Character study

New concrete floors and white-painted walls with cut-outs introduce a Mediterranean look to this refurbished 1970s home
View of this dining & kitchen area ceiling, countertop, interior design, kitchen, real estate, table, brown, gray
View of this dining & kitchen area

Living in an older home doesn't mean you have to follow suit with a traditional interior design. With the right materials and an eye for detail, it's possible to transform any home to reflect your own style be it contemporary, classical or somewhere in between.

The interior featured on these pages is a good example. When designer Dinah Malyon bought the 1970s house, the interior reflected that era.

"Structurally, the house was well crafted, but it was very dated," she says. "There were arches everywhere and a lot of black-stained wood."

Malyon says she wanted the interior to reflect a Mediterranean influence. Changing the flooring and painting the walls a uniform white were the first steps in achieving such a look. A red brick chimney and hearth were plastered to match, and a new entertainment centre built in an alcove formerly a stairwell was designed to enhance the substantial look of the interior.

View of the dining area ceiling, dining room, interior design, real estate, room, table, brown, white
View of the dining area

In keeping with the adobe look, new floors were laid on a substrate in several rooms. These feature a grey-toned concrete compound.

"The floor needed to look natural as though it has always been there," says Malyon. "I didn't want everything to look brand new."

In keeping with the all-white effect, the black timber rafters in the living areas were painted white. Modern accents are provided by contemporary art, including paintings by Ralph Hotere, Hope Gibbons and Jane Grey. A feature wall painted in a Dulux special finish creates a silver sheen a look repeated elsewhere in the house. Shutters, for example, are painted in a Resene silver metallic paint.

"I wanted something a little different, and I prefer to create an eclectic look," says Malyon. "Rather than have everything matching, I like to mix antiques with contemporary items. For example, the furniture has a traditional look, but I have added modern legs to the sofas and chairs. I am a great believer in bringing visual warmth into a room, and not having everything looking sterile."

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View of the pool area

In the living room Malyon has mixed brown leather sofas with two Yo chairs covered in Mokum cream suede, and a brown leather spaghetti rug. A large coffee table from Indonesia provides a dark accent. The striped cotton curtains were custom made from contrasting fabrics.

The dining room features white Tom Vac chairs and a matching table. The gas fireplace, which backs on to the living room fireplace, is a new addition.

Warm neutral tones continue in the master bedroom where frosted glass wardrobe doors and contemporary furniture a black Italian Shell chair and a cream ottoman create a simple, uncluttered look.

An indoor pool room on a lower level of the house was also extensively upgraded. The formerly dark room now features windows and doors that open to a new terrace. A large feature wall was painted by Greer Faris in shades of blue to match the new pool. Another wall is plastered to match the exterior of the house.

Dec 07, 2004

Credit list

Dulux; Resene; Aalto Colour
Leather spaghetti rug from DMI Homestagers
Ardur 15 from Flooring Wholesale
Living room curtains
Domed silver wall
David Matulovich
Bar stools
Craftwood Kitchens
Halliday & Baillie
Bedroom ottoman
Frosted glass wardrobe doors
Bathroom basin
Muzzaro Corian
Morgan Pools
Pool paving
Jagas Paving
Living room furniture
Brown leather sofas and Yo chairs in Macro suede from DMI Homestagers
Gas fires
Living Flame
Brighton sisal from Advanced Flooring
Dining room chairs
Tom Vac from Bo Concepts
Santa Fe
Concrete benchtop
Masonry Creations
Bed coverings
Threads Design
Bedroom chair
Shell chair from Bo Concepts
Bathroom tiles
Tile Warehouse
Bathroom tapware
Pool wall painting
Greer Faris
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