'We're not building a palace': Qi Yuwu on home reno woes

Qi Yuwu and Joanne Peh in their new kitchen.
PHOTO: Instagram/qiyuwu

It has taken them more than a year with twists and turns, but it seems like Qi Yuwu and actress wife Joanne Peh's home renovation woes will soon be behind them.

In a recent interview with Lianhe Wanbao, Yuwu lamented that he could write a book about what the couple had experienced during that period of time.

The 45-year-old actor said: "When we shared on Instagram the progress of renovating our home, everyone probably thinks we are building a palace."

Joanne has been vocal about the struggles to complete works on the new home that they had bought in September last year.

In November, the 38-year-old caused a furore when she took to Instagram to accuse her contractors of dishonesty.

She wrote: "Contractors, maybe there's a reason why it starts with 'con', though I cannot understand why it has to be this way. Do I look like a carrot?"

Speaking to the Chinese evening daily, Yuwu said that besides the Covid-19 pandemic, there were other problems which delayed the renovation. 

He said: "Most people give their interior designers full responsibility [for the renovation works]. But Joanne and I like to be personally involved. During that time, we found some problems which took a lot of time to rectify.

"We don't compromise easily. If we had accepted everything, we would not get the home that we wanted."

With renovation works nearing completion, it's clear Yuwu has no regrets being hands-on throughout the whole process.

"I am proud to say that the home is roughly what we had wanted in the beginning. Fortunately, Joanne and I have been very persistent [about getting what we want]," he said.

Yuwu's dream kitchen

In an interview with The Business Times, Yuwu shared his excitement on the prospects of whipping up gourmet meals in his new kitchen. 

The avid cook revealed that he had spent one-and-a-half years learning how to prepare Cantonese cuisine at a famous restaurant here.

Describing how his dream kitchen is inspired by the movie Mr & Mrs Smith, Yuwu said: "I spend a lot of time in the kitchen so the design is very important to me.

"I wanted a stainless steel kitchen with very hi-tech equipment, which looks industrial but still has a cosy feel. These two sound like opposite concepts, but we were able to achieve it."

He added to Wanbao the home renovations wouldn't complete by Christmas, so he can't prepare a festive meal for Joanne and their two kids. 

"I can only hope that we'll move in before Chinese New Year because I want to cook our reunion dinner myself."

ALSO READ: Home renovation woes: Interior design firm says 'we face challenges too' during Covid-19

chingshijie@asiaone.com