Where modern meets antique

By Ivana Sedic 2019-01-10 10:18:06

Sara Naumann shares her modern-meets-antique home with us

Sara and Ivo Naumann have been living in Shanghai for almost 15 years. Having met in Tokyo in the late 90s, this couple later moved to San Francisco in Sara’s home country of the United States, where they were married in 2002. That same year they moved to Shanghai and had their two kids, Florian Otto (13) and Beatrice Franziska (8). Sara explains all this to me as she shows me around her home – a classic property with gorgeous wooden floors and a large garden.

“We looked at a lot of apartments and houses before we moved to our first place on Yanqing Road. We lived there for a few years and then found a lane house on Jian Guo West Road. We lived in that home for 8 years and fell in love with the lane and our neighbors. When our current house, which is next door to our old home, became available with the big garden, we moved in after they renovated.”

Sara and Ivo’s Shanghai home is a mix of contemporary and antique. “A lot of our things are still in the US and Germany, where my husband is originally from, and most of those things have been in our families for generations, so we have fun mixing contemporary furnishings with our older things. When we first moved to Shanghai we went overboard with old Chinese furniture, but now we try to mix everything,” says Sara of her home décor.

She also says that her and Ivo have similar tastes, and they often do the decorating together. One of Ivo’s contributions is his collection of old maps. However, she also adds that they try to not get too attached to many of their items.

“We’ve been moving around for so many years that we try not to get too attached to furniture. When we leave, we’ll leave the furniture, light fixtures, dishes-everything-behind. The art and collectables are what we’re attached to, and we try to pick up interesting pieces during our travels.”

Although the home is beautiful, Sara says that her family’s favorite place is the garden. “During the day, to sit and have coffee and look into the garden is so relaxing. And at night, we sit outside, or if it’s too hot or too cold, we just turn on the garden lights and enjoy the tranquility. We love living so central and yet feeling like we have our little oasis.”