This award-winning residential project in Hong Kong, done by Haven Design, is a customised elderly-friendly home for a pair of couple in their 80s.
When an elderly couple takes back their 800-sq.ft. apartment in Central, a former rental unit which hasn’t been touched up for 15 years, they’re looking at a revamp so it meets their living needs after retirement. With the help of Mary Wong, Founder & Creative Director of Haven Design, the space now now gives way to a safer, easier life at home, with strategic design fits addressing all the needs and wants of senior citizens.
“The goal is creating a living environment that takes care of the clients’ physial and mental wellbeing. All features are designed in subtle ways to let them carry out their lives independently. This is why safety is a priority,” says Wong, adding that space planning, material and smart living are key to the transformation.
The task up-front is remodelling the layout. “We create a transparent space and reduce clutter through sliding glass windows and doors. Most importantly, there’s no floor-level difference or any carpet throughout the whole flat to steer clear of any trip hazard for the elderly users,” Wong explains.
The walls flanking the kitchen space are broken down to add space to the foyer, where there’s a stool for the homeowners if they need to sit while putting on shoes. Wong also turns the previously three bedrooms into a master bedroom and a guest room.
In the master bedroom are two beds with electrical mattresses: whether it’s on the left or right, they can safely get out of and get back into bed on either side. The bathroom is spacious enough to accommodate a wheelchair and a built-in bench inside the shower.
The interior style is very much all things comfort. Though no different from a quintessential apartment in Hong Kong, it’s easy to see that Wong has integrated a whole range of carefully thought-out, considerate features for the senior clients. But that’s not to say that the home compromises function over style.
“I don’t want it to look like an elderly home or hospital. There’re some nice, stylish finishing touches to it, like the custom-made handrails. It’s bright, airy, with much natural light for the clients to go about their daily lives. Their needs are there from the get-go,” says Wong.
Material-wise, the designer opts for nonslip flooring and low-maintenance fabric that are ideal for ageing in place. There’re sensor lightings under the bed frame and along the corridor for when they need to move around during nighttime. Not to mention Wong installs the light switch slightly lower than the usual height for them to manoeuvre, along with the curtains featuring remote control. This abode is just every bit as stylish as it is functional.