We meet Alexandra Green, one of the founding partners of fashion and accessories business Annie and Alex and discover where she finds the inspiration for her collections and for the stunning interior of her Mid-Levels home.
Six years is a relatively short tenure for a Hong Kong expat, but Alexandra seems to have packed more into her time here than most do in a lifetime. Not only has she helped settle her two young daughters into their new life in a strange and foreign city, but she has launched a successful business and explored every corner of Hong Kong, as well as ventured across the border to discover the shopping delights of Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Fo Shan.
Nowadays, Alexandra is something of a China expert and has a little black book filled with the best places to go for lamps, rugs, china, linen, you name it.
Hong Kong and Beyond
As well as exploring almost every inch of Hong Kong and its neighbouring countries, she has also used her time here to explore the less obvious expat holiday destinations in Asia, from trips to Burma with both sets of grandparents, to a rather eventful family expedition to Kathmandu.
When her husband’s job in banking resulted in a move to Hong Kong, Alexandra was given just three weeks’ notice, but she knew instantly that she wanted to create a home for her family in their new city, not just a temporary stopping-off point. Her two-storey apartment in Mid-Levels successfully combines her love of European style and furnishings with treasures from her explorations in Hong Kong, China and the rest of Asia. The result is a truly spectacular and unique home that is a feast for the senses.
“I arrived in Hong Kong with just some furniture for my daughters’ rooms and the living room ottoman which was covered in Colefax and Fowler fabric, so I decided I was going to change my whole look and I was going to go modern,” recalls Alexandra. “I bought the nickel reading lamp but that was as far as I could go; I just couldn’t do it. I particularly love Asian furniture, I grew up with it and I just can’t do the minimal look, it’s so restrictive. The first pieces we bought were an altar table from Red Cabinet, some Altfield pieces, and the large wedding cabinet and fretwork drinks cabinet that both came from Dynasty Antiques.”
She also loves ceramics and has an extensive collection sourced everywhere from Zhuhai’s markets to her current favourite, Wah Tung Ceramics in Sheung Wan. “Erica is just fabulous and so helpful and they do work for everyone from interior designer Nina Campbell to London’s Vaughan Lighting.” As well as ceramic lamps, Alexandra is also a big fan of The Brass Factory in the New Territories where she has bought several stunning bases.
For the soft furnishings, Alexandra commissioned Altfield to make the two armchairs and sofas. They are upholstered in an aqua check by Colefax and Fowler, also from Altfield. “I can’t go into Altfield without my heart racing; I used to deal with a lot of the fabrics that Altfield sells when I worked for the designers in Australia.”
Alexandra’s extensive collection of art includes many pieces sourced at the art village in Dafen; both contemporary cityscapes and more traditional pieces such as a water colour on rice paper by young Dafen-based artist, Ethan. She also gets everything framed there, including the collection of black and white family photographs that line the staircase.
Along with the predominantly Asian accessories, Alexandra also displays her stunning collection of silver – some family heirlooms, some from Shanghai Tang and others sourced on holidays to destinations in the Middle East including Turkey and Oman.
The Girls’ Bedrooms
Upstairs, the girls, Harriet and Adelaide, are both lucky enough to have their own rooms. Adelaide’s is every little girl’s dream room with pink walls, toile curtains from Cotton House, a French-style embroidered bedspread sourced at Shenzhen’s “outer limits” and a collection of doll’s houses, showcased against the stunning backdrop of the Hong Kong skyline.
Harriet’s room is a little more grown up with floral curtains, again from Colefax and Fowler at Altfield, the colours picking up the hillside views behind. The matching green cabinet was found at Inside and the bedside stools in a tiny shop in Sai Kung Square.
Like many Hong Kong residents, Alexandra’s master bedroom has been designed with escape and relaxation in mind. The colour scheme of cool duck egg blue and creams is picked out in the linen; yet more Shenzhen finds. The four-poster bed was made in Macau – it’s a copy of one Alexandra had seen on the cover of House & Garden. The mirror and fretwork panels were a find in Oriental Home in Ap Lei Chau, matching almost perfectly with the rest of the bedroom furniture. The upholstered velvet ottoman is a perfect spot for Alexandra to work on her laptop whilst admiring her Peak view, but it also doubles up as storage for an enviable handbag collection.
The carpets, and those throughout the house, look like quality antique Persians but are actually modern reproductions from the incredibly helpful Rasia at Al-Shahzadi in Wan Chai.