While combining two separate apartments into one seamless space may not seem like the world’s most demanding task, it could be a little more foreboding should the owners opt to entrust you with delivering their own personal vision – one that is both genuinely inspired and exactingly specific. Such was the brief that dropped into the inbox of Andy Wan, Director of Pure AW’s Designers, an award-winning Wan Chai-based interior design firm. Not a man to be deterred, however, Wan soon found himself intrigued as to how best to unite two units in one Ho Man Tin home that had originally been conceived as wholly and eternally self-standing.
With the brief from the well-to-do white-collar owners being to create the perfect home for them and their two children, from the beginning, Wan’s priority was to erase any sign of the boundaries that once marked the extent of the original two properties. To that end, he looked to create a homogenised sense of home across the five separate spaces that comprised the unified 2,760sq.ft dwelling, while also instilling a requisite sense of understated luxury.
Indeed, these quintessential design conceits are immediately evident upon entering the residence, with the judicious deployment of warm beige and white tones paired with wood walls creating a sense of uninterrupted cohesion throughout the open-plan living and dining area. Meanwhile, remedying the ubiquitous low ceilings that are a blight on many Hong Kong apartments, false ceilings were installed in select sections, bestowing a beguiling upper roominess throughout.
Explaining why this was one facet of the design he’d paid particular attention to, Wan said: “As the clients enjoy entertaining at home, they’d emphasised the paramount importance of getting the communal dining / living space just right.” It was a brief he clearly fulfilled more than satisfactorily, with the rethought central space both stylish and comfortable, and the feel of the space owing much to the delicate blend of textures and materials that the design team had opted for.
Indeed, each carefully conceived and artfully executed aspect of this pivotal domestic domain has a role to play – whether it’s the living / dining area continuity afforded by the tactile textures of the stone and steel accent walls, the warmth and natural beauty emanating from the wooden fittings or the slight edginess inherent in the modernesque marble touches.
Pushing further in, an expansive array of plush leather sofas punctuate the landscape of the living room, giving guests a tempting glimpse of the dining area via the open-counter wood-and-glass cabinet / divider that intersects the two spaces. Crossing the boundary, the emphasis is very much on a more casual camaraderie, with a friend-friendly circular table taking centre stage, deftly paired with an adjoining supplementary-seating high-bar area.
The signature beige / white colour scheme, meanwhile, goes on a brief hiatus when it comes to the two children’s bedrooms, where playfulness and bright colours are the order of the day. Although purposefully mirroring one another, the two symmetrical spaces remain surprisingly individual, with one accented with bright yellow hues and the other favouring a more relaxing verdant green tone. Both, however, are united in their access to natural light, soothing wood fixtures and calming white interludes.
By contrast, the master bedroom has benefitted from a distinctly minimalist approach, although this is never allowed to usurp the underlying aura of luxury. Sleek and contemporary are the watchwords here, with the dominant wood-white motif enhanced by the elegant addition of slate curtains and wall-coverings. Calculatedly clutter-free, the room accommodates only the essentials – a bed, wall-mounted lighting fixtures, bedside tables, a TV and a wall-inset floor-to-ceiling closet space. This elective sparsity, however, merely indicates to a highly-specific opulence.
The commodious en suite bathroom, however, is wholly devoid of such restraint, flaunting its expensive elegance with extensive mirrored panelling across two walls, his-and- hers high-tech sinks and a state-of-the-art power shower. A capacious self-standing marble bathtub also lies ready to serve whenever the stresses of the day demand truly immersive relaxation.
With the judicious use of tones and textures capturing and recapturing the ambient natural light and the artfully-contrived seamless transitions between the various rooms, it’s clear that every effort has been made to sculpt one cohesive co-dwelling space where once there were two. Beyond that, this Ho Man Tin home is a new high point in conscience-easing contemporary living, largely on account of Wan’s success in incorporating as many sustainable materials in its reconstruction as possible, without once compromising on his commitment to deliver durable, liveable luxury.
Text: Tenzing Thondup
Photos: Pure AW’s Designers Ltd