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You just need to be curious, passionate and think outside the box – “The rest, you can learn.”
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Tips, tricks and interior design courses for making a home away from home.


22 September 2016

Do you have a passion for interior design – colours, lighting and textures? Hong Kong spaces can be challenging so we spoke to Eve Mercier, a Hong Kong based design master and globetrotter who knows how to help you make a stylish home away from home – she can even help you to become your own design guru!


Parisian Eve has moved 13 times in the last 20 years. Through Europe and twice to Hong Kong, Eve has sent her family’s belongings across the globe, a lot! But as an interior designer, she knows how to adapt when she arrives in her new home.

Eve’s “Jack-of-All-Trades” background, which includes stints with Christie’s and Shanghai Tang, among others, helped her build her career as a designer. Her design school, she says with a laugh, was “born out of frustration”. When Eve returned to Hong Kong in 2012 architects and designers told her there was lots of work for interior design professionals but not enough of them. And so began ‘Insight School Of Interior Design’, a school that creates professionals through courses that combine creativity, academia and practical experience. It caters for everyone. “You don’t need to be talented to start with” she says. You just need to be curious, passionate and think outside the box – “The rest, you can learn.”

The school’s courses range from an introduction for those interested in design, to short courses in specific areas like lighting or textiles, to full certificates and diplomas. While this is clearly a labour of love, Eve and her colleagues mean business; over 80 percent of graduates from the school end up being successfully employed in the industry.


Her latest introductory course starts on October 11th, runs for eight weeks and requires attendance just once a week.

In the meantime, Eve gave us some quick design advice for making a home away from home.

Plan your space

“When I moved back to Hong Kong [this last time] I didn’t have the chance to go and see the apartment I was going to move into, I just saw the plan. I was living in London at the time and I was able to see, by looking at the floor plan, which pieces of our existing furniture would fit into the space and which pieces I could leave behind.”

Don’t rush

“Very often when people arrive they decide ‘I want everything now so it’s done and I can concentrate on other things’. I think it’s good to spend a little bit of time to get the pulse of the city, to get to know which shops are right for you instead of trying to do everything in one go.”

Beware of copies

“People get very excited about going across the border to Shenzhen to buy things because it is cheap and very quick. Bear in mind that after six months the copy is going to look, feel and age like a copy. So it’s not always your best option.”

Don’t overlook IKEA

“This may seem obvious but IKEA is still the cheapest option if you want to buy interesting furniture. Lots of new designers contribute to their collections so you can buy some really interesting stuff there.”

Buy one good piece of furniture

“Take your time, compare. Buy your piece with a reputable source and try to buy something older than 20th century. Buy an iconic piece that will stand the test of time and that you can mingle with other furniture.”


This article appeared in Expat Living HK  homepage in September 2016.