Interiors: Kicking the Gong Around with George Wyndham and Cruz Maria Vallespir

By Marianna Cerini, July 30, 2014

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Our regular Interiors features take a look through the keyhole into the homes of some of Shanghai's well known faces.  

Known for their vintage-inspired parties, cabaret-themed revelries and all-around debauchery, event company Kick the Gong Around (KTGA) has been kicking the 20s in Shanghai like a foxtrotter at a vaudeville bash. It is only fitting, then, that the house of two of its co-founders, George Wyndham and Cruz Maria Vallespir, is filled with retro touches and a modern bohemia vibe that brings visitors back to Shanghai’s most charming era.

Into their pad we go…

Nestled on the second floor of a quaint Former French Concession building, home for Wyndham and Vallespir is a sun-drenched, spacious apartment with whitewashed walls, high ceilings and a time-worn hardwood floor. The living room is furnished with photography, vintage finds and unusual design touches. “We were looking for an open plan apartment,” says Vallespir. “Somewhere airy and unstuffy.”

George Wyndham, who after founding KTGA has brought his creative flare to advertising company BBDO, and Cruz Maria Vallespir, KTGA Creative Director.

Facing southeast, the space embraces a muted palette matched by plenty of natural light, allowing for a soothing environment where the creative couple can work on their projects and bounce ideas off each other. Instead of a traditional IKEA unit, the hefty ash wood table under the window was custom-made by a local carpenter. 

KTGA’s partygoers might recognize the gramophone, a recurring prop at the company’s events. The couple picked it up at Dongtai Market, and has given it a place of honor both at their revelries and in their living room.

The open kitchen mixes the old with the new – original checked tiles and extra tall storage and shelving complement a modern oven and ventilation fan – creating a space that, although tight, is practical and original.

Memorabilia from KTGA’s first party at Choir Bar, these Hendricks Gin teacups are a delightful alternative to your average wine glass, adding an extra touch of Prohibition Era charm to the whole apartment. 

Featuring a decorative fireplace and fixtures from the flat’s original features, the bedroom is a cozy, vibrant space where the couple has left their mark. Contemporary artworks, photography and knick-knacks aplenty are next to books and Vallespir’s bulging open closet, giving the room a new lease of modern life.

These masks are also a find from Dongtai Market. Both Vallespir and Wyndham scour the antiquities hub on a regular basis for their parties, looking for inspiration and often, as in this case, bringing home collectible pieces to keep.

One harmonica too many? Wyndham plays the instrument in folk fivesome The Horde, and, as it appears, is an avid collector of different models. 

Photos by: Elliot deBruyn

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