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Painting the kitchen pink: The Do Up continues

In this episode of The Do Up, Blair and Gretchen Houston tackle the busiest room of their home: the kitchen. Like most kitchens, it’s a social hub and there’s always a hum of activity around. But for this creative couple it’s a particularly important zone as it’s also Gretchen’s workspace – she’s a food and lifestyle blogger. 

Blair and Gretchen are renovating their Kingsland bungalow, their biggest and most challenging project to date. As working professionals, the dynamic duo have been busy tackling their DIY in the evenings and weekends – all while juggling family life with two young daughters. As the couple love Italy, their overall theme is Mediterranean. They’re inspired by the architecture, the colours and the cosiness of the homes there. 

The kitchen is one of the bungalow’s larger spaces, and Blair and Gretchen have laid some gorgeous paving-style stone tiles on the floor. “We want to draw inspiration from those colours to the back of the wall,” says Gretchen. But while living alongside their in-progress renovation work, the couple also slowly grew accustomed to the pink tone of the unpainted GIB® board and began thinking about how they could incorporate that colour into the space.

Blair and Gretchen grew accustomed to the pink of the unpainted GIB® and wanted to incorporate it into their colour final scheme.
The couple also wanted to make sure that the shade of pink they chose would also tie in with the subtle tones in their new flooring.

Asking the experts

Gretchen headed to her local Resene ColorShop to get some advice from Resene Colour Expert Amy Watkins. She wanted to find out how to incorporate a ‘liveable’ pink into their kitchen. While Amy was all for the fun colour choice, her advice was that “the key will be paring it back and softening it a little bit, so then it’s great to live with day-to-day.” 

So they grabbed some Resene colour charts and utilised Amy’s technique of looking at each option alone through the grey colour isolator to get a true sense of the colour. Armed with some Resene testpots, Gretchen headed home to start experimenting. 

“Resene gave us this great tip to paint onto card, rather than onto the GIB® board, which we’ve been a bit guilty of,” says Gretchen. It’s important to remember that colour can take on hues from surrounding objects, such as carpets, curtains or furniture. Painting onto A2 card means you can then move it around the room to see how the various elements are going to affect the colour. Leave a white border around the outside, as it’s easier to look at the colour in isolation.

Gretchen is applying Resene Biscotti from a testpot onto A2 card to see how it works against the Resene Alabaster on the main wall, ceiling and trim.
Once her testpot samples have dried, Gretchen moves them around the room to see how the colours change in different lighting.

In the pink

After much deliberation, Blair and Gretchen settled on Resene Spring Wood and prepped the kitchen walls by sanding them and wiping away the sanding dust, before applying a coat of Resene Quick Dry primer. They then applied a coat of Resene X-200 to add a soft texture, in order to continue the Mediterranean theme throughout their home. Italian villas are often made from stone so they have texture and patina to their walls that the couple were keen to replicate. 

They applied two coats of Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom in Resene Spring Wood, but felt that the pale pink colour was lighter than what they’d envisioned for their feature wall. 

“The biggest challenge actually was deciding on the right pink, and there are so many gorgeous Resene pinks. We didn’t want a baby pink, we wanted a grown-up pink and one that also tied in with our floor tiles.” 

Gretchen wanted to bring out more warmth and depth, so the couple applied a wash of Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom in Resene Contented – mixed with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium – to achieve the look that they wanted. 

Blair and Gretchen are delighted with the result and say it has created a real focal point in their kitchen. The pair have successfully renovated their kitchen to capture the romantic tones of their Mediterranean muse, all while providing inspiration and an aesthetic backdrop for Gretchen’s work.

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

Part 2 – Hallway and entrance
Part 3 – Gwynnie’s bedroom
Part 5 – Family bathroom
Part 6 – Ensuite

Drawing inspiration from the colours in their stone tiled floors and unpainted GIB® board, the couple ended up choosing Resene Alabaster on the walls, ceiling and trim, as well as Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom in Resene Contented (mixed with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium) over a coat of Resene Spring Wood on the feature wall.

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