Sometimes, just for fun, I design rooms for imaginary clients. I LOVE imaginary clients – they are just the best to work with! They have whatever budget I want them to have, inevitably agree with what I think is best for the room, and respond to my queries immediately! Can’t beat them 😉
I have been feeling a little bit of a need to design a room as I haven’t had any full room clients lately (I have been focusing on the job search). I did a few hours of design consulting this week though, and it really got my brain working on design ideas, and I had to do something with the creative energy.
The brief: This client loves the boho chic look, but being in HK they also wanted to bring in some of the Chinoiserie influence, but overall keep it modern and bright. Oh, and they had to be able to go to the store and look at the items. None of this online ordering stuff that I am so fond of! And the number of stores had to be the absolute minimum. This person has just moved here and does not have time to traipse all over HK looking at things. Not much to ask, right?! Seems I am my own toughest client….
I started this room off by looking at a HK store I really like: Thorn and Burrow. They are in Sai Ying Pun, a very trendy area with great restaurants and bars, and a lot of HK character. I knew they would have a good selection of soft furnishing and decorating items, and they also have some Chinoiserie style furniture done in fun, bright colours. I went with a media cabinet, side tables, two cushions (the Hmong fabric ones), seagrass baskets, juju hats, a throw, a painting and a feather decoration.
My next step was to go back and think about the other major furniture items for the room: a sofa and a side chair. I went to trusty IKEA for these. The side chair is actually in a blue and white stripe – a subtle pattern but it adds interest. The third pillow (the white with thin blue stripes) is an IKEA one that happens to work very well with the Thorn and Burrow ones. I also picked out the bronze floor lamp from IKEA to add a hint of metallic to the space.
Lastly, it was time to fill in the gap! I needed a coffee table. I tried valiantly to find something from IKEA that could work so that I could stick to only two stores, and this one could do the trick in a pinch:
But let’s be honest: it goes, but it doesn’t look amazing, does it?! So I did have to go to one more store, Indigo Living, to source this carved Elmwood table they have. It’s even on sale right now, which probably means they will no longer be getting new stock of it and it will soon be taken out of their catalogue. Although, even on sale it is almost four times the cost of the IKEA one. If the client’s budget could stretch to it, I would also switch out the IKEA armchair for this Indigo Living one. Again, this Indigo Living chair is significantly more (twice the price!) than the IKEA one but it sure is lovely isn’t it?!
The last piece of the puzzle that I fitted was actually the Louise Hill painting. When I look at the finished board, it really looks as if the painting should have been the starting point for the design as it incorporates the right feel for the room (fresh, modern, colourful, a flavour of Hong Kong) and perfectly pulls together the palette for the room. But I actually selected it as the very last piece for the space!
So there you have it: a boho Chinoiserie chic living room sourced from real life stores in Hong Kong and only three stores at that! No wandering around for days to pull together a room that looks nice! I hope you like it 🙂