Shanghai Homes: Modernist Marvel

How light and colorful artwork can make all the difference in an expat home

by Cidonie Richards | Wed, February 15, 2017

Stepping foot into this beautiful home on the outskirts of the leafy suburb of Jinqiao, it’s quite obvious that this is not the first expat assignment for residents Cheryl St George and Brad Morrison. Their home is flooded with gorgeous natural light, and the décor is perfectly coordinated with an editing process one might expect from someone with an interior design background.

“We loved the home the first time we saw it,” St George recalls. “We were lucky that the previous tenants had made some nice changes, like blinds and a renovated modern kitchen, and painted the walls in so shades of grey and blue to give it more of a homey feel.” The Australian couple and their three boys – Benjamin, Myles and Samuel – toy poodle, Milo and cat, Rex, moved to Shanghai from Hong Kong and have been living here for 3 years. “I learnt from previous expat assignments to ask for many things up front before moving into a house as an expat, especially new blinds or curtains, freshly painted walls and furniture rental if they have it.” St George opted to mix her own furniture with a few pieces of rental furniture to save on buying all new items for her new home. “A great tip is to ask if they have a more modern catalogue or modern rental furniture supplier rather than the standard rental list, which is often a little dated in its supply,” she says.

In addition to contemporary-classic furniture pieces, the house features gorgeous art, which fills the open spaces perfectly. “I love art and really wish I could spend more money on great pieces. The art I have is quite affordable and just pieces that I have collected from my travels and have purchased from friends who are artists. I love filling a blank wall with color to brighten up a space,” St George says. Beyond the pleasing aesthetic, a home needs to be a place that works for the whole family, and it certainly seems like this home has ticked all the boxes. “It’s important as an expat to feel relaxed in the home early on, and this means creating a space for your family that they feel comfortable living in,” St George says. “I want my boys to feel at home no matter which country they are living in, and I feel like we’ve achieved this here.”     ​


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