Kim Ing: A happy home to me is one that is filled with people and laughter
The #LoveHome project is all about finding out what makes a house a home. Kim Ing is a fashion and marketing consultant born in London, but now living in Hong Kong. She is a senior account director for digital agency AKQA and the online editor of Glass Magazine for Asia Pacific, a publication that celebrates creative culture. #LoveHome sat down with Kim to discuss her childhood memories of listening to Georges Bizet’s Carmen, drinking Marco Polo tea from Marriage Frères and what makes her home a happy one.
Where is home?
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.
What does home mean to you?
In a relentless city like Hong Kong, home for me is my sanctuary and safe place. A place where I can escape the noise and dedicate quality time to myself, catching up on the things I love; reading, cooking and drawing.
What are your abiding memories of your childhood home?
Growing up in London, we were privileged enough to have a house in the city and one in the countryside. As I was going to a day school, this meant constant journeys between both homes; an overnight bag always packed and continual feeling of transience. This has definitely affected my attitude to travel in my adult life. With that said, our homes have always been filled with noise and commotion. My father can’t enter a room without putting a song on, usually Carmen, the opera on full blast, and we all practiced musical instruments. This must have driven my mother mad.
What is your favourite room and why?
My bedroom has always been my space. A room that I’m free to decorate and keep all of my belongings in, and a room personal to me. As a child this is where I would paint and write secret thoughts in my diary, and as I grew older, it’s the space that has become my sanctuary as I joined flat shares.
What reminds you of home?
There are so many things that remind me of home; classical music, the sound of my mother singing in the kitchen and the array of unusual light designs my father placed around the house. I fill my Hong Kong home with memories of these, from plates and cutlery from my parent’s home, to framed pictures that have travelled with me for years. I like to always follow my mother’s rituals as well, a proper sit down breakfast every morning, and Marco Polo tea from Marriage Frères.
Is there a smell that is evocative of home?
I love woody, earthy smells. I choose candles with Neroli, Fig and Bay.
How would you improve your home if money was no object?
If money were no object I would invest in space. To give every room the space it deserves. I dream of the day I have a beautiful big kitchen, with an island in the middle and breakfast bar, so I can spend hours creating meals from scratch and entertain friends at the same time. I’m also dreaming of a vegetable garden, but in Hong Kong, this is nearly impossible with the pollution. I suppose at the end of my wish list is also a swimming pool. Living in a tropical city means you’re always hot and sweaty and as a Pisces, I’m never happier than in water.
How important is cooking to you and what does home cooking mean to you?
Cooking is a joy and a privilege. It’s become a privilege since I moved to Hong Kong, when you realize how hard it is to buy fresh quality produce, which hasn’t flown half way across the world, and you have a home which has a proper kitchen and oven. Most Hong Kong-ers eat out, because it’s cheap and convenient, and perhaps because people are inherently lazy after a long day at work. In addition to that, you rarely find a home with a full ‘western’ kitchen, which includes an oven. So I’ve learnt to enjoy making salads and meals that don’t require any baking.
What epitomises a happy home to you?
A happy home to me is one that is filled with people and laughter. As much as my home is my sanctuary, I also love to share it, and host parties on my terrace.
How has your home evolved?
Over the last three years I have lived around the world, from San Francisco to Manila, Hong Kong and London. Home for me is where I feel inspired and surrounded by close friends. Location starts to mean less to me, as I’ve learnt to discover it’s the people you share your ‘home’ with, be that your house or city. That to me is what really counts.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone looking to brighten up their home?
Invite your friends over and plan a meal together. It’s the best way to bring life to a place.
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Photo Credits: By Inga Beckmann for DRKDMS