A self-designed Tai Wai home makes for a nurturing environment for three children

One of the greatest challenges of designing an intimate space is when the needs of young children need to be considered.

How does one balance function and practicality with style and comfort while ensuring the personal flair of the inhabitants is showcased? The lady of this house, a creative professional, took the reins when it came to renovating her family home in the New Territories. At the outset, she envisioned a cocooning haven for her three children, which at the same time had ample space for them to play and for the family to entertain.

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The living room is a place for fun as much as relaxation.

I think that sufficient storage is key to creating a stylish home, especially when you have five diverse personalities in the household.

She felt the obvious solution was to create (as much as possible) an open plan layout that would maximise the available space, while ensuring carefully delineated areas for different functions of the household – a spacious living and dining room, a sleek semi-open kitchen, a kids’ study and play area, relaxing bedrooms and most importantly, lots of storage.

“I think that sufficient storage is key to creating a stylish home, especially when you have five diverse personalities in the household,” the homeowner reveals. “Once you have created enough cabinetry to conceal all your belongings and clutter, you can then consider some unifying themes around the household to work around design-wise,” she advises.

Overlooking lush foliage, the contemporary dining area is the family’s favourite hangout space.

“In our case, the kids’ collections of Star Wars and superhero LEGO sets, board games and my husband’s vintage comic books double as interesting displays and pair well with our art books and the fashion and landscape photography sourced from Taschen.”

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The homeowner worked directly with Arca Firma Ltd to bring her vision to reality. Opting for a timeless palette of white and shades of grey as the base hues of the interior, she decided to paint a feature wall in anthracite which works as the perfect anchor for the Italian lighting, accessories and art pieces in the living room.

Hermès tableware sets the scene for elegant entertaining.

Bringing in different textures is important for visual interest and tactile comfort.

Harbour grey concrete floors look contemporary and are easy maintenance underfoot, while a custom made carpet that spans most of the living room adds warmth. “Bringing in different textures is important for visual interest and tactile comfort,” she opines. “We’ve tried to connect the interiors with the surrounding nature as well so have brought in greenery, plants and wooden elements as much as we can.”

This extends to the rooftop floor of the abode, where the homeowners sourced the services of Smart Vantage Engineering Limited, who they commend for transforming the previously barren space into a verdant oasis. “Paul Ng and his workmen were extremely professional and exceeded our expectations in terms of their work quality and budget management.”

While the bedrooms are cocooning nooks, the homeowner has also designed them to be stimulating spaces. Photography from Sebastiao Salgado and Albert Watson add punch to the all-white walls.

Furnished with outdoor wood flooring, white walls and and a modern kitchen countertop, this space is highlighted by a gorgeous green wall that sets the scene for outdoor drinks, barbecues or letting the kids enjoy water play and a spot of gardening.

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Asked about her favourite part of the home, the lady of the house is quick to point out the dining area. Cleverly designed with custom banquette seating (with enclosed storage) that follows the curvature of the low-rise building, this is indeed the pièce de resistance, further elevated by the elegant white marble table and Artemide‘s stunning Chlorophilia suspension light.

The rooftop is a fresh oasis and the family’s private retreat.

“This is the heart of the home and we do everything here, from having breakfast and drawing, to doing homework and chatting,” she reveals. “We also love looking out at the verdant views and appreciate how the light floods in and lifts the rest of the space.”


This story was originally published in our November 2018 issue as ‘Labour of Love.’ Click here for more on small homes, and grab a copy of our November issue, on newsstands now.

Photography: Amanda Kho