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Blair and Gretchen’s daughter gets her dream bedroom

When it comes to renovations, there is very little that serial DIYers Blair Houston and Gretchen Lowe haven’t tackled. That was until their eight-year-old daughter Gwynnie decided her dream bedroom should have a feature wallpaper. 

“Gwynnie wanted wallpaper but we hadn’t used it before,” Gretchen explains. Fortunately for them, help was only a short drive away at their local Resene ColorShop, where Resene Colour Expert Amy Watkins helped them choose a wallpaper that would grow with Gwynnie as she matures over the years.

The colour inspiration for the bedroom came from the wallpaper, which influenced what paint colours they would use. “Gwynnie likes blues and greens, so we kind of started there,” says Gretchen. “She loves the Endemic World picture of sand dunes hanging on her wall because she finds it really calming. When we first put it up she said, ‘Can I have that picture in my room because I just want to stare at it?’” 

Gretchen agrees that using existing art is a great starting point when choosing wallpaper and paint. “What I loved about the Resene wallpaper was the apricot tones, as well as the greens and blues that tie in with the sky in the picture.

The colours in the print (Tātahi by Elliot Alexander) on Gwynnie’s wall inspired the colour palette and paint choices for the entire room. Wall finished in Resene Wallpaper Collection FI70202, with other walls in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Eighth Lemon Grass.

Prep is key 

It’s important to do a really good sanding job on the walls before wallpapering, and to do the gapping around the skirting and windows. This is the kind of job that any handy DIYer can do first before getting a wallpaper expert to hang the wallpaper. 

Blair and Gretchen prepped Gwynnie’s bedroom walls by sanding them and applying Resene Sureseal pigmented sealer. Then they decided to call in professional! Anando Kirsch from Anando Decorating and he made short work helping them to hang their chosen Resene Wallpaper Collection FI70202.  

When it came to painting the walls, Gretchen wanted something a little different from the neutral colours she had used elsewhere in the house. “I thought I’d go bold with the panelled base, so I went with a colour called Resene Atomic in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel.” 

For the rest of the walls she chose something lighter. “I wanted something soothing for the rest of the room, so I went with Resene Eighth Lemon Grass in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen paint.”

Blair and Gretchen prepped Gwynnie’s bedroom walls by sanding them and applying Resene Sureseal pigmented sealer.
Gretchen was keen to paper the wallpaper herself but ended up using an expert. Anando Kirsch from Anando Decorating adds the finishing touches to the stunning blue-green print of Resene Wallpaper Collection FI70202.

Storage solutions

When it came to furniture for Gwynnie’s room, it was a family hand-me-down that came to the rescue. “Blair’s sister is a teacher and was moving to Abu Dhabi, so was just getting rid of a whole lot of stuff,” says Gretchen, who recycled her sister-in-law’s old shelving unit for Gwynnie’s room. “We didn’t have a wardrobe so I thought I’d make it over. We used Resene Sureseal on the cabinet and replaced the broken handles with some that were left over from a previous renovation.”

Kids tend to have a lot of stuff that can end up dumped on the floor, so Gretchen added some hooks next to the fireplace for hanging up coats, bags, hats and headphones. The fireplace isn’t being used at the moment, so it was the perfect place to add a houseplant for a touch of greenery. On the other side of the fireplace is a handy desk for doing homework, colouring in or reading, and is an important addition to any child’s bedroom no matter what age they are. 

The key thing to remember when making over your child’s bedroom is to involve them in the decision-making – especially when it comes to colours, art and linen choices, as this can foster a sense of ownership and pride and allowing them to actively contribute to creating their personal space. It’s also a sneaky way to encourage some personal responsibility for how tidy the room may be down the line! Adults know that organisation is the key to keeping things tidy and easy to find, so it’s never too early to get these habits instilled in our little people. 

Gretchen repurposed a set of Lundia shelving by painting it with one coat of Resene Sureseal then topcoating in Resene Eighth Lemon Grass.
The panelling behind Gwynnie’s bed extends down one wall of the bedroom and is painted in Resene Lustacryl tinted to Resene Atomic for an easy-to-clean semi-gloss finish.
The beautiful wallpaper used in Gwynnie’s bedroom is Resene Wallpaper Collection FI70202. Panelling painted in Resene Lustacryl tinted to Resene Atomic.

Blair and Gretchen have tackled all of their DIY painting themselves, but they appreciated the help and guidance of Resene Colour Expert Amy Watkins and wallpaper expert Anando Kirsch from Anando Decorating to find and hang just the right Resene wallpaper. 

“The wallpaper is the main feature and we’re just so delighted with how it’s turned out,” says Gretchen. “It’s a Monet-inspired print that’s part of the Resene French Impressionist Wallpaper Collection.” 

Luckily Gwennie agrees! “I love the wallpaper because it’s got lots of colour, and I love colour!” she says, beaming with pride at her fabulous new bedroom.

Follow Blair and Gretchen’s renovation journey here:
Part 1 – Lounge

Part 2 – Hallway and entrance
Part 4 – Kitchen
Part 5 – Family bathroom
Part 6 – Ensuite

Thanks to new paint and wallpaper the stunning bedroom reveal is everything Gwynnie was hoping for! The room feels calm, fresh and timeless. Wall finished in Resene Wallpaper Collection FI70202, panelling painted in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel tinted to Resene Atomic and other walls in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to Resene Eighth Lemon Grass.

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