Sunday, August 18, 2013


I'm sorry to say - I'm out of Hong Kong for several months because I'm building a large 5000 sq. ft. home in Naples, Fl and will not return until October.  Being the designer means it's a full time job and I have to be here during the crucial stages when everything is chosen.  We are designing as we go.  Slow, slow, slow......

Many of you might know I also broke my wrist last CNY while in New Zealand and it's not healing well.  It's my dominant hand and I'm in Physiotherapy 3 times a week for it.  Physio in the USA is so much better than HK.  It slows me down considerably - because of my medication and the awkwardness of the hand. But I can still type. 

I am a true French Country lover.  It is my style of decorating and my comfort zone. In the past it tends to be cluttered - but the new version is about neutrals, linen, beautiful wood and a handful of well thought out antique accessories. Think large when purchasing accessories- then you won't need as many - and the item becomes a strong focal point.  Stay away from the chotchkies -  they become dust collectors. 

French country design often incorporates ruffles, distressed woodwork, and both vibrant and subdued hues.

The look of painted white furniture is the 'shabby chic' french country and it's becoming dated. 

Carved legs on the stool show a French influence.
The soft lines of the sofa covered in linen - another look.
Change out the pillows with colorful ones.  When you get bored - you can change them easier than slip-covering the entire sofa. 

Today's elegant french country uses simple designs, stripped wood - showing a light raw wood mixed with the other extreme of a dark brown stain.  Fabrics are neutral and punched with colorful soft fabrics.  
Linen is the fabric of choice. 

Raw wood table
slip-covers with gathering. 

Wing back chairs in linen. 

In China I do not recommend painting any furniture white.  China uses oil lacquers - they will not change their ways.  Oil has yellow in it.  Your piece will turn creamy yellow in a few years.  Destroying the look of your precious item. I now have a piece I have to repaint myself.  I've done it for others inside their homes.   


Sofa designs

This is my own sofa design below.  I removed the 2 back pillows and use about 5-6 22" square pillows in assorted colors.  My sofa was done in 2 pieces because it's about 93" long.  It had to fit the elevator.  I should have done one long bottom cushion.  You tend to sit in the middle and fall into the split.  

My old flat

wicker chairs are less expensive and make for a wonderful casual look.  

Light blue and aqua are soft muted colors that go well with this look. 

Linen curtains - head to Sham Shui Po and get your own fabric for pennies - then have some one local sew them.  These are 2 tone. 
French chairs and a country table stripped to the light colored wood. 

OK - these are shabby chic distressed off white / cream.  Try and get the supplier to use water base paint finished with wax. 

A soft muted area rug to define your space.
Blue and white pottery - easy enough to find in Hong Kong. 

Mix and match chairs 
Gray is also another important color

wicker baskets
zebra rug
sisal rug
linen curtains
blue and white

Raw wood - stripped cabinet. Rustic look - great way to keep a small room soft, light and homey. 

Head to Pinterst and search french country.  A great source is Cote de Texas.

A living room and dining room I did several years ago.

Good luck with your flat and your French influence while in Hong Kong.

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