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You won't believe the detail in Fleur Thorpe's colourful teeny house

13 Oct 2021

You could stare at Fleur Thorpe’s teeny house (order yours here) for hours. The intricacies of her work unveil themselves over time: tables made from cotton reels, cabinets fashioned from perfume boxes and pendants repurposed from Christmas lightshades. “My kids and I visited our local junk shop and filled a bag with bits and pieces for $10. My children were pointing out suggestions for me, saying things like, ‘Mum, you could use this for a light or a seat.’ We were all thinking creatively as a family.”

Fleur reconfigured her house to create mid-century modern architectural features such as exposed ‘oak’ beams and full-height ceilings in the master bedroom. She supported these architectural features with bold mid-century inspired blues and greens, such as Resene Discover in the master bedroom, Resene Matisse in the children’s bedroom and Resene Seaweed in the kitchen. She added gold, yellow and orange accents and furniture throughout painted in bold colours, including Resene FX Metallic Gold Dust, Resene FX Metallic Magma, Resene Rusty Nail and Resene Karma.

To help with her decoration plans Fleur created a backstory for the occupants of her teeny house and the history of the house. She decided the building was an older building which had undergone several renovations. “The attic floor above the master bedroom has been removed to create a lofted space to the room which is bathed in light and includes three skylights which allow for a spectacular view of the garden and sky,” says Fleur.  

Like many real homes the house has been renovated to adapt for the expanding teeny family where a spare room painted in Resene Matisse was converted into a bedroom for twin boys.

“I created an arched bunk bed with matching bedlinen and ochre-coloured curtains which can be pulled for a cosy sleeping den.  This bedroom opens out on to a small balcony. “

Fleur’s top painting, wallpaper and construction tips:

"I found it easier to work with my house flattened out for as long as possible,” says Fleur.

 “I constructed it first and then used a pencil to draw around each wall, ceiling and floor, this gave me an outline of each room.  I then pulled the house apart and worked on each surface (wall, ceiling or roof) as its own, separate surface.

“First, I applied the paint to all the surfaces followed by the wallpaper.  When this was done, I then glued on the curtains, fireplace and anything that was going to be attached to the wall before I glued all the walls back together.  Then it was time to add in the furniture and hang the light fittings.

“Don’t use pen when drawing ruler lines and making measurement marks on your house as it’s easier to cover over pencil or chalk.”

Painting wood

“For the dark ‘oak’ beams, rafters, and ceilings inside my dollhouse, I used Resene Rebel, Resene Rusty Nail and Resene Black. I applied a basecoat of Resene Rebel and, while this was still wet, used a dry brush turned 90 degrees to brush over the Resene Rebel with Resene Rusty Nail using quick strokes.


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Fleur’s teeny house is awash with colour, from vibrant blue Resene Discover in the master bedroom and Resene Matisse in the kid’s room, to moody Resene Element in the lounge and daring Resene Wallpaper Collection E358012 in the kitchen. 

While the interiors of Fleur’s teeny house are elaborately intricate, her exterior is sophisticated and stylish in its simplicity with Resene Artemis on the walls. The front door is in deep Resene Merlot with brass kick plate in Resene Gold Dust. The joinery is in Resene Black and the chimney and external brickwork are in Resene Wallpaper Collection 939224.

In the attic-turned-art studio, Fleur used Resene Wallpaper Collection E358004 on the walls to create a colourful haven. The panelling is in Resene Karma and the ceiling is in bold Resene Mexican Red. The floor has been cleverly created with Resene Wallpaper Collection 18291 and the creative lamp is in Resene Rusty Nail, Resene Pohutukawa and Resene Submerge. Fleur created the painting on the tiny easel using Resene Liberty, Resene Stack, Resene Black, Resene Triple Sea Fog, Resene White, Resene Apache, Resene Corvette, Resene Hot Toddy, Resene Submerge and Resene Discover. The painting on the leaning wall is in Resene Liberty, Resene Saratoga, Resene Seaweed, Resene Lemon Ginger, Resene Artemis and Resene Concrete. The ceiling beams are finished in a combination of Resene Rebel, Resene Rusty Nail and Resene Black.

The kid’s room glows with vibrant walls in Resene Matisse and Resene Wallpaper Collection E375036. The ceiling’s fun pattern is created using Resene Corvette and Resene White, while the bunkbed is also in Resene Matisse.

In the elegant bathroom, Fleur used Resene Wallpaper Collection 35998-1 and Resene Wallpaper Collection RD7020 on the walls, with colourful ceiling in Resene Shiloh. For the floor, Fleur alternated Resene Green Meets Blue and Resene Wallpaper Collection 90600 to create a tiled floor. The sink is in Resene Half Rice Cake and the wall light and joinery is in Resene Black.

The master bedroom sports a whimsical feature wall in Resene Wallpaper Collection 5276-2 and a natural-look floor in Resene Wallpaper Collection 18291. The back wall is in Resene Discover with Resene Black joinery. The lights are in Resene FX Metallic Magma and wall light in Resene Black. The pallet bed base is in Resene Triple Bison Hide, Resene Half Arrowtown and Resene Black.

The sweet cottage kitchen features panelling in Resene Seaweed with Resene Triple Sea Fog on the upper wall. The ceiling is in Resene Element and the floor is in Resene Wallpaper Collection 18291. The kitchen splashback is in Resene Wallpaper Collection 800944, the bench top is in Resene Wallpaper Collection 90600 and the cabinets and fridge are in Resene Half Rice Cake and Resene Stack. The sink is in bright Resene Shiloh, the stove top and oven are in Resene Black and Resene FX Metallic Aluminium and the hanging shelves are in Resene Black. The extractor fans and bowls are in Resene FX Metallic Aluminium, the pendant light is in Resene FX Metallic Magma and Resene Highland and the stools are in Resene Billabong and Resene Blumine. The colourful breakfast nook features Resene Seaweed on the seat and Resene Wallpaper Collection E358012 on the back wall. The table is in Resene Alert Tan and the butcher’s block island is in Resene Calypso, Resene Stack and a custom mix of Resene Black and Resene Stack.

The cosy lounge contrasts Resene Element on the walls with a feature wall in Resene Wallpaper Collection TP80000. The ceiling combines Resene Rebel, Resene Rusty Nail and Resene Black, while the floor is in Resene Wallpaper Collection 18291. The pendant lights are in Resene Liberty and the wall light is in Resene Gold Dust. The vibrant artwork is in Resene Seaweed, Resene Saratoga, Resene Lemon Ginger, Resene Black and Resene White.

Fleur’s teeny house colour palette includes a rich contrast of heated yellows, reds and deep blues with a touch of Resene FX Metallics.

Published: 13 Oct 2021