Step Inside, an Urban Family interiors feature where we go inside the home of a Shanghai family to have a look around, and find out about their decorative look.
Having met at an Australian university back in the 80s, Stephen and Nicki Titze have been together ever since, traveling the world and collecting pieces that reflect their adventures. Together with their two daughters Danica (15) and Jasmin (13), they have lived abroad for 13 years, 10 of which in Shanghai. Stephen is the Asia Pacific Vice President for irrigation company Netafim and Nicki works for wine importing company East Meets West.
The family lives in a compound in Jinqiao, which means an abundance of space, a backyard to enjoy a great Aussie BBQ and friends close by to share in life’s moments. The girls enjoy the freedom and independence that comes from living in their villa community, and being close to their international school allows them to meet friends and join the many activities available throughout the year.
The Titze home is an expression of their down to earth, yet worldly existence – a collection of pieces from Shanghai, blended with items from Bali, Australia and their other travels. Nicki, a budding artist, has filled the walls with many of her own canvas acrylic paintings that tell her story and provide a splash of color and personality to the family home.
Life for this family is certainly hectic, but also extremely rewarding. Let’s Step Inside and take a look!
The entrance to the house features a mosaic round mirror, purchased during a trip to Bali. The jade coins are from local store Yi Ren Gallery, where Nicki also frames most of her pictures.
The paintings in the lounge room were created by a friend of Nicki’s when they attended a group painting class together. She tells me, “I loved the paintings so much that he gave them to me when I left Shanghai for Tokyo.”
Red is the accentuated color in the living room and these wooden decorations are from Bali, where the family often holiday in their villa.
The wine cabinet, from DTL Furniture, neatly folds away after use and makes a great centre piece in the living room. The accompanying bar stools were purchased from the Shanghai Design Fair in Pudong from the manufacturer’s display stand.
The guest room is a sanctuary for anyone staying here and the deep red artwork above the bed was painted by Nicki, “This painting was inspired by the windows to the world which the expat life offers us. It’s full of adventure and color.”
The rocking chair was purchased in Sydney and Nicki used it for feeding Danica when she was born. “It has such sentimental value and is a gorgeous decorative piece, so I’ve kept it for all these years,” explains Nicki.
As Jasmin show me pieces from her mom’s collection, I ask if they swap the artwork around throughout the year, or if Nicki has ever considered an exhibition of her own. “I only change the artwork when we move house, our previous house was bigger so I had more on show, now they are kept up here in the attic room,” replied Nicki. “And I think I would need more pieces for an exhibition. I would want to continue painting until I reached 50 canvases to display.”
A penchant for the arts seems to run through the family with Danica currently taking singing lessons at school and guitar lessons at home. "She has a gorgeous voice and recently, she performed at a school soirée which left her friends in tears, they were so moved by her singing,” recalls Nicki.
This golf course-inspired painting by Nicki sits pride of place at the top of the stairs. “I painted this at an Indonesian artist’s studio in Jakarta when we lived there years ago. It’s my husband’s favorite painting,” says Nicki.
This nook on the second oor is a perfect location for books and decorations. The modern Chinese bookshelf was purchased from DTL Furniture, the lamp is from MU Gallery and you may recognize the chair and stool, which bear a strong a resemblance to the famous Barcelona style from 1929.
These photos from a photoshoot when the girls were younger provide another nice reflection of the family.
[Photos by Jimmy Mi]