Author: Anita Martinez Beijer

Living by ear

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 …

Book release offer!

Great opportunity for United Kingdom residents! In order to celebrate the book launch, Home Life Around the World will have a significantly reduced price on Kobo from May 17-30th 2018 in UK only. Take this opportunity to get your own copy of Home Life Around the World! Please spread the word and do let me know your thoughts of the book by leaving a review. Happy Book Birthday and Happy Reading!

Happy Book Birthday!

It’s finally the release day for Home Life Around the World! Happy Book Birthday! The process of making a dream come true has involved if not blood, at least sweat and toil and it has been amazing! Every step of the way has involved exploring unknown paths and at times the learning curve has been steep. But with diligence, single minded focus and sheer stubbornness I got there at the end and result is so rewarding. What started at the end of 2014 as merely an idea, to explore what a home really means to people, actually involved selling my own home to realise funds to make the project feasible. Then followed a period of thorough research and the first tentative outreach to persons previously unknown, living on every continent. Every place I travelled to, was a place I never before have visited. Everyone I met was a stranger at first. This journey required. Also, it meant getting the necessary equipment needed to complete the project. As well as acquiring the knowledge how to use these new …

The cosy home in no 4

A couple of floors up a steep and narrow staircase in an apartment building in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, I find the home of Eyal Cohen. The house is what the Chinese call a ‘walk-up’, a building from the 50-60s with no elevator. The first thing I see as I step inside is a bright and colourful wall made of – egg cartons. It’s a cheering and welcoming sight and a real work of art. His apartment is fairly spacious for Hong Kong, 575 square feet* and consists of one large room, a kitchen and a bathroom. It’s furnished and decorated by himself and filled with fun and eye-catching things. One wall has an image of a large ostrich with a hat. A full-scale sheep with blue wool is standing on top of a bookshelf. Origami squirrels are playing on a tree trunk on the floor. This is a home whose owner clearly has had a lot of fun whilst decorating it and I’m eager to hear the story behind it. “Rental apartments here in …

Living Off-the-Gridd

Far north on the coast of Uruguay and just forty kilometres from the Brazilian border is the small town of Punta del Diablo. It was formerly a fishing village that has become increasingly popular with surfers, who flock to the beaches Playa de Rivero and Playa de la Viuda. But it’s at the quieter end by Playa Grande, which separates Punta del Diablo from Santa Teresa national park, where Rosi and Martin have built themselves an off-the-grid house called ‘Vía Verde’. They live here with their son Telmo and a dog called Trotsky that has adopted them. Vía Verde, the green way, is a house designed to make the least impact on nature. 150 square meters split on several levels and with large terraced areas it stands alone on the brink of the sea on the outskirts of the small town. The main house is on three levels and contains the communal area with a small kitchen, five bedrooms and a couple of bathrooms and toilets. It’s sparsely furnished with only the bare necessities and …

The home of a tango dancer

Behind a tall door decorated with garlands of flowers on a cobblestone street in San Telmo, Buenos Aires, is the home of Mercedes Frassia. She is an architect and an urban planner, currently running a business in hospitality. Mercedes’s home is in the kind of building that earlier was called a conventillo*. Behind the tall porch is a narrow passageway that leads out into a yard. Feminine tango shoes sit on top of an old shelf on one wall. This sets the tone for this unusual home. The large house consists of two separate buildings on each side of a garden, which is narrow and deep, sandwiched between two tall house gables completely covered with ivy. In the middle of the garden there is a swimming pool and deckchairs with yellow and white striped cushions. A massive wisteria forms an arch, dividing the yard and adding to the lushness of it. The whole place oozes old world charm. Despite the house being divided into five apartments, they all have the same flamboyant interior design, almost …

Visual quietness

Cecilia Miranda expresses herself in a multitude of ways. She is a food and lifestyle photographer, a designer, an art director and a business owner. The store she owns is a home accessory shop specializing in cookware in Buenos Aires. Her energy is limitless and she always seems to have something creative going on, while giving a gentle and mild-mannered impression. “Being creative is very fulfilling. I am very happy and satisfied in my life,” she says. She clearly follows her motto, which is: ‘Always listen and be true to yourself.’ Her home is in the leafy area of Palermo Hollywood. It’s a spacious three-bedroom apartment of about 200 square metres* with two large terraces, and she shares it with her two daughters, Mercedes and Manuela. They have lived here for two years now and have recently renovated it. The apartment is freshly painted and there is nothing yet on the walls. The door out to the patio is open and the light is flowing in. The old furniture contrasts well with the modern lines …