Cristina Thrives as an Expat in Hong Kong

Cristina Thrives as an Expat in Hong Kong

Jill Slater
Jun 20, 2012

Name: Cristina
Location: Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Size: 450 square feet, 1 bedroom rental
Years Lived In: 2 years

Cristina is an adventurous soul. She's traveled to countries across the globe and lived in more than a few of them. For the last couple of years, she's 'settled down' in Hong Kong, in an industrial district transitioning into a very hip neighborhood.

Cristina, an architect, was lucky enough to find a sublet that had been totally pimped out by its owner, also an architect. Such attention to detail transforms what could be a very claustrophobic apartment over an auto repair shop into a cozy home with romantic views from every window!

Corky, a contemporary artist and Christina's long-distance fiance, is based in Los Angeles but comes to stay with Cristina for long periods of time. He is also responsible for a lot of the great art that personalizes this already uniquely personal space.

It's very common to see utilities exposed on the outside of residential buildings as well as inside apartments. Here, the electrical piping is embraced and made an integral part of the design of the space. The walls are stuccoed. The doors are formed from raw ironwork and the countertops are granite. The purity and simplicity of the materials help to unify the space. It feels very cohesive and incredibly cozy. For sure, an excellent home away from home — wherever that may be!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Style: Modern.

Inspiration: I'm a daylight addict. I get a good amount of light through the day, and it brings the apartment to life with the different patterns it creates.

Favorite Element: The unsealed ironwork — because of the humidity it weathers and looks very cool. I also love the feel of the unfinished hard wood floors.

Biggest Challenge: Small closet and I have too many clothes.

What Friends Say: Sooo cute and modern and cute, I love it!

Biggest Embarrassment: The laundry basket near the kitchen — it's close to the washer but unsightly in the kitchen.

Proudest DIY: Decorating to make it homey and modern. The art that I chose was symbolic. It makes me happy. Corky's art especially — he is an amazing painter and you can stare at the pieces forever.

Biggest Indulgence: My bed is absolutely delicious!

Best Advice: Buy yourself a dehumidifier.

Dream Source/Resources: We love postmodern furniture or Danish furniture. LA has some great flea markets and bazaars like the Rose bowl or some boutique stores along La Brea. My favorite kitchen supply store in Hong Kong is Pantry Kitchen, or Surfas in LA.



    • Sheets with high thread count and yummy duvet (no idea about brand) Ikea
    • Barometer side lamps, Arper
    • Catifa 80 red lounge chair


    • Leather Coach Arper
    • Catifa 80 Red Lounge Chair
    • Black Mies bench
    • Ikea, Barometer floor lamp
    • Bose MP3 Player Speaker (most important), LCD Flat Screen
    • Wrought iron case work — unsealed
    • Artemide Tolomeo Lamp


    • Black flamed finish granite top
    • Axon Fixtures

Thanks Cristina!

(Images: Jill Slater)

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