Mountains, beach and the South China Sea – these are all within the same panoramic view as seen from this three-bedroom duplex in Repulse Bay.
When the view is this good, it’s hard to not make it the focus of your home. The homeowners knew they wanted to keep the interior quite light, “so it doesn’t take too much attention away from the amazing view,” they say. But beyond that, the couple looked to interior designer Kelly Lo to create a “cosy, relaxed yet subtly glamorous” feel that they sought for their home – one that was primed for informal entertaining.
Honouring her clients’ wishes, Kelly kept the base colour light and used a lot of natural materials – mostly woods and a variety of stones. The only let-down was the low ceiling, but with such a stunning view, the designer simply set about thinking of ways to “extend the outside into the home rather than to focus on the vertical aspect of it.” To do this, Kelly suggested a colour palette that was inspired by the ocean for the living room, where the couple prefer to entertain.
A rug from Kenzo Takada’s collection for Tai Ping anchors the theme – the burnt orange hue is reminiscent of sunsets over the sea. Similar orange tones are applied to cushions on the sofa, Tacchini accent chairs in the piano area and Linfa Design’s 509 bench in the hallway. Splashes of ocean blue dot across the living area, too: in the four glass table lamps from Donghia, and the China photograph by Emma Hack, which the couple picked up at last year’s Affordable Art Fair without knowing the blue in the artwork would later fit into Kelly’s plan for their home.
Even the custom-made, built-in cabinetry references the view outside: the mica shell accents were chosen “to emulate the sheen of the sea in the morning,” says Kelly. It delighted Kelly that the couple were open to using so many colours in the interiors: “I really like bright, saturated colours. They make any space more fun and lively. Beige on beige on beige is just really boring,” she says.
Kelly was also careful to avoid the “super opulent, grandiose kind of luxury.” Here, luxury comes in the details and materials used in the furniture. The designer also found herself sourcing much of the furniture straight from European or American showrooms – from well established brands including Baker, Donghia and Meridiani to newer, more contemporary ones such as Henge and Emmemobili. This was either due to the lack of brand representatives or complete collections in Hong Kong, or simply because she couldn’t find furniture big enough to fill the capacious rooms.
While the stage is set for entertaining downstairs, the upper floor is a haven of calm. The master suite is the one room in the house where the colours are more muted, to create a sense of serenity. It also happens to be the couple’s favourite part of the house: “when you turn in at night, it’s just so cosy and tranquil,” they say. It’s the perfect antidote to the couple’s busy work and social schedules.
Photography by Edgar Tapan; styling by Bridget Saunders