Kiwi homes finalists in paint awards

LUCY CORRY
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2013

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Cissy Zhang had never even picked up a paintbrush before she decided to completely repaint her newly purchased Wellington home in late 2010. But her dedication has paid off, with the updated interior making the finals in an Australasian decorating contest.

Zhang's house, along with a Tauranga family home, have beaten more than 200 contenders from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea to the Best Residential Interior section of the Dulux Colour Awards.

The nomination came as a complete shock to Zhang, an interior designer now working in Christchurch.

"My husband and I spent our whole Christmas holidays repainting it. When we got to the 4.5-metre feature wall we were ready to give up, but luckily some friends came to help us finish it off.

"It was a nightmare, but it was definitely worth it."

The couple updated the 1990s-era house by ditching the off-white colour scheme in favour of light-blue and sea-blue walls.

Dulux colour expert Louise McKenzie-Smith said the DIY project held its own against the sea of professional colour schemes from throughout Australasia.

"It's a lovely palette of muted and bright blues, teamed with grey-browns - combining in a subtle way to make a scheme that's uniquely New Zealand."

Designer Kathryn McMillan has become the only New Zealander to make the finals of the Residential Interior Design and Residential Exterior Design categories with her edgy, yet family-friendly home in Tauranga. The interior of the house has a striking charcoal, grey and gold colour scheme.

"The interior displays a clever use of colour to highlight the features of this home, while still representing the look and feel of the exterior palette," McKenzie-Smith said.

Winners of the awards will be announced on March 20.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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