Career banker Bruce John renovated his beachside apartment recently to give it a contemporary look with an Asian flair.
Born and raised in Canada but with ancestors from China, Bruce had been working in Cayman for 12 years when, in 2011, the opportunity arose to relocate to Hong Kong.
“It was a dream of mine to live and work in Asia someday,” he says. “I wanted to be able to connect with my Chinese heritage, improve my Cantonese and learn Mandarin.”
Like Grand Cayman, Hong Kong is an island, although 5.5 times bigger, with a population of more than seven million.
“It was an energetic, exciting, vibrant bustling city,” Bruce recalls. “I enjoyed exploring and discovering Hong Kong. I also traveled regularly on business to Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and China. I was fortunate to holiday in Cambodia, Vietnam and Korea, too.
“It was these travels and these wonderful places that influenced my taste for Asian culture, furniture and art which I brought back to decorate my apartment.”
Bruce shipped back the furniture he bought in Hong Kong, a mix of contemporary and Chinese pieces, and artifacts collected during his travels around the region.
He initially thought of buying a property on Seven Mile Beach but decided instead to remodel his small condo on South Sound, opening up the space and modernizing it.
A partition between the kitchen and dining room was torn down, creating a spacious, airy living and dining room. Next, he remodeled the bathrooms.
“Once the renovations were complete, I could enjoy working with different color schemes to personalize my apartment and display my contemporary and Asian furniture as well as my art,” says Bruce.
The kitchen is bright with lots of light, clean lines, large work areas and plenty of storage, all complemented by the monochrome tiles and black quartz countertop.
Meanwhile, Bruce’s Asian artwork and artifacts decorate the open-plan living area to give the apartment character and color.
“My home is a simple space with a contemporary look while the Asian furniture and art bring warmth to the apartment,” he says.