Makeover your terrace with Paola Navone’s resort-ready decor

Posted in Interior Design

Italian designer Paola Navone’s new collection for Ethimo has arrived.

For the uninitiated, Ethimo is an Italian company that crafts high-quality outdoor furnishings and décor. The company pulls design inspirations from the Mediterranean landscape, while priding themselves on a craftsmanship that keeps comfort and practicality in mind, with an aesthetic that enhances any outdoor area. 

The new collection, designed by veteran architect and interior designer Paola Navone, includes a range of daybeds, coffee tables, lounge chairs and more.

Navone pulled inspiration from her surroundings and travels in order to craft this Rafael collection. “The slats that form the backrest are all different and held together by big metal staples,” Navone said. “This woody, organic shell forms a soft nest of cushions.”

The collection is crafted from distressed natural teak, with marble and lava stone slabs for tabletops.

The chairs and daybeds see left-hand and right-hand orientated designs, which allows the owner to put them side by side, combining them into a single, seamless and larger piece — ideal for expansive terraces or poolsides for a more convivial feel.

The coffee tables also matches with an irregular shape, washed with cerulean and ocean-inspired colours throughout that really bring to mind those holiday vibes of the Mediterranean every time you lounge on them.

“We have dedicated Rafael to a very special home.”

Paola Navone’s collection is now available and you can head to Ethimo’s online shop to order your favourite pieces.

Austin Miao

Inside the Beckhams’ New HK$186 Million Miami Condo

Posted in How the One Percent Live

David and Victoria Beckham recently purchased a US$24 million (approx. HK$186 million condo in famed architect Zaha Hadid’s newly-completed downtown Miami building, One Thousand Museum. This will be where the Beckhams will reside since David is also the new co-owner of Miami’s new Major League Soccer team, Inter Miami CF.

Opened back in August 2019, One Thousand Museum is easily one of the most coveted properties in the city. The building sees its own private helipad, making it Miami’s single residential building accessible by air.

Modernising the Miami skyline, the building will be equipped with amenities and hospitality-focused experiences for residents and guests that will compete with some of the most luxe hotels in the world.

For instance, there’s a Sky Lounge for dining and private events, an on-premise bank vault, a nearby private beach club, wellness center, spa, spin studio, and pools — all available exclusively to residents. Click through the gallery below to check out the luxe amenities and where the Beckhams will be hanging out soon.

Austin Miao

The Best Companies in Hong Kong to Stage Your Home

Posted in Interior Design

Staging your home in Hong Kong can be an important factor in helping it sell quickly and easily by showing the best side of it to potential buyers. Staging companies will bring their expertise in interior design in order to bring out the absolute best in your home with the main objective to make your home more desirable. Staging your home isn’t as simple as putting things away, uncluttering or wiping everything down. Interior designers use their background and discerning eye to carefully select the right colour theory, trends, decor pieces that best suit your space to get it to tip-top shape for the real estate market. Below, we have gathered a list of five companies that will help maximise your home’s potential and help process the sale.

Qi Homes

Qi-Homes is a real estate agency where their expertise lies in consultation, renovation, and sales of properties. Their team will seek to ensure that the whole process of staging and listing your property be as stress-free as possible. 

Engel & Völkers

Engel & Völkers is one of the world’s leading companies specialised in the brokerage of luxe residential properties, commercial real estate and more. Like many real estate companies, they will help you stage your property to look its best before listing it on the market.

Homify 

Homify is an online platform for architecture, interior design, building and decoration. It allows individuals and companies to upload their portfolio and allow users of the community to search them up, reach out and collaborate with.

The Home Stylist

The Home Stylist is an international home styling and design firm that specialises in creating unique interiors for their array of clients. Their team of designers and project managers across the world have an average of 20+ years of experience working on a variety of residential and commercial projects around the world. No matter what your budget is, they will take that into consideration and create a plan and design that best suits you.

Indigo Design Studio

For the past 40 years, Indigo Design Studio has helped a variety of spaces across Asia Pacific and Europe, by curating and developing unique designs. They have a team of interior designers that you can work alongside with in order to create the perfect staged home of your dreams.

Austin Miao

What to Know Before Investing in a Second Home

Posted in Ask An Estate Agent
Photo by Naomi Hébert on Unsplash

Buying a second home is often a lifelong dream for many. Whether it’s a vacation home, a commuter home or an investment property, there are plenty of reasons why expanding your assets could be a great fit for your lifestyle. But before you pull the trigger on purchasing your next dream abode, make sure you know all the costs, both literally and figuratively, that come with it. To help you out, here we break down some important real-life considerations when buying a second home.

How much time will you spend at your second home?

If you do not plan on using your second home as a residential property but rather an investment property, remember that you will become a landlord and with that comes many responsibilities. You might be required to do minor repairs, and you might not find a tenant right away. Be prepared to have three to six months of total costs (mortgage, taxes, and homeowners insurance) to prevent any financial hardship while looking for a tenant for your income property. Location, location, location. Location is one of the biggest considerations when considering a new home. You need to ask yourself “Why do I really want a house here?” and “What would I do with it if I had it?” If you decide to rent out your second home, you’ve got to be sure to research community resale values, economic trends, tax rates, schools, etc. so that it’s a property that others will want to rent out. 

Are you buying the right property for you?

When looking to buy a second home, there could be a long list of reasons. You can buy an apartment or a house in an area where you are planning on retiring or a cottage that you can rent for short or long-term should you wish to enjoy the land as well. You need to keep in mind that the type of property/location you invest in, it will also have an effect on your insurance costs. As an example, if you invest in a home in California, you will need earthquake insurance in addition to home insurance. Always look for an insurance company that is in close proximity to your next investment, they will have a better understanding of the area and can give you a more accurate insurance quote. 

What about the upkeep and maintenance?

With a second property on hand, it means that you will have to re-adjust your monthly budget to include utilities, landscaping, property tax, maintenance fee (if you’re in an apartment building), occasional home repairs, etc. 

How will you pay for this second property?

Getting a second mortgage is the first thing that comes to mind when looking to get second property unless you are financially stable. Financial institutions will always use the same criteria when approving mortgages. Before looking into a second mortgage, you have to ensure that you have a stable income, a good credit score and relatively no outstanding debt that can be used against you. We suggest that you reach out to your financial adviser so that they can put you on the right path and see what’s realistic for you and your goals. Tax rates for properties will increase with time, so allow for your budget to grow accordingly as well.

Austin Miao

Tin Hau Neighbourhood Guide: A Charming Residential District Full of Character

Posted in Where to Live

Tin Hau offers more than meets the eye. Aside from the obvious landmarks such as Victoria Park, Tin Hau harbours hidden gems that make it a great spot for families, expats, and locals. The location is easily accessible by buses, mini-buses, and the metro, while the Wan Chai waterfront and Central business district are within a 5 to 10-minute driving distance. The famous shopping district of Causeway Bay lies a 5-minute driving distance away with connections to the underground railway station. For families, there is a selection of schools around for you to choose from, like the Chinese International School in Braemar Hill, the Japanese International School in North Point, the French International School in Jardine’s Lookout, and the Hong Kong Academy on Stubbs Road. Check out some of the things you can do in this neighbourhood below.

Residences to know

The Pavilia Hill

The Pavilia Hill on Tin Hau Temple Road is one of the area’s newest complexes and consists of five giant towers, an indoor pool, gym, children’s play room, and more. A total of five blocks comprises 358 units.

The Pavilia Hill, Dragon Pride, Tin Hau Temple Road, Tin Hau, +852 8339 3838

Illumination Terrace

Illumination Terrace has 704 flats across the two blocks. Facilities include a table tennis room, badminton court, residential clubhouse, a playground for children, a garden, a snooker room, and a sauna room. For individuals who are looking to buy an apartment, the starting price is approximately HK$18,633 per sq. ft. 

Illumination Terrace, Block 2, Tai Hang Road, Tai Hang, +852 2882 2656

Where to Eat & Drink

Chop Chop

At Chop Chop, a must-have is the signature roasted pork belly char siu rice. It is created with top quality ingredients and uniquely fragrant rice famed in Wuchang City. Chef Dai Lung’s perfected recipe is showcased in the meat that’s succulent, charred and caramelised to perfection.

Chop Chop, Shop 3 G, 18 Wang On Rd, North Point, Hong Kong, +852 3618 7718

Noc Coffee

The 1,700-sq.-ft. Noc Coffee, a perennially popular chain, offers quality coffee and is located on the ground floor of The Mercury, a New York warehouse-inspired serviced apartment building. They also offer delicious brunch options for you to choose from. 

NOC Coffee, 23 Mercury Street, Tin Hua, Hong Kong, +852 3619 7500

Preface Coffee

Preface coffee is where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and at the same time, learn how to make it like the experts as well. The shops also host regular workshops for aspiring coffee connoisseurs.

Preface Coffee, G/F, 7 Lau Li Street, Tin Hau, Hong Kong, +852 2777 7821

Camper’s

Camper’s offers home-made Japanese meals like curry rice bowls, udon, ramen, and more. During lunch and dinner times, you’ll find a queue outside the restaurant. The meals arrive in generous portions and it’s all prepared without any additives.

Camper’s, G/F, 127 Electric Road, Tin Hau, Hong Kong, +852 2889 7377

Sister Wah Beef Brisket

Eat like a local at Sister Wah Beef Brisket. The Michelin Guide-recognised restaurant uses locally-sourced beef, and draws in tourists from all over.

Sister Wah, Shop A1, 13 Electric Road, Tin Hau, Hong Kong, +852 2807 0181

What to See & Do

Coastal Fitness Performance Training

If you’re into weightlifting, this gym might just be the thing for you! Home to some of Asia’s most elite CrossFit athletes, you could very well join a Strength & Conditioning class led by one of the CrossFit pros themselves. They also offer Barbell Club (a class on Olympic lifting techniques), Functional Gymnastics, or Coastal30 — a quick, 30-minute total body workout for the busy individual.

Coastal Fitness, Victoria Centre, 15 Watson Road, North Point, Hong Kong, +852 2989 1900

Views from Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter

Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter is Tin Hau’s best-kept secret, offering beautiful views of the city during sunsets.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park is considered the main attraction to Tin Hau. During the year, flower or food markets are held on the main field. It’s the island’s largest public park, so whether you want to play basketball, tennis, or go for a run, this park is the one for you. 

Nail Bar

Looking to get your nails done? Nail Bar might just become your go-to place. It’s one of eleven locations and their staff offers quality treatments, borrowing techniques from Europe and Japan.

Nail Bar, 4 Lau Li Street, Tin Hau, Hong Kong, +852 2571 3399

Midwest

Satisfy all your vintage needs at Midwest. The store stocks every piece of clothing that you can think of, from denim pieces to colourfully printed t-shirts and military jackets. 

Midwest, Shop 58, 1/F Victoria Centre, 15 Watson Road, Tin Hau, Hong Kong, +852 2802 6886

Tin Hau Temple

Tin Hau Temple was constructed by the Tai clan, although in what year is uncertain. Legend has it that the Tai clan found a red stone shaped like an incense burner on the shore at Causeway Bay.

Ming Tak Mansion, 10號 Tin Hau Temple Rd, Causeway Bay, +852 2879 5612


Austin Miao

Pharrell Williams’ Beverly Hills Mansion Can Be Yours for HK$132 Million

Posted in How the One Percent Live, What to Buy

For US$16,995,000 (approx. HK$132,045,201), you can live in Pharrell Williams’ Beverley Hills, California, estate on 14175 Mulholland Drive. Back in 2018, the Grammy winner, singer, songwriter, and producer bought the lavish mansion from movie producer and director Tyler Perry for a cool US$15.6 million (approx. HK$121.2 million).

Custom-built back in 1992, the ultra-modern abode sits on four acres of land and spans 17,475 square feet. It’s equipped with 10 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and has a 200-foot driveway. When you step into the house, there is a mini reflective waterfall that looks onto a number of overlapping staircases with a pyramid-shaped skylight that allows for natural light to flow in. The exterior is clad in glass-and-steel, boasting luxe features, including a tennis court, waterfalls, a motor court that can fit up to 30 cars, koi ponds, and even a grotto equipped with a swim-up bar.

Take a peek inside the jaw-dropping property below.

Austin Miao

5 Hot Properties to Buy in Toronto Right Now

Posted in What to Buy

Toronto, Canada is a dynamic city with soaring skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the iconic, free-standing CN Tower. Toronto also has many green spaces but look closely and you will find a city of exceptional charm and unique neighborhoods. It’s a growing city known for its culinary, art and music scene. If you’re planning on moving to Toronto or just looking for another investment, we’ve rounded up these top five properties for you to consider. 

22 Hedgewood Road 

Situated in the quiet midtown Hoggs Hollow neighbourhood, this home is elegant, modern yet classic. Spanning 15,000 sq. ft., the home is equipped with spacious living spaces, a gourmet kitchen, a massive wine cellar, an outdoor pool, and even a basketball court. For approx. HK$58,612,162, you’ll get 5+1 bedrooms, and 9 bathrooms. 

2045 Lake Shore Boulevard West 

Located in downtown Toronto, unit #3703 is a luxury suite that offers 3,000-sq.-ft. of living space with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Designed with an open concept in mind, the kitchen and living room is surrounded with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a panoramic view of the Humber River. Residents who reside in the building have access to nine acres of green space, saltwater pool, tennis courts, spa, and more. The unite is going for approximately HK$14,062,227 with HK$18,314 in maintenance fees.  

31 Knightswood Road 

Now, this home might not be everyone’s cup of tea as it features a more unique design aspect. There’s a rainforest bathroom complete with rainforest sounds to boot. Aside from that, this 15,000-sq.-ft. mansion includes 6 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a library, a wine cellar, a home theatre and a garage that can fit up to 11 cars. Outside, the backyard is designed with an in-ground pool complete with a slide and hot tub. The home is on the market for approximately HK$79,166,002.

225 Forest Hill Road 

Looking for a monochromatic home? This 9,000-sq.-ft. home is designed with white marble detailing throughout and accented with black and brown touches on the flooring, staircase, cabinets and more. On the market now for approximately HK$35,184,890, the home boasts 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, plus a gym, wine cellar, steam room, and immaculate walk-in closet. 

139 Sheldrake Boulevard 

If you’re in the market for a modern, sleek and stylish home, 139 Sheldrake Boulevard could be the property for you. With floor-to-ceiling windows located on the main floor, the design allows natural light to flow into the living area and kitchen for a seamless indoor-outdoor effect. The design elements also include stylish light fixtures and a glass staircase that overlooks the living room. The home is fit for a large family with 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, available at a price tag of approximately HK$34,891,682. 

Austin Miao