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Bring it on, 2019!

Diana Khoo

Diana Khoo, Editor

I am writing this from my suite on the 11th floor of the Waldorf Astoria Beijing. Looking out of the window, I can see clusters of centuries-old hutong homes — those wonderful walled courtyard residences along narrow, historical alleys unique to China’s capital that are, alas, fast disappearing as modernity relentlessly forces the city further forward. It is impossible to say one appreciates art without appreciating all of its accompanying elements, from design to architecture, and it is here that I am particularly thrilled to discover that the hotel — in tribute to its unique location within a 700-year-old neighbourhood — offers Hutong Courtyard accomodation. Granted, they are a modern interpretation of a traditional home but the Ming-era geometrics, gilded accents, red window frames, scarlet pillars, stone walls and ridge tiles offer a great sense of place without compromising on creature comforts. Discover more on Page 92.

As the festive season and year-end whirl descends upon us, we also present a highly-creative entertaining menu, crafted by none other than enfant terrible chef Isadora Chai as her clever debut cookbook hits the shelves this month. Check out the recipes (from Page 96) — in the spirit of the season, the firecracker chef has kindly adapted and simplified them for easy recreation at home — as well as spread after spread of décor- driven ideas (Page 64 onwards) that are perfect for gifting or receiving.

And at the heart of this issue, we are well aware how the selection of featured homes is eclectic, to say the least. Apart from a newly-built home that is all about minimalism and a Marie Kondo-like “lack of visible clutter” aesthetic, we also have grand opulence and an architect’s labour of love. We trust that they will serve as sources of inspiration while you continue to fine-tune your spaces. Isn’t this what we all strive for in the end? To be able to retreat to our private little havens — be it for work or play — in a manner, style and design that pleases our individual hearts and souls comfortably? Home really is where the heart is. Till 2019 then.