For our latest That Flat, we chatted to Aleksandra Milewicz, founder of Bamboo Yoga, and got a peek inside of her Sheung Wan flat.
As the founder of Bamboo Yoga, it comes as no surprise that the Sheung Wan home of Aleksandra Milewicz is the perfect zen den. Flooded with light, and decked out with personal touches and influences from her travels to Bali, Thailand, Japan, Mexico and beyond; Aleksandra’s cosy space is giving us some serious inspo for how to style a small space. Talking us through her favourites pieces, inspiration and sharing some tips on styling your own Hong Kong home, we chatted to the down-to-eath yogi and got a peek inside her home…
Tell us about your background and where you’re from.
I am originally from Poland, but I lived in the UK, France, China and Philippines before moving to Hong Kong. After 6 years of working in the fashion industry I changed my career to become a yoga teacher and healthpreneur. Last year I started Bamboo Yoga and recently, a friend and I launched a passion project, Off The Chain Bowls.
Where do you live and why/how did you choose this flat as your Hong Kong home?
I live on Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan. Since I moved to Hong Kong 7-years ago I’ve always lived in this area, and I love it and wouldn’t change for any other. When I first went to view the apartment, 4-years ago, I fell in love with how bright it was and the beautiful vintage tiles! I took it right away, and didn’t even mind that it was a 5th-floor walk up!
Where have you taken inspiration? Did you initially have a theme in mind?
I have taken my inspirations from many sources – as I have been lucky enough to stay at some gorgeous places during my travels or when visiting friends, I’ve absorbed the authentic colours, motives and cultural influences of the country I’m visiting. I didn’t really have a theme in mind but I knew I wanted to make my place as bright and spacious as possible, hence light and earthy tones. I brought a few beautiful pieces from my trips to Bali, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Japan, Australia and Mexico that remind me of the stunning and vivid cultures they have.
What has been the biggest home improvement you’ve made/want to make? Any tips and tricks for easily updating the look of a room?
My aerial hammock! If I don’t have time to hang in the studio or on my bamboo tripods during one of my Bamboo Yoga workshops, I can do it in my own living room. It works wonders for my spine, stretches me out like nothing else, decompresses the whole body and lifts up the mood – I think everyone should have one at home!
Adding plants was also one of the best decisions I made. I hesitated for a long time since I travel quite often, and didn’t know if they will survive, but I was wanting to add some jungle vibes, so did research on low maintenance plants that also purify air. One trip to the Prince Edward flower market later and I had some lush greenery which made a big change to how the place looks and how I feel. I often work from home so having plant is a massive improvement and life upgrade. Recently, I adopted a rooftop my neighbor wasn’t using and it’s been a lot of fun decorating it – it’s still a work in progress but it’s wonderful to have an outdoor space to yourself.
My main tip would be: less is more. When in doubt, remove unnecessary items, declutter, or hire a designer 😉
What’s your favourite piece in your home?
Tough one! I would say my Marshal speaker (great sound and vintage look = win!), and and my dreamcatcher that I got from Tulum. I also have a few things that I always take with me to recreate home wherever I go: my yoga mat, incense, candles, palo santo, sage and essential oils. I think our sense of smell is so important and can take us to our ‘home’, that safe space where we feel at ease in a matter of seconds. They help to clear the mind, turn inwards and get into meditation.
Where is your favourite place to shop for homeware in Hong Kong?
I don’t really have a place to shop in Hong Kong, though Shanghai Street in Mongkok has a variety of shops for homeware and you can find some real gems in flee markets.
Any tips for combining style with functionality?
Choose items that fit into your apartment but can also have a hidden function (such as storage), utilising space in small HK apartments is a skill, so any space under the bed or on top of a wardrobe can be precious. Plus using walls for hanging, can help to free up surface areas, but still add decorative touches.
What advice would you give before you move in? Any tips for styling a home?
Decide on the colour palette and be consistent. Go for neutral tones if you’re unsure – it’s always easier to brighten up with with a splash of colour then to change the colour of bright red wall 😉
Lighting is also so, so important. Chose the right lamps and lightbulbs and place them strategically.
I also use Pinterest and Insta a lot! Spend time browsing to find what you really love, create mood boards with your favorite interiors, accessories, items and get inspired to make your own dream place.
And don’t forget to add a bit of you! Chose some stylish travel souvenirs, plants, and photos that will add a personal touch and authenticity. And don’t rush, things will fall into place with time and evolve into what you want them to be.
Which interior trend do you wish would come to end?
I believe that interiors should be soothing to our senses, so I’d avoid anything loud with many contrasting colors. For example, mixing ’70s fabrics in crazy prints and patterns is bit too extreme for my taste, and fringes on curtains, mirrors, lamps would be a no for me. I’m also not a fan of candy pink, lace sheer curtains, opulent elements such as crystal or chandeliers etc. – but it all depends on the setting, context and purpose in the end 😉
On the flipside, what’s your favourite interior trend?
Ahhh so many! I love earthy tones, with some bohemian chic, hippie vibes, along with some ethnic touches. Recently I’m loving everything macrame, I made my own plant pot holders with it – it’s so easy and looks gorgeous.
I am also very fond of Scandinavian interiors, minimalism has always been my goal (not easy to be achieved when you love beautiful things haha). I love rustic aesthetics, that are raw but homey at the same time.
If you could design your home from scratch – name 5 of your must have pieces.
- A comfortable bed with high quality bedlinen, I truly believe that good night’s sleep is the best start to anything.
- Beautiful quality speakers are also a must – I can’t live without music!
- I need a big wardrobe to organise all of my clothes, accessories etc.
- Is Vitamix a home piece? If yes, then it’s a must for me! That’s how the Off The Chain Bowls magic happens 🙂
- A coffee table to serve as work station, dining table and place to store books I’m currently reading.
One item you’ve had for years but can’t part with?
I don’t have any. As much as I love beautiful objets I try to practice non-attachment, if I had to leave tomorrow I would be okay with packing my whole life in two suitcases and giving the rest away.
On a scale of 1- 10, how shocked were you at the size of Hong Kong homes? Why?
Maybe 6? I lived in London before Hong Kong, and although my previous place was more spacious, I was used to utilising the space efficiently. Though I can definitely imagine the harsh reality that most people face when they move to HK and discover the shoebox size apartments.
If the sky was the limit – what would you splurge on?
A massive freestanding bathtub! (if only I had space for it haha). Sadly bathtubs are such a rare luxury in Hong Kong. Oh and maybe a few art pieces.
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