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an extension for the ages

From Habitat magazine - issue 32, kitchens

A historic cottage gets a newly crafted kitchen inspired by its surroundings.

A historic cottage extension kitchen

Despite being part of a new addition, Annabel and Meghan's kitchen design is sympathetic to the rest of their client's historical cottage and maintains a heritage feel. Thevaulted ceiling adds a greater sense of spaciousness and allows light to flood in. Walls in Resene Parchment, kitchen joinery in Resene Periglacial Blue, ceiling and architraves in Resene Eighth Parchment.

As part of a complete renovation, designers Annabel Berry and Meghan Nockels of Design Federation helped bring new life to an 1872 North Otago timber cottage – one of the oldest in the Oamaru area. Their brief was to combine the home's historical look with a coastal beach feel, combining modern comforts and conveniences seamlessly with its stunning original details.

As the central focal point to the home, the kitchen area was part of a new vaulted addition to the nearly 150 year old home to allow for greater light and spaciousness compared to the original ceiling height.

"In our design development, we were conscious that our scheme needed to complement the heritage of the building and fit within the architecture. Using heritage trims and skirting, v-groove cabinetry and provincial handles brought this together along with light blue cabinetry and a soft sand inspired wall colour," she explains. "The client opted for all new wooden joinery for the windows and had a new but old-style door recreated for the kitchen. We kept the old window stays and door handles, stripping them back to the original brass as well as upcycling the original doors."

Annabel says that their colour inspiration came from two main sources. "Firstly, the location of the home on the Kakanui coastline, and secondly, from the historical wallpapers used in other parts of the home as a reference to the property's past. We had a dream client who enabled us to bring a scheme together that suits their natural style."

As part of their research, Annabel and Meghan twice visited adjacent Kakanui Beach and Campbells Bay to take pictures of the breath-taking vistas that surround the home. "By using the Resene Colour Palette Generator (, we were able to get colours from our photographs directly generated from our surroundings. The Colour Palette Generator has become such a great source of inspiration for our palettes now as we continue to use the North Otago environment as a key source of inspiration.

Blue on blue kitchen
Kitchen view outside
The window above the sink looks into this garden while opposite windows look out to the sea. These views helped set the colour palette. The joinery is painted in Resene Periglacial Blue while the walls are in Resene Parchment and the ceiling and architraves are in Resene Eighth Parchment.

"For us, Resene Parchment – which we used on the walls – has a direct relation to the tones of sand on the beach at Kakanui. It also has warm, soft tones for a relaxed casual vibe. The gentle green blue tones of Resene Periglacial Blue, which was used for the joinery, make it the perfect colour for this beachside home."

When looking for flooring, it was the homeowner that came across recycled boards from the Waiouru Military Camp gymnasium. These were resealed with Resene Aquaclear waterborne clear urethane to maintain the floor's character, helping the new addition blend seamlessly with the heritage portion of the home.

The result of their combined efforts is an expansion that hardly feels like an expansion at all. Thanks to Annabel and Meghan's attention to detail, sympathy for the cottage's age and original design, and the embrace of the surrounding landscape, one could almost believe the new kitchen had been there all along – a major mark of success for a heritage renovation.

To get the authentic Resene colour you're looking for on your kitchen joinery, use Resene AquaLAQ. It's especially designed for kitchen cabinetry, furniture and joinery and includes a waterborne sealer, colour coat and Environmental Choice approved clear coat.

design: Annabel Berry and Meghan Nockels, Design Federation
images: Rachel Wybrow Photography


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.