Shanghai is a bustling city, one of the most populous in the world! It attracts many people to work, play and make this city home in its sprawling network of buildings new and old. The residence in this home tour is located right in the heart of the Jian’an district, where a family wanted to merge eastern heritage and western style. While the surrounding neighborhood is a blend between busy streetscape and sleepy suburb, inside it’s a mix of east-meets-west without the stereotypes!
It was important for the homeowners to keep some of the original peculiarities of the house, built in 1937. Features like the doors, stairs, window frames, patterned tiles, and wood floors were all kept as they are of high quality. But they also wanted to give the space a bit of a facelift, using more contemporary furniture and homeware to furnish the house.
One thing used in the home to pay homage to the past was the photo montages on the walls. To one side, aerial images of Shanghai were arranged in a fun way. On the opposite wall, black and white photos of old Shanghai architecture and spots around town were paired with the more western and contemporary fire place.
If you’re interested in putting together your own photo collage, start with the corners and fill the rest of the space in bit by bit! The overall effect is striking against the simple walls and solid fireplace.
I love the mixing of shapes with the larger pattern of the rug laid over the smaller tiles. The energy and vibrancy of the patterns on the floor do not feel overwhelming given the simplicity of the white walls and less textured, slimline furniture in the room. The rug helps to float the furniture way from the walls, sectioning and dividing the open plan space without making it feel too big.
One of their favorite rooms is the glass room on the ground floor. Every day in the morning the natural lighting streams in from the glazed ceiling, so they can sit on the wooden bench together. They like to enjoy a cup of tea as a relaxing way to start the day.
One of the trickiest elements of the renovation was that the antique stairs were quite narrow! It made it difficult to bring up any of the new furniture to the upper floors. Nevertheless the upstairs lounge room has a pleasant atmosphere, as the central room that leads to different bedrooms and parts of the house. Despite being a thoroughfare, it feels like there is space to cozy up.
Blue is a great color, as it really does seem to go with every other colors. The dark blue sofa in the room provides a neutral feel, tying the darker wood colors together with the lighter elements of the room.
The original window fittings are quite typical to old Shanghai homes, and give the room an organic feel. A combination of blinds and tall drapes work to create privacy from the nearby tower blocks, and bring together some of the more charcoal and grayer elements of the color palette.
If you’re looking to make your room feel a bit more contemporary without a complete room overhaul, such as in this bedroom, take note. Lights hidden in the ceiling replace track lighting or hanging pendant lamps, giving the room an overall sense of warmth, while LEDs make it cheaper and easier to light our spaces. Another bedroom accessory ideal for this look is the bench that runs along the foot of the bed, a space for not just for relaxing and getting ready, but the perfect spot for laying out your outfit, and a place for putting your socks on. It brings the room together too.
The home office takes up a corner space of the home, affording plenty of light to the room. The bookshelves along the wall give the room a sense of consistency, and are yet to be re-stacked! Overall it’s a place of quiet and calm where one can work easily. It’s why decisions were made to choose blinds over the softer look of drapes, as the blinds give a greater sense of getting things accomplished.
Blending the heritage aspects of the house with the newer furniture pieces has given the Shanghai Home a new sense of history. When you’re looking to give your home a new lease of life, don’t neglect the story and history behind the area. In this Shanghai Home, bringing those elements of old and new together have created a warm ambiance and a house the family enjoy together.
If you’re interested in seeing more home tours that blend eastern and western design concepts, take a look at this beautiful Taiwan home that follows feng shui for flow and harmony.
Project: Shanghai Heritage Home
Design: G & Crew