Shanghai, a city filled with history and uniqueness. My grand parents used to live in shanghai before the communist took over. They used to tell me stories about their house, and which 8 of my aunts and uncles grew up in. My grandmother would host her mahjong parties in the livingroom. My aunties would tell me funny stories of them sliding down the staircase for fun, or they would play hide and seek and hide in the closets. Then the house was barged, destroyed, and everything taken over. Every bit of memory was heart breaking to my grandparents.
Growing up in Hong Kong, with all the high sky scrapers and vibrant new buildings, I never truly appreciate old buildings. Until I moved to Shanghai, something changed me. These old houses are really so unique, and all of them have their own stories to tell. I was fortunate enough to be able to get my grandparents 1940 house back. With that in mind, I renovated the house just like I would imagine 70 years ago when grandparents were living in it. For the most part, I kept the original layout and added a few modern twist into house.
I wanted to transform our 1940 house from dreary to airy, the low ceilings were removed to expose the high original beams in the master bedroom. For more natural lighting, we knocked a hole on one side of the wall where we placed a window to maximise the sunlight and another hole on the other side of the wall to connect the kitchen and dining room together to create a more airy space. The original staircase was only partially covered. We then removed and rebuilt the staircase area with a semi see through glass cover. This staircase has now became the brightest and the liveliest part our house.
There’s hidden potential for greatness in every space at your very own home. Unlock it with these smart, stylish ideas that transform overlooked areas into the best spots in you home. Make your home comfortable, beautiful, and as functional as possible.
Let the sun shine
Place your desk by a window and work in natural light, which has been linked to improved mood, alertness, and even metabolism. No window? Use LED bulbs that mimic daylight.
Set the right tone
As neutral color may be good, try adding some natural colors to up the mood. Aqua and green colors are perfect to create some liveliness to the house decor. Not ready for a colourful wall? Paint just one wall in a contrasting shade, or pick a nice floral wallpaper to brighten up the space.
Add some greenery
Plants have been shown to decrease stress and enhance productivity. Like flowers, plants help bring life into the house. Iris plant is a great flower and plant to have at home as it is long lasting, and comes in beautiful vibrant colors.
For lighting any space, the key is layers- that means spotlights, wall, and table lamps, as well as dimmers. You should have lots of options for different moods.
When there’s a big open area, putting a wall my not be necessary. High tables consuls can help differentiate space and visually make the space bigger. Try adding a decorative piece or a lamp to enhance the divided areas.
Sliding doors are good for maximising spaces. Whereas glass doors are an excellent option to have. This allows more light into the area and create an illusion of a bigger area.
Always nice to add a piece of vintage furniture in the house. Adding a vintage cabinet is a good choice. It is functional as it makes storage space and adds character to the house.