The less-is-more architecture aesthetics isn’t for Brooke Babington. Instead of apple-pie lines, aerial surfaces and a aloof palette, Babington’s home is all about colour, fun and arduous exuberance. It’s a home that makes you smile, whether it’s the affected quotes on the walls (“All abandoned accouchement will be accustomed espresso and a chargeless puppy”), the giant, costly tiger in her bedchamber or the neon toucan in the active room.
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Her 1,800-square-foot, two-bedroom rental bifold on Old Peak Road oozes joie de vivre. Every bank admiral (two bedrooms and a study) and bench (living/dining, kitchen and playroom) is awash with art (“I can’t move; it would booty consistently to booty aggregate down,” she says), every apparent bears colourful accessories, and alike the attic is covered with overlapping ablaze rugs. Yet the aftereffect is not overwhelming; it’s warm, agreeable and comfortable.
“I’m a homebody. I don’t like clothes or jewellery, I like objects,” says Babington, an American above banker who now “dabbles” in property. “I like my house. I like my stuff. Aback you accept a nice environment, you aloof appetite to be at home. I hardly go out any more.”
Keeping her aggregation are her daughter, seven-year-old Bayley, and her accomplishment dogs.
“I’m aloof the groundkeeper annular here,” Babington says. “This abode is for my babe and my dogs. I appetite it to be fun, because she’s alone little. We like animals and kids’ actuality – the ikat lamps in the active allowance are from a children’s collection. Some of the rugs are advised for outdoors, so they’re dog-tested.”
Despite the affluence of possessions, Babington says this is the edited version. “I absolutely like that book [by Marie Kondo] about the art of tidying,” she adds. “Every now and then, I accept a ablaze out. The things I accept now all accept blessed memories.”
Almost aggregate in the accommodation came from her antecedent homes in Hong Kong – a tong lau (walk-up accommodation building) in Sai Ying Pun and a Cheung Chau bank house. Bayley’s rattan four-poster, for example, was already an alfresco sunbed on Cheung Chau. The tong lau’s advanced door, rescued from demolition, is propped adjoin a bank in Babington’s bedroom (“It has a carved peephole, which we bare because that abode was like a able den aback we aboriginal confused in”).
“The Cheung Chau bank abode was all red, white and dejected – I acclimated to be affiliated to a Brit, so that worked,” she says. “The Sai Ying Pun abode was that aphotic Hong Kong blooming you see everywhere, and chicken and blue, lavender and purple. I’m from the 80s. I still like all those ablaze colours.”
The palettes of her antecedent homes pop up throughout the accommodation like a map of her past. She’s dealt with downsizing from two homes to one by advancing up with able accumulator solutions, repurposing Ikea bookshelves as shoe cabinets, coatracks as a toybox (see Tried tested), and hooks as photo frames.
“I accept a lot of tongue-in-cheek actuality that added bodies ability not like,” Babington says. “The adorning quotes [‘The Family Routine: Wake up, be amazing, go aback to bed’; ‘When annihilation goes right, go left’] are so 80s, but I adulation that. Our home absolutely reflects our personalities. It’s all about fun, babe power, actuality yourself, not applicable the mould.
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“I mix and bout bargain things with added high-end [pieces]. I like to buy local: I buy from G.O.D, I’ve been accession Belinda Bath [photographic collages] for years, and I adulation the Affordable Art Fair.”
She’s additionally a close accepter that an autogenous should reflect its ambiance and that Hong Kong homes are a accustomed abode for a “jungly”, close vibe. She takes a lot of afflatus from Hawaii.
“We adulation Hawaii, we go often,” Babington says. “I anatomy old Hawaiian postcards. I anatomy aggregate – if I see something, I buy it and assignment out area to put it later. There’s consistently a place. And you know, there’s alone one of annihilation in Hong Kong, so you accept to buy it aback you see it. I accept fabricated mistakes, though, like the palm-tree lamp in the office. I anticipation it was activity to be California cool, but the affairs kept dabbling everybody. I’m still not abiding what I’m activity to do with that.”
Active allowance The blooming sofas amount about HK$10,000 anniversary from Ikea several years ago. The blue-and-white armchairs and ottoman were bought years ago. The Jonathan Adler coffee table was about HK$15,000 from Lane Crawford. The dejected chiffonier and table lamps, and the colourful bark trunks came from shops that accept back gone out of business in Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, and Hollywood Road, respectively. The dejected rug was custom fabricated several years ago by Freda Carpet (17/F, CNT Tower, 338 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2521 6606). The birdcages are souvenirs from Thailand, China and Cambodia. Wilfred (left) was from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, and “Wan Chai terrier” Millie was from Hong Kong Dog Rescue.
Living allowance art The white table and blooming armchair were bought years ago. The baby armchair was purchased on Peng Chau. The rug (HK$2,000) and “We are all mad here” account (HK$500) are from iDecorate. The dejected collage is by Belinda Bath and the two black-and-white pictures are from the Patan Museum, in Nepal. “Finding purpose in life” was from the Affordable Art Fair. The Buddha painting was best up in Phuket, Thailand. The photographs of Hong Kong came from Stanley Market and the baby dejected map is a agenda of Hawaii that Babington had framed.
Dining allowance The marble-topped tulip table (about HK$4,000, on sale) and dining chairs (about HK$1,500 each) were bought years ago from Indigo Living. The Jonathan Adler awning (HK$15,000) came from Lane Crawford. The lamp was HK$3,000 from Boss Lighting Architecture (52 Morrison Hill Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2572 9668). The custom-built rug came from Freda Carpets years ago. Babington’s daughter, Bayley, fabricated the adjudicator in an art class.
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Console table In the active room, the dejected animate table (from Hollywood Road) and armchair (from Ap Lei Chau) were bought years ago from food that accept back closed. The two photo collages are by Belinda Bath and the palm-leaf painting amid them is from iDecorate. The table lamps were US$30 anniversary from PBteen. The Chinese lions were bought years ago from Indigo Living. The neon Sunnylife toucan ablaze was HK$400 from Lane Crawford. The red Parrot Parade boutonniere and ample ceramics macaw are by Lladroand the dejected Chinese monkeys (behind the toucan lamp) came from a boutique in Hollywood Road that has back closed.
Guest bath (off the active room) Babington fabricated the mirror anatomy from burst dejected and white ceramics begin on bounded beaches. The chaplet lamps were about US$30 anniversary from CB2. The statuettes and the board chest were best up in the lanes in Central for about HK$200 each. The folding approach awning (about HK$300 from Indigo) hides an animal window and bath fan.
Jewellery case The coloured bark trunks came from a Hollywood Road abundance that has back closed, and the amethyst bassinet was bought years ago from Tree. The wire locker (about HK$2,000) was from Homelessand the jewellery boxes in them were from iDecorate. The argent bowl stool and Chinese lions were bought from Indigo Active years ago. The old board aperture was rescued from Babington’s above home in Sai Ying Pun.
Bayley’s bedchamber The bed is an alfresco daybed (about HK$22,000 from Aggregate Under The Sun). “I didn’t appetite to leave it at my aftermost house, in Cheung Chau, because I adulation it so much. So I had it fabricated into a bed. It was in the afire sun for years and never cracked,” Babington says. “Sleeping in it is like camping.” The apparel was purchased years ago from a abundance in Ap Lei Chau. The blush rug was about US$100 on auction from Zara Home. The triangular Thai beanbag (about US$200) is by Chiang Mai cast Ginger from Surin Plaza, Phuket. Similar blush covering chairs are accessible for HK$980 at Mirth.
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Brooke’s bedchamber The bedchamber appliance was bought years ago. The Okooko bed has a buzz headboard from AsiaXpat.com. The bedside tables were custom fabricated by a architect during a antecedent renovation, and the painting came from a arcade in Bangkok, Thailand. The rug was custom fabricated by Freda Carpet for about HK$3,000. The bedside lamps (US$30 each) were from Pottery Barn.
Office The board was custom fabricated by a architect years ago. The chair, additionally purchased years ago, came from Ovo Home and the Kallax shelves were HK$699 anniversary from Ikea. The Ocean Approach attic lamp (HK$3,355), monkey lamps (no best available) and wire baskets (HK$168 each) were from CB2. The bamboo lamp was a one-off from Furbish Studio in the United States.
Kitchen Babington added blooming accessories to inject back-bite into the kitchen. The kitchen accessories – including the blithely coloured fridge, kettle and toaster – were purchased years ago from Smeg. The blooming shelves were about HK$2,000 from Inside and the black-and-white photo collage is by Belinda Bath.
Staircase The big cat painting, by Chilean artisan Cristobal Anwandter, came from the Affordable Art Fair 2015. “When annihilation goes right, go left” artwork came from BoConcept. The baby tiger book and adjudicator book were from Curioos. The ablaze accoutrement was bought on auction from Indigo Living.
Toy adventure In the bench playroom, bendable toys acceptance to Bayley, Brooke Babington’s daughter, adhere from six Eames-style diminutive covering racks on the walls. They accord her added comedy space, accumulate the toys arresting and actualize beheld focus, like 3D art fixtures. “We accept a adamantine time abrogation animals abaft in the stores,” Babington confesses. The covering racks were bought years ago from Decor8.
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To see a video of Brooke Babington’s home, go to scmp.com/babingtonhome
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