See inside the 2023 Resene Colour Home Awards winning home

This year’s Resene Colour Home Awards winner uses colour theory to bring a space to life

The 2023 Resene Colour Home Awards winner lives and breathes colour, pushing the envelope on bold shades and a jaw-dropping mural used for a stunning effect. Kareen Durbin has transformed her former state house into a visual delight, a chocolate box of blues, browns and sorbets, taking out the grand title and a $5000 prize in the process.

From the “cosy cave” main bedroom painted in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Jambalaya, which layers warm brown tones, to the garden granny flat decked out in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Glorious, a sorbet shade that’s all about eye-candy – it’s clear that Kareen has an expert eye for colour and design.

On opening the front door, guests are submerged into a vivid colourscape, with the hallway and ceilings drenched in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Deep Koamaru, which Kareen describes as an “immersive colour experience” as through the tunnel of violet, visitors are reborn into the Resene Low Sheen Resene Quarter Iron white living space.

But the show-stopping moment belongs to the hand-painted living room mural, an abstract dreamscape that incorporates all the colours in the house, including Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Cinnamon and Resene Glorious.

“Kareen has a real painter’s eye,” says Your Home And Garden editor Fiona Hawtin. “I love the brown and pink rooms, and might copy her, but the mural is next-level amazing.”

Resene marketing manager Karen Warman agrees. “Kareen’s wholehearted embrace of colour is a striking reminder that you can really make your home your own with paint colours you love,” she says.

Kareen feels grateful to have won the coveted title, saying she’s “pleased that such a simple home, with a bit of colour, can have that level of impact”.

She explains, “I guess I’m a big believer in creating beauty without much budget – that the magic happens because of constraints. It’s validating to have that acknowledged.”

As for the $5000 prize, Kareen says she should throw the majority on the mortgage, but has her eye on a particular quilt and dreams of installing a huge skylight in her New Plymouth home. Partner Will, however, thinks a new surfboard is in order.

The pair have many plans for their home, although they’re trying to stop and enjoy the work already completed.

More Resene colours to try (left to right): Resene Tropical, Resene Amaranth, Resene Upside.

To manage her “addiction to colour”, Kareen has also been developing the interior of an op-shop she manages with more Resene colour combinations and is “exploring ideas I ran out of space for in our house”.

Her advice to others looking to add more colour to their homes is to simply have fun.

“Paint is quite a safe way to make some super-bold moves that transform a room entirely,” Kareen says. “My favourite thing is being in a newly painted environment with an immersive approach to colour. Walking in is invigorating, the colour has so much impact emotionally.”

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