Eve Mercier Hong Kong flat with Hubert Le Gall daisy table
Impeccably-dressed Stanley resident Eve Mercier shares her philosophy on the importance of a good home design, a universal philosophy of interior design and why she loves her neighborhood.
My philosophy with interior design is to first assess any space in terms of light and flow circulation. This apartment is on a corner, so it faces south, east and west. This means I have sun coming in through the house in the morning, day and the evening. So it has a different kind of mood depending on the time of day. Light coming into a house always makes a place more joyful.
We moved here two and a half years ago. I really wanted to be in an old colonial building, and this one was fortunately built by a Chinese family in 1956. I like it because there are only four apartments here so there is a sense of human scale.
Our Stanley neighborhood has a wonderful village feel. This morning I went to my gym class by the sea to kick box. When I was doing that I could see all the old Chinese people doing their Tai Chi. I like the mix of local and Western elements. People also know me by my name. So when I go buy flowers and I forget to bring change, the florists will say “that’s fine just pay tomorrow”.
The most striking element of this apartment are these watercolor prints by an Indian artist called Anish Kapoor. I bought them with the first paycheck I earned from my very first job as an interior designer. I liked the sense of color and the strength of them. I spoke with a designer once about them and he said “I didn’t know you could paint a void” and he was right. The works have a strong sense of color that Indians are known for. I also try to play with what is available locally. One example is my love for Sham Shui Po. I went there to buy jute fabrics which I later made into curtains. They are natural, smell very good and are cheap. Also the last time I went to Beijing, I was at the flea market and they all wanted to sell me jade or sculptures. I told them: “No I want the seat you are sitting on!”
I also like this table from a sculptor named Hubert Le Gall. It was a present I asked for my birthday. I loved the whimsical side of it, and the idea that you can turn delicate daisies into a table. That’s what I always tell my students. Whenever you are designing a space, always try to put something a bit funny and whimsical, something that will bring a smile on the face of people who will live there.
What makes a great home is a home that makes it yours. Not one from a magazine, but one that tells a story about who you are, what you believe, which countries you visited. I like houses that make you smile and where you feel warm. We all have stressful lives and there are always things that go wrong. And so it’s important to really see the house as a haven.