April - May 2018


Homes Discovery Bay Pad Properties for Rent Oriental Rugs Décor Trends

Kids Family Getaways &Holiday Camps Fashion, Fitness & Facials for Teens

Dresses and jewellery to help you look even more fabulous!

Plus... DimSumDelights Wellness Retreats


When the opportunity arose to move to Hong Kong, I will admit my response was less than enthusiastic. Despite having Cantonese heritage courtesy of my mother’s side of the family, I had no desire to live here. It was partly as I was entrenched in my life and career in my home country, but also due in part to the fact that I was myself a child of expats and a one-time third culture kid in an era where it was not a recognised phrase or phenomenon. As a result, I was well aware of not just the pros, but the cons of life as an expat. But life is a funny thing, and, despite my initial resistance, I arrived in the Fragrant Harbour just over three years ago. And I must confess Hong Kong now has a piece of my heart and I am forever grateful my daughter will have her own memories of the city in which her grandmother grew up. One of the biggest factors in adjusting to a new country, city or culture, is having the support of a community or network. We’re fortunate now to live in an era where there is recognition of the expat experience and easy access to avenues of support and advice through social media and, of course, a publication such as Expat Living. The EL team is passionate about being a go-to resource for our readers when it comes to makingthe most of all aspects of life in Hong Kong. I’m so excited to have the opportunity as the new editor of Expat Living to be able to play a part in making the expat experience just that little bit easier. I look forward to sharing that journey with you!

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UPFRONT 12 Upcoming Events 14 Follow Us Online HOME & PROPERTY 18 News 20 * Showcase: Your stress-free relocation guide 27 Company Profile: How D-Clutter can help you get organised 28 Home Styling: The latest trends in style and décor 33 Carpet Talk 34 Buying Guide: Fabulous finds for your floors 37 Property Spotlight: A new development in Mid-Levels 38 On the Market: Places for sale and lease LIFE & FAMILY 44 News 45 HK Rugby Sevens: The legendary sporting event returns! 46 Book Previews 47 Rated PG: Our regular parenting column 48 Retail Focus: New vendors for the next Prestige Fair 50 Company Profile: Jewellery for the conscious shopper We visit the Simaika family’s Discovery Bay pad 26 Expert Voice:


Great ways to reboot a room

52 WEDDING SPECIAL Everything you need to know, from gowns to gifts, to tips on getting in shape

61 Artist Profile:

Lorette Roberts on Hong Kong, her muse

62 For Kids:

Holiday camps and summer programmes

64 For Parents:

A new source of all the health information you need

67 Education Focus: We meet the new Head of School at AISHK 68 New Expo:

All about international schools

70 Success Story:

Art-lover Libby Lam talks career change

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 76 News 77 Expert Voice: The importance of finding balance

Time to escape?

78 ALL ABOUT TEENS: From fitness, fashion and facials, to family relationships and dealing with ADHD

86 A Day in the Life:

… of podiatrist Alexandra Duff

WINE & DINE 92 News 94 Afternoon Tea: Top spots for Mother’s Day 97 Chef Chat: Mama San turns five 98 Dim Sum Delights 100 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites to add to your repertoire


Enjoy tea and scones with mum

TRAVEL 104 News 106 Wellness Retreats:

Getaways for the mind, body and soul

108 Island Escapes:

Five to add to your bucket list 110 Breaks with the Brood 114 Digs Down Under: Awesome Aussie accommodation 116 Exotic to Tropical: Two travel ideas for summer

REGULARS 118 Important Numbers 119 Our Advertisers 120 Parting Shot: A Night to Remember



Cirque du Soleil


Carmen (16-20 MAY)

This classic opera is set in Spain in the 1920s and tells the story of soldier Don Jose who falls in love with a gyspy, Carmen. After a fight, she is imprisoned, but manages to escape, and Don Jose is sent to jail instead. He joins Carmen after his release but becomes jealous when she transfers her affection to bullfighter Escamillo, leading to a tragic finale. This Opera Hong Kong performance will be held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. operahongkong.org

Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA (19 APRIL – 3 JUNE)

Marvel at the acrobatic feats in the Big Top with Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA . This new production combines thrilling acrobatic performance with the art of clowning. More than 50 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors will perform heart-stopping feats and laugh-out-loud antics to a live soundtrack fusion of jazz, funk and Bollywood beats at Central Harbourfront Event Space. cirquedusoleil.com/kooza Evita (11 MAY – 3 JUNE) The award-winning Evita , an original West End and Broadway production from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, is coming to Hong Kong. Evita charts the rags-to-riches rise of Eva Perón, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Perón, from her humble beginnings through to the extraordinary wealth, power and status which ultimately led her to be heralded as the “spiritual leader of the nation” by the Argentine people. The show features hit songs such as “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”. lunchbox-productions.com





Cheung Chau Bun Festival (19-23 MAY) Sleepy fishing village Cheung Chau wakes up and revels during the annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival, held on Buddha’s birthday

Rugby Sevens

FAMILY 3 Keys to Parenting Success (21 APRIL) Expat Living ’s parenting columnist Orla Breeze combines her 12 years of working with parents with her honest, humorous account of raising three kids in The 3 Keys to Parenting Success, a new two-part parenting course for parents of all ages and stages. Discover how to use the “3 Keys” in a practical, positive way to create a simple, effective parenting plan, in partnership with Alive Wellness. (For Orla’s latest column, go to page 47.) alivewellness.hk International Schools Expo (5 MAY) AmCham is launching a high-quality Hong Kong International Schools Expo in 2018 to give a corporate perspective on the development of future talent. The Expo will offer a 360-degree view of education from the needs of students, parents, businesses and future employers. It provides a one- stop and in-depth solution for all questions about HK international schools, curriculum choices and global education trends. (For more details, go to page 68.) amcham.org.hk/events Don’t miss the chance to see nearly 100 of the finest examples of Persian art from around the world in this exhibition. The pieces come from collections from places such as the Ashmolean Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Blue Road highlights the significant role of the colour blue in the visual and material culture of Iran, and how it impacted artistic traditions in Asia and beyond. liangyimuseum.com/en every year – the fifth to the ninth days of the fourth lunar month. The festival is famous for sweet buns, with the event culminating in a Bun Scrambling Competition to climb 60-foot bamboo towers. The other highlight of the festival is the Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade where local school children in billowing costumes on floats parade through the island’s streets. cheung-chau.com/bun-festival The Blue Road: Mastercrafts from Persia (UNTIL 24 JUNE)

SPORT Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens (6-8 APRIL)

Tourists from around the world descend on HK each year to catch the action at the Hong Kong Sevens, considered to be the premier tournament in the World Rugby Sevens Series. The three-day tournament takes place at Hong Kong Stadium at Causeway Bay, and features top teams playing lightning- fast 15-minute matches. Tickets are hard to come by due to demand, but a party atmosphere permeates the whole city, so you can still be part of the fun at one of the many satellite events. hksevens.com Country of Origin 30km Trail Run (21 APRIL) This event is aimed at bringing together teams from different nationalities for a great day out on the trails on Lantau Island. The route is a 30km clockwise loop starting and finishing in Mui Wo. Teams must have three members from the same nationality of any gender and age combination. Male, female or mixed teams are welcome and teams must start, run and finish together. Fancy dress in national costume or colours is encouraged. countryoforigin.asia CULTURE Songkran Hong Kong (6-8 APRIL) The Thai community celebrates Thai New Year with the Songkran Festival. The Festival centres around activities and celebrations that pay tribute to the role of water in society. It has a boisterous and light-hearted side that involves fun and water fights, but is also about acknowledging the importance of relationships with family and community. Expect Thai dance and cultural performances, boxing demonstrations and a parade. waterfest.hk Le French May (1 MAY – 30 JUNE) Le French May is one of the largest cultural events in Asia. The two-month festival will showcase all forms of French culture through dance, music, theatre and film. A highlight this year will be a tribute to Edith Piaf. It also has a gastronomic element through the Le French May programme, which features food and wine from a specific region of France. frenchmay.com

13 APR-MAY2018

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Apr — May2018 Issue40

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15 APR-MAY2018


37 Property Preview:

Inside a new Mid-Levels development


27 Getting Organised: How to rid your home of clutter

34 Cool Carpets: Fabulous finds for your floors

38 On the Market: Places in HK for sale and lease


Don’t Sweat It Looking for a dehumidifier? LG Electronics has released two new inverter smart dehumidifiers with ionisers, ideal for protecting your home from humidity, and for drying your clothes. The re a re mode s f o r different environments, and the inverter compressor saves up to 50 percent energy consumption and reduces noise levels by 20 percent. The two models offer up to 30 and 28 litres of dehumidifying each day. lg.com/hk

Want to give your home a fresh and updated feel? If you’re looking for a new chair, bed or sofa for your space, or you’re keen to update your soft furnishings, then check out DSL Furniture’s 2018 collection. DSL offers beautifully crafted furniture for every room of the home, including the living room and bedroom; see the full collection at dslfurniture.com . Cool Contemporary

Living Colour Altfield Gallery is marking the arrival of spring with a celebration of Thai design. We love the beautiful swathes of the latest luxurious silks from Jim Thompson, which come in every colour and pattern under the sun. These stunning fabrics will be displayed alongside a carefully curated collection of antique and contemporary Thai lacquerware and sculpture, from 18 April to 13 May. 249 Prince’s Building Central. 2537 6370 | altfield.com.hk

New Location for Luxury Linen Blanc des Vosges has opened a new Hong Kong store at Mira Place, i n Ts i m S h a Tsui. The new flagship for the French luxury l i n e n b r a n d

showcases the bedding and home accessories it’s renowned for. The family-run company that has been manufacturing 100 percent combed cotton linens since 1843. It also has a store in Causeway Bay. B126-130, B1/F, Mira Place 1, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. 3904 1153 | blancdesvosges.com




Magic Renovation has transformed this Discovery Bay apartment. F rom the outside, TRACY and PIERRE SIMAIKA’s apartment block looks like a typical Hong Kong high-rise. But step inside their beautifully renovated home and you are immediately struck by the infinite possibilities that can be achieved in a space less than 1,000 square feet. Tracy and Pierre, who met in Canada and have lived in Dubai, Spain and Singapore before coming to Hong Kong five years ago, undertook the ambitious project last year when they decided they wanted to customise a home to suit their family’s specific needs.


Remarkably, the couple had only renovated one property, in Canada, before they decided to take on the task of completely gutting an apartment in a foreign country, all while Tracy was pregnant with their second child. Despite having faced plenty of challenges, the result is a tranquil family home that works for their two young children – although the couple admit it took a fair amount of passion and persistence to achieve.




21 APR-MAY2018

Getting started The family were already living in Discovery Bay when they decided they wanted to buy to renovate, choosing an apartment that was just over 900 square feet gross. As Tracy says: “The whole point of moving sideways to something the same size is that we wanted to make it as functional as possible for our family, and you can’t do that if you’re moving into something that somebody else has done for their family.” The block was more than 20 years old, and the apartment had been in the hands of an owner- occupier for an extended period when they bought it. “It was still in the original state with the parquet floors,” Tracy recalls. “It hadn’t been given any love!” With a baby on the way, the couple wasted no time in getting started on the project with the help of a contractor. “We engaged the contractor before we had possession,” Tracy says. “I wanted to be in that apartment when that baby came! We had them look at it, and they were able to say this is the permit you will need and so on.” “From that respect, it worked well in that they were organised and had a schedule. We took possession in November and we went and ripped everything out – doors, windows, wiring, plugs, the water heater,” Tracy says. “We went right down to the walls and then we took out some of those,” Pierre continues.




They had a strong and common vision of what they wanted before work got underway. “I have Pinterest boards for years,” Tracy laughs. Pierre explains: “A small space needs to be bright and we like it as open as possible, so that was the sort of baseline that we followed, which kind of made it easy. Of course, in the process things can change, but the baseline was always there.” A new look Over the course of four months, the couple took a dated, three-bedroom apartment, and transformed it into a sleek and modern two-bedroom apartment. They achieved this in a number of ways, from using crisp white throughout for key fixtures and furnishings, to strategic use of mirrors and large window treatments to maximise natural light. They also didn’t shy away from bold moves – one of their most significant decisions was to reduce the number of bedrooms to convert two small bedrooms into one larger room for the children. With bunk beds and clever storage, there is now a generous area for the children to play – unusual in a Hong Kong home. They did most of their own shopping for things such as tiles and appliances and left no stone unturned when it came to getting exactly the style or colour shade that they had in mind. The result is that even the most seemingly minor feature is considered and functional. This attention to detail is evident in their kitchen, which they sourced themselves and which Pierre built, using the contractors only for technical aspects such as the plumbing and gas. While they used a white base in most of the apartment, they decided to take a different approach with the kitchen to create a space with some colour by having coloured cabinets. Tracy also had her heart set on a particular type of tile, but had been unable to locate a local stockist until she finally struck it lucky in an obscure shop in Mong Kok. “I was desperate so I went back to Mong Kok and this one guy asked if I had a photo. He opened up catalogues that he had and he did find it for me,” she says. “The apartment was still in the original state with parquet floors – it hadn’t been given any love!”

23 APR-MAY2018

Accepting compromises As anyone who has renovated will attest, there are inevitable compromises and changes along the way. Tracy says she was concerned that floor tiles would be too hard and loud with young children, and she considered wood floors, but couldn’t find the right colours. Pierre wanted bigger tiles, but they were too slippery. Ultimately, they went with smaller, safer tiles that had better grip and instead focused on minimising sound. “We do notice that it’s a loud apartment, so we have to put in more soft furnishings and we’ve put an acoustic panel on the wall,” Tracy says. “But we have a bit more work to do on that when we have two kids playing loudly!” The acoustic panel is one of the many ways the couple’s ability to think laterally is evident. They created it themselves by buying canvases and stripping the material off for the frames, then getting some thick backing and covering it in a fabric from Denmark to make the panel a feature piece. They also had to adapt to some of the differences in how the local industry works, such as in the case of the paint they wanted to use. It took some convincing to stop their painters from thinning the paint, assuming the couple would prefer to save money, rather than have thicker coats on their walls.




Another aspect of the renovation that took some adjusting to was the workflow. For example, Tracy says, due to the size of the apartment, the delivery schedule of materials needed to be carefullymanaged as there wasn’t the room to have everything arrive at once. The other aspect was that a lot of work was scheduled based on contractor availability, so the work was not done room by room. Persistence pays While they worked closely with their contractor, they were very hands on throughout the project. This was partly possible due to the flexible nature of Pierre’s work as a pilot, along with the couple’s online jewellery box business, Anna Alexandra. Pierre says being able to be on site regularly had many benefits and recommends doing so if you are renovating. “I would truly recommend keeping a close watch on what’s going on – then you know what’s being done,” he adds. “That’s not about keeping an eye on the contractors but rather for if you suddenly realise something’s not going to work, you can change it before it’s too late.” You also need to be persistent about getting what you want. “You just have to be prepared to hear ‘cannot’ a lot, and the more you’re able to say to them ‘yes, you can get this here’, or ‘here’s a photo’, the better,” Pierre says. Overall, the entire project cost 25 percent more than they planned, with unexpected additions such as their bathroom tiles costing more than the floor tiles for the whole apartment, but the couple are pleased with the end result and say they will renovate again. “It’s not on the cards right now,” Tracy says. “But we would love to do more of this.” on – then you know what’s being done” “I truly recommend keeping a close watch on what’s going

TRACY AND PIERRE’S RECOMMENDATIONS Home & Décor Wai Kee Decoration Engineering Company (contractor) Flat D, 14 F Jovial Court, Discovery Bay 6252 0800 | waikeedb@yahoo.com.hk B&K by Leo Tiles 288 Portland Street, Mong Kok 2391 3033 Hang Fat Building Supplies Company 16 Hong Kok Street, Mong Kok 3904 3374 ECOX Brothers (gas cook tops) 194 Tong Mi Road, Prince Edward 2396 0166 | ecox.com.hk Hangzhou Vermont Deluxe Materials (custom-built, flat-packed kitchens) Hangzhou, China | +86 571 88174927 Apartment 49 Curated Design Market (home décor and kitchen items) apartment49.com Inside Living (home décor and soft furnishings) inside.com.hk Food & Drinks Oolaa G/F, Bridges Street, CentreStage, Soho, Mid-Levels 2803 2083 casteloconcepts.com/our-venues/oolaa Bibo G/F, 163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan

2956 3188 | bibo.hk Paisano’s Pizzeria paisanos.com.hk Bahce

Shop 19, G/F, Mui Wo Centre, 3 Ngan Wan Road, Mui Wo 2984 0222 BEP G/F, Floor 88-90 Wellington Street, Central 2581 9992 | bep.hk

25 APR-MAY2018


NOMORE MovingMayhem!

Relocating? This handy timeline will helpmake it seamless and stress-free.

2 Weeks Before Relocation Arrange the discontinuation of regular services such as electricity, gas, water, newspaper/magazine subscriptions, telephone, internet, cable TV, groceries and dry cleaning. 1 Week Before Relocation Confirm arrangements with the relocation company. If they’re providing packers, make sure you know where all your documents are and prepare copies. Documents to verify include passports, visa/residence permits, identity cards, flight documents, hotel bookings, birth and marriage certificates, school records, medical and dental records, insurance policies, bank records and international driving licenses. Make sure you’ve prepared medicine and jewellery/valuables for packing. On Packing Day

As any expat will tell you, a move is about so much more than just making sure you have enough packing boxes. This comprehensive guide from relocation experts Asian Tigers gives you a timeline to follow so you won’t be caught out on moving day. 3 Months Before Relocation If your employer is not providing you with a moving company, give yourself time to search for a reliable removalist and compare quotes before making your choice. 2 Months Before Relocation Be sure to book your moving company as soon as you decide the moving date, especially during peak season. Inform the relevant people and institutions of your departure date and your new address for redirecting correspondence, including banks, embassies, insurance companies, schools, solicitors, financial advisors, the tax department, post office, landlord, social clubs, electoral registrar, publications you subscribe to, doctors and dentists, and relatives and friends. 1 Month Before Relocation Ensure you’ve engaged a removalist and booked a moving date. Arrange the following, if required: backing up your personal computer; deciding on items to be shipped by air and by sea; disposing of unwanted items; giving away or selling plants and used furniture and appliances; preparing an insurance valuation list; selling your car; visiting your dentist and doctor to obtain records. Verify all documentation required for your destination country including residence permits, visas and flight tickets. Other documents to prepare include an international driver’s license, personal accident and medical insurance, school records and traveller’s checks or other access to your finances.

Before packing begins, discuss with your mover which items may be going by sea or air and identify fragile items. Separate high-value and important items such as jewellery, cash and travel documents to carry by hand to your destination. After packing, check all rooms, closets and outdoor areas with your mover to make sure everything is packed. Make sure all paperwork

is completed, and the mover gives you a signed copy of your inventory list, moving vessel information and contact information at destination. On Delivery Day Upon arrival at your destination, contact your movers at the destination to notify them of your arrival and set up shipment delivery dates. Complete any import customs forms, if required. Upon delivery of your things to your new home, ensure you have a copy of the Bill of Landing and check off each carton delivered on the inventory. Allow movers to unpack your cartons and remove debris, and ensure all boxes are empty so that no small household items are overlooked before they leave. If anything is damaged or missing, list the items on the inventory and Bill of Landing and contact your moving consultant to file a claim as soon as possible.

If you need help with a move, contact Asian Tigers at 2528 1384 or visit asiantigers-mobility.com for more info.




Is your home amess? Do you feel the need to bemore organised? Read on to find out how one Hong Kong business can help. Conquer theClutter!

“There’s a huge trend towards minimalism right now, as people look to reduce the complexities in their lives.” Why is decluttering important? Right now, there’s a huge movement towards minimalism; people are looking to reduce the stress and complexities of their lives. Decluttering can help achieve that order by providing less stress, and increased time, money and freedom; this allows us to pursue the things we’re most passionate about. It’s amazing how dealing with the clutter in our space can clear the clutter in our minds, too. There is a plethora of organising tips available – in fact, getting started can be overwhelming. And there is no magic wand; in order to reduce clutter of any type, one must have motivation and an action plan. My two key (and simple) rules of organising are: “like objects together” and “everything has a home”. With these two tools in the toolbox, plus the guidance of a PO, a decluttered home is within reach! To find out more about D-Clutter, call 6323 1417 or email dclutterinternational@ gmail.com. Any tips for readers who want to start decluttering?

D-Clutter was born after its Canadian founder had spent many years helping friends and family members organise and optimise their use of space. DONNA SIMCHISON decided to act on her long- held interest in decorating and organising, so she become qualified and accredited as a professional organiser (PO) and launched her business. Then and now The professional organising industry began in the US in the mid 1980s and has expanded significantly in recent decades; today, its leading association, NAPO, has 4,000 members and over 30 chapters around the world. Tell us about D-Clutter. How does it work? Professional organisers are trained and skilled specialists who assist with particular problem areas and specific concerns. After helping clients pinpoint their goals, they offer individualised solutions and options, and help put appropriate systems in place while teaching sustainable strategies for staying organised. For many people, it’s hard to identify why their space keeps getting messy and disorganised. A PO can analyse a space and the reasons for the clutter. To me, clutter stems from delayed decisions and delayed actions; procrastination! When working with a client, we take the time

to discover the root cause of the clutter, as well as what works, what doesn’t, and why. Once we know the answers to these things, we can start to resolve the clutter issues. We spend time sorting and categorising all items as it’s important for the client to see exactly what he or she has, and what we’re working with. D-Clutter offers a range of services to help declutter and organise homes and lives. Whether it be a closet, kids’ play area, office space or a whole flat, clients are supported in purging, organising and putting sustainable systems into place, keeping them organised and reducing the stress that comes along with clutter and disorganisation. An initial consultation is scheduled to meet and access your needs, visions and challenges. Based on those needs, your time commitment and your budget, an individualised plan is developed. Some clients like to work with a PO until project completion; others prefer a combination of solo and team work. The initial consultation fee is HK$500 and the overall cost of the project depends on the size, scale and complexity, taking into consideration your goals, commitment and budget. A plan outlining the cost and suggested time commitment for the project is sent out after the initial consultation. Is it for the whole home or do you concentrate on specific areas? What can someone who signs up for the service expect?

27 APR-MAY2018


Want to give your décor an update to keep it looking on-trend?


ATELIER LANE The increased popularity of multi-functional spaces in the home is a key trend, according to ELLIE BRADLEY of interior design studio Atelier Lane. Ellie, the brand’s chief executive and creative director, also says earth tones and neutral shades of blues, greens, greys and ochres are starting to dominate the design scene when it comes to colour. Another trend is the use of unexpected fabrics and materials for homeware, such as concrete for pendant lamps, linen for bedding, bamboo for floor rugs, and marble for surfaces. Ellie says there are many ways to incorporate these trends into your home, even if space is limited! One way is to consider a smaller piece of furniture, such as a sideboard or a bookshelf. And what’s the advice if you feel your rooms are looking dated? “A coat of paint always does wonders to refresh your home,” says Ellie. “Choosing a colour such as clay is a great way to add warmth to your interior while keeping things neutral. Another way to update your home is adding new decorative cushions to your living room. If your budget stretches a bit further, you can add a rug.” Artwork can be an affordable way to update the look of your home, she adds. “You don’t need to spend a fortune.” atelierlane.com

If your home is looking tired, it could be time for an update of your interiors. To help, we’ve asked experts from some of Hong Kong’s leading interior design and homewares brands to detail the latest trends in styles and colours. They also share tips on how to give your rooms a revamp, whether you’re after new furniture, want ideas for some fresh accent pieces, or are considering a paint job.




ALTFIELD Altfeld Interiors, founded by AMANDA CLARK, stocks many of the world’s leading fabric, wall covering, hardware, leather and lighting lines, as well as producing its own furniture and homeware. Amanda says geometric print fabrics and sophisticated stripes are dominating this year. “They can break up large monochrome spaces and add pattern, without being too fussy or feminine,” she says. Another currently strong theme in design trends is incorporating a mix of cultures in interiors schemes. “Mixing cultures and patterns can create a lot of visual interest and reflect where people have travelled and represent a global outlook.” Amanda also recommends incorporating some of the new styles in Hong Kong’s smaller homes through cushions. “Colourful and patterned cushions are a wonderful way to incorporate the geometric fabric trend into Hong Kong homes. Cushions are a quick and accessible way to add interest to the interiors, and can be easily replaced and refreshed if necessary.” Another good way to update interiors is through the use of trimmings, which Amanda describes as like “jewellery for the room”. This can be done through contrasting coloured piping to upholstered furniture, for example. “Another tip to update

the look in smaller homes, such as those in Hong Kong, is to consider using unlined curtains or contemporary sheer fabric at the windows, which give privacy but allow light in.”


DSL FURNITURE DSL Furniture offers beautifully crafted, affordable, high-quality furniture designed with European influences and built to

the standards of the European and US markets. Owner DAVID LAMBERT says that, for 2018, we’ll see “more colourful

and bright interior design using shades like red, purple, orange and green”. He also suggests that soft and comfortable sofas with down filling with lots of colourful accent cushions are the current go-to for living rooms. “Some trends never go away, such as the classic marble table and solid wood furniture. On the other hand, we’ve been getting requests for stainless steel finishes for our customers who like the ultra-modern in their tables, TV units and desks.” David says that easy ways to brighten up your home and incorporate latest interior design trends include adding some colourful accent cushions or patterned throws to your sofa and hanging some fun artwork on your walls. “Either way, being in Hong Kong means we get a fusion of styles from the East and West, and there’s always room for experimentation when it

comes to design.” dslfurniture.com

29 APR-MAY2018

INDIGO LIVING Interior design and furniture services company Indigo Living has been operating for more than 30 years in Hong Kong. The company’s head of image and style ANA OLAZABAL says a key trend in 2018 is around materials, rather than colour. “There is gold and brass in all shades, and in a matte finish or glossy, mixed with minerals, marbles and stones,” she says. “Style-wise, the first half of the 20thcentury will continue to trend, especially the 1920s to 1930s.” She also says the prevalence of green in the last couple of seasons will drop away. “Now we are seeing a lot of neutrals as a backdrop, with all shades of greys, off-whites, stone and beige juxtaposing colourful statement pieces.” Ana adds that one of the easiest ways to refresh your home décor in line with latest looks is to move furniture around and find new places to display your accessories. “If the budget allows, apply a fresh coat of paint and buy one new statement piece and/or new cushions.” She also has a word of inspiration for those who feel restricted by the small apartments common in Hong Kong: “Small apartments can be just as interesting – or more so – than large ones.

They also force you to be more creative and more functional. Buy the large artwork and the large sofa; just because the flat is small doesn’t mean your furniture or artwork has to be!”


INSIDE CATHERINE TROTMAN of furniture and homeware store INSIDE sees some very pretty options in interior design trends for 2018, with the Pantone colour of the year being Ultra Violet. “There is still a big movement with retro prints, so think 1950s naive designs; but texture is also important, so you can expect stubby, characterful fabrics. There is a huge focus on craft, too, so the blockprints for which INSIDE is recognised are right up there!” Catherine says cleaner, more minimal designs tend to be popular in Hong Kong interiors, which makes strong, statement colours a good choice for furnishings. “Cushions and rugs are a quick and easy way to update a room, and in bedrooms a bedcover does the same trick,” she says. “Equally, lampshades can add a splash of interest.” Another good way to start a new year update is to remove offending furniture and furnishings and then “layer in some newness”, says Catherine. A new wall colour can also be transforming. Overall, though, she urges staying true to yourself when it comes to the look of your home. “I think it is dangerous to talk too much about ‘fashion’ and ‘trends’ in furnishings. Our homes are our sanctuaries and should reflect the people we are. For some, that is a clean, minimal space without clutter, for others it means a characterful abode, filled with pieces collected through travel, telling the story of a life.” inside.com.hk




TEQUILA KOLA New Yorker MICHELLE KOLLER founded home furniture store Tequila Kola in 1991. She says the store’s latest home décor collection, “Luxurious Cosiness”, features high-end materials and sensual shapes combined with warm brown wood, leathers, golden metals and textured stone. Textiles in warm gem colours also feature. “Combining different elements can help create elegance and luxury,” she says. Michelle’s ethos is that interior design should be about maximising and enhancing a living space. In the smaller homes common in Hong Kong, she recommends selecting pieces that are functional yet comfortable. “The sofa, being one aspect of most homes where everyone demands comfort and durability, is one of the focal points in our showroom,” she says. “We also develop styles with maximum flexibility in mind. TREE Sustainable furniture store TREE is well known for its eco-chic range. Managing director KATE BABINGTON says the interior design trend of a growing need to connect with nature, either through

Dual-purpose pieces, such as storage beds and sofa beds, are the current staples in every home. Other options are the use of stools that double as coffee tables and nesting tables that can be tucked inside one another when not needed.” And her tips for refreshing your home? “A quick fix is to update your cushions and bedding to bring instant freshness

and change of colour to the living space without heavy cost,” she says. “Look to your walls by adding a new piece of art – this can uplift any tired area. If you want to create a bigger bang, consider re-upholstering your sofa, bed and dining chairs with the latest fabric.”


furniture pieces crafted from natural materials such as reclaimed wood, or by incorporating greenery into the home, is a dominant one. “Textures have also been a central focus as they add a tactile softness

and lovingly layered appeal, and, when done with natural fibres such as raffia or rattan, can be easily updated to suit seasonal changes,” she says. Kate adds that it’s easy to incorporate these looks into Hong Kong homes. “Sustainable style can work for any home, no matter how large or small your space is! When investing in solid, eco-wood furniture, keep an eye out for space- saving design, such as nesting tables and modular wall boxes.” Greenery is another wonderful, natural way to update your interiors, or you could also rearrange the display items on your shelving, and your art. Kate says, “Colour- coordinate your literature by keeping the same coloured book spines together and, for added interest, turn some of your books horizontally. Complete the look with a mixture of finishing touches, such as bowls, sculptures and framed artwork or photos.” She also says that painting an accent wall is a good way to bring new colours into your home.


31 APR-MAY2018


at anySize STYLE Don’t be daunted by decorating a small space! When you first move to Hong Kong, adjustments need to be made in many ways – and a key one is adapting to the size of a typical home or apartment. So, where do you start when decorating your interiors if you want to add some new pieces or inject a bit of colour into compact living quarters? Rugs and carpets are excellent ways to add some personality into a home, especially if you’re renting and can’t make long-term changes. HEENA MIR is a consultant for CarpetBuyer and has years of experience helping people through the process of choosing the right piece for their home. She says that while it may seem challenging to find the right furniture and carpets to make a home feel warm and comfy when space is limited, there are plenty of options.“It’s normal nowadays to hear of apartment sizes dwindling down to a couple of hundred square feet,” says Heena. “We deal in many carpet sizes and have not had any problems catering to the newer generation of starter homes.” BY RACHAEL ROWLAND

CarpetBuyer stocks more than 5,000 carpets, from antique pieces from Iran to contemporary designer rugs. “Our carpets come in all sizes, colours and styles and are also good for absorbing sound, which in smaller flats can be beneficial as it can bounce off the wall and into other rooms,” Heena says. “We have carpets in sizes from 60cm by 90cm and up.” Top tips Heena also has some useful tips for when you’re shopping for a carpet that will ensure any piece works well in your home. “One of the things to always keep in mind when choosing a carpet is the size of the sofa, and the length and depth of the room,” she says. “Once we have that, we’re able to select pieces that are either modern or traditional that will suit the room and not make it crowded. Having a carpet that’s the right size can amplify the room’s size and make it look bigger. Then you can either cover the whole area or just from the edge of the sofa and frame the room with a bit of floor showing, so it looks like ‘more for less’.” Heena says that one of the store’s most popular items is its “soft shaggies”, which are plain rugs that come in a huge range of sizes and colours. Another consideration is the material your carpet is made of – the right material can mean minimal cleaning is required, which is also practical in a small home. “There’s no upkeep necessary with hand-made carpets, such as those made of natural wool, silk or bamboo fibres or with natural dyes, unlike carpets made from nylon or acrylic materials,” Heena says. “They have the added bonus of being non-allergenic. Simply vacuum as needed and wash every few years – it’s as simple as that!”

CarpetBuyer is at Unit 2604-07, 26/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau. 2850 5508 | carpetbuyer.com

33 APR-MAY2018

There’s a carpet out there for every space; it just takes time and research to decide on the right one. Here are some ideas!

Rubicon rug in wool and cowhide, OVO Home , 2529 8618, ovo.com.hk

Rubicon Dark rug in wool and cowhide, OVO Home , 2529 8618, ovo.com.hk

Old Chinese and Tibetan carpets, Altfield Gallery , 2537 6370, altfield.com.hk

Union Jack rug in jute and wool, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com




Brick Green carpet in dyed cowskin and woven wool, price on request, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Handwoven dhurrie rugs, INSIDE , 2873 1795, inside.com.hk

Fine nain wool and silk carpet, CarpetBuyer , 2850 5508, carpetbuyer.com

Orange Kelim carpet, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Late 19th-century Mongolian carpet, Altfield Gallery , 2537 6370, altfield.com.hk

Old tribal carpet in plush wool, CarpetBuyer , 2850 5508, carpetbuyer.com

Trace rug from the Desert Dreaming collection in NZ wool and bamboo silk, Atelier Lane , 9558 3007, atelierlane.com

100 percent bamboo silk rug in gold, Atelier Lane , 9558 3007, atelierlane.com

35 APR-MAY2018



3 MACDONNELL ROAD Five reasons we’ve got our eye on this brand new development in Mid-Levels. #1 Space Whether you’ve lived in Hong Kong your whole life, or you’re brand new to the city, you’ll know that larger living spaces are seriously hard to come by. That’s not the case at 3 MacDonnell Road, though, where the development team has made space a priority; there are only 20 duplexes apartments here, each with four roomy ensuite bedrooms with big bathrooms, bright and airy living and dining spaces that are ideal for entertaining, and expansive designer kitchens. #2 Design The interiors strike a balance between contemporary and classic, with a neutral palette offset by luxury finishes. Key features include warm timber floors, understated marble wall accents and “one touch” smart home control for effortless everyday living. Exterior features are thoughtful too, with attractive wrought-iron accents and stone balconies making the most of the renowned Hong Kong skyline just beyond. BY KATE FARR

#3 Location The position of 3 MacDonnell Road is enviable – it’s just a few minutes’ walk to Central’s offices and shops, yet it still offers privacy in a prestigious spot. It’s green, too: the sprawling Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens are just across Garden Road, and Hong Kong Park is just a short walk down Cotton Tree Drive. Opposite the development, Coda Plaza offers easy access to all the essentials, with an international supermarket and a selection of restaurants. #4 Facilities Every duplex in the property comes with its own covered car park, and there’s a service station located outside for easy refuelling. The complex also has its own clubhouse, with a gym and spacious pool, along with a concierge service to ensure that life continues to run smoothly, even when your schedule is overflowing. #5 Family Finding the right school is always the first piece of the location puzzle in Hong Kong, and 3 MacDonnell Road is well placed for two English Schools Foundation (ESF) campuses – Island School and Glenealy – as well as Carmel, an independent Jewish day school, plus two elite local establishments – St Paul’s College and St Joseph’s School. The road is also covered by a comprehensive network of school bus routes. Younger children are also well catered to, with a number of preschools and a wide variety of playgroups nearby.

To find out more about 3 MacDonnell Road, contact 2842 4411 or residentialhk@savills.com.hk.

37 APR-MAY2018

H ong Kong has always been a fast-paced city in every sense. Every time people think that the red-hot property sales market will slow down due to additional government measures, it seems to race along all the more, proving that practically nothing will stop investors here from putting their money into bricks and mortar. In the leasing market too, properties can be snapped up in what sometimes seems like a matter of minutes. That means finding the right place to live is not easy, especially for newcomers who are not used to the high rentals and small spaces compared to their home countries. With high demand for better quality properties, or those that represent a bargain, Hong Kong is not a place where you can take too long to make up your mind or you will be beaten to your first choice of home by another prospective tenant! Equally speedy these days: journey times to neighbourhoods once considered less convenient. Thanks to the expanded MTR network on Hong Kong Island, getting from Central to Hong Kong University or Shouson Hill takes only 6 to 12 minutes. The improved transport connections also put Pok Fu Lam, an affordable and peaceful area just beyond HKU station on Hong Kong Island’s west coast, within 10 minutes of the CBD – with great value accommodation and beautiful views across the Lamma Channel and beyond thrown in! Pok Fu Lam also has a good selection of schools and sports grounds, as well as access to hiking trails and large country parks on its doorstep. No wonder residents are racing to check out properties like these!

Stella Abraham Head of Residential Leasing & Relocation Services National Director Jones Lang LaSalle Limited (JLL)

CHARMING COLONIAL Area: Pok Fu Lam Rent: $168,000 per month Size: 4,840 sq. ft

Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3

If you’re looking for a slice of old Hong Kong and a large space, this house is definitely worth a visit. It boasts stunning colonial features, including cornicing, high ceilings, a large terrace, an outdoor patio and working fireplaces. With four bedrooms upstairs, plus a lower ground floor with several rooms ideal for conversion into additional bedrooms, games rooms or dens for teenage children, this is a rare find.



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