Sam lives in Hong Kong, in a small studio flat on the 31st floor that has its very own private roof terrace with amazing views over the city.
But we meet in Shanghai, where he’s currently on a work assignment. Sam spends much of his time away from Hong Kong for work, but he offers to host me in his apartment when I’m in Hong Kong. I’m happy to accept and look forward to this, as it will give me an opportunity to experience his apartment myself.
We meet at a cafe in the French Concession. Sam tells me a bit about his work as a designer and consultant. When he describes what he does, he uses words like strategy, research, innovation and culture. But mostly, he says, it involves people and problem solving. He spends his days listening to the many layers of his clients. Gathering in-depth information about them and through that knowledge gaining an understanding of what they need.
His motto ‘Living by ear’, reflects this well as it parallels the expression ‘playing by ear’ and it’s obvious that he is passionate about his work.
Sam seems to have an in-depth knowledge of himself, as he has a well-defined picture of who he is and what he needs. And it’s clear that he has thought a lot about how he wants his home to work for him. He becomes just as passionate when he talks about his home as he was when he was talking about his work. This becomes evident as he describes it. The cafe table between us is soon covered with sketches of the layout and of furniture, which he swiftly draws on a legal pad.
He has had his apartment for about six months and it was the views it had from all three sides and the highly sought after outside space that made him choose it. Even though the apartment is only a modest 323 square feet it contains everything one can need. A living room with a sofa and a clever sofa table with built in extra seating, a small kitchen, a queen-size bed, a workspace, a bookcase, a keyboard piano, a small desk, storage for clothes and a bathroom.
When I look at photos of the apartment I notice that the colour scheme is very muted, almost monochrome, in soft browns and beiges.
“Can you elaborate on this?” I ask. “How would you describe your interior design style?”
“Furniture is the frame of life, not the focus,” he says. ”It shouldn’t steal your attention, only support you. So my style could best be described as contemporary and subdued. I’m also pleased how the arrangement of the furniture works as a whole. How I could use what was already there and rearrange it to suit me.”
This is an excerpt from the book Home Life Around the World and is one of the unique and personal homes I visited.
Hardcover available via Ingram Book Group retailers worldwide.
eBook available via iBooks Store, Amazon, Kobo and Google Play.
eBook: ISBN 978-91-984455-1-0
Kindle format. ASIN: B079VDPBVF
Hardcover: ISBN 978-91-984455-0-3
Copyright and photo: Anita Martinez Beijer