My Favourite Things: Dara Huang Of Design Haus Liberty
The founder of the London-based architecture and interiors firm Design Haus Liberty talks about the buzz of New York, French bistro fare and the view of the Bosphorus from the Çiragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Probably New York, because it’s got so much energy. I love being in buzzy places that have a great mixture of authenticity and delicious food. I’m an American living in London so New York is like home, but we’re just opening a Hong Kong office right now so I’m living in between London and Hong Kong. The key to calling anywhere “home” is having friends and family to make you feel welcome.
Çiragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
It depends on my mood but I loved the Çiragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul—not so much for the decor, but for the view from the terrace of the waterfront pool and yachts on the Bosphorus. That being said, fresh food, a beautiful setting and sun usually do it for me. I also like any of the hotels around Lake Como, and the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris.
The Richer Way by Julian Richer
I love the Tate Modern in London and actually helped to design the new building. However, I prefer the old one, with its inviting sloping floors where people sat just like they would on a lawn. The awesomeness of this space really is so powerful—even when it’s empty.
Le Petite Maison
Le Petite Maison is my favourite restaurant in London. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is friendly and it’s always buzzing. Even though getting a reservation takes time, and it’s filled with celebrities, the atmosphere is comfortable and casual; no one comes here to show off. It’s also a great place for a date.
I love so many artists, but Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artwork is seriously amazing and incredibly moving. Recently I was given a book of his paintings, with accompanying poems by Maya Angelou. Like many artists that have moved and touched us, his life was tragic and ended too soon. I wonder if suffering is central to the creative urge.
I’m about to go to Italy’s Amalfi Coast, which I’ve heard is very hard to beat. In general, I’m content wherever there is sun, scenic water views and excellent food.