Our home our story

By Ariana Crisafulli 2019-01-09 16:43:37

A cozy home that tells a family tale

In the home of Angeline and Paul Ruston, their two little girls Juliette (4) and Isabella (3) show off for the visitors who have come to take photos of their home. The sisters rock out to Total Eclipse of the Heart on their “stage” in the living room and run races in the backyard.

The backyard is arguably one of the most eye-catching features of the villa-style home, and Angeline says that it’s one of their family’s most favorite things about the house.

“Our girls just love our outdoor space. The first thing they do when they get home from school or wake up on the weekend is to run out into the garden. They climb trees, play in their ‘tree house,’ dig in the garden, run and kick the ball. Enjoying the freedom of childhood, but with a good dose of mosquito repellent! Also, since our family is half South African, we like to ‘braai,’ also known as barbecue, on weekends.”

Angeline describes the style of their home as “eclectic… a few classic pieces, mixed with functional furniture and space fillers.” Having lived in South Africa, Singapore, and now China, the Rustons have collected a number of prized home items, such as their Nguni cowhide ottoman from Angeline’s home country of South Africa, their wine cooler from Singapore, and their Chinese-style lacquered side board from right here in Shanghai.

One of the things that stood out most to me was the magical play space the couple had created for their daughters. It was a wonderland of toys, bright sunlight, educational posters, and arts and crafts. And, with the multi-level floorplan, the more sophisticated domain of the adults was easily separated from the storybook world of Juliette and Isabella.

Although all their furniture (and their cat, Monkey) has traveled with them wherever they’ve lived, the items that the Rustons treasure most are their art pieces. Angeline says that each piece they’ve acquired over the years has a story to it, including the very vibrant and imaginative pieces by their children!

But there is one painting in particular that is exceptionally special to Angeline; a painting by Ruth Walter, titled Sunrise, which depicts a sunrise over an informal settlement near Clarens in the Free State Province of South Africa.

Angeline explains, “It was in Clarens that we first realized I was pregnant with our daughter, and it was definitely a ‘new dawn’ and new chapter in our life.”