August-September 2018

Has Asian design influenced the way you’ve decorated the house? The pool is Balinese-inspired and the garden is tropical, but the rest of the house is actually very European. When we moved in, we already owned a much-loved contemporary Italian leather sofa, and we used it to define the colour palette and overall feel of the house –sometimes you need a feature piece! It’s probably the most expensive piece of furniture we’ve ever bought, but it needs to be recovered, because Sidney the golden retriever uses it as his personal bed. When you come downstairs in the morning, he tries to guiltily leap off before you see him. We decided against painting the house a standard white, because we didn’t want to live in a clinical box. Instead, we chose matt, light shades of grey, beige and pink from Farrow & Ball; the colours make the living areas feel more intimate. We’ve been here six years now and during that time our tastes have changed, so we’re thinking about re-painting; but we’ll use different colours and a different paint manufacturer next time. You never really “finish” a house, because you’re always looking at it and thinking, “Do we need to change the wooden doors to something more contemporary? Or re-varnish all the floors, or upgrade certain pieces of furniture?” The outdoor seating is Dedon wickerwork, for example, but it’s definitely time for an upgrade; textures andmaterials of outdoor furniture have moved on so much. Otherwise, the kitchen units and the marble in the bathrooms is Italian, while the fixtures and fittings are all German, from Hansgrohe. The electric blinds

throughout the house are also German, and the outdoor kitchen is Australian – no one does better barbecues! Inside we have Kartell Bougie lamps, a host of candles from Tom Dixon, and the artwork is from all over the world. Our favourite piece is Bookshelves by Phil Shaw that we bought from the Affordable Art Fair last year. You’ve got to be working to live here; to have a pension that would allow you to live in the most expensive place in the world would be difficult, I think! We always thought the cut-off point would be when our son went to university – he’s 13 now. We assumed we’d go back to the UK, but he’s talking about studying in New Zealand, so we could easily be here for another 10 to 15 years. There’s a loose plan, but life gets in the way. We love Hong Kong, our every-changing house, and our idyllic rural lifestyle. It’s not a hardship to stay! You’re a homeowner and a business-owner; are you here in Asia to stay?



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