In classic 70s fashion, this Arrowtown holiday home croons Colour my World

In classic 70s fashion, this Arrowtown holiday home croons Colour my World

If the 1990s was grunge and the 1980s was big hair, then the 1970s was all about earthy colours. It’s unsurprising then that a home paying homage to the decade known for disco, mustard tones and lava lamps would come to life thanks to a retro rainbow of Resene paints.

Architect Mary Jowett’s clients had a bold nostalgic vision in mind for their Arrowtown home, and it was more than a little different from the sleek glass and stone marriages often favoured in the Queenstown Lakes District. “They wanted their renovation to have the ‘WOW’ factor, with a touch of the familiar. The 1970s house was charming, but in a low-key way.” Mary’s job? Take low-key and crank it up to peak nostalgia.

Arrowtown is a stunningly scenic melting pot of architectural styles, reflecting the area's varied history. From gold-mining cottages to mid-century holiday homes and modern masterpieces, visitors make the twenty-minute journey from Queenstown to relish the town's unique vibe. Mary embraced this sense of fun and design freedom when executing her client's brief. “I needed something to make it stand out from the rest,” she says. “The renovation acknowledges the modern heritage of Arrowtown as a place for holidays, full of baches and built for fun - not too serious.”

The exterior received a makeover of Resene Grasshopper and Resene Quarter Fossil, both in Resene Sonyx 101, a waterborne semi-gloss paint optimised for superior toughness, durability and adhesion, donning the traditional 1970s style where a well-coiffed family of seven should look right at home waving from the front steps.

The renovation continued throughout the home, where Mary worked to merge the 70s style with 2020s design desires. “A few alterations were made, including a new ensuite for the main bedroom, minor kitchen modifications and demolition of a carport; other than that, the home's bones were good”.

When the brief is to capture the 1970s, there's no option but to embrace colour and run with it fully. Mary wanted impact from the moment the front door key turned. “Hopefully, you feel like you’ve gone back in time!” Resene paints were essential in Mary’s experiments with colour and patterns. Resene Half Spanish White on the walls helps to balance the impact of the counter, tiles and styling in the dining and kitchen, where original elements such as handles were kept as a nod to the home's heritage.

Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Paris White gives the living room a sense of calm, showcasing the classic wood shelving and baseboards. The colour is also used in of the four bedrooms alongside Resene Eighth Spanish White on the ceiling (which runs throughout the home). The living and bedroom colour selection was purposeful; “the walls provide a backdrop to a myriad of objects – clocks, lamps, curtain and art.” Selecting a more muted Resene tone allows the carefully curated objects to shine.

Mary did have some tricks up her sleeve. “The surprise comes in the bathrooms, with the wall colour packing the punch.” Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Wham, Resene Ce Soir and Resene Twisted Sister were bright, bold choices for the toilet, ensuite and bathroom. “Colour is the key, and I’ve carefully used texture and pattern in the tiles and carpet to support the colourful walls”.

The retro brief wasn’t without difficulties, especially paying homage to a bygone era without coming off as tacky or dated. “I had to step-up the style with more impact while retaining the charm and playful, experimental nature of the 1970s”, says Mary. “I found inspiration in designer Terrance Conran’s ‘The House Book’ (1974). Overall, the concept was to add more - this certainly was not a minimal approach!”

Top tip: Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen is a durable choice for wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries but also works well on all interior walls in your home so you can use one paint finish on all your interior walls.

Design by Mary Jowett Architects www.jowett.co.nz

Resene Paris White provides a tasteful pale green backdrop in the living area, showcasing the pops of orange and carefully selected furniture. The ceiling is painted in Resene Eighth Spanish White.

Resene Eighth Spanish White painted on the ceiling doesn’t distract the eye in a room that already competes for attention. Resene Paris White in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen offers a low-sheen finish on the walls without sacrificing durability. It’s also Environmental Choice approved.

With retro wood cabinetry and a groovy green benchtop, the chosen paint colour needed to play bridesmaid to the kitchen design – support but not steal the thunder.  Resene Half Spanish White is the perfect off-white choice – understated and classic.

Mary hopes that the home's interior evokes a sense of nostalgia for both the owner and visitors. “It’s certainly not what you’d expect, and hopefully is a source of both laughter and memories,” says Mary. The walls are painted in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom tinted to Resene Half Spanish White.

The schist fireplace is a stylish nod to Arrowtown's miners-cottage heritage. The silver-grey stone sits beautifully alongside the walls painted in Resene Paris White and showcases the classic timber features in the built-in display shelving and mantel. The ceiling is Resene Eighth Spanish White.

Resene Paris White, a pale green colour, is a favourite for restful bedrooms”, says architect Mary Jowett. The furniture came from a range of op-shops and auctions, with the designer scouring the Queenstown Lakes area hoping to strike gold. The ceiling is painted in Resene Eighth Spanish White.

While many renovators quickly strip their projects of out-of-trend carpet, wallpaper and design, Mary kept heritage elements wherever possible. The curtain pelmets nod to the home's original design, while the walls painted in Resene Paris White offer a modern twist to the colour palette. The ceiling is Resene Eighth Spanish White.

No homage to the 70s is complete with the classic itchy-yet-soft wool blanket. The green tones in this twin bedroom match beautifully with the restful walls painted in Resene Paris White. The ceiling is painted in Resene Eighth Spanish White.

Resene Ce Soir adorns these ensuite walls, with the funky tile flooring playing off the bright purple.  The ceiling is Resene Eighth Spanish White.

The main bathroom demands attention with Resene Wham, while the toilet (not shown) has a shot of colour with Resene Twisted Sister. “With names like Resene Wham, Resene Ce Soir, Resene Twisted Sister and Resene Grass Hopper, what is there not to love?”, laughs Mary.

Revamped landscaping and a new colour scheme gave this traditional 1970s home a new lease on life. The vigorous olive green of Resene Grasshopper is offset by the subtle Resene Quarter Fossil, which gently blends both green and beige tones.

Published: 29 Sep 2022

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing editor@habitatbyresene.co.nz.

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Resene Grass Hopper

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Resene Quarter Fossil

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Resene Half Spanish White

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Resene Paris White

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Resene Eighth Spanish White

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Resene Twisted Sister

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