Thursday, 26 June 2008

Our new apartment - before shots

I can't believe I'm actually posting these photos on the internet. I must be crazy...and if not, at the very least, you'll think I am! Our new apartment is bigger and cheaper than our previous apartment (a pretty mean feat in the current HK property market), which is why I agreed to move into this cesspool of grossness. The reasons for this downgrade will later be the meantime, I will share with you the DIY project I've been whining about for the last month or so, and reveal what kind of evil nastiness a few coats of paint can cover up!

These two view is from the entrance, looking through the living room into the dining/kitchen. As you can see its a very long rectangular living space, not as open as I would prefer. It has no real redeeming features architecturally speaking, and the ceilings are too low for my liking. The vinyl wallpaper is (or was) incredibly ugly, along with the light fittings which are beyond ugly, and the massive black speakers which draw your eye upwards to them... and its full of very very ugly furniture which I assure you is not mine.

The Living room, looking back towards the front door and the second bedroom. The apartment is actually in a mezzanine above an old shop, hence the step up to the front bedroom (and the low ceilings).

Opposite end of the living space, in the dining room, from our bedroom doorway looking back into the living room. Don't you just love that penguin shaped plastic bin? When we asked them to take all the furniture out they kindly left that for us (they were originally hoping to lease it fully furnished, but I said they'd have to pay me to live in it in that condition...)

Dining/Kitchen (kitchen part of which is a bit old and too small, but will have to do) looking back towards the bedroom and bathroom. Note the lovely grey tiles. And more ugly wallpaper....bleurghh...

This is the front bedroom...full of someone else's crap. Nothing nice about this at all!

The more I look at these 'before' photos the more I wonder why I decided to live here at all...but stay tuned til later today for the 'after' shots (that is, if you ever choose the read the blog of a crazy woman again) after which I will hear your audible "WOW's"all the way over here in Hong Kong ;)

*UPDATE* The pics will be up next week once I've moved and found my camera's USB cord. So please, hang in there. I know it's ugly, but trust me, the after shots are better. In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves...

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Online Decorative Arts Encyclopedia

The online knowledgebase "kunstpedia" (kunst meaning art in Dutch and German) has just been launched. The essays and articles, in both Dutch and English, are being added to regularly. And wtih topics ranging from Modern Art, 20th Century Decorative Arts, Furniture, Sculpture, Silver, to Textiles & Tapestries, I think it's worth checking out!

Monday, 23 June 2008

I've been tagged!

Thanks to Kate from Girls meets glamour! I guess it's my turn to spill the beans about here goes.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was living in Melbourne, living with a guy who later on turned out to be a total jerk, working in not one, but TWO dead-end jobs, while studying at night school, but going out lots and enjoying the live music scene, and slowly getting to know my husband as a friend.

2. Five items on my to-do list?
So many things on my to-do list at the moment, with moving apartments this weekend...where do I start?

1. I have to get all the utilities cut off, and re-connected,
2. Make sure I can drop off clothes and books we are donating to the Salvation Army on Saturday,
3. Find out if the shipping company has picked up my new dining table (I want it now already!),
4. Go and inspect the apartment after the sisal carpet is installed tomorrow ,
5. Go see the Sex and the City movie with some friends - I know, I know. I must be the only woman in the world who hasn't seen it yet...very embarrassing...

PLUS, lots of cleaning, organising and packing. The list goes on...

3. Snacks I enjoy...
Amongst many others, top of the list of sweets would be Turkish Delight. And for savory, I'd have to say plain potato chips. Yum!

4. What would I do if I were a billionaire?
I think my answers to this are going to be somewhat similar to everybody else's. First off though, I'd make sure my family, and my husband's families were taken care of for life. My mum needs a new car, and I wish I could get her a new one, and a driver to go with it when she's too old to drive it that would be high on the list. Other than that? Give most of it to charities (no-one needs billions!). I'm not sure which ones, but they'd have to do with ensuring children in 3rd world countries have clean water, a roof over their head, access to health care and the means to get an education. You know, all that basic stuff we take for granted.

I think I'd have to spend a bit on us

I'd have to buy a fabulous apartment in New York...

furnish it with beautiful pieces I can only afford to look at at the moment...

fill it with amazing art that I've dreamed about for years, namely by female surrealists, such as this one by Remedios Varo...

oh..and there'd have to be a huge walk in wardrobe, (kinda like this one)...

full of these sort of goodies...

oh and a villa in Tuscany just like this would be a great way to spend summer!

And of course, I'd have to quit my job and start some sort of business of my own. Hmmm...I'm not sure a billion dollars would last very long in my hands!

5. Places I would live...
I think my answer to the last question covers that. Although Paris wouldn't be bad either!

So I guess I need to tag someone else now...who to choose (who hasn't already played)? OK, I'm tagging:


J'Adore Decor

Life in a Venti Cup

An Aesthete's Lament

My Notting Hill

Sorry to any of you who may have already been tagged, or is just not interested...I promise I won't be offended if you don't play along :)

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Paul Fortune

I discovered the portfolio of Interior Designer Paul Fortune last night and wanted to share. The man behind Marc Jacob's much blogged about Paris apartment, he has also created some relatively subdued spaces in comparison. Here are a few of my faves...

Top 5 images of Jacob's Paris apartment, in all it's art-filled glory. It's everything an apartment in Paris should be!

Above 2 images are of the designer's own home in L.A. which he describes as "an ongoing experiement for over 25 years". I can't think of anything more enjoyable. Check out his website for more eye candy!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Today's wishlist update

Not so keen on her taste in men, but L'Wren Scott's designs are fabulous! A bit too late for the birthday wishlist, but still I have to have these shoes!

Christian Louboutin designed crocodile pumps for L'Wren Scott, available here.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Andy Goldsborough

is a man after my own heart, and serves us another valuable lesson that small spaces can be stylish. Not so suprising since for the last five years he's taught at Parsons while running his own interior design firm. He says of his 500 sq ft NY apartment (pictured below) "my favorite thing to do is find an old apartment that has good bones and details and then insert modern into it". I hear you, Andy. There is nothing more appealing to me than high ceilings, original mouldings - no matter how ornate - and a selection of art and furnishings of varying styles. To me, his apartment is personal, unpretentious, interesting and most importantly, livable. It may be small, but the colours he's used have given it such an ethereal feel. Love it!

I so want one of these Parzinger 4-poster beds. I just need to find an apartment with high enough ceilings to accomodate it! - maybe next time...

(Featured in Metropolitan Home, March 2007)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

I just bought myself a (not so) little birthday pressie...A classic Milo Baughman burled olivewood dining exciting! It will fit perfectly in my new apartment. Now for the chairs to go with it...

Tuesday, 10 June 2008


I've been loving the bits and pieces I'd seen of Richard Mishaan's furniture line, Homer, for some time now. I saw it advertised in Elle Decor a while back and have been anxiously awaiting the website launch ever since. The wait is over!

The "Cairo" credenza - a very chic silhouette, an absolute classic, would look great in my dining room!

The "Cairo" etagere - another classic profile, and very elegant. I have a tonne of books I'd love to pile up on this.

The "Halcón" side table - also very chic, I would love this for a bed side table. The pull-out tray at the top is the perfect place to rest a morning cuppa.

The "Halcón Parson's" table - more of a modern profile, but I think it would work in a variety of interior styles.

Believe me or not, but the "October" side table is pretty much exactly the same as the side table I had in mind to get made for my new apartment. Inspired by a JM Frank design and covered in parchment, it's very chic, and has a discreet drawer for extra storage. I think I might have to change my design a little so I don't look like I'm copying...The "Mondrian" chair is a pretty versatile shape, and I'm loving it's square shaped upholstered arms.
I think the "Spider" chair was possibly inspired by classic Art Deco styled arm chairs, but I love Mishaan's interpretation. It's much more elegant and refined.

The perfect library chair, the "de Colombe High Back" looks comfortable and stylish at the same time.
The "de Colombe Slipper" chair is just as chic from behind as it is from the front!
And finally, the "de Colombe Sofa" has a timeless profile, slender arms, comfy back cushions, and lovely legs. I wouldn't mind coming home to this beauty every night!

Friday, 6 June 2008

I wish I was spending the weekend here!

A stunning Sagaponack cottage by Thierry Despont. Love it! Hope wherever you're spending this weekend it's a good one!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Antonio Citterio

Last night I attended a bathware product launch designed by Antonio Citterio for Axor, where I was lucky enough to meet the legendary man himself (and get his autograph - yes, I know, I'm a sad design groupie!). Citterio, who to me, epitomises modern italian design, has been one of my architect idols since the age of 15 and wanted to be an architect myself (that all changed when the school told me I would have to chose maths and sciences over arts and creative subjects...). So today, I thought I'd revisit some pics of his own Milan home which was completed in 1998 - 10 years ago now - but it still looks just as fresh and modern today as it did then.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

200th post!

Wow! I'm kind of at a loss for words...I just realised this is now my 200th post. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started writing this thing...this thing that has now taken on a life of it's own somehow. So, while I'm struggling to figure out how to express my sentiments, I'll just say thanks. Thanks to all my readers. Without sounding like an Oscar acceptance speech, I do want to thank you all - because even though I would probably still write this without any readers - you certainly make it worthwhile. And the comments help - so bring them on!
During the course of writing this blog I've been contacted - by messages left and by emails to me directly - by some really amazing people - other Interior designers, Furniture designers, Artists & Artisans, Sculptors, Architects, Writers and plenty of design addicts like myself -from all corners of the globe. It's been heartwarming. So thank you for reading and I hope you'll want to read the next 200.