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The Do Up: Blair and Gretchen’s bathroom refresh

In this episode of The Do Up, Blair and Gretchen take on the family bathroom. The couple are renovating their Kingsland bungalow, and it’s 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, Gwynnie (eight) and Margot (three). As they love Italy, the overall theme is Mediterranean – they’re inspired by the architecture, the colours and the cosiness of the homes there. 

So far, they’ve transformed several areas of their home – kitchen, lounge, entrance and hallway, and Gwynnie’s bedroom – and they’ve used Resene paint and wallpaper to make a huge impact in these spaces. Blair and Gretchen’s confidence has grown with each room they’ve completed and each space is now an inspired, beautiful and relaxing place to be. 

The family’s main bathroom was next on the list, and it had to make an impact. “It’s right at the entrance so it needed to be stunning as soon as you open the door,” says Gretchen. “I wanted a spa type feel, but in soft beiges and grey greens.” 

The bath needed to be ripped out to make it more practical for family life. Blair explained that the kids don’t really use the bath, so they replaced it with a shower and built a nib wall to offer a bit more privacy to the toilet. 

When it came to design inspiration, Gretchen says that her creative process began with the three types of tiles she’d chosen, along with the beautiful black marble-topped Lucino vanity.

“There are three types of tiles in very soft beige, grey green and black/beige, and I was conscious that the paint had to bring all these elements together,” she explains. “I chose Resene Half Bison Hide and Resene Eighth Bison Hide. These were the absolutely perfect hue with undertones of grey, green, beige and black. I really feel the paint has married everything together perfectly and gives the bathroom a lovely relaxed warmth.” 

Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom in Resene Eighth Bison Hide painted on the lower panel and wall created a subtle but impactful contrast to the lighter shade on the upper half.
Blair applied Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom in Resene Eighth Bison Hide to the upper part of the wall.

Choosing the right product

Before they began, Blair was conscious that they’d require a certain type of paint in the bathroom – something designed specifically for wet areas. So he headed into his local Resene ColorShop, where Resene Colour Expert Amy Watkins talked him through the options. 

“You need to be using our waterborne enamel series,” says Amy. “We’ve got a kitchen and bathroom range that has an extra mould inhibitor in it to help protect against those high-moisture rooms. Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom is typically used for trims and it can be used on walls too, but Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom is what the majority of people prefer to use for walls. It’s a low sheen finish that’s durable and easy to clean. Resene SpaceCote Flat Kitchen & Bathroom is more suited to ceilings.”

As Blair and Gretchen have used low sheen paint in the rest of their home, they opted for Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom. They used Resene Eighth Bison Hide for the top half of the wall, then faced a slight snag when Blair started using the same colour on the textured panel and lower half of the wall – it was supposed to be the slightly darker Resene Half Bison Hide on those sections. “I get it, it’s confusing when my creative mind is juggling all the ideas!” laughs Gretchen. Luckily they spotted the error early enough to correct it and apply the desired colour to the lower half of the wall.

The couple are beyond thrilled with the end result. “I love that although it’s not a huge space, it somehow feels larger and has so many interesting elements that have all come together in a calming way. The black vanity against the Resene hues is just incredible,” says Gretchen. 

“Two years ago I wouldn’t have done anything like this,” says Blair. “The more that you do, the more confidence it gives you to do more. I enjoy how much I’ve learned and how much we’ve achieved through this process.” 

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

Part 2 – Hallway and entrance
Part 3 – Gwynnie’s bedroom
Part 4 – Kitchen
Part 6 – Ensuite

Resene Colour Expert Amy Watkins explained the Resene Kitchen & Bathroom range to Blair and why its durability and extra protection makes it ideal for wet areas.

More advice about the Resene Kitchen & Bathroom range:

  • Resene SpaceCote Kitchen & Bathroom is perfect for bathroom, laundry and kitchen walls and ceilings. This waterborne paint is ideal for wet and steamy areas due to its added antibacterial silver and MoulDefender. This highly durable paint is also easy to clean, low odour and Eco Choice-approved.
  • Paint windows and door architraves in wet areas such as bathrooms with Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom. This hard-wearing waterborne paint is ideal for the trims in wet rooms due to its enamel-style toughness and the added benefits of antibacterial silver and MoulDefender. If you prefer gloss trims, you could use Resene Enamacryl instead and ask Resene ColorShop staff to add MoulDefender to it for extra protection.

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