The exquisite home of Calvin Hui and Mark Peaker is a work of art in itself. From the heritage architecture that the two-storey structure embraces, the spatial planning of the interiors and the stunning presentation of artworks, period furnishings and antiques, there are personality-filled elements and statement vignettes at every turn. It’s a considered assemblage of East and West, with vibrant hues, rich fabrics and quirky objets d’art where form, function and beauty co-exist in harmony – much like the homeowners themselves.
Business and life partners, Calvin and Mark are the founders of the acclaimed 3812 Gallery, one of Hong Kong’s leading contemporary Asian art galleries, and have been committed to fostering the dialogue on the region’s culture and heritage since 2010. Their knowledge, passion and insights on art are humbling – and if their home is any testament, theirs is the perfect collaboration. While Calvin took the reins in curating the interiors, deciding on the placement of the furniture, artwork and colour scheme, Mark took charge of the antique silverware, Tiffany glass and all of the heritage pieces from the UK.
“Originally our tastes were very different, but we have really influenced each other over the years,” explains Calvin. “I’ve learnt so much about the craftsmanship of silverware and glass, while Mark has really become open to the different period furniture pieces. He appreciates the art and workmanship behind them, and takes his time to thoroughly research each piece, which I really respect.” The result is that mid-century furniture, antique silverware and Chinese contemporary art intermingle impeccably in any given corner of the home.
“We were both happily surprised by the effect,” says Calvin. “When I first started interior decoration, I played it quite safe, and wasn’t really willing to experiment with colours and textures as much. Now, as I’ve matured and my tastes have elevated, I’ve become a lot more spontaneous.”
Indeed, it takes a depth of knowledge and confidence to trust one’s instincts and curate to such an art form – Calvin confides that he never studied interior design or architecture – but the connoisseur reveals he’s honed his taste and style from really seeing and absorbing everything around him. “Style is subjective, obviously, but it should also be a natural expression that’s formed from many years of experience,” he opines. “In our profession, we are constantly exposed to artists and their work, but the collectible furniture we’ve acquired is more of a passion.”
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Calvin recounts his fascination of the different styles of design, from Scandinavian to mid-century modern and contemporary, as well as influences from European designers and their backgrounds. “All of them are so multitalented and visionary – their creativity knows no bounds and I feel they have really left their marks on the world with their timeless pieces,” he says.
“These masters have taught us so much, from how to appreciate form, structure and functionality to how to use a space. Collecting to me became more cultural – I felt each piece was like looking at a part of history, seeing how people lived, and the science, technology and design during their times. And I love owning a part of history in our home.”
The homeowners’ favourite area is the lounge room, with multiple seating areas that are ideal for unwinding, relaxing with a book, listening to music and pre- or post-dinner drinks with close company. A stunning bar cabinet by Jindrich Halabala is flanked by two reupholstered clam chairs (one of which is their beagle Harry’s favourite spot) and extends to the verdant outdoor terrace.
In the centre of the room are sofas from Gio Ponti and T8 stacking tables by Vico Magistretti, which have a magical dialogue with the silverware on top. In short, everything in this room is an iconic conversation piece.
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Calvin chose renowned post-war Chinese artist Hsiao Chin’s stunning pieces for three of the walls, and correlated these with Italian pieces from the 1950s and ’60s. “This was post-war, which was an essential period in the 20th century for art, culture and the design scene,” he explains. “When the world was close to total destruction and human values had been shattered, this all had to be built from scratch again. I showed Hsiao Chin photos of the Italian furniture I sourced and he exclaimed, ‘I know Gio Ponti!’”
“Both of them were from the same era and active in the arts scene, and that really inspired me to combine an Eastern spirit and perspective that would immerse into a Western abstract for a very unique, visual presentation. Behind this, however, was a macro set of universal values – so it’s very meaningful.”
Another favoured area is the dining room, dramatically decked out with a Cityscape dining table by Paul Evans, dining chairs by Willy Rizzo and Italian pendant lights, all from the ’70s, providing contrast for Ma Desheng and Liu Dan’s dramatic artworks. But Mark steals the show in this space with his expert culinary skills.
This wine-and-dine aficionado also has stunning taste, showcased by the gorgeous place settings he’s prepared for our shoot. “Whenever we have the time, we love to host friends,” reveals Calvin. “We really enjoy being at home. It’s tranquil, inspiring and for me, it’s like living the dream.”
For more inspiration, pick up a print or digital copy of our art-themed March issue, on newsstands now.
Photography: Mitchell Geng
Art direction: May Lau