June-July 2017





Marathons & Runs in the region

Cool Homes &Children’s Furniture

School Opening NEW

for round the pool

Pampering& KeepingHealthy Home &Away



There’s a saying I’ve seen pop up on Facebook every now and then about the eternal expat conundrum; “So, here you are, too foreign for home, too foreign for here, never enough for both.” When you’ve been away as long as we have, you realise that going “home” is going to be almost as challenging as moving here in the first place. It’s on my mind as we approach our tenth anniversary in Hong Kong, and my boys start to grapple more with what it means to be third-culture kids, and not quite sure where they fit in. Both were born here, and this is the only home they’ve ever known, but they resolutely consider themselves to be Australian. It hasn’t really been an issue for them but our seven-year-old has recently been through a bit of an identity crisis. He talks a lot about missing Australia (the good bits that you only get on holidays) but he feels a strong sense of loyalty to Hong Kong. It’s as if he’s been asked to make a choice between the two. While my expat experience is different to his, I can relate to that feeling of uncertainty over where exactly we belong. So, I told him what usually gets me through when I feel homesick – or sick of home! I reminded him of all the things we love about Hong Kong, and how lucky we are to be able to call two places “home”. I assured him that while we live here we can have the best of both worlds and we can stay for as long as we’re all happy here. He was okay with that, and has decided we can move back to Australia when he turns 30… In the midst of all this, we’ve decided to spend summer in Hong Kong for the first time in a few years, and we’re looking forward to exploring and hanging out at home without the stress of travel. It’s a great time of year to be here – if you like it hot. We hope you’ll find some inspiration for your summer vacation in these pages whether you’re staying here or heading away. Until next time!

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UPFRONT 10 What’s New 12 WIN!

Two return flights to Vancouver 14 Calendar of Upcoming Events 16 Follow Us Online 18 Social Pages: Photos from recent parties and openings HOME & PROPERTY 22 News 24 * Showcase: Sarah Garner’s home at The Peak 32 * Showcase: Maria Estrada Gallardo’s Old Peak Road apartment 39 Buying Guide: Choosing children’s furniture 44 * Showcase: Kaylene Mattner’s Sai Kung home 52 Buying Guide: Super storage and shelving solutions 54 On the Market: Properties for sale and lease


Fab décor for kids’ rooms

LIFE & FAMILY 60 News 61 Rated PG: Our regular parenting column 62 Book Previews 63 The Great Outdoor Classroom 64 New Kid on the Block: Mount Kelly International Preschool gets set to open 66 Peer Pressure: Helping teens to cope 68 Expat Profile: A new face at a clinic for exotic animals 71 Teresa’s Turkish Towels 72 Buying Guide: Pretty poolside wear

Our roundup of summer fashion for beach or pool 72


The Garners in their light and airy family home

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 80 News 81 Living Well: Build your immunity before you travel 83 Working Out: Shape up fast for summer 84 Runs in the Region 86 Health Matters: Benefits of outdoor exercise 88 Therapeutic Massage 90 Training Tips:

A workout with dragon boat captain Elissa Imran

92 Facial Focus:

We visit Emmanuel F for some pampering

93 Hair Care:

How to fight the frizz WINE & DINE 98 News 100 Taste Test:

New and notable restaurants reviewed

103 Recipe Corner:

Healthy snacks to cook at home


TRAVEL 106 News 108 Hong Kong Airlines Turns Ten 110 Deluxe Detox: Inside an amazing retreat in the Philippines 114 Discover Mongolia: 10 reasons to visit 116 Guide to Seoul 118 Must-dos in Chengdu 122 Cycling Europe: Portugal on two wheels REGULARS 126 Important Numbers 127 Our Advertisers 128 Parting Shot: On being a selfish parent


A different way of touring Europe


Win a trip to Canada




Night Moves This year’s Barclay’s Moontrekker race on Lantau Island is set to take place on 13 and 14 October. Registration for teams opens to the public on 1 June. The annual event has raised over HK$11 million for education and conservation projects since it began; this year, funds will support the Nature Conservancy. Choose from the Sunrise 43 or the Moonlit 30, get a team together, raise some money and try to beat the sun! registration@moontrekker.com | tnc.org.hk | barclaysmoontrekker.com

When you’re an expat and you’re not sure if Hong Kong is your final destination, it’s a good idea to have good insurance in place. Regency for Expats has just launched a new product, Life Insurance with unique worldwide benefits. Designed with the needs of the “globally mobile” in mind, the policy has a number of benefits – including complete geographical transferability, which means that the policy will follow you wherever you move to next. regencyforexpats.com Ensure You’re Insured

Lunchtime Love Believe it or not, there was once a time when it was impossible to get a decent sandwich in town. Now, we’re spoilt for choice with places like Panino Giusto popping up. The Italian brand has just opened its third location in Lee Gardens, and the outdoor terrace is a nice spot to sit back and enjoy a delicious panino for lunch, or an aperitivo after 6pm (think wine and mini-panini!). Close your eyes and it’s easy to imagine you’re on Corso Garibaldi; what more could you ask for? Shop 204, Lee Garden One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay. 2527 0222 | paninogiusto.com.hk

The Eyes Have It Protecting your eyes from the sun has never been more appealing. Launched in 2013, Norwegian eyewear brand Kaibosh has brought its collection of 38 pairs of handmade sunglasses to HK for the summer. Stylishly shady, the range is also affordable, with frames ranging in price from HK$980 to $1,180, but with no compromise on quality. The collection is exclusive to Squarestreet. G/F, 15 Square Street, Tai Ping Shan. 2362 1086 | kaibosh.no




in the City Staycation

If you’re here for the summer and entertaining guests, or looking for a night away close to town, there’s a brand new hotel for you to try. The 546-room Kerry Hotel Hong Kong has just opened, and it has something for everyone – from families to business travellers. With views over Victoria Harbour, a pool, outdoor gardens, a club, several dining options and a spa among the facilities, you may not want to check out! To celebrate the opening there are a range of exclusive extras available for guests booking before 31 July. Bookings must be made directly with the hotel. 3069 9988 | reservations.khhk@thekerryhotels.com | shangri-la. com/hongkong/kerry

Bags of Style Whether you’re travelling with kids in tow, or traipsing about town, TUMI has a nice selection of bags and backpacks for mums on the go. There’s the deceptively small Halle and Daniella Voyageur Leather Backpacks for day trips, which have room for all your bits and pieces (snacks, Lego, makeup and so on). Or, for something a little more substantial, check out the Voyageur Super-Leger Carry-on before you board. TUMI has four strores in Hong Kong, in Tung Chung, IFC, Pacific Place and Harbour City. intl.tumi.com

Book Now! Over twenty years ago, the film version won hearts (and an Oscar); now the feel-good stage show – labelled “the most fun you can have in a theatre” – is headed for Hong Kong. Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, The Musical is set to shake things up this September, with hundreds of spectacular costumes, a customised bus and all of the hit songs from the original movie and more. Tickets are selling fast, so book now! hkticketing.com

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Up for grabs: Two economy class round-trip tickets from Hong Kong to Vancouver!




Did you know? The Hong Kong Airlines company logo is inspired by the bauhinia flower, the emblem of Hong Kong.

Thanks to Hong Kong Airlines, Expat Living readers have the chance to win tickets for two to the beautiful Canadian city of Vancouver. Regularly voted among the world’s most liveable cities, Vancouver boasts spectacular mountain, ocean and rainforest vistas, and is a perfect jumping-off spot for all kinds of year-round water and land sports, from skiing in Whistler to hiking in the Canadian Rockies. About Hong Kong Airlines Established in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines is a full-service airline firmly rooted in Hong Kong that has grown to become an internationally acclaimed carrier, awarded a highly-esteemed 4-star rating from Skytrax since 2011. The Hong Kong Airlines fleet consists of 33 aircraft – 29 passenger aircraft and four freighters – and is one of the youngest in the world, with an average aircraft age of just 4.7 years. Up-to-date inflight entertainment systems are installed on all flights to enhance the travel experience for passengers, and a selection of Hong Kong-style cuisines is served in the airline’s VIP lounge and aboard all flights. The destination network covers 36 major cities across the Asia Pacific region, including Australia’s Gold Coast, Auckland in New Zealand, mainland Chinese cities Beijing and Shanghai, along with Taipei, Tokyo, Sapporo, Seoul, Bangkok, Bali and Okinawa. The company has also signed agreements with 14 codeshare and 74 interline partners respectively.


How to enter For your chance to win the tickets, tell us in no more than 50 words what you’re most looking forward to doing on your Vancouver escape. Visit expatliving.hk/competitions to enter. Note: Entrants must be 18+ years of age; Terms & Conditions apply.

13 JUN-JUL2017

ARTS Women’s Choir 20th Anniversary Party at the Market (2 JUN) The Hong Kong Women’s Choir is celebrating 20 years of singing for good causes, culminating in the Party in the Market dinner and concert at the Western Market in Sheung Wan. The Choir is made up of two sister groups: NOVA, the core group of singers performing a cantata , to accompaniment, and Grace Notes, who sing a cappella . Both groups will perform at Party at the Market, which will have a “touch of the Orient” dress code and will feature dinner, dancing and, of course, song. thkwc.org Chinese Opera Festival (13 JUN – 13 AUG) The annual Chinese Opera Festival presents a chance to by UNESCO as part of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage. The festival blends opera genres from Beijing, Guangdong and Jiangsu, as well as local Cantonese opera to provide an insight into ancient China. cof.gov.hk Inventing Le Louvre (UNTIL 24 JUL) Inventing le Louvre: From Palace to Museum over 800 Years is an exhibition showcasing an array of statues, paintings, sculptures and antiques from different periods of time within the history of the Louvre. More than 100 pieces of artwork will be on display at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, offering a rare opportunity to see incredible pieces outside of France. The exhibition is one of the highlights of arts festival Le French May, which continues to host events through June. frenchmay.com immerse yourself in an experience that has been formally listed

The Tiger Who Came to Tea


The Tiger Who Came to Tea (2-4 JUN)

This much-loved children’s classic has come to Hong Kong after a season in London’s East End. The stage adaptation of Judith Kerr’s story of Sophie and her surprising tea guest has been adapted for stage by David Wood OBE. The show runs for about 55 minutes and is suitable for ages three years and above. aba-productions.com Don’t Stop Believin’ (9-11 JUN) Set in summer in New York in the mid-1980s, this rock and pop musical follows the story of a group of crazy misfits and their fight to save their local community centre. Perfect for the whole family, the show will be held at the Hong Kong Arts Centre and is being presented by local theatre company, The Performers Studio. ticket.urbtix.hk






Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival (2-4 JUN)

My Fair Lady (9-11 JUN) It’s one of the all-time classic makeover tales: Professor Henry Higgins takes cockney flower-seller Eliza Doolittle and teaches her to speak “proper”. My Fair Lady , the much-loved George Bernard Shaw musical, is coming to Hong Kong, and its popular songs and witty dialogue make it a great family show. hkapa.edu Britney Spears (27 JUN) The former Mouseketeer became a global superstar as a teenager when she released her first single, “Baby One More Time”. Since then, she has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, won countless music industry awards and completed a cutting-edge Vegas residency. Britney will perform one show only in Hong Kong at AsiaWorld-Expo. hkticketing.com

Each year, hundreds of thousands of spectators flock to the Central Harbourfront for the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, featuring three days of colourful sights and sounds, as teams of international paddlers compete on boats adorned with dragons and accompanied by drummers. The party atmosphere continues on the foreshore with the San Miguel BeerFest. discoverhongkong.com

Evolution Asia Yoga Conference (8-11 JUN)

This yoga and wellness conference is in its tenth year and will bring leading experts from around the world to Hong Kong for four days. There will be more than 160 classes to suit all abilities, and workshops and lectures with some of the best practitioners and teachers in the region. There will also be a variety of exhibitors so you can check out the latest gear and gadgets. asiayogaconference.com Shek O Challenge (8 JUL) This is a popular event among Hong Kong’s open-water swimming community. Put your fitness to the test with either a 2.2km swim, 8.5km run or 9km paddle from Big Wave Bay to Shek O Back Beach, either competing solo or as part of a team. There’s also a Kids Swim category for 10- to 18-year-olds this year – a 600m loop starting and finishing at Back Beach. openwaterasia.com Midsummer Race (22 JUL) Keen trailrunners who aren’t deterred by Hong Kong’s heat will enjoy the chance to take part in the Midsummer Race. The Sai Kung route of 12km starts from Pak Tam Chung and then climbs to MacLehose Trail Stage 3 before heading back down to Pak Tam Chung. The race starts at 3pm. hkhiking.com

KEY DATES 18 June – Father’s Day 21 June – Summer Solstice (longest day)

25 June – Ramadan ends 1 July – Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day 12 July – Final Happy Valley Race Meeting for the season

15 JUN-JUL2017

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17 APR-MAY 17

Family Fun Easter was a family affair at Hamilton Hill International Kindergarten. There were egg hunts, games, popcorn and, of course, bunnies, at this year’s Easter Carnival.

Ground Breaking Construction of the new Tseung Kwan O campus of the French International School is well underway, and officials, staff and students gathered at the site recently to place selected items in a time capsule. Holding that day’s South China Morning Post , a copy of French paper Le Monde , a USB key, photos and letters, the time capsule will be opened in 2067. The new campus will open its doors in September 2018.



Fashion Forward In April, 250 AWA members and friends gathered at the American Club for the AWA Conscious Couture Fashion Show. The event showcased the work of 12 local designers, with a focus on sustainable manufacturing processes and materials. The evening raised over $325,000 to help local charities that benefit at-risk women and children, the elderly and the disabled. Photography: juliabroad.com

Nations’ Cup 52 boats from 13 nations set sail in the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s big annual event, the Nations’ Cup. The race took competitors fromWan Chai ferry terminal to Sahu Kei Wan and back again, and New Zealand team Forty Forte were the winners for the fourth year running.

Run for a Cause Thousands of runners gathered at Kai Tak Runway Park for a 5km charity race in the dark. Wearing luminous T-shirts and wristbands, the runners sought to raise awareness for those living with vision impairment. The “Run for Vision” event raised over $800,000 for charity Orbis and all proceeds will go towards its vision- saving work.

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39 Buying Guide:

Choosing children’s décor


22 New & Notable: Furniture, accessories and more

52 Storage Solutions: Great ways to de-clutter your home

54 Hot Property: Places for sale and lease


Now Open British designer Tom Dixon has chosen Hong Kong to launch his first store in Southeast Asia, in collaboration with local partner A Matter of Design. Offering an eclectic mix of furniture, lighting and home accessories, along with the designer’s first ever range of textiles, Super Texture, the store is set to open early June on Soho’s Hollywood Road – an apt address for an ultra-glamorous shop. 52 Hollywood Road, Central. tomdixon.net

SUMMER SERIES If you’re looking to give your home a little makeover this summer, the industrial look is a great way to combine eco-chic with function. Stockroom recently added some unique pieces of furniture to its Loft and Industrial style collection for dining and living rooms. Among these is the TAD Industrial Sideboard that is part of the TAD Series. Think rustic metal and recycled wood elements in a sleek design, with simple but effective storage compartments. The TAD series and other furniture items are available now, direct from the Stockroom showroom, with discounts of up to 35 percent. Rooms C & F, 20/F, Hong Kong Industrial Building, 444 Des Voeux Road West, Kennedy Town. 2817 0999 | stockroom.com.hk

Sleep On It! Ever tried to buy a mattress in Hong Kong? They can be expensive, and then you face the issue of getting them home and upstairs or in a tiny lift – it’s a hassle. Skyler is a great solution: a locally designed mattress, vacuum-packed in a box with wheels so it can be delivered to any room in your home. These premium quality mattresses are made with the HK climate in mind and allow air-flow and moisture- wicking to keep you cool while you snooze. Skyler only uses CertiPUR-US certified foam materials, and there are 11 sizes to choose from. Give one a test snooze at the Wong Chuk Hang showroom, then order online and wait for your free next-day delivery. skyler.hk




We always tell our kids not to draw on the walls, but a hand-painted mural is the kind of wall art we could get used to! The artists at Elsa Jeandedieu Studio have custom-designed and hand-painted walls in many restaurants and stores, and they are now bringing their skills into homes. Prices start from HKD$3,500 for a painting of a single animal, including a consultation with the artist and design work. Full wall murals are also available if you have the space and big plans! Or you can have your design painted on canvas for a unique piece of art. elsajeandedieu.com

Flexible Shelving The best furniture for HK homes is often the most flexible. European designed, the Wewood X2 is a versatile bookshelf in 100 percent solid oak that can be adjusted into a number of configurations. Made from two square blocks, each with 48 slats, the shelving can be rearranged to fit different spaces and needs thanks to brass screws that allow the blocks to move while maintaining structural stability. A neat idea for neat spaces! Available through lanecrawford.com.hk and homify.hk

The White Stuff When you really want to impress at a dinner party, nothing makes your gourmet meal stand out like a piece of stunning white tableware. NARUMI’s Silky White Collection from Japan was created at a time when tableware was purely functional, and this classic brand that brought style to the table is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The collection is available in Hong Kong through Exclusivitiés stores. Find them at Shop 109 & 112, Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central (2521 8626); 10/F & 12/F, Sogo Department Store, Causeway Bay (2893 9403); and Shop 3325, The Gateway, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui (2735 0579).

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This light and airy family home on The Peak offers space, a sense of calm and some beach-retreat style for the Garner family.



“I like using palm prints, plants and rattan to evoke a sense of a tropical escape.”

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A s founder of used kids’ clothing boutique Retykle (retykle.com), Canadian SARAH GARNER spends her days helping Hong Kong parents to find the potential in children’s outgrown outfits; an outlook that has clearly influenced her approach when it came to setting up a family home on the lower slopes of The Peak. “Our block is unique because they are government flats, so it’s a case of ‘take ’em as you see ’em’. This means they are bare bones when they’re handed over. The upside is that you get a bit more space for your money.” And the downside? “You have to install every utility – every A/C unit, the fridge, stove, everything. It’s a challenge to get set up, but once you’ve put some muscle into fixing them up, they have character.”




And character is what this apartment, home to Sarah, husband Luke, two-year- old Henry and baby sister Olympia, has in spades. The airy, 2,000 square-foot, three-bedroom apartment achieves a stylish, yet laid-back feel, with Sarah drawing heavily on the family’s travels for inspiration, “I was aiming for a relaxed environment that veered on the side of a vacation home. I like the use of palm prints, plants and rattan to evoke a sense of a tropical escape.” She adds, “We like natural colours and materials with accents of orange, which is Luke’s favourite colour, and blue, which is my favourite.” The beach-retreat vibe is further reinforced with a charming family tradition; “We collect sand from each beach we visit and store it in a mix of glass containers in our bathroom. Each one reminds us of the different corners of the earth we’ve touched together.” Sarah also drew on her heritage when decorating the apartment. “For Henry’s

27 JUN-JUL2017




room, we wanted it to be whimsical and also have a bit of a ‘Canadiana’ feel.” It has subsequently become Sarah’s favourite spot in the apartment. “I love the whimsy of the wallpaper, and it makes me happy to see him play in his various nooks. I especially love our comfortable reading chair.” She adds with a laugh that Olympia – typically of a second child – has a room that is “multi-functional”. It currently houses the piano of classically-trained pianist Luke – “and it’s not yet quite ‘done’!” Although the Garners’ home is clearly a well thought-out and stylish space, Sarah admits that finding unique pieces for value in Hong Kong is a challenge. “I wish we had more variety and quality at a good price, rather than the astronomical price tags that often accompany the items that catch our eye.” Mindful of this, the family’s key pieces earn their space in the home, and most have a meaningful story to tell. “We try to collect things that have sentimental value, especially items we find during our travels. For example, the rug under the dining table was bought during our honeymoon in Morocco in a remote village in the Atlas Mountains where women do hand-dyeing

29 JUN-JUL2017

and weaving.” She adds that the dining room hutch is from Galle, Sri Lanka – “from an amazing vintage furniture store full of Dutch relics. It took a while to sail its way to Hong Kong, but we love it!” A more unusual acquisition is the vintage brass and glass coffee table that has pride of place in the living room, “It has a unique design feature, in that it has a hole on one side. Many drinks have almost gone plummeting through the table when guests go to rest them down in an empty space! It’s actually meant to hold flowers, which is quite a beautiful effect, but we don’t always have fresh flowers in there, hence the confusion!” Even the Garners’ hallway is home to striking, and meaningful, design elements. “The architectural prints in our hallway are of buildings designed by my great-grandfather, who my son is named after.” Sarah adds that the hallway wallpaper is from Anthropologie: “They ship to Hong Kong, and it’s great for a rental as you can peel it off without damaging the wall upon removal.” Of course, a key selling point for any Hong Kong home is outdoor space, and the Garners’ apartment comes with a spacious balcony fromwhich the family can soak up the surrounding green views. “We eat breakfast outside with the kids when it’s nice weather and, post-kids’ bedtime, we try to sit and have a glass of wine on a nice evening. There are hundreds of black kites that circle right in front of the balcony at around sunset every night; it’s quite a beautiful sight.” In addition to the balcony, the apartment is perfectly situated next to the development’s own playground, which really sealed the deal for Sarah. “Renovated kitchens and bathrooms are no longer top of our list! Outdoor play spaces beat out the rest – it’s a HK dream with young kids, as it requires no planning, no transportation and is a built-in daily play-date with plenty of other kids.” Noticeably absent from the apartment is the typical avalanche of brightly-coloured plastic toys that are the bane of most Hong Kong parents’ existence. Sarah explains: “We kept our living spaces quite ‘adult’, but comfortable enough for the kids to enjoy too.” This laid-back attitude has enabled the Garners to strike a perfectly stylish balance between a warm and welcoming family home and a grown-up aesthetic, rich in thoughtful detail.

Sarah’s Recommendations

Anthropologie anthropologie.com Bowerbird Home

Oriental Home 20/F, Horizon Plaza 3542 5336 | facebook.com/ orientalhomehk Pottery Barn potterybarn.com Wai Kee G/F, 37 High Street, Sai Ying Pun 2522 3605 | wai-kee.com.hk

8/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau 2552 2727 bowerbird-home.com Etsy etsy.com Lane Crawford 88 Queensway, Pacific Place 2118 2288 | lanecrawford.com




We meet the style maven who is the co- founder of home-grown womenswear brand, What The Frock?! (whatthefrock.net).




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girls over quite frequently to browse the collection and try on dresses pushes me to keep the apartment organised and tidy, which I’m thankful for as it makes me work more efficiently. Tidy home, tidy mind! Has the dual use of your home proved challenging? In Hong Kong, you learn to be creative with the use of space, and even more so when you have to store so many dresses! I’m always on the lookout for storage ideas, such as my jewellery plates, shoe cabinets and boxes, and these days, the furniture that we buy not only has to be decorative, but also practical. For example, we like the look of our smooth leather trunk coffee table, but when you open it, you have a decent amount of storage space inside. I’ve learned to de-clutter constantly, and to not buy anything unless we absolutely love it or really need it. Hong Kong is not for hoarders – despite my husband’s best efforts to the contrary. To be honest, I didn’t have a particular theme in mind when I started decorating our place; it was a very organic process. I started buying pieces that I liked and from there I just kind of chose things that in my mind went well together. As you can see, it’s a very colourful and eclectic place. I love buying quirky pieces, especially while travelling, that add more character to our place and reflect our personalities. Since my expertise has more to do with fashion than with home interiors, I tend to approach décor as I would when You clearly love colour, both at work and at home! Was the bright décor deliberate?

What originally brought you to Hong Kong? I was born and raised in Mexico City, a place I love. After graduating and working in my home country for a while, I decided to move to London to study for a Masters in Fashion Business Management. When an opportunity came up to move to Hong Kong, I grabbed it, packed my bags and moved here. Hong Kong has been my home for the past eight years, and I still can’t get enough of this city – it’s just so dynamic. I never feel like I’m in a routine, and there is always something happening, whether it’s an event to attend or playing tour guide to someone visiting town! Where do you live in Hong Kong? My husband Naveen and I live in a 1,000-square-foot, two- bedroom apartment on Old Peak Road. We love it – it’s such a convenient location; you’re close to Central, but a little bit removed from all the chaos and noise, which we like. Of course, sometimes I wish we had a bigger space, but for the location, convenience and facilities of the building I would say this is a pretty good spot. Your home has some unusual decorative features; tell us about them. I work from home, and so our collection of dresses has pretty much become part of the apartment’s décor! In Hong Kong, you have to be creative in your use of space; so, sometimes the apartment has to double as my showroom. That sounds like a lot to squeeze into a typical HK-sized apartment? It’s true! Working from home can get quite messy, especially when you’re dealing with so many pieces of clothing. However, having

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I’ve learned to de-clutter constantly – Hong Kong is not for hoarders!




Maria’s Recommendations

I design or style an outfit. I know it sounds strange but in my opinion it works in the same way! Are there any pieces that reflect your Mexican heritage? In the dining room, we have two ceramic female skeleton figures dressed in Mexican-style clothes. They are called “Catrinas” and are a symbol of the Day of the Dead, which is a very important Mexican festival. Some people may find them a little creepy, but in Mexico we don’t see them in a morbid way – it feels normal to have them in your home. They are definitely a great conversation starter when we have guests over for dinner! What else do you love in your home? An amazing local Hong Kong artist created the artwork for our living room. He is deaf and doesn’t understand a word of English, which certainly made the communication between us more challenging! We relied heavily on Google Translate throughout our discussion, but even so, I couldn’t have been happier with the result. It’s definitely the focal point of our living room and a conversation starter, and it feels extra special after having met and worked together with the artist. If you had to pick a favourite spot in your home, where would it be? The living room. The big bay window allows for lots of light, and it’s where we spend most of the time when we’re at home, watching TV, reading and, of course, working.

ONLINE Ahoy Trader ahoytrader.com Etsy etsy.com Fenton & Fenton fentonandfenton.com.au Taobao taobao.com Target intl.target.com

IN HONG KONG iDecorate Shop 926, Times Square Causeway Bay idecorateshop.com Indigo Living 221-224 Landmark Prince’s Building, Central indigo-living.com Thorn and Burrow 1/F, 30 High Street, Sai Ying Pun thornandburrow.com TREE 28/F, Horizon Plaza 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau tree.com.hk DINING “I love all varieties of Chinese food, and I’m a total dumpling addict! I also really enjoy the range of Japanese food here, and I’m increasingly excited by the healthy organic restaurant scene that seems to be growing by the day. However, Hong Kong hasn’t quite cracked Mexican food yet!”

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Whether you have a toddler, tween or teen, your child’s room can be jazzed up with just one great piece of furniture. Here are some items that might be just right for a little one’s living space. Kids COOLFOR

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Weaver Green rug, handwoven entirely from recycled plastic bottles, from $1,600, Inside HK , 2873 1795, inside.com.hk

Upholstered fabric and wallpaper, Jane Churchill “Get Happy” children’s range, Altfield Interiors , 2526 8681, altfield.com.hk

Mops table lamp, price on request, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Airplane console table, $5,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Kazak handwoven carpet in 100 percent wool, $20,000, Iqbal Carpets , 2851 3665, iqbalcarpets.hk




Mr. Rabbit Louis chair, price on request, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Natural wool carpets with vegetable dye, price on request, Carpet Buyer , 2850 5508, carpetbuyer.com

Upholstered fabric and wallpaper, Jane Churchill “Get Happy” children’s range, Altfield Interiors , 2526 8681, altfield.com.hk

Raindrops bean chair with child-proof zip and inner calico bag for safety, $1,090, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com

Recycled paper stationery, from $75, TREE , 2870 1582, tree. com.hk

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Ferum working desk and shelves, price on request, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk

Micado boxed shelf, $2,580, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Noah cabin bed in poplar, $14,900, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com




Noah storage unit, price on request, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com

Fendy desk, starting from $7,950, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk

Fendy lockers, $13,950, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk

Bicycle room divider, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Chara kids’ table in solid oak, Stockroom , $1,430 usually $2,550), 2817 0999, stockroom.com.hk

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Taking Leap the BY TARA JENKINS PHOTOGRAPHY MICHELLE PROCTOR A collaboration with an interior designer encouraged skydiving mum-of-two KAYLENE MATTNER to temper her natural inclination towards f l amboyant colours , resulting in a chic and balanced look for her home in Sai Kung.

W hen exuberant Sydney- sider Kaylene Mattner moved into her new Sai Kung house, the first thing she did was paint her bedroom a bright, lime green. “Love of colour is part of being Australian,” she maintains. “You can’t help but be influenced by those cobalt blue skies and beautiful green vistas.” Six years later, when Kaylene and husband Cam decided to renovate their Phoenix Palm Villa home, colour was very definitely on the agenda. Enter an interior designer with a bent for cool greys and natural palettes, and battle lines were drawn – or were they?




Airy indoor-outdoor living The room in question is an airy open space where the famous cabinet and some cherry-red cushions perfectly offset Sarah’s neutral colour scheme: the dark grey of the kitchen cabinets complements the lighter grey of the wood-effect floor and the delightful little patterned chairs from Indigo Living, and it’s all pulled together by a slubby black rug that was Kaylene’s triumphant find. “I saw a rug in a shop in Horizon Plaza; it was vintage, Turkish and hand-woven, and I desperately wanted it, despite the eye-watering price,” she explains. “I then went down to Shambala and saw the exact same rug for a quarter of the price – it’s a copy, but it works much better for us. With two little boys and a dog, I didn’t want to feel precious about getting grass or other stains on it; but, as you can see, it doesn’t show up anything at all!” The Mattners invested more of their budget in the fitted kitchen, but Kaylene’s thrilled with the result. “All the cabinetry and carpentry was done in Hong Kong by a local firm called Patata, who promise super-short lead times – they

“It was a beautiful battle of compromise,” laughs Kaylene. “We had very strong ideas, but everything worked so perfectly with Sarah Bettle: somehow we came together, and met in the middle. I’d say, ‘I want a bright red Chinese cabinet,’ and Sarah’s eyes would bug out of her head! She’d reply, ‘Let me just sit with that for a few days.’ Then she’d come back and say, ‘OK, I can see how we can make it work!’ Ultimately, we’ve managed to combine Sarah’s penchant for grey with my love of colour, and she’s taught me that, where brights are concerned, less is sometimes more. When I walk into the living space downstairs, I think: yes, it balances perfectly.”

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completed everything in four weeks! I can’t fault anything they’ve done, the finish and quality are great, and all the sections are beautifully functional, with properly designed and engineered drawers.” Sarah suggested two different complementary finishes to add interest, so one wall of units is a smooth, matt-sprayed grey, and the other is a textured wood laminate. Aside from the imaginative mix of textured materials and fabrics and the tranquil colour scheme, the beauty of the room lies in its effortless blend of everyday furniture with select designer pieces – and a few clever copies. The table is from TREE, but the dining chairs are Eames-style; the light above the dining table is a classic Danish design, but a copy was sourced more cheaply on the internet. The occasional tables in mango wood by the sofa are genuine Danish designer pieces and came from Manks (Sarah suggested buying three different colours and sizes), and the stylish lights above the kitchen counter are also Danish, but sourced from a Finnish website.




A huge mirror in the dining area bounces light around the room and is finished in exactly the same shade as the table, but they weren’t bought together. Instead, the couple begged TREE to stain and refinish the mirror – which originally came from Macau – to match the table. “It took a lot of persuasive phone calls because it’s not something they usually do, but eventually they agreed,” explains Kaylene. “Cam prepared it, sanded it down, and we told TREE we’d happily accept the result, however the mirror turnout out. But they did a perfect job. It matches beautifully!” One of the best things about the downstairs living space is the way it flows seamlessly from inside to enviable outdoor oasis. The beautifully designed garden is Sarah Bettle’s speciality; she has a particular knack for creating luxurious outdoor rooms. And as the Mattners were gutting and changing the entire layout inside the house, it seemed logical to open up the ground floor by creating a brand-new entrance and a sleek barbecue area by the side of the house, all flanked by contemporary concrete planters, slate pebbles and a riot of lush greenery. “I wanted to give the garden an air of tranquillity, and to enclose the area so it felt more private – somewhere that wasn’t overlooked by neighbouring houses,” explains Sarah. She used a composite, recycled wood for the outdoor decking. “It’s got a really nice pattern on it, which ties in with the tiles on the ground floor.” When the large French windows are pulled open, there really is no obvious division between inside and outside.

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A view to die for Not content with giving the family a gorgeous green space to hang out in downstairs, Sarah also worked her magic on the rooftop and, because it overlooks the green peaks of Ma On Shan on one side and the blue of Sai Kung harbour on the other, the comfortable outdoor sofas are now easily the best seat in the house. “The sun sets behind the peaks and on a blue day the view is spectacular,” says Kaylene. “The rooftop is Cam’s favourite place – if I can’t find him, I know he’s there. Funnily enough, all I wanted was a new fence, but – thanks to Sarah – we ended up with stylish decking, a beautiful new place to sit, and an ultra-modern laundry area. Sarah has created a stylish nook using white teak and watertight louvred shutters. They’re powder-coated aluminium, in a lovely shade of grey!” Now that she has two Aussie-style seating areas with an embarrassment of green and blue vistas, does Kaylene still pine for her hometown? “The thing I miss most about Australia – apart from family and friends, of course, is being able to jump in the car and be somewhere really different in a couple of hours – the mountains to ski, for example,” she explains. “But what I love about Hong Kong is its compactness: the fact we live in the countryside, but are only 30 minutes from an amazing city, with incredible restaurants and nightlife.” The family are also a 25-minute walk away from the beach, own a little speedboat at Pak Sha Wan, and are keen scuba divers; they spend a lot of time on and in the water in Hong Kong, but avidly travel in search of the best dive sites. Kaylene and




Cam are both adventurers, and like to take their boys, aged eight and ten, off the beaten track. “We’re so fortunate to live near some of the best diving in the world,” says Cam. “We started diving at Malapascua in the Philippines; when we went 15 years ago there was literally no power or running water, and the huts on the beach cost $5 to rent. Now there are five-star resorts and, lovely as it still is, we do miss having the dive sites completely to ourselves! We love the Philippines; there’s another place we like to go called Apo Island. It’s a bit like being in a local village, and the kids end up hanging out with the local children. I hope they remember all those experiences as they get older! Another favourite is Sipidan in Malaysia; you can only reach it by flying to Kota Kinabulu, and then taking an internal flight to Tawau. You stay, literally, in the middle of the ocean. We try to keep finding places other people haven’t discovered, but it’s getting more and more difficult!”

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Kaylene’s Recommendations RESTAURANTS Piccolo’s 20 Wan King Path, Sai Kung 2791 9233 | casteloconcepts.com May’s Sawadee Thailand 4 Sai Kung Garden, 16 Chan Man Street, Sai Kung 2791 6399 The Monogamous Chinese 59 Caine Road, Soho 2523 2872 | themonogamouschinese.com INTERIORS Bowerbird Horizon Plaza 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau 2552 2727 | bowerbird-home.com Habitat Windsor House 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay 2310 1964 Indigo Living 221-224 Landmark Prince’s Building, Central indigo-living.com Manks Cheung Tak Industrial Building, 30 Wong Chuk Hang Road 2522 2115 | manks.com Sarah Bettle sarah@sb-décor.com | sb-décor.com TREE Stores in Ap Lei Chau, Sha Tin and Sai Kung 2870 1582 | tree.com.hk Now she combines up to six skydiving-related trips a year with her busy Hong Kong job as a fit model, being a mother of two young children, and – naturally – the mastermind behind further renovation plans for Phoenix Palm Villa. Bathrooms are next on the list, and repainting some walls, in particular those lime green walls in the master bedroom. What shade is Kaylene going to paint them this time? “I’m going to use a similar colour,” she grins. Which just goes to prove you can take the girl out of Sydney ... Cam’s well versed in global destinations owing to his job as a pilot, but he hasn’t always been employed by a major carrier, and he first met Kaylene while working as a jump pilot for the Australian National Skydiving team. Kaylene – taking adventuring to a new level – is part of the team: “I’ve been skydiving for over 20 years and I suppose I’m an adrenaline junkie – I’ll try anything once!” she laughs. “The first time I jumped it was terrifying and exhilarating all at once, but it changes over time. You’re so focused on the competition and getting the job done, it’s only afterwards you think, wow, that was incredible!”



Stored& Combat the clutter with these clever and stylish storage solutions for the home. Sorted!

Nest display cabinet, $11,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Kelly Hoppen shield cabinet, $39,990, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigoliving.com

Soleil chest of drawers, $8,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com




Shelly bookshelf in solid reclaimed elm wood, $10,999 (usually $19,900), Stockroom , 2817 0999, stockroom.com.hk

Nest Zick Zack shelving unit, $8,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Fendy shelves, $9,950, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk

Majestic bookshelf in solid oak wood, $14,999 (usually $20,900), Stockroom , 2817 0999, stockroom.com.hk

Wicker baskets, starting from $125, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk

Fendy lockers, $19,950, TREE , 2870 1582, tree.com.hk

Spaghetti Chest of Drawers, $15,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Kennedy bookcase, $14,900, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com

Huntington sideboard by Andrew Martin, $36,990, Indigo Living , 2555 0540, indigo-living.com

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W ith the golden months of non-stop junk trips and relaxing by the poolside finally upon us, a new wave of expatriate families will step foot into Hong Kong for the very first time. Having helped expatriates from all corners of the world relocate here, I understand how daunting and overwhelming the whole process can be. Even simple things such as finding the neighbourhood supermarket can seem like a real challenge at first, but it soon becomes a breeze and in no time newcomers fall in love with our amazing city. At the moment, we’re seeing many young expatriates move out of traditional havens such as the Mid-Levels and Discovery Bay and into the Western District, in particular between Kennedy Town and Sai Ying Pun. Developments such as The Sail at Victoria, Imperial Kennedy, Nova, High West, and Centre Place have brought a new kind of urban luxury living to these neighbourhoods. With deluxe clubhouse facilities, beautiful sea views and sophisticated transportation links into Central and other areas of Hong Kong, these developments are helping to drive the rapid gentrification of these areas. And it’s not only expatriates gravitating west; many world-renowned restaurants have followed suit, with Potato Head from Bali and Little Creatures Brewery from Australia both opening up in the district. In recent years, the Western District has become an increasingly welcoming and diverse community and one we highly recommend newcomers toHong Kong to explore, if not call home!

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


Area: Kennedy Town Rent: HK$95,000 per month Size: 1,250 sq. ft

Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2

In a completely refurbished traditional tenement building, this unit features stylish and contemporary interiors with an open-plan kitchen and living room. With incredible sea views, the apartment is conveniently located just minutes from the Kennedy Town MTR station, as well as a multitude of fantastic neighbourhood restaurants, hip cafes and supermarkets.



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