The home of Eve Mercier, founder of the INSIGHT School of Interior Design in Hong Kong, epitomises the values of good taste and discernment taught in her institution says Michele Koh Morollo in Design Anthology magazine.
Eve Mercier’s Hong Kong home……
Selecting the best and most suitable furniture and decorative elements for a space takes knowledge and intuition, and the ability to choose wisely is one of the key skills that Eve Mercier, founder of INSIGHT school believes a well-trained interior designer should have. Mercier’s own talent for choosing truly amazing character pieces and creating striking interior concepts is apparent in her own home in Stanley, Hong Kong.
Born in Paris and brought up in Versailles, Mercier founded INSIGHT in February 2013, as an interior design school where students not only learn the theories of design, but get hands-on practice and industry exposure as well.
Mercier’s creative skill set and experience – she has been running her own firm Eve Mercier Interiors since 2008, she worked for leading luxury London interior design house Candy & Candy, designed fashion accessories and clothing for Shanghai Tang; worked at Christie’s auction houses in Paris and London, and wrote about art for a French newspaper – has equipped her with a well-rounded perspective and all the right industry contacts needed to help aspiring interior designers realise their dreams.
At approximately 4,000 square feet, with four spacious and bright classrooms, the INSIGHT “campus” in Chai Wan offers short courses on specific subjects such as “designing for small space” and “concise history of 20th century furniture” as well as part-time courses, executive courses and a year-long diploma course.
“15 years ago, there was no interest in interior design here in Hong Kong, but now awareness is growing. Unfortunately, most working interior designers in the region are architects, and few are professionally trained in interior design,” says Mercier who believes that there is growing need for skilled interior designers in Hong Kong presently.
According to her, in-depth knowledge of materials, the history of style and sustainable design is essential to a good education. “Our students learn how to pitch, go on site, interview clients and take briefs, meet people and built their own professional networks while they learn from tutors who are all industry professionals at the top of their game,” says Mercier.
The curriculum at INSIGHT includes lessons in construction, ergonomics, circulation, electrical and ventilation planning, historical styles and types of furniture, courses on furniture, fabrics and equipment (FFNE), lessons in business practice, as well as courses on Feng Shui and Chinese antiquities.
Mercier’s own home – a 1,800 square feet, three-bedroom apartment in a 1950s sea facing building in Stanley is a project that could certainly serve as inspiration for INSIGHT students.
“I knew my home was going to be by the sea, so I wanted a fresh and colourful ‘California meets Hong Kong’ look. All the artwork and furniture are from my old homes in London and Provence. I had them shipped over,” she says.
Four vibrant Anish Kapoor paintings, two vintage armchairs, lamps bought in flea markets in Paris, a wool Berber rug from Morocco, a Sori Yanagi butterfly stool, a 1940s yellow lounge chair from an antique market in Provence, a woven stool from a flea market in Beijing and a red Chinese chair bought in Zhuhai enlivens the living room.
“I like mixing and matching pieces from different periods and continents. A good piece of furniture or art should compliment other pieces and work well in any setting, regardless of its cultural or historical roots.”