Friday, February 26, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t get rid of all of BB’s belongings in favor of my better taste. Whenever we get into arguments over who has better taste, I have a ready answer, which instantly knocks out all of his. I say, “I get paid for my taste.” Having made a career out of editing lifestyle and fashion magazines, I’ve got this one right in the bag. I’m sorry I digress.
True, I got him to dispose of most of his “I am a white expat living in Asia” tchotchkes like his Buddha’s, pottery and all sorts of wooden accessories purchased randomly on trips to Bali, Thailand and Vietnam. It is also true that we have stashed away his collection of Chinese and Asian art under our beds for more Western art. However, we’ve kept a couple of his pieces like the ones adorning our foyer: a gilded mirror and a semi-lune marquetry console table which have graced his apartments avant et après moi. I also happen to like both pieces.
Looking at how they are styled now though, I find that I need to break them apart because the overall look doesn’t really go with the rest of the apartment. Our key words when it came to the design of the apartment were classic, modern and glamorous. Looking at the photos above and below, all I get is classic.
I am faced with the conundrum of whether should I move the mirror somewhere else and find a replacement or move the console table and look for a substitute. As it is, we have run out of wall space. We have art everywhere even in the bathrooms. So I suppose the best way to go is move the console and look for something more modern to give the classic gilded mirror and edge, to make it ‘now’. And I may just have the perfect spot for the console!
Or maybe I should paint the foyer walls black lacquer as in the master bedroom?
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
When we were looking for a dining table, I really wanted the Warren Platner wire dining table. I called Knoll stores in Hong Kong and Singapore looking for it and comparing prices but gave up when I was told that it came only in one size. It was too big for our dining table.
We needed a small dining table with a 100-meter diameter, way below the standard size. I went to www.1stdibs.com hoping to find one. Four pages later, a Piero Pinto table showed up with beautiful removable legs. How I wanted it but it was too expensive and the legs were gold and badly scratched. Our place is mostly silver and chrome and if we are to pay a premium for something, it’d better be good quality even if it’s vintage.
I obsessed about the table though. And leafing through my old issue of Elle Décor, I found that Brian Atwood has a similar table at his apartment in Milan (see below). We have met Atwood a couple of times, in Milan and Singapore and we are also fans of his bf, Nate Berkus’, work. Atwood got his table from www.spazio900.net but it was a rare piece.
Since we couldn’t get our hands on an original, we decided to have something similar made. The beauty of living in Hong Kong is that anything and everything can be reproduced. Our contractor, Andy, was up to the task and he delivered it yesterday. It is beautiful with chrome legs in mirror finish and a crystal glass. Only, it won’t become stable. It kept on shaking despite the efforts of three people. I suppose it is a feat of physics to make something made of three pieces act solidly like one body.
It was decided that Andy would make new legs, this time with thicker chrome. Meanwhile we would be using the faulty one until the new legs are delivered. It looks really beautiful and modern and we can’t resist.
What do you think? And imagine how the dining room will look once we have the mouldings! Tres chic!
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Versace designed apartment at The Plaza
On our initial meeting, I really stressed that I want mouldings on the walls, especially in the living, dining and guest rooms. I wanted an apartment that had the same feel of a pre-war apartment on the Upper East Side. I have been obsessed with mouldings since the launch of the The Plaza apartments in New York decorated by Versace. While I am not a fan of the Medusa motif, I found the use of white mouldings against black walls very chic. And I wanted to replicate that.
The bedroom at The Plaza apartments
On our Christmas trip to Italy, we stayed at the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel in Florence and our room had beautiful mouldings in two shades of green. When we went to Rome after Florence, we stayed at a suite at the Westin which was painted in pale gray and accented by white mouldings. These two places made me want mouldings all the more.
Our suite at the Westin in Rome
Right now, we are still under discussions as to whether we would install mouldings or not. The biggest pro is that it will make the apartment look extremely chic. But there are a lot more cons: it will be an extra expense; it’s a rental so we would have to reinstate everything back to its original state; reinstating the apartment would also cost a lot of money. Andy said it wouldn’t that be difficult to reinstate to original conditions because installing mouldings is a lot like hanging a framed artwork on the wall, but with only just the frame and no picture in the middle. And besides, we’ve already drilled holes for all our artworks.
Dior's mouldings are also very chic
So the question now is, should we or shouldn’t we?
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The apartment is coming along nicely. Yesterday, one contractor installed our new curtains and another contractor hung our art while selling me the idea of installing mouldings on our walls (more on this later).
For the curtains, the colors are pretty much like our wall colors. A jewel tone green for the drapes in the living room in a lush silk-like material. The living room sheers are recycled from our apartment in Singapore. In the master bedroom, we used the same material as in the living room but in a different color. We used ecru with a black 6-inch border on the sides and the bottom to go with the black lacquered wall. We also installed them on the ceiling for more impact. It’s an old decorating trick that is employed to lengthen a room and to give an illusion that your windows are actually longer than they really are. The sheers are in a gauzy silvery metallic like fabric. For the guest bedroom, we used the curtains we had in our master bedroom in Singapore: drapes in pewter and sheers in charcoal. For the study, we used drapes that look like the color of blue sapphires. It will take a couple of days before the curtains will fall gracefully and for the creases to iron themselves out but needless to say, we are very pleased with the result. And again, the photos don’t do justice. I should use a camera and not my iPhone.
While the curtain installer was drilling holes for the rods in our bedroom, the other contractor was drilling holes on our walls. We placed our newly-acquired green James Nares artwork entitled Epigraph 4 against one pale green wall, above a mother of pearl console table with chrome legs. Our Richard Serra etching (Extension #3) went on the adjacent wall. The other Serra (Out the Window at the Square Diner), a lithograph, went on the opposite wall, right beside what will be a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with a working ladder come March. Both Serra’s we acquired on our trip to New York in September from Gemini G.E.L on Madison Avenue. A small orange Ellsworth Kelly is on one wall.
In the master bedroom hangs an oil pointing by Paolo Troilo which we bought one summer in Positano, Italy. A painting with such powerful and moving brushstrokes that it makes you wonder whether the subject is in pain or ecstasy.
As in our study in Singapore, we have a one wall that is a gallery of pictures and artworks we’ve collected over the years, some bought, others printed from past fashion editorials I worked on. The piece de resistance is the Alex Katz woodblock print.