Charmaine Chan

Hong Kong

Charmaine Chan

Design Editor

Charmaine Chan has worked as a journalist in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. She became the South China Morning Post's Design Editor in 2005, having been its Literary, Deputy Features and Behind The News editor. She covers architecture and interior design, and oversees the books pages. Charmaine is the author of Courtyard Living: Contemporary Houses of the Asia-Pacific (Thames & Hudson).

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Latest from Charmaine Chan

Three books on design: exploring Japanese craftsmanship, vegan interiors and the world we’d like to inhabit

Formgiving by BIG, Naomi Pollock’s Japanese Design Since 1945, and Vegan Interior Design by Aline Dürr look at how we shape, and are shaped by, the world around us.

17 Jan 2021 - 5:28PM

Formgiving by BIG, Naomi Pollock’s Japanese Design Since 1945, and Vegan Interior Design by Aline Dürr look at how we shape, and are shaped by, the world around us.

Three books on design: exploring Japanese craftsmanship, vegan interiors and the world we’d like to inhabit
Covid-19 and working from home: author Gideon Haigh asks if the pandemic has changed our relationship with the office forever?

As the coronavirus forces desk jockeys worldwide to work from home, in his latest book, The Momentous, Uneventful Day, Australian author Gideon Haigh explores the pros and cons of being freed from the office.

16 Jan 2021 - 8:15PM

As the coronavirus forces desk jockeys worldwide to work from home, in his latest book, The Momentous, Uneventful Day, Australian author Gideon Haigh explores the pros and cons of being freed from the office.

Covid-19 and working from home: author Gideon Haigh asks if the pandemic has changed our relationship with the office forever?
Cinderella for the 21st century, and non-fictional takes on fairy tale tropes

The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin, Claudia Schwabe’s Craving Supernatural Creatures, and Gender: A World History by Susan Kingsley Kent offer different takes on traditional tales.

10 Jan 2021 - 4:50AM

The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin, Claudia Schwabe’s Craving Supernatural Creatures, and Gender: A World History by Susan Kingsley Kent offer different takes on traditional tales.

Cinderella for the 21st century, and non-fictional takes on fairy tale tropes
Review | Three thriller books – the truth is sometimes more terrifying than fiction

The Perfect Predator warns against the coming catastrophe of a post-antibiotic era and proves more frightening than fictional thrillers The Silence by Don DeLillo and The Russian Pink by Matthew Hart.

19 Dec 2020 - 4:15PM

The Perfect Predator warns against the coming catastrophe of a post-antibiotic era and proves more frightening than fictional thrillers The Silence by Don DeLillo and The Russian Pink by Matthew Hart.

Three thriller books – the truth is sometimes more terrifying than fiction
Slow down, breathe and read flash essays – three books to guide you through the end of 2020

Katherine May argues the benefits of ‘wintering’ in her book of the same name, James Nestor experiments with the ‘lost art’ of breathing in Breath, and The Best of Brevity presents a collection of snappy non-fiction.

19 Dec 2020 - 3:50PM

Katherine May argues the benefits of ‘wintering’ in her book of the same name, James Nestor experiments with the ‘lost art’ of breathing in Breath, and The Best of Brevity presents a collection of snappy non-fiction.

Slow down, breathe and read flash essays – three books to guide you through the end of 2020
Three books on feminism: tackling abortion rights, toxic masculinity and being a ‘good woman’

Caitlin Moran gets serious in More Than A Woman, abortion provider Dr Meera Shah takes on the stigma surrounding the procedure in You’re the Only One I’ve Told, and with Untamed, Glennon Doyle details the deconstruction and reconstruction of her family.

30 Nov 2020 - 11:22AM

Caitlin Moran gets serious in More Than A Woman, abortion provider Dr Meera Shah takes on the stigma surrounding the procedure in You’re the Only One I’ve Told, and with Untamed, Glennon Doyle details the deconstruction and reconstruction of her family.

Three books on feminism: tackling abortion rights, toxic masculinity and being a ‘good woman’
Review | Three books on privacy in the digital age – if our lives are lived publicly online, what remains personal?

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, by Shoshana Zuboff, explores how our data is used for corporate profit, Sarah E. Igo’s The Known Citizen looks at Americans’ perception of privacy, and The Lost Family, by Libby Copeland, studies the ethics of genetic testing.

24 Nov 2020 - 11:57AM

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, by Shoshana Zuboff, explores how our data is used for corporate profit, Sarah E. Igo’s The Known Citizen looks at Americans’ perception of privacy, and The Lost Family, by Libby Copeland, studies the ethics of genetic testing.

Three books on privacy in the digital age – if our lives are lived publicly online, what remains personal?
Review | On Lighthouses and The Last Story of Mina Lee – one takes on isolation, the other the immigrant experience

Mexico City-born writer Jazmina Barrera explores lighthouses around the world and in literature, while Nancy Jooyoun Kim’s debut novel takes the reader through grief, racism, the Korean war, family separation and more.

16 Nov 2020 - 7:24PM

Mexico City-born writer Jazmina Barrera explores lighthouses around the world and in literature, while Nancy Jooyoun Kim’s debut novel takes the reader through grief, racism, the Korean war, family separation and more.

On Lighthouses and The Last Story of Mina Lee – one takes on isolation, the other the immigrant experience
Three books to read before Hong Kong’s literary festival kicks off

Amy Stanley, Sophy Roberts and Marie Lu will be appearing online at this year’s event, but there is still time to become acquainted with their works.

2 Nov 2020 - 12:39PM

Amy Stanley, Sophy Roberts and Marie Lu will be appearing online at this year’s event, but there is still time to become acquainted with their works.

Three books to read before Hong Kong’s literary festival kicks off
Three books about loneliness and isolation, ‘a modern epidemic’

This One Wild and Precious Life, by Sarah Wilson, looks at ‘moral loneliness’, A Biography of Loneliness, by Fay Bound Alberti, studies the ‘modern epidemic’ of searching for a soulmate, and audiobook The Power of Ritual, by Casper ter Kuile, explains how the non-religious can create communities.

18 Nov 2020 - 11:48AM

This One Wild and Precious Life, by Sarah Wilson, looks at ‘moral loneliness’, A Biography of Loneliness, by Fay Bound Alberti, studies the ‘modern epidemic’ of searching for a soulmate, and audiobook The Power of Ritual, by Casper ter Kuile, explains how the non-religious can create communities.

Three books about loneliness and isolation, ‘a modern epidemic’
Jane Fonda is willing to get arrested to fight climate change – what can you do?

In her book What Can I Do? the American actor uses her celebrity to highlight the climate crisis and call armchair activists to action. Meanwhile The Planter of Modern Life and World of Wonders examine the environment and our relationship to it in different, but no less important, ways.

11 Oct 2020 - 11:43AM

In her book What Can I Do? the American actor uses her celebrity to highlight the climate crisis and call armchair activists to action. Meanwhile The Planter of Modern Life and World of Wonders examine the environment and our relationship to it in different, but no less important, ways.

Jane Fonda is willing to get arrested to fight climate change – what can you do?
Lost in translation? Three takes on modern Japan, via Monocle, Murakami and flash fiction

A trio of books – Who We’re Reading When We’re Reading Murakami, People From My Neighbourhood and The Monocle Book of Japan – examines how the Land of the Rising Sun has been interpreted for and embraced by the West.

6 Oct 2020 - 12:09PM

A trio of books – Who We’re Reading When We’re Reading Murakami, People From My Neighbourhood and The Monocle Book of Japan – examines how the Land of the Rising Sun has been interpreted for and embraced by the West.

Lost in translation? Three takes on modern Japan, via Monocle, Murakami and flash fiction
Review | How Hello Kitty and other Japanese pop culture icons conquered the world

In the book Pure Invention, Matt Alt, who translates Japanese games, comics and more into English, examines the country’s influences, from Hello Kitty to Tamagotchi, have changed the world.

3 Oct 2020 - 2:04PM

In the book Pure Invention, Matt Alt, who translates Japanese games, comics and more into English, examines the country’s influences, from Hello Kitty to Tamagotchi, have changed the world.

How Hello Kitty and other Japanese pop culture icons conquered the world
What will become of our cities, and how will they accommodate new realities?

With the Covid-19 pandemic having emptied urban centres, these three books – Designing Disorder, Sitopia and Terra Incognita – invite readers to question why we love and loathe our cities, and whether density is our destiny.

28 Sep 2020 - 4:51PM

With the Covid-19 pandemic having emptied urban centres, these three books – Designing Disorder, Sitopia and Terra Incognita – invite readers to question why we love and loathe our cities, and whether density is our destiny.

What will become of our cities, and how will they accommodate new realities?
Review | How Japan adopted, adapted and improved American fashion

In his book Ametora, writer W. David Marx explores the cultural flow of fashions between the United States and Japan.

22 Sep 2020 - 10:50AM

In his book Ametora, writer W. David Marx explores the cultural flow of fashions between the United States and Japan.

How Japan adopted, adapted and improved American fashion
How a minimalist heritage house in Singapore was a ‘blessing’ for a family under lockdown

Recently arrived from Hong Kong, expat family says the 6,000 sq ft house was a ‘plug and play’ fit that proved a blessing during the months-long lockdown.

15 Jul 2020 - 10:26AM

Recently arrived from Hong Kong, expat family says the 6,000 sq ft house was a ‘plug and play’ fit that proved a blessing during the months-long lockdown.

How a minimalist heritage house in Singapore was a ‘blessing’ for a family under lockdown
Inside hotel designer Bill Bensley’s exotic Bangkok home, where whimsy reigns supreme

Overflowing with antiques, artefacts and plants, the ever-changing home of the American architect and his partner, horti­culturist Jirachai Rengthong, is a design masterclass.

18 Jun 2020 - 3:24PM

Overflowing with antiques, artefacts and plants, the ever-changing home of the American architect and his partner, horti­culturist Jirachai Rengthong, is a design masterclass.

Inside hotel designer Bill Bensley’s exotic Bangkok home, where whimsy reigns supreme
An Indian family who spent 20 years in Japan mix cultural influences in their Hong Kong home

A nod to Indian- and British-colonial style helps the grandparents to feel at home, while a subtle colour palette pulls the various multicultural elements together.

17 Apr 2020 - 4:34PM

A nod to Indian- and British-colonial style helps the grandparents to feel at home, while a subtle colour palette pulls the various multicultural elements together.

An Indian family who spent 20 years in Japan mix cultural influences in their Hong Kong home
Review | Modern Etiquette Made Easy: never eat from a shared plate or arrive early to a party

Manners coach Myka Meier, who trained under a former member of the British royal household, instructs readers how to navigate a number of social, business and networking environments.

19 Mar 2020 - 5:38PM

Manners coach Myka Meier, who trained under a former member of the British royal household, instructs readers how to navigate a number of social, business and networking environments.

Modern Etiquette Made Easy: never eat from a shared plate or arrive early to a party
East meets West in a Chinese-American banker’s Hong Kong apartment

Previous homes in China, the US and Spain influenced the redesign of bright, welcoming, highly personal Hong Kong apartment.

8 Jun 2020 - 10:28AM

Previous homes in China, the US and Spain influenced the redesign of bright, welcoming, highly personal Hong Kong apartment.

East meets West in a Chinese-American banker’s Hong Kong apartment
Japanese minimalism finds a home in France in the elegant simplicity of the Bee House

Budding architect Timothee Mercier was commissioned by his Hong Kong-based interior designer mother, Eve, to build the guest house on family land.

19 Feb 2020 - 10:30AM

Budding architect Timothee Mercier was commissioned by his Hong Kong-based interior designer mother, Eve, to build the guest house on family land.

Japanese minimalism finds a home in France in the elegant simplicity of the Bee House
Inside a Brazilian party planner’s creative and colourful family home in Macau

Cassia Schutt’s split-level flat has stunning views of Hac Sa Beach, in Coloane and pays homage to both her native Brazil and her adopted home.

5 Feb 2020 - 2:56PM

Cassia Schutt’s split-level flat has stunning views of Hac Sa Beach, in Coloane and pays homage to both her native Brazil and her adopted home.

Inside a Brazilian party planner’s creative and colourful family home in Macau
A Hong Kong entrepreneur’s ‘exotic’ style is on show in her family’s Sydney holiday home

Lala Curio’s Laura Cheung blends firm design favourites from around the world with exuberant hand-painted wallpaper in a 1950s harbourside house.

14 Nov 2019 - 4:19PM

Lala Curio’s Laura Cheung blends firm design favourites from around the world with exuberant hand-painted wallpaper in a 1950s harbourside house.

A Hong Kong entrepreneur’s ‘exotic’ style is on show in her family’s Sydney holiday home
Archigram’s Peter Cook on group’s archive in Hong Kong, designing future cities and why utopias are ‘rubbish’

Cook’s hugely influential Archigram collective used ’60s futuristic ideas to visualise mobile cities, and the archive of its work has now found a permanent home in Hong Kong.

30 Oct 2019 - 5:49AM

Cook’s hugely influential Archigram collective used ’60s futuristic ideas to visualise mobile cities, and the archive of its work has now found a permanent home in Hong Kong.

Archigram’s Peter Cook on group’s archive in Hong Kong, designing future cities and why utopias are ‘rubbish’
How a Brazilian designer turned her Hong Kong flat into a home away from home

Former flight attendant Flavia Markovits decided to pay homage to her roots by adding a laid-back, beachy vibe to her Tung Chung flat

9 Oct 2019 - 10:49AM

Former flight attendant Flavia Markovits decided to pay homage to her roots by adding a laid-back, beachy vibe to her Tung Chung flat

How a Brazilian designer turned her Hong Kong flat into a home away from home
Courtyard houses in Asia-Pacific – shaped by tradition, refashioned for the 21st century

In her book about contemporary courtyard houses in Asia, South China Morning Post design editor Charmaine Chan explores how one house saved 50 trees; one preserved history; and one allowed three generations of a Chinese family to live together in harmony.

5 Nov 2020 - 9:05PM

In her book about contemporary courtyard houses in Asia, South China Morning Post design editor Charmaine Chan explores how one house saved 50 trees; one preserved history; and one allowed three generations of a Chinese family to live together in harmony.

Courtyard houses in Asia-Pacific – shaped by tradition, refashioned for the 21st century
Inside an industrial-style Hong Kong bachelor pad with ‘no boundaries’ and a luxury finish

An auditor finds peace and privacy in the city, while dark woods, white subway tiles, brick and cement-rendered surfaces, and cold-rolled steel lend a contemporary, design-led edge.

20 Aug 2019 - 7:00PM

An auditor finds peace and privacy in the city, while dark woods, white subway tiles, brick and cement-rendered surfaces, and cold-rolled steel lend a contemporary, design-led edge.

Inside an industrial-style Hong Kong bachelor pad with ‘no boundaries’ and a luxury finish
From Hong Kong to Tokyo: how a globetrotting couple turned ‘industrial’ house into family home

After years of wandering, a Ralph Lauren executive and his interior designer wife finally put down roots in the Japanese capital.

8 Aug 2019 - 5:09PM

After years of wandering, a Ralph Lauren executive and his interior designer wife finally put down roots in the Japanese capital.

From Hong Kong to Tokyo: how a globetrotting couple turned ‘industrial’ house into family home
After father’s death, a Hong Kong family turns dark house into a bright home for all

With Dad’s trinkets banished to the basement, the 7,500 sq ft house is clean-lined and contemporary, with a double-height living space and subtle Asian details.

10 Jul 2019 - 2:58PM

With Dad’s trinkets banished to the basement, the 7,500 sq ft house is clean-lined and contemporary, with a double-height living space and subtle Asian details.

After father’s death, a Hong Kong family turns dark house into a bright home for all
Inside a couple’s Margaret River retreat in Western Australia: a ‘timeless home in traditional forms’

The eight-bedroom holiday house continues to evolve and surprise as it matures into a home.

5 Jun 2019 - 5:04PM

The eight-bedroom holiday house continues to evolve and surprise as it matures into a home.

Inside a couple’s Margaret River retreat in Western Australia: a ‘timeless home in traditional forms’