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How to Redecorate your Home: Monique McLintock

Nest Property

Interior designer Monique McLintock has worked on projects all over the world – but calls Hong Kong home. She tells us about her journey and advice for Hong Kongers looking to redecorate their homes.

Your family owned an architecture and construction company. How were you influenced by that? Every summer I worked on my dad’s construction sites, starting off on grafting, tiling and painting. My brother is a civil engineer. It’s in my blood. I can’t get away from it, but I love it. Design was a natural progression from that. I studied design and drafting for four years at university, then started working for my dad’s company straight after.

Why did you decide to start your interior design business here? While based in London, I did a job for a client. It got into a magazine in Hong Kong, and the phone calls started coming in. I decided to start up my own company here. Later on I started getting offers from hotels in China. I’ve worked on the Beijing Parkview Green, the Orient MGM International Hotel, among others.

Describe your signature style. People say my style is very balanced, harmonious and zen-like, with plenty of clean lines. I love a home that feels structured, not in-your-face. I also like to have it reflecting the client’s personality, so if there’s a little something that’s whimsical about it, it’s nice to add that in there.

Where do you find inspiration? These days, I get a lot of inspiration online and on Pinterest. In construction techniques, I am inspired every time I go overseas. Every time I see a construction site abroad, I walk on it.

Tell us about a particularly memorable residential project. A three-story house in Stanley that led to the beach. It’s an oasis in the chaos of Hong Kong. When you look at the house, it’s hard to imagine that Lan Kwai Fong is 20 minutes away. The client wanted the place to look like the Hamptons. The colour theme was navy blue and white. There was a beach-theme throughout the property – you don’t pay to have a place on to the beach unless you want to continue the theme inside!

What decorating tips do you have for those renting in Hong Kong, or staying temporarily? Put fabrics around a frame, then have those drilled into the walls. It’d be easy to take them out again. Find some work that you like online and have them made in China.

Get pillows or rugs: things that you can take with you. 

If you have a sofa that you don’t like the feel of, get it to a fabric shop and they can fill it with whatever you find comfortable.

Most important things to remember when redecorating a home in Hong Kong? Don’t be afraid to shop around. There are so many online stores in Hong Kong offering products for a reasonable price. 

If you’re going to take risks, do it with things that are easy to replace. The big things that are hard to change should be in simple colours, like greys and oatmeals. And you can play them up with throws and pillows.