a conversation…christine chang hanway, UK editor, remodelista

look on any list announcing best design blogs and remodelista will most likely be hovering right around the top.

founded 10 years ago by julie carlson (a mill valley neighbor!) and her 3 friends (1 in san francisco, 1 in napa, and 1 in brooklyn), they were all involved in various stages of their own personal remodels – sharing information and insights with one another and finding that they had (in their own words) a certain similar design dna – modern, simple, clean, functional, understated…well- sign me up for a lot of that!


photo by www.kristinperers.com

when the remodelista team expanded abroad, the next editor to join in the throng was londoner, christine chang hanway. with her background in architecture and her detailed sensibilities, i’ve been delighted to follow one of my favorite towns for design, london, under the adept guidance of christine’s careful eye.

last year we bumped into christine via her affection for our ruan hoffmann tiles. when i realized that christine was the UK editor for remodelista, i sheepishly inquired if she might sit for a chit-chat about her own background and various design longings.

just as in her lovely posts for remodelista, christine was charming and generous. in fact, so much so, that i’ve decided to split our conversation into 4 tasty courses – each week this may! in between each morsel, i’ll be filling tile envy with some of my favorite remodelista posts. let’s just say, that won’t be an easy task. but, here, today we introduce the first of our tile envy conversation with:

 christine chang hanway

about 4 years ago, my morning routine was to wake up, grab my cup of pg tips and my laptop and check out 3 blogs:

1) remodelista (for my zen design moment)

2) sfgirlbybay (for my SF connection)

3) huffingtonpost (for my news connection)

i would later be inspired by this routine to create my own blog -tile envy. this single addition to my life has completely changed its path.

q. given the influence, scope and meteoric rise of remodelista- can you give us a glimpse into what this has meant for you as one of the remodelista editors?

a. When founding editor Julie Carlson started Remodelista with Sarah Lonsdale, Francesca Connolly and Janet Hall, blogging was in its infancy and Remodelista’s trajectory is definitely intertwined with that of blogging’s. As you can imagine it’s been very exciting for us to witness people around the world including ourselves develop their passions while discovering like-minded communities through this interesting and creative medium.  The internet develops at a rapid pace and it’s been fascinating to see how things like social media affect Remodelista’s reach.

q. what has been your most memorable piece you’ve written for remodelista? why?

a. The most memorable piece I have written was At Home with London’s Antiques Whisperer because meeting interesting people who are passionate about what they do is for me personally one of the biggest perks of being a Remodelista Editor. Co-editor Sarah Lonsdale and I spent a fascinating morning with London antiques dealer Will Fisher this summer touring the Masterpiece Antique show with him.  His enthusiasm for Antiques is infectious and I worked hard at crafting a set of words that would convey his personality and spirit to our readers. He quoted me in his subsequent newsletter, which makes me think that I was successful!

q. how do you go about selecting your features? obviously your location (london) has you covering across the pond. but are there any other points of expertise that draw stories to you?

a. There is a set of principles that we care about at Remodelista, which involves intelligent and thoughtful design.  Sustainability is important to us in that we like to think of design as an investment.  If you pay more up front for good design which you love, it ‘s less likely to become a throw away item because of it’s quality.  As the resident architect, I write many of the Architect Visits and in these projects, I look for stories where good design thinking results in effective problem solving solutions.


(christine visits a botanically inspired kitchen in london)


rob ryan shop london

(touring rob ryan’s world on columbia road)



(honest wares visit london from vietnam)

be sure to join us next week for part II of our conversation with christine chang hanway. in between, be sure to check out some of my favorite remodelista articles. and if you send me your favorites i’ll try to add them as well!