Area-17 take a break from retail spaces to design their first residence in Hong Kong

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon
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There is always a first time for everything.

In the case of designers Paolo Gianelli and Giovanna Imbimbo of Area-17, their initial residential project in Hong Kong involved remodelling a three-storey flat in Kowloon. Partners in life and business, Paolo and Giovanna have worked on countless retail spaces in Hong Kong and China, and they have designed a number of residences in their native Italy. But despite their experience, the pair had never faced the many challenges and benefits involved with residential work in Hong Kong, and they certainly met with their fair share of ups and downs. Scroll through the gallery below (Photography: Edgar Tapan; Styling: Tessa Matthews) to experience the elegant interiors:

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon

For starters, the process of designing the home was very hands-on: the duo sourced construction materials in China, and oversaw every last detail of the building process. 

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon

They made several trips to China to find the right marble to capture the “look of luxury” the homeowners were after.

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon

The designers also made extensive changes to the layout of the existing flat. On the ground floor, false ceilings were put in place to create the illusion of height, and the original staircase was torn down and repositioned to make room for an extra lounge that doubles as a guest bedroom. 

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon

On the second floor, the homeowners tasked the designers with transforming the existing space into a master suite, plus three bedrooms and a shared bathroom for the homeowners’ children.

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon

Paolo and Giovanna designed many of the furnishings themselves, sketching pieces from scratch and working with Hong Kong craftsmen to custom-make them. The furniture was designed in line with their shared contemporary aesthetic – a clean and streamlined approach to design that they hope will translate in all of their collaborative projects.

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon

 “For us, the house is for the client to personalise over time … this kind of neutral, minimalist atmosphere gives the possibility for change, as people change,” says Giovanna. “We like this kind of clean, minimal style – monochrome colours with some contrasts in texture and materials,” adds Paolo.

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon

On the top floor is an expansive rooftop terrace that encompasses a lounging area and a dining table that seats six, along with a wet bar and barbecue. 

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon

The outdoor haven is a sun-drenched gathering place for lively family meals and sundowners – yet another example of how Paolo and Giovanna have perfectly tailored the space to suit the needs of their clients. 

Layers and Textures Punch Up this Functional Family Home in Kowloon

This smart and functional home certainly marks a new frontier for the creative couple, and the HJ team is curious to see what’s next.

Tags: hominteriordesignhousearchitecturePrinceEdwardKowloonHongKong
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