Warm and welcoming, understated and charming. If, as they say, a home reflects the people who live in it, there’s surely no better example than that of lawyer-turned-chef, MasterChef winner and SBS TV presenter Adam Liaw. For Adam’s family, their Sydney home, and the pieces that dwell in it, are a true reflection of their personalities and the way they love to live. In addition to their travels together, Adam cooks around the world for television series Destination Flavour, while his wife, Asami, is back and forth between here and her native Japan with the couple’s two adorable children, Christopher and Anna.
Yet all this travelling – and exposure to gorgeous pieces that tap into the couple’s beautifully understated aesthetic – has created a bit of decorating negotiating. “Asami and I have a deal,” explains Adam. “Pretty much the equivalent volume of whatever I bring back is what I need to throw out. There’s lots of nice stuff that we bring back from overseas – and lots of crappy old stuff that I collected beforehand!” HB sat down for a chat with Adam to discover a bit about his carefully curated Sydney home.
What attracted you to this home?
“In Japan, the value of property is very, very closely related to proximity to the train station. We literally walk five minutes to the train station from here.”
What’s your favourite part of your home?
“The tatami room. It’s such a versatile thing. It can function as a dining room, storage, or a lounge for just lying around. It’s multipurpose enough to use regularly. These days a space in your house that only gets used on special occasions seems a bit old-fashioned.”
The old kitchen just had to go. Why was this?
“It wasn’t a bad kitchen, it just wasn’t exactly the way I like it – I’m a bit particular with that kind of thing!”
Are there any rules in your home?
“We don’t like clutter, but I guess most travellers’ houses end up being very cluttered because you’re always inspired to bring so much back.”
How do your curate your many travel mementos?
“Asami and I have a ‘one in, one out’ policy. We can bring back whatever we like from our travels, but it needs to replace something we already have of equivalent size. It helps reduce our clutter, but also avoids impulse buys because it means we have to love something enough to think about what at home we’d need to get rid of.”
How would you describe your home’s style?
"There are a couple of Japanese details that have been incorporated, but it’s still an Australian house for an Australian family.”
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