Bal­anc­ing Act

Hong Kong Tatler Homes - - CONTENTS - BY JACQUELINE KOT PHOTOGR APHY EDGAR TAPAN STYLING ANJI CON­NELL

Leigh Tung- Chou mixes style with child-friendly el­e­ments for a res­i­dence suit­able for a young fam­ily

Leigh Tung-Chou’s home is a spa­cious abode that com­bines am­ple space for her young fam­ily with more for­mal ar­eas for en­ter­tain­ing

With boy-girl twins and a younger daugh­ter, all yet to reach their teenage years, Leigh Tung-Chou and hus­band Stan­ley Chou’s home in Hong Kong achieves the right bal­ance of be­ing el­e­gant yet fam­ily-friendly.

“I told Stephen James, our in­te­rior designer from Plan 3, that I wanted a home that was evoca­tive of the apart­ments in New York, where I grew up. How­ever, I didn’t want to make it so for­mal that my three young chil­dren couldn’t en­joy the space,” says Leigh, who jug­gles her du­ties as a mother with her roles as a co-chair of the Hong Kong Ballet Guild, mem­ber of the Hong Kong Ballet’s board of di­rec­tors and direc­tor of the phil­an­thropic Tung Foun­da­tion.

One case in point is the play area, near the for­mal living room that’s linked to a study room for the chil­dren. Both are dec­o­rated in cheer­ful tones of blue and green, match­ing well with the white fur­ni­ture. “My three kids are never do­ing any­thing at the same time, so we wanted enough room for them to pur­sue ac­tiv­i­ties on their own,” says Leigh. “I wanted them to have their own per­sonal space, as well as a room where they could study and play to­gether. The chil­dren’s play­room is one of my favourite ar­eas, as it’s very cheer­ful and bright.”

The chil­dren’s area is also lo­cated close to Leigh’s study, en­abling her to mul­ti­task. “It helps me to keep an eye on them, es­pe­cially if they aren’t study­ing when they should be,” says Leigh with a laugh.

The home in­cludes two living rooms. The cosy and ca­sual one has a TV, and is where the fam­ily spends time to­gether ev­ery day, while en­ter­tain­ing is done in the more for­mal one. Both rooms fea­ture a mix of earthy shades such as egg­plant and

“I liked the jux­ta­po­si­tion of a dark colour with a lighter shade”

choco­late brown, with the lighter colours of celadon green and ivory white. “I liked the jux­ta­po­si­tion of a dark colour with a lighter shade,” she re­calls.

Leigh likes mix­ing it up when it comes to tex­tures as well. The living room fea­tures sev­eral bronze stat­ues from Tai­wanese artist Ju Ming’s renowned Tai Chi se­ries, as a coun­ter­point to the soft fur­nish­ings and the ruby red lamp­shades atop the Mu­rano glass chan­de­lier in the ad­ja­cent dining room. “I love how the pieces are cast in metal but de­pict a move­ment that is dy­namic,” she says.

The stat­ues are among the nu­mer­ous art­works fea­tured around the house that were picked out by Leigh and her hus­band, with a fo­cus on con­tem­po­rary pieces by Chi­nese or US artists. “We buy all our Chi­nese con­tem­po­rary art af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with my aunt, Alice King from Alisan Fine Arts gallery,” says Leigh. “I re­ally re­spect her taste and judg­ment. She has an ex­cel­lent eye, and she has been very kind and gen­er­ous with shar­ing up-and-com­ing tal­ent. We learnt a lot about con­tem­po­rary Chi­nese art from her. Her daugh­ter and my cousin, Daphne, now runs the gallery and ad­vises me on art.”

“My three kids are never do­ing any­thing at the same time… I wanted them to have their own per­sonal space, as well as a room where they could study and play to­gether”

The paint­ing clos­est to Leigh’s heart, how­ever, is one by Chi­nese artist Xu Lei, which hangs above the sofa in the for­mal living room and was a wed­ding present from her cousins some 15 years ago.

“Xu Lei was an up-and-com­ing artist then and he is quite es­tab­lished now. I like his sur­re­al­ist ap­proach to an­i­mals; he does a lot of paint­ings fea­tur­ing horses and cats. The one I have is of a rein­deer wear­ing a hat, which I thought was re­ally play­ful.”

Also in the living room is a large pho­to­graph of the Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity li­brary by famed Ger­man pho­tog­ra­pher Can­dida Höfer—a choice in­spired by Stan­ley’s fond mem­o­ries of time spent at the school one sum­mer. In the dining room is a long paint­ing by James Nares, whose work also hangs at the Whit­ney Mu­seum of Amer­i­can Art. It fea­tures in­trigu­ing wide strokes in green; the cou­ple find it ap­peal­ing be­cause of the cal­lig­ra­phy-like qual­ity. A piece by an­other New York-based artist, El­liott Puckette, fea­tures grace­ful white lines etched onto a blue­wash back­ground with a ra­zor blade, and adds colour to the play­room.

“With three young kids at home, the house is con­stantly in move­ment,” says Leigh with a smile. “We love fill­ing it with art. But first and fore­most, it’s a home for our young fam­ily.”

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FROM LEFT: THE STUDY ROOM IN THE CHIL­DREN’S AREA; AN EL­E­GANT ARM­CHAIR IN LEIGH’S STUDY

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A PAINT­ING BY NEW YORK-BASED ARTIST EL­LIOTT PUCKETTE HANGS ABOVE THE SOFA IN THE CHIL­DREN’S PLAY­ROOM

OPEN­ING PA GES

THE FOR­MAL LIVING ROOM FEA­TURES A MIX OF EARTHY SHADES SUCH AS EGG­PLANT, BAL­ANCED BY LIGHTER COLOURS SUCH AS CELADON GREEN

OP­PO­SITE PA GE

THE FOR­MAL DINING ROOM IS BRIGHT­ENED UP WITH CHI­NAWARE FROM HER­MÈS AND A PAINT­ING BY US-BASED ARTIST JAMES NARES

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THE COSY FAM­ILY ROOM FEA­TURES TWO LITH­O­GRAPHS ABOVE THE PI­ANO BY RENOWNED CHI­NESE ARTIST ZAO WOU-KI

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FROM LEFT: MONO­GRAMMED TOW­ELS IN THE GUEST BATH­ROOM; THE MAS­TER BED­ROOM

OP­PO­SITE PA GE

JUST LIKE THE PLAY­ROOM, THE CHIL­DREN’S BED­ROOMS FEA­TURE A CHEER­FUL DECOR OF WHITE FUR­NI­TURE MATCHED WITH AN AR­RAY OF BRIGHT COLOURS

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