Take a peek at the exuberant one-of-a-kind home of Raewyn McBain
WORDS EMILY CHAN
IMAGES COURTESY OF PINK TIGER MEDIA
They say that homes are a reflection of our lifestyles. In the case of Raewyn McBain’s abode, it has more than an embodiment of who she is. Anyone who has had the chance to meet her would agree that she makes an impressionable persona, and that’s putting it mildly. A self-professed colour and design addict, Raewyn McBain is not one to shy away from vibrant expressions; but even that would be an understatement.
“I love colours! I absolutely adore them and am so inspired by them. I’m the sort that’s not afraid to take chances, especially when it comes to art, so I went for the shock factor! Hot pink, lime green, black, silver, gold- you name it, I’ve used them, and I’ve used them to get great results,” she enthuses. “Two key words are always at the front of my mind- maximalism and impact.
AS CEO of Pink Tiger Media, an advertising agency, Raewyn is a force to be reckoned with. When it comes to her job, she takes a very hands-on approach and thrives on challenges. “Working has always been a passion; no task is ever too small for it is in the details that perfection is accomplished,” she says, imparting words of wisdom.
The living room is designed for a “shock factor” and is filled with hot pink and silver accents.
The enigmatic Raewyn McBain, currently sporting a purple-hued hairstyle.
The office and library are adjacent rooms that are primarily in black and white. The library is also used as a meeting room and has the same theme as the office.
Born and raised in New Zealand, and married to a Scot, she has traveled and lived in a number of countries around the world – United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore- but eventually chose Penang as her permanent place of residence. The tale of how she came to call Penang her home was one that can be compared to a love-at-first-sight story. “It was a holiday romance! We came to Penang for a holiday and this place just blew our socks off. Living in Hong Kong for eight years had its plus points but nothing beats the charm of Penang,” she says.
In another life, she was a journalist with the Wall Street Journal and working with the pinstripe brigade of black and grey suits meant that she had to conform to a dress code, which she likened to the weather in London- dreary. Once she made the decision to start up her agency, there was no stopping her from living out loud. This can be seen reflected throughout her life, including the design of her home.
This idyllic seafront apartment was decorated without the help of an interior designer. “My partner in crime was John, my husband. I would suggest an idea and he would then come up with a way to implement it. Given we have been married for 22 years, he knows me well and would always try to tone things down a little,” Raewyn reveals.
This guest room proved quite difficult to pull off with the exact hue of orange that Raewyn desired. It is defined by a Tibetan theme and adorned with antique Tibetan furniture.
Nevertheless, the home is bursting with lively colours with each room following a certain theme and colour scheme. One of her favourite locations is on the balcony which overlooks the bustling action on Gurney Drive and the serene, sparkling ocean. Here, a circular daybed, to which she refers as “the cat basket for humans” becomes a relaxing spot for her to lounge in.
Another much-loved spot proves to be the master suite den – otherwise known as the green room. This room, which is found on the second floor, is accessed through the master bedroom and overlooks the home’s sky meditation garden. The room holds a lot of memories and keepsakes from Raewyn’s many travel adventures and she enjoys sitting here recollecting the stories behind those treasures.
Unique pieces of furniture scatter throughout the house, each with its very own story. Among her favourites is the Chinese wooden canopy bed in the living and entertainment area. Much like her personality, it has a maximalist touch to it, decked with a hot pink base, pink feather on the canopy, and lined with black, silver and pink rose-shaped cushions. This piece, to Raewyn, is her very fushion of East meets West.
The concept of the guest room was inspired by the purple hue of French lavender fields and the theme is essentially a combination of old meets new. Beddings, furnishings and wallpaper are all in shades of purple.
This master bedroom is lavishly adorned with red embossed wallpaper with leafy motifs while the linen curtains with palm leaves help bring in a bit of the tropics.
THE HOME IS BURSTING WITH LIVELY COLOURS
with each room following a certain theme and colour scheme.
At the entrance to the guest suites, there is a traditional Balinese wooden statue of a dancing lady painted in gold leaf. Raewyn chanced upon this unique piece when on a holiday in Bali and has given the statue a nickname – Dua. Another particularly special artefact is the oil painting of the Scottish castle she was married in, which was painstakingly done by her husband’s uncle who spent hours on it.
The balcony, one of Raewyn’s favourite locations, overlooks the ocean.
Designed to shock people as soon as they open the door, the multicoloured poweder room has glass floors with pink lights underneath, zanily tiled walls and a mirrored ceiling. Armed with a few pieces of chalk, Raewyn designed the wall herself. While sourcing the brightly coloured tiles took a bit of work on her part, credits go to the workmen who painfully broke the tiles and worked them into her chalk template. By the end of the project, the tips of the workers fingers were covered in band aids!
Going by the motto “To live in the now”, Raewyn leads an inspiring life that is, well, inspired by life itself. She says, “I see so many things happening around me, so many inspiring things that could mean nothing to another, but means the world to me- colours of the tropics, fashion, monks’ robes, animals and people.” Albeit Raewyn’s home has been meticulously decorated, it is a never-ending project as the need for new additions will always arise. This abode, therefore, is one’s life and remains a true reflection of its owners.