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Furnishing fashion in functional style

By Wang Xin | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-05-24 07:31
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Ke Haiqi (left) and a colleague discuss furniture restoration at his studio in Jiading, Shanghai.GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY

The historical legacy of the country's most internationalized port city continues to imbue its home decor with a unique chic that blends East and West, Wang Xin reports.

Ke Haiqi has been captivated by the enduring charm of Shanghai-style furnishings and, consequently, committed to bringing them back into fashion for about two decades.

The 44-year-old was born in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province, and came to Shanghai before 2000.He specializes in old Shanghai-style villa restoration and decoration. Shanghai furnishings have continued showcasing the city's unique charm and have remained popular since early last century.

"The old Shanghai-style furniture, typically referring to pieces from the 1920s to '50s, presents a perfect blend of Eastern and Western cultures, and has amalgamated various styles, such as art deco, minimalism and modernism, and such features as practicality and inclusiveness," says Ke.

The development of Shanghai-style furniture is said to date back to 1843, when the city opened its port and Western culture and people poured in, leading to a blend of furniture, ranging from Western imports to local pieces featuring traditional elements. Ke explains that the category is not defined merely by certain materials, patterns, structures, decorations or craftsmanship but is more like a general, overall style.

Its biggest characteristic is the mixture of classic and modern, and Eastern and Western elements.

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