One could very well get lost in this house. Upon entry, the first thing you might notice is the grand white staircase, which combines the two homes into one.
And then there are the tall ceilings – so coveted and difficult to find in Hong Kong – that reveal the volume of the property. “You enter a corridor before you arrive at the living room, so these features were important for me to create this ‘wow’ feeling as you come in,” says Emily Mok, the interior designer who was sought out by the homeowners. By the time you arrive on the second floor, you’ll have forgotten that the home is located in a central, albeit secluded, area of Happy Valley.
This is the home of a couple and their three adult sons, including one who recently got married, effectively turning the project into an abode for two families. Emily, who had worked on two of the couple’s previous homes (on Bowen Road and in South Bay), was already familiar with the family’s lifestyle. “I’ve known their family for many years, and the lady of the house and her husband have been my repeat clients,” she explains. “They like moving houses – their pattern is about every three years – and they enjoy the whole process.”
When it came to this home, paramount to the family was having living spaces that felt completely theirs, creating the feeling that the rooms are almost isolated from the rest of the home, as well as the abundance of common areas where they can gather. The classical yet contemporary aesthetic employed throughout the house is curated to each member’s preference. “There are quite a few people who live here and each of them required their own spaces,” elaborates Emily. In considering these requirements, it was also crucial for the designer to think ahead and anticipate the spectrum of possibilities the home might serve for its inhabitants. “For example, they like watching movies, so I had to create space for a home theatre,” she says. “They’re all very family-oriented and they like to spend a lot of time at home. Being comfortable here for them is very important.”
On the ground level, the main point of entry for the homeowners, are functional spaces such as the living room and the formal dining room, a kitchen and the household staff’s living quarters. Merging two homes meant a duplication of many of the original spaces and Emily worked to transform the other half of the home’s functions into areas for leisure. One of the kitchens, for instance, was converted into a cigar lounge – a moody, intimate space that now houses the family’s collection of wine.
One floor above is a collection of common spaces: another living area, a gaming room, a spa and a cinema. “The family is very hospitable, and they love to invite family and friends over,” says Emily. The second storey is devoted to one of the couple’s sons, a working professional in his 30s, who needs relative seclusion. Equipped with a spacious bedroom, outdoor terrace, home office and even a gym, his dark, distinctly masculine space feels like a separate apartment within the family home. “The rest of the house doesn’t connect to this floor, which was a deliberate choice, because they didn’t want a crossover,” adds Emily.
Sharing the third floor is the couple’s bedroom as well as the youngest son’s bedroom. The palatial master suite contains a walk-in closet divided between the couple, who also have their own shower and sink. The couple’s other son, who moved in with his wife, are also given the utmost privacy, with their own floor spanning a guest suite and office that they plan to turn into a nursery when the time comes. Yet another bedroom is reserved for in-laws whenever they visit. Impressively, each bedroom in the house has its own en-suite bathroom. “It’s so no one ever needs to share,” explains Emily. “I had to bear in mind that the couple’s children are all grown up, so they will all have different groups of guests coming over at the same time.”
As much as the family revels in entertaining, the home is designed for its primary members to be fully at ease. “It’s definitely not just a house for show,” concludes Emily. “They love that we have achieved many corners and areas for different activities, and they’re constantly amused at discovering the rest of the house. At the end of the day, it is their home.”
Photography: Sunfai Ng
Art Direction: May Lau
Production: Emily Leung