Warm and minimalist, yet brimming with personality, this Hong Lok Yuen villa is the treasured home of a newly-wed couple.
Setting up one’s home is a special journey for newly-weds – some see it a milestone to mark the start of a new chapter with the person they want to spend their lives with, while some find it a gruesomely long-haul process, what with the extensive range of demands a complete home renovation can cover. With the help of a professional, however, the mounting task is made all the easier.
Creating a harmonious balance between individuality and cohesiveness, under interior designer Ching Lee’s watch, this sleek and cosy villa at Hong Lok Yuen – sprawling 1,850 square feet – is a beautiful pad for a young newly-wed couple.
“We wanted the house to be warm, welcoming and functional. We also wanted to have large comfortable areas to entertain friends and families,” says Janice Ke, who works in the banking industry and moved into the house with her husband, a start-up professional, right after their marriage.
Formerly the home to the husband’s family, the pair turn to Lee, from Point Living Design, for the revamp so it would be better suited to their lifestyle and needs.
Perched in the serene Tai Po neighbourhood, Hong Lok Yuen is a luxury residential housing estate filled with standalone houses; the mountains behind provide some of the best feng shui found in the New Territories, and is considered particularly auspicious for generating money and power.
This certainly explains why the abode retains a feng shui element from its former self: adjacent to the main entrance, a gurgling waterfall outlet streams down to a pond abound with goldfish – the lively feature is said to usher in fortune and prosperity.
Upon entering the main door, one is greeted by a spacious foyer that leads to a generously proportioned living and dining area looking out to a sizeable garden.
“We extended the dining area outwards to bring the outdoors in. Right beside the dining table, the floor-to-ceiling glass sliding door now partially surrounds a solitary tree rising up two-floors high. It’s a peaceful sight to look at when we dine,” Ke says.
The layout is among the most apparent before-and-after changes. A more commodious and practical configuration with a coherent flow contrasts sharply with its former self, wherein small rooms and separate zones were scattered across the house.
Right now, the first floor houses a study, a guest room and an airy entertaining room; a capacious master bedroom sits on the entire second storey. On making the most of the second floor’s potential, Lee has moved the walk-in wardrobe outward to expand the master bedroom, and the en suite bathroom to the rear end of the bedroom, making the space way neater and tidier.
It’s always exciting to see what a renovation can bring to a home but, chances are, one will face some unexpected hurdles on the way.
“For me, the biggest challenge was selecting the right colour for the furniture and the tiles given the many choices. But once we’re able to come to a consensus, helped by the professional knowledge of Lee, we ended up with a conglomerate of furniture and décor pieces that complemented instead of clashing with each other,” Ke says.
When asked what her favourite corners are, she adds: “I love how the electronic heating stove in the living room gives the space an extra dose of warmth. Another unique feature is the staircase with a transparent, glassy handrail on the first floor.”
Though the house gravitates towards the modern, and a light palette, shying away from the overly opulent and superfluous, the interior is nothing short of grand and posh.
“While homeliness is a dominant factor, we opted for a minimalist, timeless style, that will look fresh for many years to come,” Ke explains. Characterised by romantic hues of pastel, light brown and grey, and a mix of sensuous materials such as suede, the space is imbued with an elegant ambience. Yet, it still feels like a place you want to live in.
This homeliness has proven to be even more crucial during the pandemic. “As with everyone else, we’re spending an increasing amount of time working from home, and the cosy atmosphere cannot be more apt to serve the purpose."
What’s in store for the future then? “Well, we look forward to expanding the family. Which is why the home has very few fixed built-in furniture so as to allow for flexible manoeuvring in the future.”
The love birds set out to reimagine an envelope to build their life together, and it’s safe to say they have achieved way more than that.