Best known as @mrcigar on Instagram, Ron Goh has a penchant for charming interiors.
Hidden away in Auckland’s bustling Victoria Precinct, Ron Goh has created a home away from home; a character study in cosiness and charm. A converted 1920’s factory with original Kauri polished floors and exposed brick, his loft is too good not to share with the world. This is what makes him the perfect Airbnb host, of course — you can book a stay for your next Auckland city escape here.
Ron’s central city apartment is awash with history and style, whether it’s an ornate mantlepiece or Heliograf soy sauce fish lights that dangle over the kitchen countertop — a playful contemporary touch amongst the brickwork.
In fact, 80% of Ron’s Airbnb is decorated with second-hand finds. “There’s a sense of joy in finding unique and random pieces that are truly rewarding,” he says. Ron Arad lounge chairs were picked up for a steal at $50, whilst a Maranga designer lamp was sourced from Facebook Marketplace for $20.
Your Home and Garden sat down with the tastemaker to talk all things Instagram, op shopping and Airbnb.
Tell us about yourself. How would you describe your personal style?
I’m Ron, an experienced Digital Designer based in Auckland, New Zealand. Originally from the beautiful island of Penang in Malaysia, I have a passion for creativity and design. By day, I work for a successful retail company. However, during evenings and weekends, I immerse myself in the world of interior design, constantly seeking out the latest style trends in furniture, home decor, and indoor plants for my loft space in the heart of Auckland City. My personal style is a unique fusion of modern aesthetics with a touch of eclectic charm.
How did you gain popularity on Instagram as @mrcigar?
I initially started my Instagram account as a plant enthusiast. Plants were incredibly popular at that time, and people loved seeing them in our sunny loft space. As time went on, my interest naturally expanded to interior design. What sets my Instagram apart is my keen eye for capturing stunning visuals, showcasing not only my design choices but also the beauty of nature.
Describe the interior design vision for your apartment.
I don’t strictly adhere to a particular style. Instead, my style is driven by the vintage pieces I discover during my search. I enjoy rotating my furniture and decor, which brings a refreshing vibe to the space. It’s like curating a gallery of timeless treasures, where each piece tells a story and adds character to the overall ambience.
When did you purchase the apartment, and what attracted you to it?
I bought the apartment in 2016. Growing up in a town surrounded by heritage buildings, I developed a love for character buildings. The history of this apartment instantly drew me in. The space is a harmonious blend of old-world charm and modern conveniences.
How long have you lived in the apartment?
This is the first apartment I’ve ever lived in, and I’ve been loving it ever since. It has become more than just a living space — it’s my sanctuary, a place where creativity thrives, and where I’ve built lasting memories with friends and loved ones.
Did you undertake any renovations or DIY projects after moving in?
I’m not particularly skilled in DIY projects. However, I have an eye for potential in items and enjoy restoring them to their former glory. Recently, I renovated and designed our Airbnb’s bathroom, and I absolutely loved the result. The transformation turned a mundane space into a luxurious retreat, with intricate details and carefully curated elements.
Tell us about any stand-out furniture or decor in your Airbnb that you particularly love.
I found this pair of vibrant Victoria & Albert lounge chairs by Ron Arad and they instantly became the highlight of the space. These sculptural chairs infuse a pop of colour into the room and add a playful touch that invites guests to relax and unwind. They’re not just chairs; they’re works of art.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
I don’t have specific places I always shop at. I adore exploring all the op shops around New Zealand. From hidden gems tucked away in thrift stores to local markets brimming with one-of-a-kind treasures, my shopping adventures are like treasure hunts, with surprises waiting to be discovered at every turn.
What’s your number one interior design tip?
Don’t rush into buying everything brand new. Take the time to sit and feel your space, then slowly figure out what you need and how to style it. Let the space evolve organically. Trust your instincts, experiment with different textures, colours, and styles, and let your space become a true reflection of your inner world.
How have you made the apartment Airbnb-ready and accommodating for guests?
We personally handle the cleaning ourselves. Our attention to detail ensures that every corner is immaculate, creating an inviting and pristine environment that guests can immediately feel comfortable in. We also provide thoughtful amenities and personalized touches, such as local recommendations, to make our guests’ stay truly memorable.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Airbnb hosts?
Set up your place the way you would live in it. Reflect your personality, as it is crucial in making your guests feel welcome. Infuse your space with small touches that showcase your unique style and provide a sense of warmth and hospitality. Pay attention to the details that make a difference, whether it’s fresh flowers, cozy blankets, or a well-stocked kitchen.
Who are your ideal Airbnb guests?
Ideal guests are those who treat the space like their own and appreciate it as much as I do. They immerse themselves in the ambience, respect the carefully curated design choices, and genuinely enjoy the experience of staying in a space that offers comfort and inspiration. These guests embrace the opportunity to create their own memorable moments within the carefully crafted environment, fostering a sense of connection and appreciation for artistry and design.
Discover more: Book a stay at Ron Goh’s Airbnb here.