Building a home for a family is a tall order. There’s the requirement of satisfying as many tastes and preferences as possible. And when it comes to designing for a young family, there are spatial considerations to make for newcomers in the future.
Such was the challenge presented to Louie Lau, the founder and director of Hong Kong-based interior design firm Invisible Studio. Tasked with transforming a 2,800sqft apartment in Wan Chai for a couple and their newborn baby – and potentially one more addition to the family on the way – Louie set out to create a dwelling that’s at once spacious, functional, and warm.
Among the couple’s requirements was a large common area for the family to spend quality time together – a cherished space, given the husband’s long work hours as a businessman. The apartment, though massive by Hong Kong standards (being the result of two originally separate units that had been combined), also had to be warm and cosy – in essence, not overly luxurious. The wife, an avid cook, wanted a large, functional kitchen. The couple’s combined collection of handbags, footwear and ties, meanwhile, needed their own respective homes in the apartment. Feng shui also factored into the overall blueprint and design.
“Our goal was to create a bespoke space tailored to the family’s interests and preferences,” says Louie. “It was key to have clear communication and to share our ideas with one another.” As well as working closely with a feng shui master, Louie and her team worked with Hong Kong-based ArchiViz Studio, which rendered virtual-reality and 3D images to help visualise the home’s design.
An airy, elegant abode with a neutral palette was created in the process. The conjoined apartments’ ceilings, originally quite low, were elevated as high as possible for a greater sense of spaciousness. A selection of light-coloured materials and textures, paired with natural daylight, also help brighten the interiors.
Every room in the house has also been oriented to take in views of the Victoria Harbour – an arresting feature that spans the entire length of the apartment. “In designing the layout, we made sure that every part of the home shared the tranquillity of this view,” says Louie.
For the couple’s accessory collections, concealed storage spaces were intelligently applied throughout the interiors (specifically behind wall panels), while a separate walk-in closet was also designed for the master bedroom. Located at the end of a corridor almost 20 metres in total length, the master bedroom, when open, creates additional play space. The master bathroom, meanwhile – one of three total bathrooms in the home, in addition to a powder room – is a restful, marble haven that’s made complete with a tub and a shower.
Many of the apartment’s furnishings are sourced from Italy, such as the Gallotti & Radice side tables in the living room, the Ronda Design dining chairs, and the Dedar wallpaper. A Ginger & Jagger coffee table from Portugal anchors the living room. Invisible Studio also had some items custom-made, including the sofa (a muted pink and dark grey sectional) and the dining table, which is illuminated by lighting fixtures from CTO, a British manufacturer of luxury lighting. In the master bedroom, a Tom Dixon wall lamp matches perfectly with the round, custom-made vanity mirror. Over in the kitchen are fittings from Arclinea, while Gessi and Dornbracht fixtures outfit the bathroom.
The project had its own share of challenges, thankfully limited to the planning stage. During the first month, says Louie, plenty of discussions took place regarding the layout of the apartment as well as the various feng shui criteria. She wanted the homeowners to feel comfortable, as well as for the house to be functional and user-friendly. Looking around at the homely space that has been created, all that effort has, without a doubt, paid off.
Photography: Ann Choi
Production: Emily Leung