Home Tour: Cultural Kaleidoscope

By Deanna Irizarry 2024-06-13 11:55:47

Merging cultures at home.


There’s something special about blending cultures within a shared living space in the ever-evolving landscape of international living. When I met Thomas and Joana Molgard, I was intrigued to see what their home style was. The couple’s journey spans across continents, from the vibrant streets of Brazil to the sleek designs of Denmark. Over the past 12 years, they’ve called the UK, Beijing, and Shanghai home, embodying the essence of global living.



“When you’re a long-term expat, you start thinking about creating a home for your family,” reflects Joana. “This is our attempt to establish that sense of stability – a place that reflects who we are as a family.” The challenges of recent times, especially during lockdowns, highlighted the importance of their living space. Joana and Thomas wanted a place where they could feel at ease and access outdoor areas where their two young children could play. They discovered a property on Hunan Road with all those qualities, which had long been shuttered and initially served as the compound’s clubhouse. Transforming it into a family home required a leap of imagination to realize its potential.




Yet, creating their perfect living space posed its own set of hurdles. “The challenge for us was blending Thomas’s Danish love for clean, streamlined design with my Brazilian affinity for color and vibrancy,” Joana confesses. “Ultimately, it was about striking a balance that honored our different tastes.”




To achieve this balance, they enlisted Edda, owner and founder of ESTILO, a space styling agency, to guide them through the design process. “Personal touches are significant to us,” Joana explains. “We aimed to infuse each area with elements that reflect our journey together—from our respective home countries to the various places we’ve lived and explored.” 




Another aspect of their vision was incorporating sustainability into the design process. “Edda strongly emphasizes sustainability in her designs,” Joana observes. “We actively sought ways to repurpose items, aligning with our commitment to a more eco-conscious lifestyle.”


They’ve created a truly unique home in the heart of Old Xuhui. “We spend most of our time in the dining area and on the patio, especially when we’re hosting barbecues with friends,” explains Joana. “There’s a certain charm in watching the kids play in the garden right in the heart of this amazing city—it’s magical.”


Molgard Family Favorite Brands:

Studio Noosh

Brody Dean

DTL Furniture

PH Artichoke by Louis Poulsen