17.06.2014 by admin

At Home with Christine Chang Hanway

Tucked behind a leafy North London street, the UK editor of online design bible Remodelista, Christine Chang Hanway, has created a small city space that’s full of surprises. She invited us in to see her collection of unique design finds and discover how she created a hidden oasis in her compact urban garden.


How would you describe your style at home and in the garden? And how is it influenced by your work?

The title of one of our recent weekly issues was Warm Minimalism — uncluttered yet inviting, clean-lined but tactile, and above all liveable and life-enhancing. This pretty much sums up the way we live.  Curating and editing is what we do at Remodelista. As you can imagine, we see a lot of things we might want on any given day, which makes it all the more critical to make sure that when I am buying for my home, I only select things that I know I won’t tire of and can envision in my home for a long time.



To keep things neat, each member of the family has a drawer in the hallway for their various bits and bobs - even Kojak the dog!

What’s your favourite room in your house and why?

My favourite room in my house is my kitchen and dining area. This is where are most likely to convene as a family and with friends, but it’s also my favourite place to be alone with a cup of tea, reading a book and enjoying my view of our garden.

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What is your most treasured item in your home?

My friends keep asking me to stop putting my Ercol dining chairs on Instagram. I can’t help it — every time I look at them, I find a new angle of appreciation. I spotted them first at Margaret Howell about ten years ago and then stalked them obsessively for two years on eBay. They’re the first things I see when I come into my house and they always make me smile.


Read Christine's post about her favourite Ercol chairs on Remodelista here.

What was the last item you bought for your home?

The last items I bought for my home were Grey Tie Dye Throws from Holly's House. The tie-dye has a lovely watercolour effect.


What do you wish you’d created, designed or invented?

I wish I had designed the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp by Le Corbusier and the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence by Matisse — two very different but equally spiritual spaces by mid-century masters.


Black and white ceramic vases by Akiko Hirai Ceramics.

Who or what is your inspiration?

I am inspired by other people’s creativity and am very thankful that I have many creative people in my life — my friends, my colleagues at Remodelista and our sister site Gardenista, and my husband whom I met at architecture school. My two favourite pieces of art in my home are by friends and I have them hanging side by side on one wall.


Left: A watercolour study of Aurora Leigh by Sarah Pickstone, 2012 winner of the John Moores Painting prize and author of the recently published Park Notes. Right: A photograph of a plate, fork and spoon, reminding us of the beauty in everyday objects by Kristin Perers, a London photographer and creator of blog This is 50, which profiles women who have inspired her.


Image: Lining the hallway is a series of three framed ink monoprints by Felicity Warbrick - a favourite of Christine's husband, Bill.

What are your ‘go to’ London shops for homeware and design items? And online?

My favourite ‘go to’ London shops are Another Country, Skandium, Margaret Howell and Ben Pentreath. Online, I am always buying wooden plates from Makers & Brothers.


Large white square vase by Christine's friend, Caitriona Platts-Manoury, in St. Remy de Provence.

What are your tips for making the most of outside space in a city?

Any urban outdoor space is a gift — there are so many new and inventive ways to garden these days, it’s worth exploring them.  For instance, the two Verti-Plants that I hang on my garden sheds are so simple and take up a minimal amount of space. When possible, it’s great to think of outdoor space as an extension of the interior space — a “win-win” as far as both spaces are concerned.


Christine tends to the plants that hang in the Verti-Plant holders from The Balcony Gardener 

What emerging interiors trends/looks are you loving at the moment?

I find the concept of trends difficult because all my purchases are things that will stand the test of time both in quality and in style. The recent interest in craft and the handmade, however, is a trend that I heartily endorse. I recently stopped in at the New Craftsmen’s new shop and must admit that I wanted everything and I wanted to live there!


White ceramic berry colander by Rachel Dormer


Love Tile by Ruan Hoffman through Cle Tile

What’s your idea/definition of ‘comfy’?

Comfy is when you don’t have to worry about stains or wear and tear. This is why I like to use textiles that develop a patina over time. Comfy is also a big large sofa with more than enough room for everyone.


Above: Lotti cushions by sofa.com, from £40. Below: Floor cushions coming soon to sofa.com! 



Watercolours – set of four, these were purchased through 10 X 10 London, Drawing the City, an annual auction that raises money for Article 25, a charity that provides disaster and development relief. They are four vignettes from Brick Lane and painted by Giles Charlton, Director of Space Hub.

We've got four copies of the brilliant new book by Remodelista founder and editor, Julie Carlson, signed by Christine. For your chance to win A Manual for the Considered Home visit our competitions page!

All photography by Ryan Davies, www.ryandphotography.com

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It is great to help people with limited space .

Mary han