Text Catherine Shaw / Styling Anji Connell / Photography Jonathan Wong One of the benefits of expatriate living is the opportunity to learn about a foreign country's unique art, crafts and heritage. For Canada-born Catherine LaJeunesse, this experience has translated into a home full of treasured artefacts that reflect her peripatetic lifestyle. The former banker lived in Hong Kong from 1990 to 1996, before setting up home in Singapore, where she lived for 13 years. It was there that LaJeunesse - who had developed a love of Chinese antiques while living in the British colony - established her eponymous business, LaJeunesse Asian Art, which became a fixture on the antiques circuit thanks to her passion for sourcing remarkable Thai, Burmese and Chinese works. "It was a fascinating time and I learned a great deal, particularly about Burmese Buddha [figurines], thanks, in part, to a close friendship with Nicoline Lopez, author of The Art of Living in Singapore ," LaJeunesse says. In 2009, the family - LaJeunesse, her husband, Andre, who works in the financial industry, and their son and daughter, now aged 13 and 11, respectively - returned to Hong Kong. In 2013, LaJeunesse founded an agency, Quoin, that specialises in executive-level placements in capital markets. Having lived in Hong Kong before, the couple knew they wanted to be based in Sai Kung. "It is so relaxing and tranquil but you are still close to the city. We had rented another home overlooking Emerald Bay for several years and knew we wanted to stay in the same area," says LaJeunesse. Their current home, a rented, two-storey, 5,000 sq ft detached house with panoramic sea views, is decidedly modern, with open-plan living areas, floor-to-ceiling windows and a large garden complete with a terrace and a swimming pool. LaJeunesse says she had expected moving from the family's sprawling Singaporean black-and-white home to a modern villa in Hong Kong would be a challenge, but she found that antiques work just as well in a contemporary setting. "My primary objective is to make our home comfortable with, for example, the sort of sofas you want to sink into. Next, you need to surround yourself with things you love. "That doesn't mean I don't appreciate modern style," she says. "I love working with unexpected combinations, like covering traditional-style armchairs in an unusual leopard-print fabric or mixing simple, ethnic-style African stools with an ultra-contemporary table. "Even small details such as using an antique silver trophy to display flowers or arranging a collection of colourful glass vases created by my brother-in-law, Michael Trimpol [Little River HotGlass], on different levels of a staircase add a personal touch that makes a home much more interesting." Mixing styles and eras often highlights the value of each, LaJeunesse says, pointing to the dining room's glass-topped, wrought-iron table, minimalist cream dining chairs, elaborate French 19th-century chandelier and tall burnished dark gold 19th-century Buddha. "A favourite Buddha is the life-sized lacquered Burmese one that now stands in one corner of the living room. It has watched over my children since they were born. This Buddha is part of the family and even though in my [former line of] business you become accustomed to parting with antiques you have fallen in love with, I could never part with it." Elsewhere in the house can be found an eclectic collection of Chinese Ming chairs, Tibetan prayer rugs and African hides. Side tables display unusual artefacts, such as an intricately decorated antique silver cuff or Burmese lacquer items. "I'm not exactly a minimalist," she laughs, adding that her son shares her passion for collecting. His bedroom feels like an adventurer's retreat, with a number of animal prints by a 19th-century Swiss naturalist, vintage suitcases and a carved ornamental Batak stick. A nod to the past can be found even in her daughter's bedroom, which appears to confound expectations with an ode to bright pink. In one corner is a Georgian-style doll's house complete with miniature replicas of vintage furniture, rugs and artefacts. "Antiques become part of your life," says LaJeunesse. Living room Catherine LaJeunesse designed the Osborne & Little chenille-upholstered sofa (HK$30,000, made by Kinsan Collections, 59 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2526 2309). The armchairs (HK$15,000 each) were also made to order by Kinsan while the bamboo and black lacquer coffee table was repurposed from an antique day bed sourced from LaJeunesse Asian Art, now closed. The Persian Isfahan rug was a wedding present, while the antique Shan Buddha head came from LaJeunesse Asian Art. A vintage silver trophy (HK$20,000) from CK Collection (586 Serangoon Road, Singapore, tel: 65 6293 2301) is used as a vase. The pair of carved lacquer Burmese pumpkins, tall gold-leaf standing antique Mandalay Buddha and the antique reclining Mandalay Buddha all came from LaJeunesse Asian Art. The painting above the reclining Buddha, which sits on a 19th-century altar table from LaJeunesse Asian Art, is by Vietnamese Artist Co Chu Pin and was sourced from Hanoi Studio Gallery ( arthanoistudio.com.vn ). The black-and-white Lightjet photograph, by Korean artist Debbie Han, came from The Cat Street Gallery (222 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 2291 0006). On either side are 19th-century Chinese chairs from LaJeunesse Asian Art and two auction-bought artworks by mid-20th-century Dutch artist Lucien Frits Ohl. The table lamp cost HK$5,000 at Altfield Interiors (11/F, 9 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2524 4867). The antique 19th-century Chinese console table and the 19th-century Burmese lacquer vessel on the floor were from LaJeunesse Asian Art. Kitchen The African stools came from Ovo Home (16 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2526 7226) and cost HK$1,800 each. A Chinese lacquered and carved wooden panel on the right of the inbuilt console and the black wooden antique Burmese vessel were from LaJeunesse Asian Art. The three stone plates on the wall were picked up on a trip to Kenya. Son’s room The 19th-century Chinese desk and 19th century scholar’s chair were from LaJeunesse Asian Art. The bronze lamp (HK$4,000) came from Altfield Interiors and the vintage fan cost HK$2,000 at CK Collection. The three animal prints, by a 19th-century Swiss naturalist, were sourced at a London antiques fair. The Batak carved stick, used by a traditional healer; two framed insect works; cinnamon box and amber were bought years ago at a market in Thailand. Dining room LaJeunesse found the solid sterling-silver Turkish candlesticks (HK$50,000 for the pair) at Evnur Solid Silver (Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road, Singapore, tel: 65 6738 9053). The wrought-iron dining table base (HK$7,000) was sourced from a shop on Queen’s Road East that has since closed. LaJeunesse designed the white-linen dining chairs (HK$6,000 each, made by Kinsan Collections). The crystal vase (HK$2,000) was from Schott Zwiesel ( www.zwiesel-kristallglas.com ). A pair of Chinese blackwood display cabinets filled with Burmese regalia – gold lacquered vessels used on special ceremonial days in monasteries – was bought years ago from a collector in Singapore. Master bedroom The bed (HK$18,000), side tables (HK$5,000 for the pair), chest of drawers (HK$20,000) and mirror (HK$2,000) were from Grange Singapore (the Hong Kong branch of which is at 3/F, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, tel: 2110 4814). The Persian Isfahan rug was a gift. LaJeunesse found the classic Japanese-style gold screen at Altfield Interiors while the wardrobe with mirror was picked up at a London antiques fair years ago. The white armchair (HK$8,000) was from Attitude (7/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 2317 5689) and the cushion (HK$500) was made by Ka Ying Curtain (Shop 6, Sai Kung Garden, Block 1, Po Tung Road, Sai Kung, tel: 2791 4796). Pool area The antique Tibetan rug was from LaJeunesse Asian Art while the outdoor furniture was sourced from Alberobello (1/F, 8B On Kui Street, On Lok Tsuen, Fanling, tel: 2652 0848). Daughter’s bedroom LaJeunesse designed the bed and side table (HK$27,000 in total), which were made by Urban Design (1/F, 40 Elgin Street, Central, tel: 2522 7189). The mixed-media work on paper, by Rebecca Gilbert ( www.rebeccagilbert.com ), was purchased from the artist. Circus act Catherine LaJeunesse sourced the aerial silk circus "tissu" (HK$6,000, including installation) for her 11-year-old daughter's bedroom from Aerial Essentials ( aerialessentials.com ). It not only creates a dramatic design statement but also doubles as acrobatic equipment and a hammock. The curtains (HK$8,000) were made by King Sang Curtain (New Trade Plaza, On Ping Street, Sha Tin, tel: 2637 2788). The colourful cushion was a gift.