A foodie couple's cozy abode in the heart of the city

Yang Di
Camden Hauge, an American entrepreneur, has lived in the same neighborhood for eight years, meaning all the aunties, the shengjianbao guy, and even the SF delivery guy know her.
Yang Di

Directed by Yang Di. Shot by Yang Di. Edited by Yang Di. Subtitles by Yang Di.

Camden Hauge, an American entrepreneur who spent the majority of her time managing her food and beverage companies, has never realized the value of nesting and being "at home."

"It was a place to flop and pass out at the end of the day and then rush out again in the morning," according to her. Things changed after she and her boyfriend Lucas Sin moved into their current apartment.

Hauge is the proprietor of the Happy Place Hospitality Group and the SOCIAL SUPPLY event agency. She met Sin, a Hong Kong-raised chef of Junzi Kitchen and Nice Day Chinese, in New York. Sin runs food projects in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and New York City.

A foodie couple's cozy abode in the heart of the city
Dong Jun

Camden Hauge shares the apartment with her chef boyfriend Lucas Sin.

"Now that we have more flexible schedules, we love spending time at home, and so we have tried to make a space that feels like us and gives us room to work as well as cook and entertain," said Hauge.

The historic apartment is on Xinle Road, close to Hauge's restaurants and bars.
"My top priority is always location. I need to run to the shops in case of an emergency or go home to drop off my dog and reduce my late-night commute. I'm fortunate that all the venues are in the heart of the leafy downtown, so it's also the neighborhood I'd prefer to live in even without the venues.

"I have been in this neighborhood for the past eight of my 10 years in Shanghai. So I recognize every auntie, the shengjianbao guy, even the SF delivery guy."

The second aspect is classic lane house features.

"I like a house that reminds me I'm living in Shanghai, whether it's a view into the lane, an original wooden floor, Art Deco tiling, paneled windows, or vaulted molding. I could never live in a new building, much less a tower. And finally, as much natural light as possible," she said.

A foodie couple's cozy abode in the heart of the city
Dong Jun

The living room features classic lane house features.

Hauge was fortunate that her brother lived in this house, and when he told her he was leaving Shanghai, she told him she wanted the house.

"It has been passed down from friend to friend over the last decade. I've known the people who lived here. It has a lot of character, and we inherited a very reasonable one, so that helped."

The couple decided to stay as faithful to the original room as possible.

"We gave everything a fresh coat of paint and rearranged all the furniture, hung paintings, and generally made it our own," Hauge said. Both of them prefer an eclectic but minimal style, preferring to keep the space open while adding greenery and artifacts that are meaningful to them.

A foodie couple's cozy abode in the heart of the city
Dong Jun

The couple likes eclectic, simple style. They kept the area open but decorated it with flora and significant items.

Much of the furniture was inherited from friends who left Shanghai, creating bittersweet memories.

"I can look around the house and remember how much fun was had with each person who left me a piece," said Hauge.

Objects related to food can be found in every corner of the apartment, from tea cups to ceramic tableware and wine bottles.

"The art we have displayed is deceptively special; it looks like a random collection, but the frames are filled with objects like receipts, napkins, and menus from places we have traveled together or meals that were significant to us, in addition to a few prints and paintings that we love," Hauge said.

A foodie couple's cozy abode in the heart of the city
Dong Jun

Framed receipts, napkins, and menus from their travels and memorable dinners line the wall of the library.

"We laid out all of our mementos and see them together. We wanted to keep the space itself minimal in terms of color and pattern for the art to really sing," she said.

"As people who work in the food industry, the kitchen is the true heart of wherever we live, and we're fortunate that, unlike many houses in Shanghai, we have a relatively open plan kitchen.

"The only challenge is fitting in all of Sin's toys; he's about to begin recipe testing for his new book, so we have to fit a functionally industrial kitchen in a home-sized space."

The fact that they have a rooftop where they can grill and party is another factor that clinched the deal for the place.

"Having people over to cook and enjoy our time at home is the ultimate luxury, and so we're trying to use it as much as possible in the few months Shanghai has hospitable weather."

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