“We lived in Queen’s Garden and the view was powerful, but almost too powerful. You have all these skyscrapers in front of you when you come home from work, and you want something more relaxing,” recalls the homeowner. Here in Pok Fu Lam, packed cityscapes disappear, making way for lush greenery and sea views. “The ships passing through here make all the difference,” adds the homeowner.
So as to focus on the views, the owners kept the decor in their duplex minimal. They also chose to emphasise the sense of space – above all, they wanted an enveloping sense of serenity and openness, to create a light-filled haven in which they could plant roots and start a family. It helped that the apartment had high ceilings and had few obtrusive structural walls. There was a pokey, narrow kitchen, but, with the help of their designer, they merged this with a study, making room for a large kitchen with a central island and sleek bar stools. Similarly, a heavy brick staircase was torn down in favour of a winding, floating staircase made of walnut – the same hardwood as the floorboards.
The man of the house is originally from Munich, and, along with Hong Kong, he has lived in Switzerland, Austria and Japan, where he first met his wife. The Japanese connection is on show in the living room, in the form of lacquerware and beautiful Kurimono woodwork created by the wife’s father. Other influences are at play in this space, too: there’s an Arne Jacobsen Egg chair, perfect for curling up with a book. There’s also a sofa and TV area, plus a desk, so that one half of the couple can be working in the same room while the other relaxes. For these homeowners, it was important to set up the living room as a place that encourages interaction.
The close-knit twosome shares many hobbies. They love comic books – they have a vast library full of them – cartoons and music, and they both have a passion for photography and diving. They’re also keen travellers; mementos from their trips are on display everywhere in the home, from framed holiday snaps to artworks bought while globetrotting.
Like the rest of the home, the master suite is designed with shared time in mind. In the en suite bathroom, even mundane morning routines become something they can do together – there’s a custom-made shower built specially for two. “In the morning, the sun shines in here and you get a rainbow in the shower,” says the husband. Also bathed in sunlight is the master bedroom: its massive bed faces the wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows and a budding frangipani tree.
This private space more than satisfies the project brief; it’s clean and calm in neutral tones and white. Like the other spaces in this flat, it’s been stripped down to the bare bones minimum, creating a simplified space in which this happy pair can spend precious moments together.
Photography: Edgar Tapan
Styling: Bridget Saunders