In the pink

A dull kitchen is transformed with a simple one, two, three.

Words and styling Sarah Heeringa. Photography Amanda Reelick


This basic and bland u-shaped kitchen was sadly lacking in personality. Adding colour, tiles and open shelving was a cost-effective way to inject some style as well as extra functionality.

You need

  • Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen waterborne enamel in Resene Blanched Pink for the walls
  • Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen waterborne enamel in Resene Cloudy for the stools and under bench
  • Resene Lustacryl in Resene Alabaster for the windows, door and shelves
  • Drop cloths, rollers, brushes
  • Tape measure
  • Ttiles, tile cutter, angle grinder, tile trim, tile adhesive. grout 
  • Resene Broadwall Waterborne Wallboard Sealer (optional)


When choosing colours to use in any given room, it helps to start by considering the parameters you are working with. This kitchen desperately needed a splash of colour, but because it is part of a relatively small open-plan lounge it’s best if the colours are not so dominant as to overpower the rest of the space. The chosen hues needed to be both soothing and sophisticated. The room as a whole is not hugely sunny, so warm colours were preferable. Finally, the colours needed to work with the existing dark benchtops. 


Resene Blanched Pink from the Karen Walker range was a great choice as this dusky pink is soft, warm and elegant all at the same time. We also used Resene Cloudy to paint the kitchen stools and under the bench. Resene Cloudy is
a dusty-toned grey of similar intensity to Resene Blanched Pink, which ensures that the colours balance each other. The mushroomy grey shade works with the dark benches and softens their effect when viewing the kitchen from the lounge.

Resene Alabaster is a modern white with hints of grey, making it an ideal choice for the window, door and new shelves. 


Even just a few rows of tiles will add some texture and substance to a kitchen. They are also very functional – tiled splashbacks placed behind a stove and sink area are easy to clean and help protect kitchen walls from moisture, heat and greasy cooking residues.  Tiled (tilewarehouse.co.nzsplashbacks can be easier to install than you might think. Visit your local hardware or tile specialist, such as The Tile Warehouse, (tilewarehouse.co.nz) for tiles, advice and any other materials you need. 


Smart kitchen design involves maximising your storage opportunities. You can’t put everything on open shelves, but they are perfect for displaying your most attractive things. In this small kitchen, the open shelves help define the space and add that much needed splash of personality.

Sarah is a contributing editor for Good and author of Reclaim That: Upcycling your Home with Style.

For more paint, colour ideas and inspiration visit your Resene ColorShop or resene.co.nz

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