As soon as I stepped into my friend’s apartment, I could tell they had fine taste and were just as neat and tidy as I was. The layout was a tell tale sign that a good designer had spent much time with this lovely couple, making their dream home come to life. I loved the well curated furniture pieces and simplicity of decor and accessories. Carefully chosen pieces that tell stories about this family living in Hong Kong made their home interesting.
It wouldn’t do justice for me to merely describe this home and the family that lives in it who are such warm, genuine and fun people so I am including my interview with Shyrene below:
1. When did you first move to HK? and What brought you here?
I first moved to HK in 2003 and it was definitely love which brought me here. After 6 years of dating long distance, I finally decided to make an honest man out of my boyfriend Jay and we got hitched in HK within a week!
2. What are your present businesses and work endeavors? You and Jay..
I own my own tailor-made luxury travel company called SPS Travel, which, aside from my initials, also stands for Special Personal Sojourns. As defined by the name, I handpick and work with the best travel consultants all over the world and match them with my personal network of highly discerning clients who expect knowledgeable, warm, and impeccable service.
Jay and I have also invested in a technology firm which the prime objective is to solve real-time problems pertaining to major shopping malls, and other large indoor commercial spaces.
My husband divides his time between our tech firm, his role as senior management consultant for several financial institutions, and as an investor in a VC fund. He also introduces fund managers to private banks and family offices.
3. When did you move into your home?
We moved in March 2010 after 3.5 months of renovations.
4. Who designed it?
Bruce Harwood, a well-respected and creative Australian interior designer who has been quite well known in HK for many years. We have admired a couple of our friends’ places designed by his firm, so we contacted him when we bought our flat back in Aug 2009.
5. What was it like before?
Wall-to-wall pink carpet and pink tiles! The pink carpet had not been cleaned in a while so it actually looked like this disgusting grey sludge tie-dyed in pink. The naturally high ceilings were unfortunately obscured by these hideous false ones which were so fashionable in the 80’s. And the flat had so many corridors & wasted space which we later demolished. We totally had to gut the place, moved rooms, and replaced everything including the plumbing and wiring.
But, first glance, we already knew it had great “bones”. We saw the potential right away. The view was already a huge draw for us, that of the harbor in front and mountains in the back.
6. Any links to your business like web pages etc
Special Personal Sojourns
email@example.com (email only).
7. What was your inspiration for the design of your home?
It was an amalgamation of several homes we’ve seen in magazines and websites. We are big fans of open & flexible plans with movable walls, clean, uncluttered lines with easy-to-source, easy-to-maintain, high quality materials. And, lots of storage! Bearing in mind our budgetary and space constraints, we felt we made a good enough compromise.
Here are some of our favorites:
8. How do you keep your home so organized and clean?
We were brought up by sets of parents who were really meticulous and neat, so luckily we were both in agreement that this was what we wanted and needed for our household, kid or no kid. When we were blessed with Kiera 3.5 years ago, we just continued on with this family tradition of keeping everything neat and tidy, with a lot of daily discipline to instill good habits. Ironically our helpers were the ones who had the most trouble adjusting since they probably had past employers who were pretty lax about everything. Finally, after a couple of challenging years we are now in total alignment.
Thank you Home Journal magazine for allowing MarilenStyles to use these photos.