With a Touch of Asia

By Ivana Sedic 2019-01-10 10:25:22

Classic, but with a twist

When Clare Richards and Andrew Hogg moved to Shanghai with their son six years ago, they didn’t expect that Shanghai would take such a special place in their hearts, becoming their home away from home. “We came for three years and loved it so much we stayed another three. The love affair with Shanghai continues so we have recently signed on for longer,” explains Australian-born Richards, while taking us around her stunning penthouse situated on the 36th floor of the serviced apartment residence by Huashan Park. The entrance is a statement in itself — countless white and blue Chinese ceramic jars are lined up on a magnificent console table, set under a colourful painting, signed by one of Australia’s most sought after artists. “This is my favourite space in the apartment. It was so bare when we arrived and I wanted colour and a little ‘wow factor’ when you walk in. The painting is by Jai Vasicek and the antique chairs have been restored using high gloss paint and a cushion inlay. I bought them in Ningbo where I spent a day sifting through a large antiques warehouse, where I also found my favourite piece, an antique console.”

This five-bedroom penthouse is not their first home in Shanghai: “When we arrived in Shanghai, we lived in an apartment which was very dark. The landlord’s furniture was dark and the lights in the apartment needed to be switched on from mid-day. I set about to achieve the reverse,” she recalls. Apart from being full of light, her new place is very suitable for her family of four. “Our kids, Charlie (9) and Chloe (4) love spending afternoons with friends in the nearby park and their schools are near too”.

Richards’ style could be described as classic with a twist — “I would say laid back with a touch of Asia,” she adds. Many pieces in the apartment, like fabrics in different shades of blue by French designer Pierre Frey, or framed wall paper in a striking green colour above the dining table, were purchased during family travel: “ My husband’s favourite item is the aboriginal artwork that we recently purchased on a trip to Uluru.”