A light colour scheme and a collection of eclectic furniture pieces give this Shek Tong Tsui residence a warm and sophisticated personality that mirrors that of its tenants.
Living somewhere that reflects your personality is essential if you want to feel “at home”, but it isn’t always easy to find ways to do this without the help of a professional. Step forward interior designer Yuki To, the owner and director of YTO who has transformed a 3,600 square-foot flat, where Fiona lives with her husband and their two young children, into a place that is an extension of the whole family’s disposition.
“Fiona always looks incredibly elegant, but she is also a warm and friendly person,” To says. “She wanted a space that would allow them to enjoy the finer things in life, like music and arts, but at the same time be comfortable and welcoming.”
As the second abode purchased by the couple, who were born and raised in Canada, after returning to Hong Kong, the new penthouse occupies the top three storeys at The Upton, a rare modern high-rise overlooking the sweeping vista of the Victoria Harbour.
On first glance, the flat is not dominated by one particular style, though posh terrazzo, a French panel wall and a pastel palette feature prominently throughout. To says she didn’t derive inspiration from any specific period or style.
“Whenever I conceive a project, I try my best to translate my understanding of the client’s character into the design ethos,” she says.
The couple’s mellow personality, along with a preference for modest furnishings and accessories, has yielded a grand, yet no-frills interior, where intricate details intertwine with minimalist lines.
When the two first laid eyes on the flat with three en suites, they also found the bones exceptional. Whereas the 45th floor houses the living room, kitchen, maid’s room, powder room and terrace with a lap pool, three en suites sit on the 46th floor and a rooftop on the 47th. Although structural changes weren’t needed, To dismantled the concrete wall between the master bedroom and the son’s room to allocate more space to the latter.
To complete the understated luxury narrative, To sourced loose pieces of furniture extensively from overseas to find just the right pieces to complement her interior concept.
“It’s all about harmony and the coming together of disparate pieces to create a cohesive, beautifully conceived home.”
The main living area, awash in ample sunlight through its floor- to-ceiling windows, brings in a mix of classic and modern elements. There are the avant-garde pieces injecting into the space a touch of whimsy: at the rear of the sofa, the white Anglepoise Giant Original 1227; and the Timothy Oulton’s Odeon Marble pendant hung atop the dining table, which plays with a classic design using translucent ingots of white marble in lieu of glass crystals. These are juxtaposed with the more classic French decorative wall panelling.
“Fiona was very involved in the design process, not least the furniture selection. That being said, we’re always able to come to a consensus swiftly because she had a clear vision of what she wanted.”
For a family of four, storage is invariably part of the design brief, which is why To adopted multiple functional cabinets to create extra storage without interfering with the overall style of the home. Likewise, out in the terrace, which amasses 2,300 square feet in area, two built-in cabinets were incorporated.
Upstairs, the master bedroom, with two separate walk-in closets for “he” and “she”, opts for a slightly darker hue to set the tone for an atmosphere that is equal parts refined and relaxing. By contrast, the children’s bedrooms emanate a buoyant mood with their liveliness and simplicity. The son’s room and bathroom make extensive use of gold and royal blue; while the daughter’s area is pinkish, its chic bathroom designed with contrast black and white gazing out onto the lap pool on the 45th level.
A highlight is certainly the artsy foyer located on the same level. Curated specially for the lady of the house, the cloistered corner, enlivened by the black-and-white tiling patterns reflected off the wall and the Fritz Hansen modish Ro lounge chair, immediately catches the eye and attention of anyone who walks through the front door. It’s a brilliant snug spot for some me-time, or indulgent reading and drawing.
Perhaps one of the flat’s main attractions is its spectacular outdoor area, which is almost as large as the interior. To created different zones for relaxing, dining, drinking and play. The table sets and lounge chairs from Everything Under The Sun, the minimalistic Röshults Garden outdoor shower at the poolside, coupled with the wall lamp and floor lighting from Flos, make the terrace as stylish as the interior.
“Fiona says she likes the house so much that she sometimes doesn’t even want to go out. Inside or out, whichever room you’re in, you feel as though you want to stay,” To says.