue home entry
Beach themed bathroom
Entry: The home's casual villa-style look is epitomised in the entrance hall with its Resene Powder Blue walls above tongue-and-groove panelling in Resene Half Milk White.  Bathtub: Somewhere to truly relax, the ensuite has a decadent yet casual feel with a freestanding bath and walls in Resene Periglacial Blue.

While the house was built and decorated with children in mind, it's also a casually elegant domain for adults. The media room is Simon and Annabel's evening retreat, where the rich dark Resene Tuna hugs the walls. An open fireplace and floor to ceiling bookshelves painted in Resene Half Milk White create a homely atmosphere.

"We wanted a dark, comfy room that was our space," says Annabel. "With three children under five we tend to come in here to relax and enjoy a movie or sport."

Grey media room
Media: The media room was created as an adult retreat for busy parents Annabel and Simon. The built-in bookcase is finished in Resene Half Milk White and is set against a wall in Resene Tuna.  Family: Simon and Annabel with older children Jackson and Mia. Baby Boe has since joined the family.

Annabel chose Resene Half Milk White from the Karen Walker Paints range as the background colour for the house, because, she says, it takes on a hint of the surrounding accessories, furniture and flooring. Used in the open-plan kitchen, dining and living spaces it reflects a whisper of blue from the pretty light blue leather lounge suite. In the children's bathroom and on the hall dado, the same colour seems subtly different again. The pops of playful reds, pinks, yellows and blues throughout the home were drawn from a painting in the living room by Wellington artist Sheyne Tuffery.

Blue sofas
Grey bedroom
Neutral lounge
Sofas: Pretty sky blue sofas add a pop of colour to the Resene Half Milk White living area.  Bedroom: A cosy cocoon of a room, with Resene Quarter Fuscous Grey walls, a chandelier decal and whimsical accessories.

Daughter Mia lives in a world of fairies and princesses so her bedroom walls are painted in soft pink Resene Pot Pourri. Another bedroom is given a more subtle look with Resene Quarter Fuscous Grey, while a spare bedroom features broad horizontal stripes of Resene Smalt Blue and Resene Half Milk White on the wall behind the bed.

Beach themed dining room
Mix old and new for an eclectic look

"When we were choosing the features for the house we were advised to decide on just one or two rooms where we could be a bit more lavish," says Annabel. "We put an elegant bathtub in the ensuite off the master bedroom and painted the walls in Resene Periglacial Blue. It feels so luxuriously calm."

Playground and home exterior
Home decorations
Playground: Get the look with Resene Lumbersider tinted to Resene Half Ironsand, a great colour to help any exterior blend into a natural setting. Use Resene CoolColour to reflect more of the sun's heat from a dark exterior.  Decorations: Get the look with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Half Milk White, a pearl-shadowed white that's perfect as a mainstay neutral.

The house sits at the top of a rise with expansive views of the Kakanui mountain range. Annabel's cousin and fellow designer Sarah Bennett helped with the choice of Resene Half Ironsand for the exterior walls to blend with the rolling hills. They look forward to a time when the native flaxes and stands of trees they've planted will soften the edges of the property.

The soul of a villa

Both Simon and Annabel grew up in older villas on their families' farms and wanted their newly built home to retain the soul of the villa style... but without the draughts.

"We did that by including built-in floor to ceiling bookshelves, an open fireplace and replica tongue-and-groove doors and dados," says Annabel. "We've also furnished the place with an eclectic style. I love mixing furniture and effects from different eras [like the cabriola leg table and upcycled sewing machine table above sitting beside an Eames design chair]. I painted an old hutch dresser in Resene Half Milk White; I used Resene Smalt Blue to upcycle a dated barley twist lamp stand in the sitting room and stencilled and painted a little wooden chair in Resene Periglacial Blue."

Did you know... that the latest Resene The Range fashion colours 16 fandeck is rich with dreamy coastal tones? Check it out at your local Resene ColorShop or reseller, along with the Whites & Neutrals range.

Accessories: Pebble-embedded white concrete bench tops by Concrete Grinding, Queenstown.

Alternative solution – teen dream

a fashion forward room for a young woman

Melanie Arnold from Resene suggests this alternative scheme:

Pink bedroom

This scheme is intended for a 13-year-old girl so I wanted to create a space that was modern, with pops of strong colour, that she would be unlikely to grow out of during her teenage years. I have added a wardrobe (essential for any young woman) with feature panels of anaglypta wallpaper on the sliding doors, which is then painted with Resene Irresistible from the new Resene The Range fashion colours collection. This is a great way to dress up plain doors and adds a strong pop of colour to the room. There are two key feature areas: the panel of Resene Cut Glass around the room and the ceiling painted in another new colour, Resene Such Fun. I have kept the walls light with Resene Alabaster, and timber floors are finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash to prevent the space from feeling small with the darker ceiling.

Alternative solution 1

Bright pinks and icy turquoise combine with a coloured ceiling in Resene Such Fun, walls in Resene Cut Glass and Resene Alabaster, a wardrobe in Resene Irresistible, trims in Resene Triple Alabaster and a timber floor finished in Resene Colorwood Whitewash. Products include a Dodgem duvet cover, Milkshake sheets and artwork from Collected, a Porro Showcase bedside table from Studio Italia, curtain fabrics from Bolt of Cloth, a Rug Couture leopard rug, and Kas Asandra Multi Cushion and Kas Huxton throw.

Top tip: Enhance timber flooring with Resene Colorwood stain in your choice of timber colour then finish in Resene Qristal ClearFloor waterborne urethane to protect its good looks.

phone 027 434 1201   email

Accessories: Beautiful print by Blacklist Studios, from Collected. Kas Mala cushion, from Briscoes. Curious Table Lamp, Imola chair in petrol felt, from BoConcept. Zanotta Caracalla double bed, from Studio Italia.

Alternative solution – pretty in pink

a pastel palace for a little girl

Tina Stephens of Roomie NZ suggests this alternative scheme:

Pink bedroom

This scheme provides a fresh, bright update for a girl's bedroom. Resene Cornflower offers a bright and modern backdrop, contrasted by a band of white (Resene Alabaster) along the top part of the wall to make the room feel larger. Resene Chinook updates a second-hand mid-century nightstand, and a whimsical aesthetic is created with the use of mid-century accessories. Resene Chinook is also featured in a house motif mural on the wall. This backdrops a white open-backed bookshelf which, together with a kid-sized beanbag, creates a handy reading nook.

Alternative solution 2

The perfect room for a five-year-old girl, this uses a wall of pastel pink Resene Cornflower with accents of minty green Resene Chinook, and a ceiling and upper walls in Resene Alabaster. Also featured is a George Nelson Bubble pendant light, and an Ambrose Print by Margaret Petchell from Endemic World.

Top tip: If you're looking for colour inspiration for kids, check out the Resene KidzColour range at for fun shades from bright to pastel to metallic.

phone 021 107 7047   web

Accessories: Flower Weave Daisy Fog rug, from Armadilla&Co. Kids Bean Bag, from Mocka. Follow Me lamp, from ECC Lighting + Furniture. Kip & Co velvet pillowcase, from Collected. BookBay shelf, from Meluka. Ikea Minnen Extendable bed, from Myflatpack with Needle & I Design spotted linen.

words: Nathalie Brown
pictures: Maxine Shea
illustration: Malcolm White

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