When a business couple commissioned Amy Chan and Jimmy Li, the chief designers of Hong Kong interior design firm Decor House, to deliver an urban oasis for themselves and their teenage son, they knew they were in good hands.
“We have been close friends with the clients long before this project began, so this has given us a great advantage in comprehending their preferences and way of living,” says Amy. “As an avid art and travel lover, the wife has such discerning taste for furniture and interior design. She wanted nothing more than a practical, bright and personal sanctuary infused with natural elements.”
Taking it from there, Amy and Jimmy put together an aesthetic approach that emphasised comfort, durability and distinctive character for the Tai Po loft apartment. While there’s certainly no lack of space for this 1,600sqft home and 1,300sqft balcony, the design team made sure to embed an ample amount of storage throughout the environment without obstructing the harmonious flow, inside and out.
Outlining the floor-to-ceiling windows by the living area is a solid pine wooden framework that boasts a vintage appearance, framing the tranquil scenery beyond like an ever-evolving artwork. Naturally extending the warm, cosy ambience to the balcony is a newly built wooden storage platform that doubles as an alternate area for entertaining.
“We decided to apply an abundance of wood to bring about a feeling of returning to and embracing Mother Nature, which helps the busy couple relieve stress,” explains Amy. As such, the team has outfitted the bedrooms, the corridor to the private quarters and the bathrooms with the likes of Manchurian ash and teak, contributing to a consistent aesthetic.
Other nature-inspired accents include the bird-shaped door handle for the son’s bedroom and a cabinet embellished with floral patterns in the master bedroom, in which sits a custom-designed bed stand covered in mirrors that creates an elevating illusion while providing more room for storage – another prime example of the firm’s expertise of inventing multifunctional elements.
[The wife] wanted nothing more than a practical, bright and personal sanctuary infused with natural elements.
The team also incorporated a French embroidered lace curtain between the shower and sleeping areas, enhancing the intimacy of the tranquil blue master bedroom. “This way, we successfully added a dose of European romance and created more configuration possibilities with just a quiet, gentle pull,” notes Amy.
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In addition to the nature-inspired decor scheme, the team implemented a well-thought-out home technology plan to cater to all the modern needs. An ultra-slim elevating projector lift is magically concealed inside the 10-feet-high ceiling of the living area, allowing the family to enjoy a movie night from the 123-inch projector screen anytime they please. The sliding panel between the open kitchen and living area is another special feature tailored for the homeowners.
We decided to apply an abundance of wood to bring about a feeling of returning to and embracing Mother Nature.
“Both the husband and wife enjoy a good chat with their guests while preparing dishes or cleaning up,” says Amy. “That’s why we took down the original wall and replaced it with our custom-made sliding panel to suit their way of living. The island also functions as a multipurpose unit that holds a 66-inch TV, audio devices, a home bar, a sink and a cupboard.”
When asked about the source of inspiration for the residence, the designers share the same vision: “A travel destination and an ethereal utopia where you escape from the daily hustle.” Such belief has been made especially apparent in the spacious balcony – a platform equipped with an adjustable table doubles as a dining and yoga hotspot.
Facing a picturesque view of rolling mountains is a bar table covered in blue and white tiles imported from Spain, making the outdoor area a prime location for private drinks or a big family gathering.
The most efficient manner to bring the outdoors in, though, is not to overpower the inside or the outside world. Amy articulates: “We specifically chose a white palette to complement the wooden structures for the interiors, so the homeowners can easily transform the mood by taking out or adding soft furnishings. A neutral, stable canvas is of the utmost importance; it’s the key to a timeless yet timely atmosphere.”
This story was originally published in our August 2018 issue as ‘Au Naturel.’ For more extraordinary nature-inspired homes, grab a copy of our outdoor-focused August issue, on newsstands now.
Photography: Edgar Tapan
Art direction: May Lau