Adding warmth to the epitome of cool
Lori Shen’s newly furbished apartment is bright and contemporary — cool to the eyes but warm to the touch.
The 29-year-old Shanghai native purchased the flat in the summer of 2015 after visiting many buildings. “Most of them were decorated in classic European style but this one, however, was very modern and chic. Only the kitchen and bathrooms were fully furbished, leaving the other spaces blank which gave us room to draw our imagination,” Shen said.
The 220-square-meter two-bedroom apartment features a 3.4-meter-high ceiling, floor to ceiling windows, an open kitchen, a spacious living area and balcony. “Among all, I love its balcony the most. It is surrounded by trees, which makes me feel like living in the garden of Eden, a rare find in the buzzing Lujiazui area.”
Shen created pet supply brand Paws Nation after her graduation in the States. She currently lives between Los Angeles and Shanghai.
To make the apartment more pleasant for living, she found French designer Baptiste Bohu through a friend and got to know about him and his stunning work after their first meeting. “We clicked automatically. I liked his design style a lot and truly believed he could build my ideal home,” Shen said.
“The apartment is brand new in a luxury and modern Lujiazui compound. Lori wanted a simple interior with a contemporary look but with a sense of luxury and elegance,” Bohu said. “She wanted quality and premium materials for the interiors — a bit like the interiors in ‘Nocturnal Animals,’ the Tom Ford movie.
“The space was great. There is a nice sunlight throughout the day. I did not bring any changes to the layout since modern compounds are well made. Each room has a good size. Another advantage was a high ceiling at more than 3 meters and this was one of the reasons I decided to take this project,” Bohu said.
The connection between the interior and the terrace via a huge glass door is what brings the light in and gives a sense of indoor/outdoor, which is so rare in Shanghai.
The apartment is fully open with an open kitchen so there is a good flow. “We chose a very sculptural chandelier to highlight the dining area and the chandelier became the master piece in that main room,” the French designer said.
The living room, dining room and the kitchen area are all connected. There is a mixture of materials that create a sense of luxury and modernity such as marble, teak wood, lacquered wood, and fabric and leather wallpaper.
The curtains are velvet to bring some warmth. The furniture is simple but also incorporates premium materials such as suede, leather, brass, marble and oak.
Some large silk carpets bring coziness to the entire space while some gold accents with brass bring a sense of luxury.
The master bedroom is comfortable and masculine. A large bed in suede is placed in the center, a rug in silk on the floor and velvet curtains in very dark green color. The back wall is made of teak and some modern lamps hang from the ceiling.
Regarding the color palette, the hues are toned down in the main room ¬— for instance the burnt orange of the cushions, or the powder green of a stool. All the colors the designer chose are slightly pale and not flashy. The purpose is to make the space more elegant and neutral. “The brown wood brings the warmth the homeowners were looking for while the gray marble brings the expansive feel,” Bohu said.
The homeowner considers the wood-strip wall, the carpet in the dining room and the marble wall behind the TV cabinet as the highlights.
For the furniture, Shen selected every single piece with Bohu. He had recommended several brands to her based on his understanding of her preference. Shen also bought pieces in London as well.
They customized the rugs from Taiping, and sourced leather and fabric wallpapers locally.
“What I like most of Bohu’s design is the atmosphere he creates here. Fine details bring a sophisticated material palette to elegant and cozy living spaces,” Shen said.
Ask The Owner
Q: What’s the best thing about living in Shanghai?
A: Its convenience and diversity, having access to decent restaurants of all kinds of cuisine.
Q: Describe your home in three words.
A: Modern, cozy and charming.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get home?
A: Lie on the sofa.
Q: How do you unwind?
A: Walk on the balcony and feel the breeze.
Q: Where do you spend most of your time at home?
A: Living room
Q: What’s the view outside your window?
A: Full of trees. Like living in a garden.
Q: What’s your favorite object in your home?
Q: Where do you source furniture?
A: Minotti, Tom Dixon and several local suppliers.