The blog

Robert Migotto

My pinterest feed has been littered with images from previously unknown to me designer, Roberto Migotto,  for weeks now. Further investigation of the Brazilian architect’s website does not disappoint. The clean, crisp, minimal spaces filled with pieces of varying styles and from different eras reminds me a little of the work of fellow antipodeans BKH and David Hicks. I hope you enjoy!


and oldie but a goodie…

Don’t know quite what it was, but something (or a bunch of somethings) I looked at this morning on my internet travels reminded me of this room…and just how much I loved it.

Markham Roberts‘ NY apartment. From Domino Mag version 1.0 way back in Dec 2008.

Barbara Barry for Baker & Kallista

Last night I was privileged to be invited to the VIP event to celebrate the Barbara Barry collections for Baker and Kallista. Barbara’s visit to Hong Kong has been long awaited. Looooong awaited, I tell you. So I schlepped my copy of her book into Central on a rainy night, and I was not disappointed. I am not at all embarrassed to admit I behaved like a star struck groupie when my turn to speak to her came. What a lovely, gracious and elegant woman she is. We had a brief chat, talked about Australia (that leg of her upcoming tour was cancelled, unfortunately), and she complimented me on my necklace (okay, I might have died and gone to heaven at that moment), and then I complimented her on her book….and I may have gushed a bit. Just a little bit…

All in all it was a fun night, I  managed to catch up some people I hadn’t seen in a while, and of course thoroughly enjoyed hearing Barbara speak about her inspirations. Very inspiring indeed. What a way to start the week!


I was very fortunate to be invited to attend the Press conference for the upcoming Business of Design Week earlier this week. This year’s partner country will be Belgium, which as we all know has a long and creative history in design. I have visited this beautiful country twice myself and loved it both times, and count myself lucky to have a few lovely friends from both the French and Flemish speaking regions.

This year, in addition to expert speakers in the fields of Fashion & Apparel, Design for Experience, Space & Design, Design for Asia, Communications & Design, Product & Design and Culture & the City there will also be a new forum called Cities driven by Design…a topic very close to my heart. 

There will be over 100 international speakers this year, some of the more well known include: Matteo Thun, Toyo Ito, Xavier Lust, and Hong Kong’s own Joyce Wang and Keith Griffiths of my previous employer Aedas.

2013 will be BODW’s 13th consecutive year, and myself having attended the last 8 years I can say it is a truly great event. So many inspiring speakers in town in such a short space of time gives Hong Kong an even bigger buzz (if thats possible?).  So book your tickets, hotel rooms and get yourself an early bird ticket (until Nov 10th). I’ll see you there!?

Maison & Objet – Asia

Maison & Objet, the highly regarded biannual Paris fair that showcases the new and best of all things interiors and design, will start their Asian edition in Singapore, from next year.

I for one am pretty excited about this, although I have used the fair in the past as an excuse to visit Paris (not that one really needs an excuse). Who else is planning to go?

Champeau & Wilde

The Parisian apartment by design duo Champeau & Wilde in the latest Elle Decor absolutely took my breath away. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, its the mix that makes it work. What I wouldn’t do for that original wall panelling…

be right back

I’ve just had a very decadent week-long staycation with some great friends from Melbourne. I might need a few days to get myself back in to work mode…but in the mean time, my Hong Kong readers can sate themselves with this feature on my friend SJ’s lovely Shek-O home in the latest Home Journal, which I styled. On newstands now.

Book review

Its been a while since I last did a book post…a year in fact, so quite overdue. There’s a long weekend coming up here in Hong Kong, and usually there is nothing I love more than to get stuck into a great book. This weekend however, we have great friends arriving from Melbourne, so the reading list will have to wait. Here are a few that are on my wishlist at the moment, some old, some new. If any of you have read them, I’d love to hear what you thought.

“Beyond Chic: Great fashion designers at home” by Ivan Tereschenko – There seem to be quite a few of these style compendiums out there at the moment, but this is one that looks quite appealing to me. A voyeuristic view into the homes of the world’s greatest fashion designers, including Chanel, Alaïa, Yves Saint Laurent, Pucci, Kenzo, and Missoni. It looks like a visual feast.

Francois Hallard is one of the greatest interior photographers working today, so this self titled publication looks to be a book that I would refer back to time and again.

“Aero: Beginning to Now” by Thomas O’Brien – I have been a fan of Thomas O’Brien for as long as I can remember, and loved his first book. O’Brien’s second book is a retrospective of 20 years at the helm of the famed Aero studio and NYC store. Looks like another great reference book.

“Hubert le Gall” by Jean-Louis Gaillemin, published by arguably one of the best publishing houses in the world, Norma Editions (in my humble opinion, anyway). This monograph is dedicated to the work of one of France’s most eccentric and unclassifiable artist designers, who also happens to be a great favorite of mine. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.

“Eyre de Lanux: An American designer in Paris” by Louis-Géraud Castor in collaboration with gallerist Willy Huybrechts – Another new edition by Norma, a monograph on little known Paris-based American designer Eyre de Lanux. The life of a well to do Pennsylvania girl who marries a French diplomat and mixes with the likes of Cocteau, Picasso, Matisse, Joyce, Stein and Man Ray, and then goes on to create beautiful furniture sounds eminently fascinating. And plus, anything published by Norma is bound to be beautiful.

“Jean Royère” published by Galerie Jacques Lacoste and Galerie Patrick Seguin. I do already have a monograph on this wonderful designer, but according to the publisher “This authoritative and sumptuous publication is the last word on this mid-century master”. Say no more, I’m sold.

“Marcel Coard, Décoraeur” by Amelie Marcilhac, published by another great French publishing house: Les Editions de l’amateur. The publisher says “An exquisite monograph on a lesser-known French interior designer whose work is characterized by an elegance and a tasteful application of material”. I am dying to add this to my collection of 20th century French design books.

“Carlo Scarpa” by Robert McCarter from Phaidon. I’m so excited to pick up a copy of this, and feel like the release is somewhat serendipitous for me. I had an epiphany a few weeks back when I sort of discovered Scarpa’s work. I had seen plenty of images over the years, and then only put all of the pieces together of the puzzle. I’m looking forward to pouring through all the wonderful images in one sitting.

“Koloman Moser: Designing modern Vienna, 1897-1907” by Christian Witt-Dorring, Angela Volker, Janis Staggs and Ernst Ploil, published Prestel in collaboration with the Neue Galerie in NYC. One of the most influential figures in European 20th century design, Moser was incredibly prolific despite his relatively short career. He created some of the most incredibly elegant and modern furniture I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait to get myself a copy.

“The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City” by Nancy Berliner – I was fortunate enough to see some of the pieces in this book on display at the Hong Kong Museum of Art a while back. The screens (a detail of which is seen on the cover) captured my imagination, and the colours (which may not really be done justice in print) were ethereal and pearlescent. I would love a copy of this as a reminder and a souvenir.

“Why we build” by Rowan Moore – just as the title suggests, this book is about architecture, and the motivations behind building. What inspires great architecture, and how buildings can change and affect our lives. Moore is a trained architect, now working as an architecture critic for the Obserever in London.  

“The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home” by Pico Iyer. I promptly put this on my wishlist after I saw Iyer’s TED talk entitled Where is home? (if you haven’t, here is the link). Having lived outside of Australia for the past 10 years, in two different countries, with friends of many different nationalities, and their children with more complicated identities, this talk really touched home for me. I highly recommend it for anyone that is or has been an Expat, or is mixed-race, or has children that are mixed race. Its really illuminating, and nice to know you’re not alone. I have a feeling the book will be just as illuminating.

“Art as therapy” by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong – is the latest from everyone’s favorite philosopher. “What is art’s purpose? In this engaging, lively, and controversial new book, bestselling philosopher Alain de Botton and art historian / philosopher John Armstrong propose a new way of looking at familiar masterpieces, suggesting that they can be useful, relevant, and – above all else – therapeutic for their viewers”. Sounds like just what I need on my bed side table right now!

“Behind the scenes: Stories from the design industry” by Hanna Nova Beatrice – “Behind the Scenes gives you an inside look at today’s design industry – the challenges it faces, the commercial undercurrents that shape and define it and a glimpse of those in power” says the publisher. I absolutely loved reading “Seven Days in the Art World”, so if this is anything like that then it sounds like a real treat.  

And last, but not least, “George Condo, Mental States” by Ralph Rugoff, Laura Hoptman, Will Self and George Condo. I picked up a copy of this at the Art Fair last year and am so glad I did. A great retrospective of the work of a fascinating artist, who lives a fascinating life.
Anyone have any other recommendations for me?

Todhunter Earle

I have been a fan of London-based design team Todhunter Earle for many years now, but they had kind of slipped off my radar so to speak over the last few years. So when I saw this image below floating around pinterest over the last few weeks I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was one of their recent projects. I remember their work as being far more traditional in style, so this shift towards something that is more of a mix between the classic English interior, blended with some fabulous 20th C and modern pieces is ticking all the boxes for me. Enjoy!





mirror, mirror, on the wall…

As I get older I get less and less keen to spend any serious time in front of a mirror…as I’m sure we all do. But, I still love me a good mirror for decorative purposes. And here are just a few on my recent lust list…

 A few personal faves from Belgian designer Herve van der Straeton via Ralph Pucci


 Brass mirrors by Japanese designer Morie Nishimura & NIAA
 The Domestic and Scie mirrors from Domestic
 Francis mirror by Constance Guisset
William Emmerson via Ralph Pucci
 Blue resin mirror by Louis Durot
 Reve mirror from by Koket
 Miroir Facette by Ingrid Donat
A couple by Marianna Kennedy


 A few beauties by UK based Sam Orlando Miller
A selection of designs by French designer Hubert Le Gall
Jacques Adnet mirrors via Gubi
Plasterwork mirror by Stephen Antonson

Long weekend…

Happy mid Autumn festival to my Hong Kong readers! I’m quite looking forward to 3 days of chilling out at home and doing a bit of baking.

I thought I’d leave you with these images as I’m finding them very inspiring at the moment, and they feel a bit autumnal. Sorry for the bad scan quality, they were torn out from a magazine ages ago…


Regular readers of this blog will know my issue with buying vintage and antiques in Hong Kong, and will be equally familiar with my love for mixing furnishings and art from various eras and styles.  Well, I’ve met a kindred spirit in Authentiques founder, Kate Davies. Not only do we love to mix and antique and modern, but we also share the same maiden name, and we’re both from Melbourne!

Kate started out as a TV news reporter in Australia before making her way to Hong Kong and transitioning to public relations and events in the banking world. 16 years later, Kate is now embarking on a new venture, although the passion and experience with antiques is hardly new at all.

Raised in a home decorated by parents with an innate sense of style and a genuine passion for antiques and history, Kate says she is never happier than when in their home, and tries to find a similar ambiance wherever she is in the world.

The Authentiques gallery space in the colourful neighbourhood of Sheung Wan opened earlier this year after years of Kate offering a personalised antique shopping service and a successful pop-up store at the beginning of the year.

By specialising in one of a kind pieces of furniture and decorative arts from the 18th and 19th Century from the UK and Europe, the gallery is also a one of a kind in Hong Kong.

Kate plans to host educational discussions about valuing antiques and collectables, antique appreciation, restoring antiques, the furniture of Kings and Queens and their servants, plus in-depth conversations with well-known collectors and experts. Made-to-measure personal purchasing services, unique overseas trips, buying at auction or from dealers are all topics on the agenda as well.  


The gallery is open on Sundays or by appointment, or head over on a Wednesday evening like I did, for a naughty mid-week drink (or two).

Rafael de Cárdenas

I discovered the work of Rafael de Cárdenas this morning through the Dering Hall website…and I’m in lust!



I have some very exciting news to share with you all…finally! Those of you who have seen some of the changes with the blog interface, and the addition of the “Learn” page up the top may have already clued on…

INSIGHT is a brand new school about to launch in Hong Kong, but its no ordinary school…it is Asia’s only specialist Interior Design school, with a very hands-on approach to learning. And yours truly will be one of the lecturers! The concept (and the lady) behind this is so inspiring, and I feel truly honored to be counted amongst these highly talented and extremely qualified lecturers in the founding group.

Go check out my profile and some of the amazing short courses that are on offer, starting in November. The first intake of the Diploma course will be late next year. So…if you’ve been interested in changing careers but couldn’t find the right course…or you know someone else who may be interested – head on over to the webiste HERE and check it out.

Marion Vidal

I’m absolutely loving this latest collection of necklaces from French jeweller, Marion Vidal. I love the sophistication of the simple black/gold combinations and the cute candy coloured beads. They look good enough to eat.

Vidal originally studied architecture in Paris and Milan for 6 years before transitioning to fashion in Antwerp where she ended up at the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After returning to Paris, Vidal started her eponymous collection in 2004. Her mixed education is evident in her work, and the materials she gravitates towards: wood, ceramics, metal and textiles. Each piece is still hand crafted by Marion, and in addition to creating her own range she has also been asked to work for the likes of Céline.

Marion’s jewels can be purchased online via her own site, and in Hong Kong through the online store Chariots on Fire.