In an era of home design when minimal is more and industrial is ideal, a residence that celebrates the multidimensional lives and vivid personalities of its occupants is a rare find indeed. With Lumen Kinoshita’s busy social calendar to contend with, not to mention her high-profile finance career and a demanding jewellery business on the side, one might expect the home she shares with her husband, Japanese architect Andrew Kinoshita, to be the picture of organisation.
But the 3,000 sq ft flat, located on the third storey of a 56-year-old building in Mid-Levels West, is neither modern nor immaculate. Instead, the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom space is fit to burst with artworks, eclectic furnishings and other curios the couple have acquired over their 20-year marriage.
“What’s the name of that lady who organises people’s houses?” Andrew asks while playing with their black, bark-happy rescue mongrel Dau Dau, whose name means “adorable” in Cantonese.
“Marie Kondo. We don’t need her, Andrew,” comes Lumen’s rapid-fire reply.
Last October, after a relatively short search, the couple moved from their former address on Conduit Road to a more spacious pad on Robinson Road. “We saw four or five houses before picking this. Andrew likes this area because it’s convenient. I traded out a rooftop garden and attic in our last home for more square feet in this one. This building is unpretentious and totally under-decorated. There’s a Seventies vibe, which I love,” she says.
There is nothing one might describe as under-decorated about the inside of this home. “I know what I want and have a good sense of proportion,” says Lumen, who chose not to hire a decorator. Rising to the top of her field as the head of financial services provider KGI Asia, Lumen also has an astute eye for design, having launched her own jewellery collection, L.Luminous, five years ago.
Her instinct for shape and colour is expressed across the living and dining room walls, which are covered in works by iconic artists like Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Nobuyoshi Araki and Takashi Murakami, the latter two of which are giant framed pieces of erotica that Lumen describes as ham sup—a Cantonese term denoting both salty and sweet—placed side-by-side for greater impact. Works by local names such as Lam Tung- pang, Wucius Wong, Chow Chun-fai, Stephen Wong Chun-hei and Hong Kong favourite Frog King hang among them.
“I want to build a collection of artworks by artists that are important to Hong Kong. This city is such an integral part of our lives and I want to honour that,” Lumen says.
Meanwhile, coffee tables hold cherished sculptures by Sui Jian Guo, and books on Ai Weiwei, Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Julian Schnabel, Marc Chagall and Yayoi Kusama are stacked a metre high on window ledges, and antique Xinjiang carpets are found in every corner. Surfaces display decorative candles and Dutch Delftware interspersed with local blue and white Chinese ceramics, couches are filled with antique pillows, and shelves feature vast amounts of flatware and Christmas ornaments, which have yet to be put away during a late January visit.