Designer Simon Chong echoes old Hong Kong in this Kadoorie Avenue home

For reasons of feng shui, a family of four decided to relocate from their Tsuen Wan residence to a three-storey house on Kadoorie Avenue. They immediately turned to their trusted friend and designer Simon Chong to revamp the space. Since the house is an original building from the 1950s, Simon knew at the outset that he wanted to preserve its structure and stylistic features such as the cobblestone walls and the fireplace. “Such homes are so rare in Hong Kong and I wanted to retain its character,” he shares.

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The original layout of the main entrance in the foyer on the ground floor felt very narrow and restricted, so Simon commenced his design journey by transforming this space. He knocked down the outward facing wall and installed a strip of French windows that open out, widening the area immensely and allowing natural light to elevate the ambience.

He then added a beautiful wooden bench, Asian cabinets, velvet upholstery and blue-and-white oriental lamps to achieve a charming nook that’s ideal for welcoming visitors. “Now the mood is set as soon as you step through the main doors, which is a big contrast to what it was originally,” he says. “One can embrace the style of the space and feel comforted that they are home.”

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Throughout the spacious residence, elegant, well-considered design demonstrates the homeowners’ passions and interests, and Simon reveals that utilising a large body of materials and upholstery was the key success factor. From headboards to cupboards, and from cushions to wall surfacing, he’s made an exquisite selection of patterned and textured fabrics that work in harmony to deliver visual impact and true comfort.

The timeline for this project was extremely tight, so while there weren’t any issues with the design of the home, Simon says the main challenge was to source everything in time. “To find all the furniture, accessories and materials I resonated with that would fit the style of the space, and that would be of the right sizes and proportions with available stock in Hong Kong – that was no easy feat,” he recalls.

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In terms of style, this abode is full of statements. The designer says he played with a variety of elements, mixing and matching pieces from the East and West, the old and the new, and the modern and the classical. “There was no set aesthetic,” he says. “I just wanted to create a modern, comfortable home that’s tasteful yet timeless.”

The homeowners are delighted with the results. “When I handed over the home to them, the lady of the house started tearing up,” shares Simon. “That made me emotional too, as there’s no greater satisfaction than seeing a happy client.”

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With their hectic work schedules, the family cherishes spending time at home with each other. The verdant outdoors is perfect for entertaining – the indoor living room extends out to the garden and outdoor relaxation area, so large groups can always be accommodated. “It’s very functional for their lifestyle in this regards,” explains Simon. “They also love travelling together – going on holidays and bringing back curios from their trips – so this expansive home certainly has the capacity to continue evolving.”

For more inspiration, pick up a print or digital copy of our textiles-themed April issue, on newsstands now

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Photo: Mitchell Geng