Socialite and fashionista Denise Lo invites us into her home to discover how she makes her trinkets and objects the stars of the show
Perched above Kennedy Road, the balcony of Denise Lo’s Christian Dior-inspired home overlooks the heart of Hong Kong. A self-proclaimed hoarder, Lo has made her residence a museum of personal likes, souvenirs and artworks amassed from her extensive travels. Her previous home, a little further uphill on Bowen Road, was an exercise in minimalism – “completely concrete and graphite, with dark-grey and light-brown tones” – but after a tenant moved out of Lo’s Kennedy Road space, she took the plunge and moved in. The move coincided with her new role at Dior at the time, which seemed reason enough to make the change.
Her stint at the brand appears to have influenced her home decor quite heavily, with light grey coloured walls and white panelled trims reminiscent of the signature colour of the maison’s stores. Paired with these are light, warm wooden floors that are the opposite of the concrete aesthetic she describes at the old home. When it comes to the layout, practicality is Lo’s priority: the kitchen at Kennedy Road used to be three times the size, but since Lo doesn’t cook, she slashed the area to make room for a study and guest bathroom – she has guests over often. Lo also installed extensive storage space behind three of her panelled walls to store her treasures.
The living room features a large, pale grey plush sofa, a light grey rectangular ottoman and two white chairs from Restoration Hardware surrounding a large wooden coffee table. When designing her home, Lo considered the overall feel before deciding how to decorate it, wanting a very comfortable, light and airy setting. Most shelving, aside from the two ceiling-length bronze shelves flanking her television, are painted white to keep the atmosphere light.
Travel is a large source of inspiration. “I’m a shopaholic,”Lo admits. “I love to travel and buy different things but somehow whatever I buy looks good in my house. Sometimes it’s ethnic, sometimes it’s a Dior-esque sort of thing, or sometimes it’s just cute.
“I’m definitely eclectic and buy so many things, but they all mean something and bring me joy – that’s why I can never get rid
of things.” Not surprisingly, she’s looking for a bigger place to make room for her ever-expanding collection.
Lo adores elaborate table settings. Occupying almost half of her home, her long rectangular dining table seats up to 12, with plush light-grey chairs to match the rest of her house. For our shoot, she sought the help of good friend Monica Cheung to style her home.
As a result, her dining table was bursting with an assortment of flowers in a variety of vases, all from French brands such as
Astier de Villatte.
“Elaborate table settings make me so happy,” she says. “Even looking at all the pictures again after entertaining, as well as putting
it together, makes the entire living experience more pleasurable. I just love tableware. I have four complete settings, but the problem is where to store them all.” Most of Lo’s tableware including the coloured crystal glasses are from Dior. She’s also a fan of kitsch designs and quirky decor, such as the Señor and Señorita vases displayed on the dining table.
Lo’s design mantra revolves around how she feels: “Everything in your house must be something you like. You could be buying the most expensive furniture, but if you don’t feel like you’re at home, then it’s a problem,” she says. “I like my home to be comfortable, to have things that I love, so that when I look at them it brings me so much happiness. All the things here, I don’t get tired of them – even pieces I’ve had for more than 20 years. That’s why it’s very hard to practise the Marie Kondo method. How can you throw everything away? That’s not me.”
One of her favourite pieces is a decorative foldable screen by Coquecigrues that’s hand painted with bamboo leaves and figurines, which she bought at La Boutique Living on Shelley Street. Art is also a large decorative element in Lo’s home, which she mainly credits to Sotheby’s Asia chairwoman, Patti Wong, who introduced her to art collecting. “My favourite artist is Yoshitomo Nara,” she says. “I love anything Japanese. Takashi Murakami and Ayako Rokkaku are also among my favourites. I like girly, colourful things.” Lo also has two colourful and cartoonish paintings by American pop artist Mr Likey, which add bursts of colour to her living room.
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