May 22, 2012

Glamorous Home which is warm and welcoming :: Catherine Kwong's own apartment

Not sure what interior design planet I have been living on lately,
but the work of Catherine Kwong, 
a San Francisco based designer, is new to me.
This is her own home, 
shot by the fabulous photographer Bess Friday.
The mix of rich timbers, white walls, organic textures,
mixed in with a little gold here and there,
 is always going to fall straight into my "glamorous interior" basket.
It's a style which is warm & homely,
very personal,
yet with the essence of the unexpected,
 which is where the glamour comes in.
A dining table, already of a pleasingly simple shape,
has had his legs dipped in gilt.
The simplicity of grey and white,
linen fabrics and unfussy detailing.
Richly-dark navy blue walls with brass lights
bring in the sultry atmosphere,
perfect for cosier rooms or hallways.
Catherine Kwong comes to the world of interior design
not from the usual architectural path,
but with the background of a former career in advertising,
which makes for an interesting mix.
Her design for a "fashion blogger's home",
styled for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase,
shows a love of dramatic colours
and textural contrasts,
mixing concrete with brass,
simple with ornate,
and light with dark. 

Which also seems to be the formula 
for her own home,
carried out with much aplomb.

Do you like it?


  1. Like, like, like .. LOVE.
    I could sit on that couch in that lounge alllll day.
    Defiantely need that 'eat a good breakfast' sign @ my house too.

    thanks VB (-:

    1. Relieved to hear that this one appeals - after your reaction to the very different Cloud House!

  2. How clever those gilt table legs! Love the idea.

  3. Beautiful designs! I love her room for the show case, although to me a fashion blogger would have a little more femininity in colours and accessories. I love the first photo of the living space - such a great mix of elegance and industrial finishes xx

    Anna (My Design Ethos)

    1. Ah well that is perhaps my fault, because I cropped out the rows of shoes and perfume artwork! I wanted to just focus on the texture and shape of the desk.

  4. It's so elegant and classic, I really want the desk

  5. Hello Virginia:
    We do like this tailored, pared down look. It has such discipline in terms of colour palette and materials and yet manages, as you say, to have a glamorous side with the odd dramatic touches which are all the more successful we feel because of their restricted use. We have only one negative, the curtains are not long enough in our view!

    1. I had to go back and look! So you prefer the generous, almost pooled on the floor length instead?

  6. The floorboards are great and I love the restrained colour scheme, very stylish. Although cream sofas always look fantastic, they are totally impractical for me, unfortunately.
    One day I want to actually design a room instead of allowing my impulse buys to dictate everything! x

    1. Yes, they are the most fabulously dark tone, without losing visibility of the grain. I know what you mean about cream sofas - for me it is absolutely out of the question - and yet I am amazed at how other people seem to keep them clean. Magic secret I think!

      And as for you impulse buy comment Penny, I thoroughly disagree. Because a fabulous home is never, ever achieved when one buys everything all at once. I am forever telling my clients to wait, and not to buy anything unless they absolutely love it and cannot stop thinking about it. Then they are allowed to purchase! And if that happens on the spot, that's great.

  7. I love it and am ashamed to say I don't know her work either... gorgeous shots... Thank you... xv

    1. Glad it's not just me then Vicki. I shall climb out from under my shame rock now, thank you!

  8. Do I like it?, not really...kind of blah...HAH! Of course, I do!! It is gorgeous!!! But I do think that you should have included the SHOES. Le sigh. I love all of it (Ok, save for that tartan pillow. I know I should like plaid because of my Scottish heritage but I just don't. Period.) and think the photography divine (and you know how picky I am about that).

    And what interior design world have you been living on? Well your own fantastic one of course! :)

    PS. Just a moment to say that I took a fresh look at your blog today and I really don't take for granted how amazing it is. There is so much here, you really have created your own little universe. Thank you for all that you do!

    1. You are an enduring treasure Heather!!!

  9. Can't agree more with Heather. You really created your own little universe Virginia. Each time your post arrives I anticipate a tiny marvel, a happy feeling of Alice in Wonderland.
    The designer Catherine Kwong is a gorgeous lady not afraid of colors, but she has a rather masculine style and palette in decorating. Are her beautiful interiors always so monochromatic?
    The photographer did a great job.
    Thank you for willingness to share.

  10. I love the grey in her kitchen and I wish her her bedroom was mine - love it.

  11. I really do like it - but I adore the table and the golden legs - awesome!!
    Hope you are havinga fab week Virginia - here it is SUNSHINE - finally ;)

  12. Love the coffee table & the cute gingham curtains!


  13. does anyone know the wall color used in the master bedroom


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