Name: Michelle and Barry
Location: Tai Hang, Hong Kong
Size: 1800 square feet
Years Lived In: 1.5 years, renting
Having made London their home for seven years, Michelle and Barry had the opportunity to relocate to Hong Kong with work a year ago. It wasn't an easy decision, as they had just bought and lovingly renovated their Victorian home in East London (with every wall painted in carefully chosen colors). But in the end they decided to take the plunge, packing suitcases and shipping containers with all their furniture and belongings. These Londoners brought their quintessentially British eclectic style to their new home in Tai Hang, Hong Kong.
"We just like to walk around and see what we find," Michelle tells me. The couple are very good at finding great pieces for free, like a chaise they gave a new lease on life by recovering in new fabric. Or like the cabinet from their local Cath Kidston shop when it was closing down. They also picked up a few one-off pieces from their travels, like the vintage sewing table and table lamp from a vintage shop in Champagne. The 1950s drinks trolley was from a vintage shop in London. "One of the nicest things about our home is that different pieces remind us of holidays, weekends away — our life together."
Michelle comes from an art background, having studied at Surrey Institute of Art and Design, so it's no wonder that their home is filled with prints and paintings, adding pops of colors to brighten up the white walls.
Michelle and Barry have certainly brought a sense of Britishness to this typical Hong Kong apartment. Until I looked out to admire the stunning views of Victoria Harbour and its skyscrapers, I almost thought for a second that I was back in London.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Eclectic
Inspiration: We love interiors and don't like to be restricted to a certain style. Through our travels we find inspiration and like to discover vintage and also reproduction-style classic pieces from various periods and styles. But we also buy a lot from the high street!
Favourite Element: Complementing our furniture with nice pieces of art. Prints and paintings we find that add a splash of colour to our home.
Biggest Challenge: Avoiding clutter / letting go of pieces of furniture due to sentiments. We have a lot of art and prints that were previously hung around our house in the UK. Now that we are renting in HK, we needed to find inventive ways of displaying the art, without hanging directly on the walls.
What Friends Say: Goodness knows! haha
Biggest Embarrassment: The landlord's lampshades throughout our apartment that we have to tolerate (but despise)! They are all absolutely HIDEOUS!
Proudest DIY: Rescuing a chaise chair from the tip and converting it by getting it re-upholstered and painted.
Biggest Indulgence: We really have not indulged on any one item. By taking your time and scouring online auctions and flea markets, you can pick up great value pieces. If we had to name one thing, the biggest indulgence is probably renting this apartment; it's definitely not cheap living in HK (and finding an apartment that would fit all our furniture that we shipped over from the UK).
Best Advice: Do not rush to fill your new home with furniture. Take your time to discover the furniture you love and grow into your home over time. Pick up pieces as you travel around. One of the nicest things about our home is that different pieces remind us of holidays, weekends away — our life together.
LIVING ROOM/DINING ROOM
Gaudi Style Cabinet — The Restoration
Wooden Lamp — Next Home (lampshade from The Forest and Co)
Chaise Chair — recovered and refurbished
Two-seater sofa — eBay
Arm Chair — Swoon Editions
TV Cabinet — Vintage shop in Hong Kong
Grey Sofa/bed — Ovo Home, Hong Kong
Dining Table — Habitat
Dining chairs — eBay and vintage shops and Swoon Editions
Grey glass cabinet — eBay
Elvis Print — Art Republic
Drinks Trolley — Search and Rescue, Stoke Newington.
Round Mirror — Ikea
Vintage sewing table and table lamp - Vintage shop in Epernay, Champagne.
Shooting from the Hip — Hang Up Gallery, Stoke Newington
Bambi print — Art Republic
Columbia Road print — Print Club London, Dalston
Vintage stand-up lamp — eBay
Sound of Music print — Whitstable art gallery
Mackerel Lino — Staithes art gallery
Ornaments collected from our travels.
Bed — John Lewis
Broadway Market print — Print Club London, Dalston
Dog table lamp — Next Home
Mirror — Ikea
Round Mirror — TK Maxx
Saigon print — bought in Hanoi
Bed — made.com
Stand-up mirror — Brissi
French dresser — Swoon Editions
Liechtenstein and TWA posters — MOMA, New York
Wasted Youth print — Print Club London, Dalston
Round wooden stool — Columbia Flower market
Brass standing lamp — The Forest and Co
Heart Mirror — TK Maxx