Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, a woman famed for her bold use of colours and prints, once said: “Style is about confidence – that’s the real beauty.”
The edict applies as much to interiors as it does to apparel, and as soon as you enter the home of Shana Buchanan – who also enjoys von Furstenberg’s ease with palettes and patterns – it’s evident that the vibrant abode’s undeniable appeal is the product of an established and inherent aesthetic assurance.
As the founder of online decor store iDecorate, Shana’s eye for design comes as little surprise. But she admits that when faced with the task of tackling the home she shares with her husband and their young son, she didn’t quite know how to begin. “The biggest challenge for me was the vast number of white walls and not knowing where to start, which colour direction to take, and how to bring the space to life so it didn’t feel sterile and cold.”
Six months into their new apartment and still unable to find chairs that were comfortable, contemporary and affordable, Shana decided to take matters into her own hands and design them herself. Drawing inspiration from spaces that have moved her, such as the sensual interiors of J.K. Place in Capri and Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, a stunning velour-covered dining chair in a delicate shade of duck-egg blue with stately brass legs came to be.
“Once I had the dining chairs and the dining table, I was able to choose the colours for our custom-made rugs,” recalls Shana. “Then it was easy to use accent colours in the rugs to curate the art, armchairs, side tables and accessories. It takes courage to mix and match colours, and we often second-guess ourselves and shy away from colours because it can be hard to imagine how they will sync together. But if you start with one, then just keep adding, you’ll grow more confident each time. Living with colour soon grows on you and can have a wonderful effect on your mood when you walk in the door or wake up in the morning.”
Indeed, not only is Shana’s abode visually enticing, it also possesses a sense of warmth and vitality – the very essence of a space in which loved ones come together. “Watching the way my husband and our son interact enjoy the spaces I’ve created makes me happy,” she says. “We are a very playful and energetic family, especially with our dog Hershey. We spend a lot of time being silly and playing games, so my number-one objective was to create a ‘home’ – somewhere that makes you feel happy and relaxed.”
One way that Shana achieves this is by cleverly incorporating curves into the design scheme. Sinuous lines on tables, stools, mirrors, cushions and more soften the space, at the same time mitigating the angular architectural rigidity so often found in Hong Kong apartments. “I feel that curves give a home a quiet confidence because they’re effortlessly cool,” asserts Shana, settling on that indistinguishable quality that endows her interiors with such success – an insouciance and comfort in her own style.
“I care more about evoking an emotion than I do about following design rules,” she explains. “The spaces we live in and the objects we surround ourselves with can have a significant impact on the way we feel. A home should be your sanctuary – your happy place.”
A version of this article originally appeared in our October 2017 issue.
Photography: Edgar Tapan