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small but smart

From Habitat magazine - issue 28

It only takes a bit of paint and a clever idea to make an impact.

Nifty ideas for your house.

Key cleverness

Hands up if you’re always losing your keys, or if you like to keep a collection of spare keys in a handy spot. This key holder is so easy to make; all you need are some Resene testpots and a piece of timber framing off-cut. The timber is 250mm long and 60mm deep with cuts made at 50mm centres. String your keys onto twine or leather, add a painted bead at the top and slot them into their own special place.

The colours used here are Resene St Kilda, Resene Ming, Resene Green Mist, Resene Kalgoorie Sands and Resene Crail. The wall and two of the beads are in Resene Bone.

Key ring rack

Hip little houses

Here’s another way to use pieces of timber framing off-cuts – cut angles into the top, paint them up and you have pretty little houses to use as ornaments or bookends.

These ones are masked (use lowtack masking tape from your Resene ColorShop) and painted with Resene testpots in Resene Copper Fire metallic, Resene Paper Doll and Resene Prairie Sand.


Fun with fans

Ever looked at a plain, utilitarian household object and wondered why it couldn’t look a bit more cheerful? We staged a ‘fan challenge’ with stylist Leigh Stockton and asked her to pimp a plain old desk fan. The fan is easily dismantled, so she painted the fan blades in rings of rainbow colours, then put it back together again.

The fan looks great when it’s not being used but comes into its own when it’s going – it becomes a wonderful blur of continuous rainbow. Such fun! Leigh used testpots of Resene Dizzy Lizzy, Resene Outrageous, Resene Paris Daisy, Resene Poppy, Resene Pursuit, Resene Seeker and Resene Smitten.

Colourfull spining fans
Right: Fan spinning.

Going dotty

Here’s an easy way to upcycle old bowls. Paint them in a range of pretty colours, then add white Mandala-dot style patterns. These bowls are actually old glass ones that were first painted in Resene Waterborne Smooth Sealer Surface to provide a ‘key’ for the paint. They were then painted in Resene Pink Lace, Resene Poet and Resene Kandinsky, with the dots in Resene Alabaster. Use the bowls as tealight holders, or for jewellery and trinkets.

It’s a can crush

Upcycling is nothing new but rather than throw away your energy drink cans, just give them a squeeze, prep them with a coat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer and a coat of paint to make cute little single flower stem holders. These are painted in Resene Foam, Resene Waikawa Grey and Resene Aqua.

Painted bowls and can vases.

Styling: Leigh Stockton, Nikki Astwood
Pictures: Bryce Carleton, Nikki Astwood


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Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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