Text Viv Jones / Styling David Roden / Photography K.Y. Cheng
The oasis of tropical calm created by designer Jennifer Newton and her client Anita Miget belies the veritable Aladdin’s cave of treasures assembled in the latter’s 1,200 sq ft flat.
Tucked away on MacDonnell Road, in the heart of Mid-Levels, the apartment is a synthesis of Miget’s own bohemian tastes and Newton’s globetrotting eclecticism.
Having lived on the 59th floor of a glamorous high-rise when she first came to Hong Kong, Miget wanted something different from that “gilded cage”.
“I wanted to be close to Central so I could walk everywhere and I wanted a balcony,” she says, “so I could have a little bit of the outdoors to call my own.”
The place she bought was a bright white, recently renovated apartment in a low-rise building that ticked her boxes in terms of space but was a world away from the quirky home she wanted to inhabit. Enter Newton, whose work Miget was familiar with. Looking for a designer who would “get my wild style and be able to work with me”, Miget e-mailed Newton (who is based in Bali, Indonesia) and the pair met.
The brief? “No holding back!” says Miget. “I wanted to go over the top. More is more!” The result is a warm, welcoming space that evokes superlatives and adjectives galore.
“I wanted the place to be a reflection of my style and personality,” says Miget.
“Eclectic, kooky, colourful, mismatched and imperfect. Natural, not artificial. I wanted a place where I could create a lot of memories. I like old things; things that have a story, that have had multiple lives.
I like surprises and unexpected detailing, then mixing it up in original ways – and using colour flagrantly.”
The original two-bedroom space was reconfigured to allow for an open-plan kitchen, dining and living space (with the kitchen area made extra wide to accommodate caterers); two bathrooms; and a master bedroom with a generous en-suite, walk-in wardrobe.
All the furniture and fittings (save for Miget’s collection of antique Buddhas) were bought or custommade to fit with the space. Antique doors from Thailand have been repainted and used throughout the apartment; recycled boat wood from Bali was repurposed for cabinets and the front door; and textiles from India were used to furnish the bedroom lavishly.
“I am a very visual person,” says Miget, “I constantly assimilate visual imagery into my own aesthetic. It’s not a studied thing but rather an emotional response. I find patterns and colours I like and, because I am ‘selfconsistent’, by definition the things I like fit together.
“I spend a lot of time in Japan and I think that has had a big influence from a mindset point of view – finding beauty in the imperfect, the crooked, the worn.”
Complementing the apartment’s organic feel, natural earth tones enlivened with sunset hues of pink, orange, red, blue and green are used throughout, creating a sense of retreat in the heart of the city.
When asked what she loves most about the place, Miget finds it hard to choose. She loves her powder room and “killer closet”, but ultimately decides it’s “probably the balcony – my little jungle”.
Balcony The vertical garden was created by HKGreenWalls (www.hkgreenwalls.com). The tiles were handmade in Thailand and sourced by Jennifer Newton’s Newton Concepts (www.newtonconcepts.net). The hanging Jellyfish lights and the coffee table, which is made from reclaimed wooden railway sleepers and steel, were from Wild Sensoria (tel: 8199 0260; www.wildsensoria.com).
Master bathroom detail The dramatic door to the en-suite master bathroom is made of monkey wood sourced by Newton on a street in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and was installed by Loft Square.
Bedroom detail The upholstered rocking chair and chest of drawers were from Shambala. The beaded lamp on the bedside table came from Wild Sensoria. The rug was purchased a few years ago from Ikea (various locations; www.ikea.com.hk).
Guest bathroom Epitomising Miget's ''wild'' brief, the guest bathroom was decked out in thatch sourced by Newton from a street-side stall in Ubud, Bali, and installed by Loft Square. The copper sink, light fixture and Buddha soap dispenser were from Wild Sensoria. The vintage mirrors were made from antique frames bought at a car-boot sale in Sydney, Australia. The toilet is by Kohler (www.kohler.com.hk). The drawers in the bathroom are covered in faux crocodile leather.
Shoe in Covering the wall of the dining area, floor-to-ceiling cabinets provide storage for Anita Miget's impressive shoe collection. "This cupboard looked a bit boring and monolithic and needed something to spice it up - the idea to nail the shoes to the door as handles popped out of that," she says. The tiny shoes were purchased from a shop in Central selling Kashmiri goods.