April - May 2016



Afternoon Teas Amazing Travel Destinations & Asian-inspired Décor Helping HK Strays Antiques Get those abs into shape How to :





STAY UPDATED ONLINE NEWS – WHAT’S GOING ON? Read the latest Hong Kong happenings EVENTS CALENDAR – POST YOUR EVENT FOR FREE! Having a party or a promotional launch and want to get the word out about it on our website? Just head to www.expatliving.hk , click on “Post an event”, and fill in the details. We’ll do the rest! WHERE TO BUY A list of retail outlets where you can buy the latest copy of Expat Living 8-10 APRIL Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. hksevens.com 27 APRIL Shoppinghongkong Spring Bazaar at The American Club, Tai Tam. shoppinghongkong.blogspot.hk THROUGHOUT MAY Le French GourMay and Le French May at various locations. frenchgourmay.com, frenchmay.com 8 MAY Mother’s Day 13-15 MAY Affordable Art Fair at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. affordableartfair.com 18 MAY Shoppinghongkong Summer Bazaar at The Fringe Club, Central. shoppinghongkong.blogspot.hk 19 MAY HKAHF Women of Hope 2016 Charity Lunch & Awards Ceremony at The Asia Society, Admiralty. 28 MAY Hong Kong Women’s Choir presents Soul Sisters at Grappas Cellar, Jardine House. thkwc.org 3 JUNE Prestige Events Summer Gift Fair at the Conrad Hotel. prestigefairs.hk DATES FOR YOUR DIARY!

I’ve got friends who are quite stoic about the weather in Hong Kong. Whether it’s hot and humid, hazy or hailing, they don’t complain because “it is what it is.” I’m not one of those people. I spend most of summer willing it to cool down, and I actually look forward to typhoons because it means that at least there’s a breeze! Then I spend most of winter longing for the sun and blue sky. And I can often be heard to complain, “It’s too hot/too cold/too wet/so hazy!” Except in April. In my mind, April is the perfect month. It’s that in-between season where we experience what I like to call “cardigan weather”. As I write this, the sun has finally emerged from what was a pretty bitter-cold winter, and it’s glorious. I know hot weather isn’t far off but for now I’m enjoying having the windows open and being able to sit outside without sweating or being eaten alive by a thousand mosquitoes. In Hong Kong, apart from the temperature, the change of seasons isn’t that obvious – everything seems to go from grey to green overnight. But there’s a reason why people get married and have babies in the spring. It’s

a time of new beginnings, and when the sun comes out and we all get a more regular dose of vitamin D, it feels like anything is possible. There’s also a lot happening around the city, and it’s a great time to get out and explore. My husband and I were married in April (a long time ago!) because it’s my favourite time of year, and I’m particularly excited to be featuring real wedding stories in this issue. We also have lots of inspiring articles as always, and a few tips for Mother’s Day (hint, hint, kids: it’s on May the 8th!).









Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET

Group Editor SHAMUS SILLAR Editor BROOKE CHENOWETH Online Editors


Front Cover: Jane and Tamás Faragó’s wedding (See page 62)

CONTACT US General Enquiries +852 3480 7614 | +65 6259 0058

Expat Living Publications Pte. Ltd. has taken every reasonable care to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of the information contained in this publication, but accepts no responsibility for the content of advertisements published, and no liability for mistake, misprint, omission, typographical error, loss or damage suffered as a result of relying wholly or in part on the content of advertising or editorial published herein. Expat Living Publications reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or advertorial for any reason. All artwork designed by Expat Living Publications or any part of this publication may not be reproduced in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by means - graphical, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording, taping, etc, without prior permission in writing from the Publishers. Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 18 Howard Road, #08-10 Novelty Bizcentre, Singapore 369585 info@expatliving.hk Advertising Sales advertising@expatliving.hk Subscription +65 6812 1783 | subscription@expatliving.hk Production +65 6812 1787 | production@expatliving.hk Editorial & Media Releases editor@expatliving.hk Calendar of Events calendar@expatliving.hk Events info@expatliving.hk Expat Living Hong Kong info@expatliving.hk | sales@expatliving.hk subscription@expatliving.hk Websites expatliving.sg | expatliving.hk I exmag.sg





UPFRONT 10 What’s New 14 Subscribe Now! 16 Social Pages:

LIFE & FAMILY 58 News 61 Best Baby Buys


Photos from recent events

WEDDING SPECIAL 62 Three couples share their big day

HOME 20 News 22 * Showcase:

66 With this ring… 68 Buying guide: wedding gifts

70 Style Hunter 71 Fashion Focus: Summer Swimwear 72 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mel Crane’s Sai Kung home

30 Tips for Interiors:

How to hang pictures like a pro

35 * Showcase:

74 Prestige Fairs 76 Animal Welfare:

Goz Lee’s Sai Ying Pun pad

40 Reader

Four charities helping HK’s strays

Recommendations: Outdoor furniture from Lift Lifestyle

78 Education Corner:

Shaping schools of the future

82 On The Page:

43 Buying Guide:

New-release book reviews

Antiques and Asian inspiration

84 On the Wall:

48 Expert Voice:

What’s hanging in the galleries

What you need to know when relocating


86 On the Stage:

Theatre previews and news

50 On the Market:

Properties for rent and sale

Showcase Features: Each issue, our home showcase features provide a through-the-keyhole look into some of our readers’ lifestyles and their interior design decisions. If you’d like us to profile your own home – whether it’s beautiful, quirky, historic or modern – and you’re willing to be interviewed and photographed, drop us a line at info@expatliving.hk.






BODY & MIND 96 News 97 Fitness with a Difference: Learn to pole-dance 98 Relationships: How to deal with conflicts 100 Beating Stress with Hypnosis 102 Facts about Tummy Fat

TRAVEL 122 News 124 Resort Destinations: Some of Asia’s best 126 European Cruise: Life in Sweden’s slow lane 130 Eight African Adventures 134 A Guide to Nepal 136 Rare Retreat: Malaysia’s enchanting Datai Langkawi REGULARS 142 The Numbers that Matter 143 Our Advertisers 144 Parting Shot: Beauty and Chaos

WINE & DINE 106 News 108 Taste Test:

New restaurants reviewed

112 Tea for Two:

Top picks for afternoon teas in HK

116 Le French GourMay 118 Wine Focus:

The Flying Winemaker’s French epiphany

Expat Living Publications Pte. Ltd. has taken every reasonable care to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of the information contained in this publication, but accepts no responsibility for the content of advertisements published, and no liability for mistake, misprint, omission, typographical error, loss or damage suffered as a result of relying wholly or in part on the content of advertising or editorial published herein. Expat Living Publications reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or advertorial for any reason. All artwork designed by Expat Living Publications or any part of this publication may not be reproduced in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by means - graphical, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording, taping, etc., without prior permission in writing from the Publishers.





Hot products, events, ideas & more

Looking for a long-lasting gift this Mother’s Day? One beautiful option is a bunch of high-quality artificial flowers from The Silk Flower Co. , whose small team has scoured the earth to find only the best silk and artificial flowers available; all their flowers not only look incredibly real, but many of them also feel real too. You can purchase the flowers by the stem, or by the hand-tied bouquet – and there’s no need to water them or throw them out after a week; these flowers stand the test of time! Special offer: Expat Living readers can enjoy 20 percent off orders placed before the end of May; just quote “ExpatLiving20” at the checkout. 6439 2387 | thesilkflowercompany.com

Expanding the Family Bumps to Babes has welcomed another new store, this time in Tsuen Wan. Open seven days a week from 10.30am to 8pm, the new store will stock leading global brands in baby essentials, baby equipment, toys and children’s ranges for newborns to eight-year-olds. Over its 14-year history, Bumps to Babes has become a well-known, trusted and authoritative voice for new parents and growing families in Hong Kong, and the new store’s staff will be on hand in D Park to offer expert advice to help you make the right buying decisions. 1/F, D Park, 398 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories. bumpstobabes.com

GET SET FOR SUMMER It’s almost that time of year again, when the summer fairs start popping up – and Shoppinghongkong is getting in early with its spring and summer bazaars. Promising to have all you need to be “Summer Ready”, the events will feature 30 vendors showcasing their new spring and summer collections – from jewellery and clothing to home accessories and gourmet food and wine. They’re being held on 27 April at The American Club in Tai Tam from 10am to 6pm, and 18 May at The Fringe Club, Central, from midday to 7pm. Also, don’t miss the mini jewellery fair on 8 June at The Fringe Club (midday to 7pm). Email shoppinghongkong@gmail.com for more information. 9326 3093 | shoppinghongkong.net





A common complaint about grocery shopping in Hong Kong is the need to travel to more than one supermarket to get what you need. A new solution to that dilemma is Honestbee , an online service that allows you to shop from multiple grocery stores in one hit. Choose from a range of your favourite stores – including Marks & Spencer, Fusion, Great Food Hall, City Super and Gateway, among others – and Honestbee will send a trained personal shopper to purchase your chosen items. You have the option to choose a replacement product if yours is unavailable or have your personal shopper contact you directly to propose an alternative. Your order is delivered to you within your chosen one-hour time frame. The minimum spend is HK$250 to qualify for free delivery. Special offer: Honestbee is giving Expat Living readers $100 off their first order (minimum $350). Enter “HKEL100” at checkout (only valid for first-time users and for delivery on Hong Kong Island). honestbee.hk

NEW FROM NESPRESSO Every year, the coffee experts at Nespresso seek out coffee-growing communities around the world and create new blends for customers to enjoy at home. This spring, they’ve sourced these limited-edition varieties from opposite sides of the world – Chiapas in Mexico and Lake Kivu in Rwanda. The two “Pure Origin Grands Crus”, Tanim de Chiapas and Umutima wa Lake Kivu, will be available for a limited time and while stocks last. They’re priced at HK$67 per sleeve (10 capsules), and can be bought at Nespresso stores in Elements, IFC Mall and Sogo, and online. nespresso.com/hk/en STAMP DUTY DEMYSTIFIED In December 2015, the British government published more details on the rise of UK property Stamp Duty that comes into effect on 1 April 2016. In short, those people who already own a residential property anywhere in the world (or whose spouse or minors do) and who wish to buy a residential property in the UK after 1 April will be subjected to higher rates of Stamp Duty. The changes will see three percent added to each of the standard graduated rates, which amounts to a very sharp increase in tax. The only mainstream exception is if you’re replacing your main home, which is unlikely for many Hong Kong residents. As ever, the devil is in the detail and personal advice is highly recommended. To help HK residents navigate their way through these changes and understand the impact the UK budget changes will have on them, The Fry Group is offering no-charge initial consultations. To book your appointment, email enquire@thefrygroup.hk .

ANTIQUE ROADSHOW Antique lovers will want to keep the last weekend in May free for the 9th International Antiques Fair . A part of Le French May, the 2016 fair will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 28 to 31 May. This year, several of the most prestigious French and foreign antique dealers will join the Asian art exhibitors, making this the most important event of

its kind in Asia. iaf.com.hk/eng






M h 2016




Issue 27


Pets & Vets

Inspirational HOMES



Fabulous ASHION & FOOD for getting into SHAPE

HK$48 | SG$8

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Offer is valid till 30 May 2016. Subscription orders received after 15 April will start with the August-September 2016 edition. Subscription is non-refundable but transferable. For overseas subscription rates, email info@expatliving.hk.



Sommelier Challenge Ka Ho George Wong from Island Shangri-La Hong Kong has been named 2016Champion at this year’s Ruinart Sommeliers Challenge. The challenge attracted 27 passionate sommeliers fromHong Kong andMacau, and a judging panel of acclaimed wine experts. A tailor- made trophy and a trip to Reims, the home of Ruinart Champagne, were awarded to the winner.

On the Water Co-organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and the Hong Kong Sailing Federation, Hong Kong Race Week ran from 16 to 21 February, and featured a record 225 entries representing 13 nations. (Photos: Guy Nowell)




Run for a Cause The Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation held its Family Run Festival at Sunny Bay on 28 February. Raising funds for medical treatment for underprivileged children with congenital heart disease, the event featured 8km and 4km races for men and women of different ages, and a 2km team race for families and friends.

Strong Bond More than 420 leading business, political, cultural and other community figures attended an Australia Day reception held on Tuesday 26 January, celebrating the strong and growing trade and investment relationship between Hong Kong and Australia.

Charity Walk LAP (Lifelong Animal Protection) held its first charity walk on a sunny Sunday afternoon in February. The Social by the Sea event was held in association with The Dog’s Garden at The Pulse, Repulse Bay. There was a great turnout and many new friends were made.



Home & Pr operty




Eye-catching designs & inspiring ideas

THE ESSENCE OF SPRING A new season means an updated collection from Indigo , and this year’s new pieces are fresh, vibrant and guaranteed to inspire a home makeover! With five main trends featured in the collection, there’s a mix of different styles and accessories, and some classic Indigo pieces have been given a fresh new look as well. Go big and do your whole room in one look, or choose key pieces from the range to create a style that’s all yours. There’s Riviera Retreat, Town & Country, Silent Grey, Coast to Coast, and Northern Light, and the overall style is eclectic and cool – with pieces that encourage chilling out as the days warm up. indigo-living.com

A NEW NEST The Bowerbird Home nest is growing! A new flagship store is opening in Horizon Plaza and offering an exciting range of furniture and homeware in the company’s renowned classic and elegant style. There’s something for every

home here, and you’re sure to find pieces that are as warm and practical as they are luxurious. Collections change throughout the year following design trends and with a nod to the seasons. Core products include a range of classic dining tables and chairs, Belgian linen sofas, Chinese antiques and ceramics. Inspired by chinoiserie, the store carries an impressive collection of blue-and-white décor, including hand-painted ceramics, textiles and accessories from around the world. Open every day from 10am to 6pm. 8/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau. 2552 2727 | bowerbird-home.com

MAGIC CARPETS Another company making the move into a new space is CarpetBuyer , which has relocated to the 26th floor of Horizon Plaza. After fine-tuning and re-arranging the shop, they are back with bigger, brighter selections of new arrivals for the New Year, adding a new collection from across the main carpet-making regions. The team is excited to be bringing new carpets from Iran; thanks to the US lifting sanctions on Iranian carpets, it’s now easier to acquire these sought-after pieces of the Old World that many people consider to be works of art. 26/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing St, Ap Lei Chau. 2850 5508 | carpetbuyer.com

Get Grilling! Here is some exciting news for all barbecue lovers: the Weber range of barbecues and grills is now officially available in Hong Kong from authorised dealer, Lift Lifestyle. Iconic models such as the Original Kettle and the award-winning Spirit and Genesis grills are now available. Visit the Lift Lifestyle showroom to see these grills and others from the Weber range. Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town. 3907 0386 | liftlifestyle.com




Photography by Helen Jenkins




TARA JENKINS explores a relaxed and spacious retreat on the outskirts of Sai Kung. I magine the perfect place to grow up as a child: a huge grassy garden with a swing set and palm-fringed swimming pool to jump into when you’re hot; a giant playroom filled with all manner of inviting toys and trinkets; and a coterie of amiable house pets, tails wagging and waiting to be adored. Combine this vision with an airy, open space that has more than a touch of Bahamas-style living about it, and you’ve got the Crane’s blissful abode near Marina Cove, a couple of kilometres south of Sai Kung. “The village stretches the whole way around the waterfront, but people don’t come down here unless they know someone, so it’s a bit of a hidden gem,” explains Mel Crane, who’s lived here for six years with husband Derek and her three little girls (the lucky possessors of that magnificent garden). It’s the couple’s second posting to Hong Kong; they were originally here for three years, moved to Jersey for four, but returned to the territory in 2006 with small children in tow, and a hankering for more space.




“We lived on Hong Kong island before,” says Mel, “but the decision to move to Sai Kung was definitely based on lifestyle: we had a garden in Jersey, and felt we needed one here for the girls.” Faced with an intimidatingly large patch of mud, she set about designing the enviable patio, grassy lawn and lush flowerbeds (with some help from Pedro from Wah King Garden Centre in Sai Kung), then turned her attention to the house. “I sat with a sketchpad to draw out the design, and our builder sorted out the mechanics of how it would all work,” explains Mel, a former legal recruiter, who doesn’t have any training in interior design or architecture, but possesses a keen spatial awareness and particular talent for creating beautiful environments. “I’m addicted to interior magazines,” she admits with a smile. “I have them sent to my mum on subscription, and whenever we go back to England, she gives me a big stack”. Sourcing stuff from England – mostly gorgeous interiors items – is somewhat of an obsession for Mel. When we chat, she’s just brought back two eight-foot white birch Christmas trees from John Lewis (complete with already-installed, twinkling lights). So why bring Christmas trees to Hong Kong? “I just loved them,” she laughs. “I did buy two smaller trees too, but I couldn’t fit them all in the car to the airport! I always come back from the




UK with boxes. When the girls were younger they didn’t have much stuff, so we’d use their baggage allowance on the plane for interior finds!” Hence the house is accessorised to perfection, with pieces from Selfridges, John Lewis, Heals, Habitat – and the odd antique store discovery, like the stunning bronze metal sun that adorns the dining room wall. Mel found it in an antique store in Cirencester, and immediately knew it would complement the cool tones and whitewashed feel of her Sai Kung living space.




If Mel can’t hand-carry a piece, she finds another way to source it. The giant reclaimed wood dining table – the centrepiece of the downstairs living space – she originally saw in Lane Crawford. “A friend found the name of the designer – Piet Hein Eek – and went directly to him in Holland. We ordered three tables, two large, one small, and it was half the price to purchase them, even with the shipping!” Mel prides herself on creating beautiful interiors on a modest budget; there is little need to invest enormous amounts of money, she feels, if you do your research properly. “You don’t have to spend a lot, you just have to put enough time and energy into sourcing,” she maintains. So, many of the furnishings – slubby rugs and throws particularly – are from IKEA, some from John Lewis, others from local stores such as Tequila Kola, Indigo or INSIDE, but her talent is to combine strikingly different textures to create something more interesting. In the living room, for example, the fireplace surround and hearth is unpolished concrete, but a delicate glass lamp (from a shop called Morton & Morton in Jersey), a quirky modern clock, and an elegant, treasured antique box belonging to Mel’s granddad, sit squarely upon it. Behind the fireplace is a luxurious wallpaper from Osborne & Little, which offsets the rawness of the concrete to perfection. A sophisticated, modern L-shaped sofa in taupe from TREE, and two chocolate-brown chairs work to balance the oriental- style chests at the rear of the room. One of the “wow” features of the house is located directly off the living room – a hi-tech, ultra-modern wine room hidden behind a smoked-glass screen. Press a button, and the screen smoothly slides back to reveal a covetable man-cave, complete with wine fridges, coolers, ice buckets and every accessory an oenophile could possibly need. There’s a clever sensor built into the room, which means that no one (especially an inquisitive child) can get trapped by the door. True to form, Mel looked through hundreds of images of wine rooms and shelving systems on Google until she found a design both she and Derek liked – and her trusty contractor figured out the mechanics. As the cherry on the cake, there’s even a framed guitar on the wall, which is autographed by the Rolling Stones – Derek bid for it at a Daddy and Daughter Ball. “He’s a big fan of the Rolling Stones,” says Mel. “He was given a picture of Ronnie Wood with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth for our house in the Cotswolds,




in England, and asked me where we should put it. I said I thought the downstairs loo was the best place!” Upstairs on the first floor is that dreamy playroom paradise for little girls: a huge pink and grey space filled with soft toys, drawings and a large coat-stand with every sort of hat a girl could possibly wish to wear. To account for the differing ages of her girls (three through to 13), Mel has dedicated one end of the room to kindy play (dolls’ houses, mini-kitchens and dress-ups), and the other to a more grown-up chill- out zone, with little desks, Apple Macs and a funky whiteboard. It’s not messy or crowded because Mel had the foresight to build in dedicated toy storage in the room next door, so there’s always enough space to play indoors when the weather’s rainy or just too hot. The girl’s bedrooms also reflect the difference in their ages: little Laila and Imara’s are determinedly pink, with gingham shades,




white Indigo furniture and Laura Ashley flowered fabric-covered shelves (Mel crafted them herself), while 13-year-old Alana’s is a mixture of plum and sophisticated celadon colours. As always, Mel has cleverly blended complementary tones and a variety of furniture from different cultures and periods to create a uniquely harmonious atmosphere – the bed was commissioned in Macau, the desk is British (from Mel and Derek’s first flat in London; Derek painted it to match), the wardrobe oriental, the chair typical French country style. Modern, funky cushions from Mirth are on the bed, but there’s a piece of celadon jade from the Cat Street market that Mel has had framed above the desk. It’s a mash-up that works perfectly. In the sleek master bedroom, a meditative calm rules. Mel bought the four-poster bed from Tequila Kola, but it’s dressed in luxurious White Company linen, and the cushions are a mix from her fallback, John Lewis, and local Hong Kong stores. The table plan from their wedding fills a large frame mounted on a white wall; the other walls are covered with what looks like expensive silk wallpaper. On closer inspection, though, it’s a clever optical illusion; Mel found it at John Lewis. A sleekly tiled en-suite and enormous dressing room leads from the bedroom – in line with Mel’s instructions, the contractor knocked through several walls from the original structure to create fewer, larger rooms. Back downstairs in the garden, Mel has created a relaxing seating area in taupe and chocolate brown to echo the living room furnishings. The sofa is from Everything Under The Sun and the tables are from Tribu – “they don’t need any maintenance, they just need to be cleaned!” she says. There’s an outside dining table and chairs alongside another visually stunning raw concrete bar, complete with fridge sockets for an outdoor kitchen. In all, a great place to have parties. The Cranes are committed Sai Kung locals; they’ve lived here long enough to know everyone at the nearby shops and restaurants, and their social life revolves around the New Territories area. The couple does a lot of socialising at home, and the garden is often used for children’s parties. Mel rents a giant bouncy castle, so children can jump to their hearts’ content. At the weekends the family likes to go to the Clearwater Bay Country Club or to the local beaches (pretty Trio Beach is nearby, which is easy to get to by hiking or by sampan, according to Mel). “We spend a lot of time in nearby Sai Kung at the weekends; it’s perfect in the winter, perhaps a bit crowded in the summer!” she says. A lazy breeze is blowing in from the sea and Millie the English bulldog yawns and settles down for a nap in the sunshine on the patio. The palm leaves rustle and the water in the pool ripples gently. Definitely, there’s no more perfect place to grow up.




MEL’S RECOMMENDATIONS INTERIORS Mirth The Mezzanine Floor Yip Kan Street (last building on the left), Wong Chuk Hang mirthhome.com

Red Cabinet Unit 209-210, 2/F, One Island South

2 Heung Yip Road redcabinet.com.hk

Wah King Garden Centre Lot 907, Tai Chung Hau Road, Sai Kung kkgarden.com.hk Habitat 15/F, Windsor House 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay habitat.eu RESTAURANTS Jaspas 13 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung 2792 6388 | casteloconcepts.com

Casa Shop 1 & 2, Sui Yat Building Sai Kung Hoi Pong Square 2440 9288 | casagroup.co Hebe One O One 112 Sai Kung Road 2335 5515 | hebe101.com




Pro How to Hang Pictures like a

How do you get the gallery look o n y o u r own wa l l s? Wha t ’ s t he be s t way to display your treasured family photos and works of art? We asked interior designer SARAH BETTLE for her exper t tips on hanging pictures at home.

A rtwork and photos are unique and personal statements, and a great way to add an instant wow factor to any interior. However, displaying pictures can present many challenges, particularly in a town where many of us rent and space is at a premium. Before putting holes in your wall it’s a good idea to have a plan! Once you have chosen your wall, start by laying your selection of frames and prints out on the floor, or, for a more involved approach, draw around the frames on tracing paper and then use masking tape to stick the paper to the wall. This way you can play around until you find your perfect arrangement and the nails can be hammered through the paper and frames hung in place. There are endless ways to display your favourite photos but for a clean and uncluttered look, take a collection of images that you love and have them all mounted or framed on the same backings and finishes. For extra polish, keep the images in the same family of shapes – all rectangular or all square. Using black-and-white images will give a timeless feel to your display and create a clean, classic look. Modern photographs can be dry mounted onto a range of surfaces, such as kappa board or aluminium to complement or match the artwork. That said, black frames with white mats will never date – or, for a light and airy composition, you could try white frames with white mats and color photographs.

Guidelines for Hanging Art • Art should be hung at eye-level with the centre of the picture positioned between 140 to 150cm from the floor. • When hanging one picture directly above another, treat the two art pieces as one large picture with the centrepoint between them being 140 to 150cm from the floor. • When hanging multiple pieces of art in a grouping, use a spacing of 2 to 6cm between each picture. Smaller pieces of art can be hung a little closer together (2 to 4cm) than larger pieces. • These rule-of-thumb measurements are great to use as starting points and will help you develop your own eye for hanging artwork at a height that’s perfect in your space. Still, if something looks and feels right to you but doesn’t fit within these rules, by all means go with your gut and try it out! Displaying frames in a grid style will create uniformity and a real focal point in any room. Placing frames on gallery-style shelves is a firm favourite of mine – it’s an easy way to create a cohesive look that can be updated at any time. Using more pieces gives a layered and dramatic look, especially in monochrome. The most important thing to remember is to have fun and to make sure your display is personal to you andmakes you smile.

Learn more about Sarah and her interior design work at sb-decor.com, or contact her at 9225 7292 or sarah@sb-decor.com.




Sweet Dreams are Made of This You spend half your life asleep, so your bedroom should be a place that’s both calm and inviting. ROCHELLE LE PINE, founder of Okooko , gives us her tips for bedroom bliss. T he bedroom, while often overlooked in decorating, is the one room in the house that is key to your physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s also exclusively for you – your personal sanctuary, where you don’t need to worry about accommodating anyone else’s needs! The bedroom offers the unique opportunity for you to make a haven for yourself away from the pressures of the world. How do you create this sanctuary? Although a comfortable mattress and pillow are key ingredients to getting a great night’s sleep, there are many other factors that can influence how well you sleep, including colour. Research shows that the colour of your bedroom is a major determining factor in the amount of sleep you get. Changing the colour of your room, whether through bed linens, or painting the walls, is a relatively inexpensive and high impact way to totally makeover your bedroom. Blue colours tend to lead to more hours of sleep, with people waking happy and positive. Possibly because of its association with nature, blue makes people calm, to the point it has been shown to slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure. If blue doesn’t rock your world, try other relaxing shades such as greys, silvers and neutrals – cool colours that have also been known to induce restful sleep. Warm colours such as pale yellow and orange can also work, creating an inviting, cosy environment. Apparently a caramel-coloured room leads to a more active sex life (which we can all agree helps us sleep better too!). Bright, strong colours such as purple and red, on the other hand, can have a negative impact on sleep, over-stimulating our brains; these colours should be left to living areas. Photography by Ken Wong

Although these colour suggestions should be considered, remember it is your sanctuary and it’s the colours that make you happy or relaxed that will be as important, if not more so, for you. You can also use your “happy” colours for accents, on the bed or on the walls. How does décor help? In addition to a comfy mattress and colour, touch and smell are also important. In your bedroom this is largely influenced by bed linen. You should always make sure your bedding is made of natural fibres, not synthetic. One great material is 100 percent linen – it gives a subtle vintage look and produces a natural relaxed handle, which continues to soften with every sleep. Okooko has just introduced in-store a range of vintage prewashed linen by Bedouin Societe in a smoky intimate palette, that matches perfectly with the new range of Okooko paints by Eicó. Both ranges are very environmentally friendly and have the added bonus of looking amazing. What advice do you have for someone who wants to give their bedroom a makeover? Changing your wall colour and bed linens is an easy, quick and relatively affordable way to make a huge impact. We also suggest de-cluttering your bedroom. Removing all electronic devices also aids in getting the best night’s sleep possible, and good storage is critical in the bedroom. Your bedroom is the only room in the house that is truly yours, so have fun with it, and take some risks!

Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing St, Ap Lei Chau. 2870 1132 | okooko.com




If you thought the works of Banksy, the Chapman Brothers and Polly Morgan were only for the walls of art galleries, lawyer GOZ LEE’s unique apartment proves otherwise.

By Rachel Read; photography by Suzanne Goodwin and portrait photo by Michelle Tng Ying

G oz Lee’s 750-square- foot space in Sai Ying Pun, which he shares with his wife Phoebe and their newborn, has become a cosy haven for modern art, vintage furniture and one-of-a-kind knickknacks, which turn every inch of his home into an exciting talking point. Market Fresh Originally from Singapore via a stint in London, the Lees fell in love with their harbour-view new- build in the bustling heart of the Western District. As passionate food-lovers – Goz has written a cookbook, Plusixfive , featuring his favourite Singaporean dishes, while Phoebe is the co- owner of Singaporean café and vintage home store Carpenter & Cook – the flat’s proximity to one of the city’s best wet markets was a major selling point. “We love having accessibility to such a wide selection of fresh fish, meat and organic vegetables,” Goz says. “I’m a major sucker for live fish and chickens since we can’t get them in Singapore; I’m not sure where else in the world you can live in the city yet still go from a live fish to a freshly steamed one in less than 30 minutes!”







Collector Chic While their two-bedroom flat boasts a modern kitchen and sizeable living-dining area perfect for their love of cooking and entertaining, as avid collectors of modern art and vintage furniture (“Is messy-art-chairs-vintage-chic a valid style description?” Goz jokes), the only real challenge with the space was finding a way to fit everything in. “We’ve had to think of how to creatively display our art collection,” says Goz. “On tables, on floors… anything goes!” With the couple both having a penchant for chairs, you’ll find their collection used for a variety of purposes – including the vintage French school and Ercol chairs in their bedroom that double as bedside tables – and all of them have special memories attached. “I like collecting chairs from restaurants,” Goz explains. “The Eagle Farringdon is one of my favourite go-to locals in London, so I went there one day with one of my own chairs and said I wanted to swap with them – and they let me!” Unsurprisingly, there have been some Hong Kong additions too, from two of Goz’s favourite eateries, Yardbird and Little Bao. Another notable piece is a 1950s Eames chair, found in a vintage warehouse while bargain-hunting in New York. “We totally fell in love with it so I lugged it all the way back to Manhattan on the subway in the dead of the night (meeting some pretty interesting characters along the way), then dragged it all around New York, moving from hotel to Airbnb and finally back to Hong Kong,” he recalls. Art Attack Forget sterile works displayed behind glass – Goz’s art pieces all have special memories attached to them too. Take a signed skateboard by British artists, the Chapman Brothers. “My wife normally hates their art – I have another piece of theirs, which she usually tries to hide – so when she told me she saw a skateboard by them with a little boy on it in Sheung Wan that was super cute, I couldn’t believe it! I emailed the Chapman Brothers and they thought the story was hilarious; I bought it from their London studio and they sent it with a note dedicated to my wife.” Meanwhile, his Banksy piece, Flags , was bought on a trip to Palestine. “As soon as I heard he had a show on, I took two days off work and booked a flight straight to Tel Aviv, crossing to Bethlehem the next day. I bought it at his show but also stopped at a local store to buy a keffiyah scarf, picking up some random pamphlets along the way. When I got to the airport, I was immediately questioned as to why I was in Palestine for just one day; when I said for an art show, the officer raised a sceptical eyebrow – so they searched my bag, finding the keffiyah and pamphlets… which I later found out were invitations to join the fight against Israel. Thankfully they let me through but the moral of the story is don’t pick up random stuff when you don’t know what it says!” It’s not all famous artists though (although eagle-eyed collectors will spot works by Space Invader, FAILE, David Choe, KAWS and Jose Parla); while there’s a stuffed chick

by famed London artist Polly Morgan, there’s also a stuffed rat made by Goz himself after attending a taxidermy course. (“Always a conversation starter – or killer!”) Meanwhile, the eye-catching Home piece above their dining table was created by the couple using fonts from special moments in their life, like their wedding venues and own handwriting. As for one piece that Goz would never sell? “The signboard to Plusixfive, the private dining supper club that I used to run in London on weekends, despite having a full-time job – which also became the name and cover of my cookbook. It was a couple of years of madness, but I made so many friends and learnt so much; it was possibly the most rocking time of my 30s!” With so many exciting new art pieces and vintage treasures to be discovered, we reckon there are plenty more highlights still to come.





Carpenter & Cook 19 Lorong Kilat, #01-06, Singapore +65 6463 3648 carpenterandcook.com

Chen Miji G/F, 10 New Street, Sheung Wan 2549 8800 | chenmiji.com

Select 18 & Mido Glasses 18 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan

Sham Shui Po Market Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po


Above Second 9 First Street, Sai Ying Pun 3483 7950 | above-second.com

Cat Street Gallery 222 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan 2291 0006 thecatstreetgallery.com

Contemporary by Angela Li 248 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan 3571 8200 | cbal.com.hk Lazarides 11 Rathbone Place, London, UK +44 207 636 5443 | lazinc.com

Pictures On Walls picturesonwalls.com

Studio Cromie studiocromie.org




Al Fresco Flair

If you’re looking to spruce up your green space or balcony, you may well find exactly what you’re after at Lift Lifestyle , the Kennedy Town-based purveyor of outdoor furniture and lifestyle products. Here’s a testimonial from an Expat Livin g reader.

went to Lift Lifestyle’s showroom in Kennedy Town expecting only to change the lantern. What did you end up buying? Tell us about the pieces, and the reason you purchased them. I ended up buying an outdoor dining table and sofa set for our terrace. the Hamptons sofa set has a grey brushed-aluminium frame and comes with separate cushions, which you can choose the colour of. Our old outdoor furniture had been battered by the weather, children and dogs, and I had been looking for replacements for ages. I wanted a change from rattan but the prices for the pieces I liked in various shops in Ap Lei Chau were eye-wateringly expensive. However, my husband and I had decided we would swallow the cost as we thought we didn’t have another option. The Lift Lifestyle furniture ticked all the boxes: it was very reasonably priced, in a contemporary style and not rattan. Tell us a bit about your home and how you have incorporated the items into it. We have a village-style house with a narrow, wrap-around terrace. We have placed the rectangular dining table at one end of the terrace and two double sofas plus a corner sofa at the other end, with themain seating facing the sea view. (I would have loved an L-shaped sofa but The rectangular table is teak on a stainless-steel frame;

because of spatial restrictions, this wasn’t possible.) As the sofa set is modular, we were able to configure it to suit our space but it can easily be adjusted into a different arrangement if we ever move. Following our comments about Hong Kong’s weather corroding teak furniture, owner Simon Lee suggested a table cover, which he got made up for us and which has added fantastic protection. How did you find the shopping experience at Lift Lifestyle? The whole shopping experience is the main reason I’m such a fan. The showroom is almost next door toKennedy Town MTR and has a couple of parking spaces so is very convenient. Simon was super-friendly and accommodating, and had some great suggestions. It felt almost like we were buying from a good friend. The delivery service was also efficient and arrived bang on the specified time. Plus, we love all the items we’ve bought. Were there other items that you might consider returning to purchase at some point? We are in the market for a gas barbecue, a couple more garden chairs andmaybe an umbrella. Lift Lifestyle would definitely be my first port of call. What do you like most about Lift Lifestyle? It would have to be the friendly and efficient service. Simon – I salute you!

NAME: Adele Brunner NATIONALITY: British YEARS IN HONG KONG: 16 NEIGHBOURHOOD: Clearwater Bay, New Territories

How did you hear about Lift Lifestyle?

I was shopping at the Conrad Fair and stopped by chance at Lift Lifestyle’s stand. I had vaguely heard of thembefore through friends but wasn’t familiar with their products. What were you initially hoping to buy there? I’d gone to the fair in a desperate attempt to buy Christmas presents for friends and family and instead bought tree decorations and a large, glass lantern from Lift Lifestyle – for me! However, once home, before I had even taken off the packaging around the lantern, I could see it had a crack in it, which I hadn’t spotted previously. I called the company half-expecting them to say there was nothing they could do about it but was instead pleasantly surprised when they immediately agreed to exchange the lantern without question. I subsequently

Visit Lift Lifestyle at Unit B, 2/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town. 3907 0386 | liftlifestyle.com




So you’re living in Asia and are surrounded by wonderful furniture and artefacts to buy – still, getting themix right is important. Here are a few perfect pieces for that stylish pop of the Orient. ORIENTAL Flair

Imperial four-poster bed in Oxford brown teak, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Geometric porcelain jar, Bowerbird Home , 2552 2727, bowerbird-home.com

Horse figurine in natural mango wood, Tequila Kola

Standing Buddha, Tequila Kola




New scholar’s desks, Forbidden City

Birdcage shelf, Forbidden City , 2556 8968, forbiddencity.com.hk

Assorted porcelain, Bowerbird Home , 2552 2727, bowerbird-home.com

Lotus ceramic candleholder, TREE , 2870 1582/83, tree.com.hk

Solid wood side- table, Stockroom Furniture Outlet , 2817 0999, stockroom.com.hk

Antique royal Bakhtiari rug, CarpetBuyer , 2850 5508, carpetbuyer.com




Solid wood cabinet, Stockroom Furniture Outlet

Fleur Ami Pandora gold-leaf planter, Everything Under the Sun , 2554 9088, everythingunderthesun.com.hk

Ding porcelain light, Okooko , 2870 1132, okooko.com

Antique Senneh rug, CarpetBuyer

Antique cabinet, TREE




Chrysanthemum ceramic ginger jars, TREE , 2870 1582/83, tree.com.hk

Porcelain ginger jars and vases, Lift Lifestyle , 3907 0386, liftlifestyle.com

Shan alabaster buddha, 17th to 18th century, OVO Home , 2526 7226, ovohome.com.hk

Fu Lu Shou (the “three stars” in Chinese traditional religion) carvings with stands, OVO Home

Mandalay-style alabaster disciple statue, 19th century, OVO Home

Venetian wall mirror, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com




GETTING A MOVE ON Moving is generally a stressful thing – one that would be almost impossible to make enjoyable. Still, it can at least be easier , and knowing what to expect on moving day is a good first step. For some answers, we turned to Hong Kong-based professional moving company BALtrans . Here’s their rundown on what’s involved, from start to finish, during a typical relocation experience.

#4 Ship it Off Once everything is packed, it’s taken away to be shipped by your preferred method. The moving team will provide you with the vessel/flight details, estimated departure and arrival date of shipment, and the contact details for their destination agent. The destination agent is your go-to guy for all things related to the arrival of your shipment – customs checks, storage, handyman services and delivery. #5 You’ve Reached Your Destination Depending on which shipping method you chose, it won’t be long before all your belongings arrive safely at your new home. The movers then take care of the unpacking and setting up of furniture, with a detailed list to make sure everything did arrive. They even take the rubbish and empty boxes away. Then all that’s left for you to do is to make yourselves at home!

#1 Surveying the Situation The first step is a ‘Pre-Move Survey’. This is a chance to let the movers know what your expectations are and ask all the questions you have. The things you will need to consider are, whether or not you want your stuff moved by air or sea, if you want it all delivered to your door or to the nearest port, what you want to send with the removalists, packing andmoving dates, if you need any extra services at either end, and whether or not there are customs or quarantine regulations at either end. Be sure to take advantage of the mover’s expert knowledge – they’ve done this a few times! #2 Money Talks After completing the survey you’ll get a quote, which will include a detailed breakdown of all expenses. You’ll need to confirm and submit all the necessary paperwork, at which point the mover should be able to lock in your packing and moving dates.

Insurance is a good idea, just as a precaution, and at this point in the process you’ll receive a policy and coverage details, a valuation for all your valuables, and an application for additional coverage, should you feel you need it. #3 Pack it Up It’s a good idea to make plans to be out of the house when the packers arrive. Not only do you want to avoid getting in their way, but watching strangers put your life into boxes can be nerve-wracking! Again, remember that these guys are experts who will take the utmost care. They also have access to all sorts of packingmaterials and tools – from waxed paper, double-walled cardboard, tissue paper, bubble wrap and Styrofoam padding to dehumidifiers, silica gel and moisture absorbers; they’ll use whatever is appropriate for each item. Everything that’s packedwill be numbered and marked with your name and packing location.

2756 2882 | bim.com.hk



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