An ideal home base in Hong Kong
“We wanted a convenient location with low residence density when we were looking for a house. We wanted a four-bedroom for two kids and frequent visiting parents, ideally 140 to 186 square meters.
"It also had to be a newly built apartment with good clubhouse services and facilities. Schools were also an important consideration,” said Li.
This apartment met all the criteria and the quality of SHK’s property also added credit.
The structure and layout of the apartment proved ideal with its highly efficient use of space.
"The only unsatisfactory aspect was that we did not like the layout of master bedroom, which led the designer to propose a more ‘connected’ layout between the master bedroom and study, which created space for a walk-in closet.”
Li had searched for designers in Hong Kong via YouTube and liked Clifton Leung Design Workshop’s style: simple but elegant. “Their design process was professional and smooth; they listened to our ideas and requirements, and came up with good suggestions and solutions.”
The homeowners wanted to create a modern and minimal style, yet one that was warm and welcoming as they love to entertain family and friends.
“We also wanted to have touch of elegance that would, to a certain extent, match the luxury design of the bathrooms,” Li said. They also had some paintings they wanted to incorporate in their new home.
“We brought them all the way from Shanghai to Hong Kong so that was the very first brief to our designer, the space needs to be modern to complement the artworks, as some of them are quite bold and bright."
It took the design workshop five months to finish the renovation. They didn’t change much of the layout except for a bigger bedroom as the client had expected. They knocked down part of the dividing wall between the study and bedroom and replaced it with a sliding door to connect the two spaces and maximize the useable space.
The couple wanted lots of storage space and some feature display areas for their art pieces. Another goal was to create a family-friendly home with ample space for both storage and living, and some display areas for their impressive mural collection.
Designer Leung said: “There were not many major challenges for the renovation in the sense that it is a new apartment — with everything including pipes, windows, flooring, walls … all well-furnished and fitted that did not need a change. However, it also meant I could not design the flat from the scratch. I designed the flat based on an ‘already-built basis.’ For example, I started coming up with the color scheme of the flat based on the colors of the floor and the bar counter. The materials and color I picked for the flat needed to match with what was already fitted. It was challenging but also, to a certain extent, gave me the source of inspiration for the design works.”
When Leung first saw the flat, he thought the special part of it was the depth and airiness of the living room. It had potential for spatial planning, but also presented a challenge of where to place the TV due to the viewing distance. Instead of the traditional way of placing the TV on the wall, the designers created an audio and visual counter in the middle of the living room, with a housing box on the ceiling to hide a projector screen which is only pulled down when in use.
A pair of wooden screens featuring decorative squares was designed to subdivide the living and dining area into separate, but interconnected areas. The spatial planning of the living room is welcoming to the point that everything is kept at a low level for a more open and unobstructed view of the greenery outside, something rather rarely seen in densely populated Hong Kong.
The sofa area with its grey back wall and beige laminated sets of wardrobes actually includes a door leading to a hidden child's room. For the furniture, the homeowners chose what they liked: clean and simple lines with a touch of elegance, but also with maximum versatility.
The design of the dining room features an elegant marble grain dining table that can be extended to seat eight people. A full height cabinet in a silvery wood veneer finish, featuring some display areas for the owners’ unique art pieces, was also built. Together with the bespoke bar counter, which features a foldable door, it gives a distinct feel of modern luxury.
The master bedroom is a serene space for the couple, so softer colors of beige and etoupe are used. The room advocates the use of indirect and soft lighting to create the most comfortable space for resting. A rotatable night-light built into the headboard of the bed for the night-time reading is also featured — a “ hotel-like” design that the owners appreciate.
The couple wanted a “tree house” when they were small – now, they would like to have it for their kids too. The designer created a “tree house” serving a triple purpose — sleeping, playing and storage. The two levels against the window are for sleeping, with the lower bed level having storage underneath. Leading you up are the stairs which are also drawers for kid’s toys and clothes. The other side of the bed features a play platform at the upper level and a wardrobe at the lower level.
Overall, the flat features lots of built-in furniture and shelves to make the most of the space. Not to waste every inch, even the “tree house” has lots of storage space.
“The walk-in closet we have built demonstrates maximum storage. Located adjacent to the bathroom, the owners can simply slide the door open to get their clothes and it’s very convenient. The layout of the closet is tailored for the owners’ needs — for example the number of bags, clothes, suits, ties ... — we often ask our client to quantify the storage so that we can design the space that can fit in,” Leung said.The result is an interior that is pared down and easy for the family to live in yet conveys an understated elegance.