We all need some distractions, however focused we are on what needs to be accomplished. This being the start-up year for Homerun Asia, I have been thinking, eating, sleeping the business. There is progress, but it is of course not fast enough for me.
Yet, there were pockets of time when I was not in the office and not working at home. Doing up the office space got me started – to work on my personal space, my home. It has been 5 years since we moved into this house. Some wear and tear need to be attended to. But mostly, I am moving into a different phase.
I am in a phase where I wish to see clean lines and more defined colours. I see more black and white. Mostly white. At this point, white is my new black. Re-decorating my house became the new hobby which occupied my weekends and some lunch breaks when I was not rushing to yet another meeting.
Step by step, piece by piece, I would seek out rare shops where they sell or refurbish the furnishing I envisioned. The main challenge was, as with almost everything in my life, my taste is very exacting. And I was looking for the rare find on a budget. Which means I have to be creative. The designs I want may no longer be in the market. So even if I wanted to pay for a furniture, I couldn’t buy it. I have to look for these designs in the antique or used furniture shops.
The look I am going for is one with Western Contemporary influences fused with Classic Oriental, almost Chinese styles. As my paintings are mostly Chinese Contemporary, I am ultimately going for a rather unusual combination. The vision was in my head and I had to execute it with a passion bordering on obsession.
For the Western influences, I discovered Barbara Barry by chance. What a discovery! Clean lines, black and white with the occasional complimentary shade of colour that is never out of place. But mostly, it is the classic calibration of simple designs with a touch of a bygone era, rich in culture and assured in taste.
I was glad I discovered her when I was almost finished re-decorating. Her prices are as bold as her taste is refined. Yet reading her philosophy for her work, I was filled with a sense of vindication. There is almost a bonding. There is at least someone out there who understands why I bother to re-decorate. Someone told me I am re-decorating because I have moved in to a different space. I am re-defining my surroundings, my values and my priorities.
Barbara Barry said, “There is a kind of intensity of the buildings mixed in with nature, and the kinetic energy on the streets. My furniture acts as a counterpoint to that. Today, you can be in New York, or London, or Singapore – wherever you are there’s the outside and inside worlds. And I’m interested in creating the inside world. You come home, and imagine a kind of stillness. Design can be healing, it can be an antidote, it’s powerful stuff. I ‘ve been looking to create furniture that’s not a trend, that is not about the moment, it’s a long-term feeling and it’s one that has grown slowly, so there’s a maturation. I’m not interested in something here today and gone tomorrow”.
I couldn’t have said it any better. My home is my sanctuary. It reflects who I am and this reflection is not about what is trendy. It is the culmination of the influences of my past and present with a maturity that speaks uniquely of how I express myself. After going through various phases, I feel I have come full circle. I have come home to my own space.