In the heart of Hong Kong, JOYCE Central has been the epicenter of Hong Kong fashion since the early 70s. It’s current president, Andrew Keith is an ex patriot Scot. Wishing to spend more time here with extended family along with his partner, Glasgow trained architect, Roddy Murray, the couple have restored an imposing townhouse in Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town.
They wanted something more characterful than their 1960s Hong Kong apartment, and the Georgian architecture drew them to the spacious, imposing house.
The result is dazzling in it’s originality. The building had been used as lawyers’ offices for the past 60 or so years, and as such had remained unrenovated, with chipboard floors and trunk wiring snaking over the plasterboard walls. The challenge was to combine that period elegance with a modern way of living. ‘We had to respect the Georgian bones of the place,’ says Murray, ‘but we didn’t want to live in a museum. The house had to suit the way that we live.’
Although some of the artwork could grace a museum, such as this stunning update on the marble bust by sculptor, Jonathan Owen. This combination of old and new, which is key to the Jonathan Owen piece, extends to the decoration, which deftly combines pieces spanning several centuries of style.
In the first-floor sitting room, for example, gold Kartell lamps have been placed on top of an antique Chinese console table, delicate twenty-first century Scottish design in the form of a set of linen cushions, printed on by the Glasgow-based design duo Timourous Beasties, decorates classic contemporary sofa, sitting on a rug designed, by Roddy. While the dining room, pictured below, mixes a Georgian chandelier with mid-century Knoll furniture and edgy Damask wallpaper by Timourous Beasties again.
The work of Scottish designers, makers and artists is in evidence throughout the house, from the lanterns in the entrance hall, which were made by a local blacksmith, and fabrics manufactured at Scottish mills, to the couple’s art collection, much of which is by alumni of the Glasgow School of Art, where Murray studied.
Murray and Keith’s love of travel is another key influence on their decorating aesthetic, and recent trips to Italy and India have clearly had an impact, particularly when it came to choosing the rich turquoise for the ground-floor sitting room and salmon-pink paint colours for the master bedroom. ‘In terms of interiors, there’s been a lot of grey over the past 10 years,’ says Murray, ‘but we wanted to use bold colour. Because of the size of the rooms, we knew they could take it.’
The kitchen, open to the living room, is in no sense ‘kitchen-y’, hard wood cabinetry, painted in a warm emerald, topped with dark marble, simply extends the living space. A generous island unit makes informal eating easy.
The cool, contemporary bathrooms are just a joy…
Meanwhile, back in Hong Kong, the iconic architect and designer, known as The Enlightened Nomad, Paola Navone, has been commissioned to transform JOYCE Central into a haven for forward thinkers and seekers of inspiration. After extensive redesign and renovation under the guidance of Paola, the new store opened its doors to the Hong Kong public this August.