The Moments We Keep

Perhaps it’s the two and half hour drive, or those great, big evergreens that envelop the house, but Lune has always felt a bit like a secret. If shared, there may be a moment of pause, and you find yourself saying, ‘but who should I share this with?’ This is not a happy accident, but instead, a way of living that the two founders, Lisa Mok and her husband have joyfully come across in their day to day life living on the property. Slowly over the past two years, it has evolved into a living, breathing philosophy that sharply contrasts our current digital world. Here, co-founder Lisa Mok speaks candidly with me on a life lived away from it all and the importance of preserving our memories, just for us.

Aliyah: You and your husband have spent the majority of your lives in Toronto, but now live far away from any real city centre, do you think this has changed the way you live your life?

Lisa: Everything is just calmer now. Even in our relationship, we are much more attentive to each other. Of course it helps that we’ve been stuck at home together for the past 18 months, but even still, we definitely didn’t have that connection when we were living in Toronto. There was always something to do and somewhere to go. In Toronto, everyone would always ask ‘how was your weekend?’ and of course, I would share and talk about all the things we did. But now we can do something and it stays between him and I, which is a really nice change. Everything feels more sacred now.

This seems like what you are trying to convey through Lune. Even though the house is meant to be shared with others, it also feels incredibly private.

Yes, although the house is big, we designed the rooms to feel very intimate and enclosed. And because of that, who you share these rooms with becomes very important. They aren’t grand ballrooms waiting for something big to happen in them. These really special moments have arisen between people because it’s a very small group that you are sharing the space with. Conversations and thoughts can happen and be finished because there is no one else there taking your attention away.

It’s true, those intimate rooms do really force you to think about who you want to share the space with, and in turn, these moments with.

Exactly. I’m always on Instagram to see who's tagging Lune during an event (laughs), but I have noticed that people don’t actually post or share that much when they’re here—which I love and actually feel really good about.

Was that your intention with the space?

No, not at all! (Laughs) My only frame of reference was the events I used to attend when I lived in the city and everyone was always on their phones, taking photos, tagging people and sharing. And I can’t say why that was happening there versus here, but my guess is that when conversations are so interesting and robust, or if you’re truly surrounded by people that you love, you’re just not as interested in sharing those moments. You don’t want to stop and take a photo or tag someone, you just want to keep experiencing it all as it’s happening. So when I see people not posting during a wedding or any kind of gathering here at Lune, it’s actually really, really nice when you think about it.

I do feel like we’re all craving these more private moments in our lives.

I think so too, and if Lune is creating this idea of ‘I don’t have time to pick up my phone because I’m just enjoying the people I’m with,’ type of mentality, then I couldn’t be happier. But don’t get me wrong, I love when people share, it means something is happening.

You tell your guests that you don’t ever share their weddings or gatherings with the world, unless it’s their own photographs. This often surprises people, can you talk a little bit more about how and why you made this decision?

You and I have chatted about this before, I just don’t think there is enough privacy for anyone these days. I don’t believe I have the right to take these incredibly special events in people’s lives, like a wedding, and use it for advertising purposes or to market Lune. I love to reshare photos that our guests take and if I am going to use photos beyond that, which I rarely do, I always ask for permission first. I don’t feel like I have any right to that day beyond that. We knew that this was something we wanted to do, even before Lune was Lune. And if we can give privacy to people in our own small way, then that makes me very happy.

So do you think we share too much? (Laughs)

(Laughing) I am not the right person to ask because I love Instagram. That being said, I don’t ever feel like I’m missing out on something when I’m looking at people’s photographs, because that can impact your mental health. And we all know there is so much fake content out there, so it’s hard for people—especially young people—to know and understand that. But if I’m following someone, I do want them to share everything, that’s why I’m following them! But I know when to stop, put my phone down and take a break.

Then it’s not really about sharing...

No, for me, it’s about privacy, which I actually think is a luxury—especially today. Everyone shouldn’t have access to your life. So when you don’t share, say for instance, your wedding, or you share just a small amount of photos from that day, I think there is something really interesting and special there. It means there are some things in this world that people don’t have access to, and that’s ok, because it doesn’t belong to you and you don’t need to know.

I’ve definitely been guilty of wanting people to share everything! I wonder if we all need to pause and think a little more about what we are expecting everyone to share...

I think things are changing, but let’s be honest, I’m also hoping people will share too! But that’s why I’m so interested in privacy. I’m not trying to teach anyone anything, but if Lune can offer some level of intimacy and privacy, whether it’s from the rooms people find themselves in, or the types of photos we share, then I’ll keep doing it, because I think a little bit of mystery is a beautiful thing.

Do you think since designing and creating Lune you’ve become more private?

Yes, definitely. I rarely share what my husband and I do, also I’m not sure people would find it that interesting. And now when I get together with friends, I’m shying away from showing people’s faces. I tend to focus on the food we eat, or someone’s hands pouring the wine, or maybe it’s just the prep of a meal but not the actual dinner. These little, intimate moments are more special to me right now. Also, my husband and I don’t share where we live at Lune, that part of the house is just for us, and I like to keep it separate and private.

Can you think of a favourite memory that you have that you have no pictures of?

I wish I could say my wedding! But to this day, I haven’t shared any of our wedding photos publically. If we could do it all again, there would be no photographer. It would just be a fleeting moment for us and our guests, remembered through the conversations we had and the memories shared.

When do you think this way of thinking took hold for you? 

I definitely would say it was before Lune. I remember so many beautiful dinners at our house in Toronto where I would end the night and say to my husband, ‘oh I didn’t take any photographs!’ And then I thought, how wonderful, I was having so much fun, and was so in the moment with our family and friends that I didn’t feel the need to pick up my phone. And part of the specialness is remembering and talking about it afterwards, not the photos. That’s really what inspired Lune, to give people the space to have these incredibly intimate and sacred moments with their friends and family, just for them.


Words Edited - Aliyah Craig
Creative - Lune
Photography - Vai Yu