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Tips for decorating with dark colours from those with first-hand experience

Alex and Matt went from an all-white house to a home with all-black walls. Here they share their top tips for those considering a similar darker look

Meet + Greet

Alex Hutchings, 28, Matt Calder, 30 (owners of design agency Alex + Matt Creative), India, 4, and Sienna, 2, plus Sam the Burmese cat and Ollie the Hungarian Vizsla dog.

Best lesson learned?

Matt: Take the time to ensure everything is exactly how you envisaged – or those little niggly points you let slide will come back to haunt you.

What would you never do again?

I’d never create a home without garaging. It’s a nightmare not having space for wood storage and children’s gear.

Most memorable experience in your home?

The best memories have been watching the kids hoon from inside to out on their bikes – the flat transition from the house to the deck has been awesome. The kids love the house and seeing them enjoy the space as much as we do has been incredibly rewarding.


$440,000 including landscaping, driveway, paths, fencing etc.

Matt’s Tips for Darker Colour Palettes

A darker colour palette is not for the faint-hearted.

It does deplete natural light reflection internally.

Be mindful of the marks made by small people and bikes, scooters, food, drink, hands – pretty much anything that the walls have contact with!

Invest in painters – they’re there to ensure the right paint is used in the right areas.

Do it. We don’t regret it for a moment. The rooms take on their own emotions – they’re sensual, evocative, moody and really showcase our art collection.

Scroll down to see more of the Greytown new-build


Draughtsman Seanoa Isaac, Sandpit Design, sandpit.kiwi.
Builder Shane Lehmstedt, Quality Builders, qb05ltd.co.nz.
Kitchen designer Alex Glicas, Mano Joinery, mano.co.nz.
A very heartfelt personal thank you to James Mackie of Mackit Architecture who gave us his time, passion and advice to ensure the overall design had integrity and grace. We can’t thank him enough. mackit.co.nz

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