Welcome to our latest blog where we’re sharing a full project overview of one of our newly completed projects! There are lots of practical insights into our full design and build process, before and after photos and details on all the healthy and eco features we included in this full home makeover. We’ll be taking a look at lots of clever storage solutions and a classic yet modern design style.
This project exemplifies our commitment to healthy and eco interior design and we believe, beautifully reflects the hopes and aspirations of our clients when they first came to us with this project.
So How Did The Property Look Before We Started Working On It?
This 1500 sq ft apartment in Kowloon, Hong Kong was purchased by a Chinese couple looking to settle down in a family sized apartment. We were delighted that they asked us to be involved in this project and we provided a full turnkey service, including design, build, furniture selection purchasing and styling.
The plan above shows the layout of the property before we made some changes.
You can see from the photos that the property was dated and tired when first purchased by our clients and, although there is a good amount of space the décor, lighting and some of the layout needed rethinking.
This property has an entrance area leading onto a living / dining area and balcony, separate kitchen with utility plus three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The kitchen was modern and simple with good appliances however it had little personality and felt stark and bland.
The bathrooms had seen better days although they had plain white serviceable sanitary ware the general feel was dated and something really special was needed.
Some of the tiles and décor in the bathrooms was also dated and didn’t reflect the taste of our clients.
The bedrooms had been decorated some time before and although they had lots of storage the rooms needed more than just a lick of paint.
The balcony was a good space but again felt bland and a little neglected with generic tiles and no special features.
Classic Inspiration For a New Luxury Residence
It was clear from the outset that our clients were looking for something really very special from our design team. They wanted a true home that reflected their style that would have a longevity of design that could be adapted to their needs as a growing family.
Our clients met at University in the UK and their travels take them to Britain regularly throughout the year and so European design has had and continues to have a large influence on their style. They were looking for a classic look with a British flavor and a home that was suitable for relaxed modern living.
We presented two different concept ideas. One was ‘Warm & Classical’ the other was ‘The New Oxford Dictionary’. The second of these two ideas was the one that most resonated and this concept idea became the cornerstone of our design process.
The look is classic with a modern twist, muted tones with soft colors and elegant moldings and it was really important to us to get the exact mix of modern and classical style right in our designs.
Space Planning & Healthy Home Features
We reworked some of the layout of the space to provide a vestibule, living with dining area and separate kitchen and maids room with bathroom facilities. We also increased the size of the master bathroom and adapted areas that would need to carry the ducting for the air purification system.
The plan below shows the adaptations to the space plus the furniture layout that we proposed.
We also began to look at the healthy and sustainable features that would be included in this property. A very high priority for our clients was to ensure that the air quality was excellent; being low in VOC’s to reduce skin irritations they had been suffering from. They also felt that if they were to expand their family in the future the air quality in their home needed to be excellent.
A full air purification and filtration system was decided upon to provide purified fresh air into their home, this element would influence many of the physical changes to the property as the ducts that carry the air need to be accommodated in recesses, beams or be boxed into sections of the walls and ceilings.
Developing The Design In More Detail
We began to develop the design in more detail giving visual inspiration for the different rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom images below.
These inspiring images show the lean towards simple understated classic luxury with warm metallic accents.
We began to work these up into scale technical drawings, these ones show elevations for the master and guest bathrooms and kitchen along with some inspiration ideas for finishes and styling so that our clients could start to get a feel for the style along with the practical features and layout.
These sketches with mood boards demonstrate the early stages of establishing the layout, design features and feel for the space and are used to develop into technically accurate representations.
The ideas for the master bedroom and study were developed with the bedroom taking on the soft muted tones similar to the living room whilst the study has echoes of the depth of the kitchen color with detailed paneling.
This selection of elevation drawings illustrate how much detail we go into in ensuring that every small area is designed before the building work begins. Each cabinet, cupboard and storage area is planned internally as well as externally to ensure there is the right amount and correct shape and size of storage for clothes, shoes, books and all the other things that need to be stored away.
We began to develop our designs in Sketch Up to start to get the feel of the space in 3D, this helps to focus our clients on where they want furniture to sit and imagine how storage and other features will work.
Lighting Was Crucial In Creating The Right Look For This Project
We spent a lot of time finding the right light fittings for this project and you will see from the finished photographs that these really help to create the atmosphere and provide warmth.
We looked at lots of different styles but they were all in warm metallic colours and many of them were diffused to soften the lighting in the home.
Introducing 3D Renderings To Our Clients
One of the greatest tools we have to demonstrate to our clients how their finished home will look is the 3D renderings we create. Not only do they provide a clear idea of the layout and scale of the rooms but they also give a real indication of the style and mood of the finished rooms.
You can see above and below how the living room and dining room have developed from the sketches and elevations into complete rooms with layout and style. These rooms were previously the living and dining room but look a world away from where we saw them in the ‘before’ photos.
The kitchen has a completely different look in this rendering with a smart, tailored feel and beautiful contrast between the dark blue and white paintwork.
The bedroom is a tranquil and soft haven with lots of storage and lighting options.
The bathrooms are completely transformed with clean monochrome color and tile combinations and lots more storage.
The curved cabinet and shower curtain provide a soft feel along with the hard lines.
Beginning To Make Our Plans Come To Life
Although this doesn’t look like progress to start with you can immediately see the changes starting to take shape as soon as the demolition work begins!
Removing the original fixtures and fittings first to ensure they are salvaged for reuse we strictly control our construction sites to ensure that over 50% of materials removed from site are diverted away from landfill. Salvaged items can be reused, such as built in furniture and electrical equipment; masonry, wood, metal and electricals are all recycled and prioritized in a waste management system.
In the first photo above some of the preparation of the site can be seen, we ensure that the site is fully protected during renovation work to minimize dust and pollutants spreading through the building. These measures involve instating partitions to reduce dust and cross-contaminants, sealing off any systems that may gather dust and providing walk off mats on entering site to minimize the tracking of pollutants in and out of the site. Workers on site are prohibited from smoking and windows and vents are used to exhaust the building works and ventilate the building.
Building work quickly started to create walls for the new layout and the positioning of furnishings was marked on the walls.
As the site developed the ducting for the full fresh air system was installed. Because of the size of the ducting it was necessary to box it into false ceilings, beamwork and in and around existing features to keep reduction of the space within the home to a minimum.
Finishing’s and fixtures were installed including bathroom tiles, flooring and many areas of cabinetry, which were pre-fabricated off site and brought in to avoid the manufacturing process polluting the property.
There is a great deal of detail and complexity in all the bespoke storage options in this home, inducing bespoke storage in the laundry shown in the photos. The cupboards and cabinets have been specifically designed and built for these spaces and all the clients’ storage needs have been taken into account.
We always use low or zero VOC paints, varnishes and other finishes on all surfaces including any furniture that is bespoke made by our furniture designers. The construction, furniture and flooring wood we use is FSC and formaldehyde free.
A Modern Classic Home In Hong Kong
We have captured the completed home in the photographs below, which showcase how our full design process has come together. What do you think of the transformation? Do you recongnise the original space in these photographs?!
The feel of the living room is of light and soft muted tones with gorgeous gold highlights adding sophistication & luxury. The trend towards warm metals has been fully embraced in this project!
The wall elevation is the focal point of this room with a bespoke built in cabinet that provides lots of storage but also the framing for a TV that solves the problem of having a big black void dominating the look of the room. This Samsung television ‘The Frame’, with a wooden picture frame, allows you to choose artwork to be displayed creating the illusion that the TV is a painting when not in use, there are over 100 pieces of art to choose from and more on their way. It is flat, almost like paper, sitting flush to the wall and does not look like a TV at all. A motion sensor ensures the screen is off if nobody is in the room.
The shelving is backlit to provide some ambience and to highlight special possessions displayed in the recesses. Sheer panels at the windows can be used to shade the room from harsh sunlight as well as be used for privacy at night. The furniture is custom made to fit the space and a bespoke louver deigned grill has been made in a classical style to conceal an air purifier.
The arch in between living room and dining room provide a slight separation to the two spaces.
The dining room is open plan off the living area and designed with guests and socialising in mind. The circular pedestal table is a great space saving piece & the upholstered chairs create a feel of luxurious comfort. Statement lighting, diffused to reduce glare, warm metallic highlights & bespoke drinks cabinet with built in wine coolers add to the ambience of fine dining from home.
The cabinetry has a large amount of storage and includes a drawer that pulls out to provide extra counter space and another with a charging zone for phones and other small electricals to minimise EMF in the bedroom.
The painting is the clients own purchased on one of their trips to the UK.
This study doubles up as a walk in closet, providing an adaptable space that meets the needs of the clients for a working area and also storage for clothing and shoes.
The style is retained; echoing the dark blue color from the kitchen along with the wood detailing, parquet style wooden floor, plain curtains and metallic accents.
One of the cupboards includes a printer and other electronic necessities for a modern home office.
The kitchen design has a quintessentially English feel with a beautiful traditional look; the tall cupboard panels on either side of the cooking area hide all manner of equipment behind them such as rice cooker and juicer. The cupboard doors open and slide back into a hidden compartment, for maximum practicality. The herringbone tiles have been chosen to reflect the pattern of the wooden parquet flooring.
A glass door into the living area has been installed to bring more light in. The copper cupboard handles, under cupboard lighting and down lighting all provide soft warmth.
A Enagic water alkaline water purifier, seen here to the right of the picture, has been installed to provide 5 different types of purified water for drinking, washing vegetables and cleaning.
The master bathroom is a great example that if you want a marble ‘look’ you don’t have to use real marble, this is a printed tile, this is more sustainable but also they will never yellow over time.
This room again has lots of really practical storage for toiletries, towels and other bathroom essentials. There is a place for everything in this home, which will result in clutter free living.
The guest bathroom looks to be paneled in wood however this is created using stone because the climate in Hong Kong is too humid for wood to be used in this environment.
The bedroom design provides a classic, calm & luxurious feel with simple detailed panelling and neutral colours that create a subtle and relaxed ambience.
The room contains a large amount of bespoke storage, concealing everything and enabling our clients to live with a minimalist uncluttered feel within the classic modern design.
Automatic concealed blackout blinds provide privacy and darkness for good quality sleep and the plain sheer curtains soften the look and can provide shade from strong sunlight while keeping natural daylight when needed.
The air purification and filtration system has been hidden under the bay window in this room and extra hidden storage is provided within the wall behind a panel.
Having an entrance area to your home is a great place to leave shoes, preventing you from tracking pollutants through your home. This vestibule area has a decorative mirror to make it feel bigger and a console table is a place to put keys.
The balcony has been completely transformed with a mosaic floor that has a classic Victorian feel showing that decorative flooring on a balcony can really bring the space alive, making it a more sophisticated and inviting place to spend time.
Plants and accessories add to the look.
Another Successfully Completed Project For Our Team, What Do You Think?
On completion of the project we green-clean the entire home with environmentally friendly and low-odour cleaning agents and we recommend green cleaning is used going forward. We also carry out a complete flush out of the existing air within the property for 48 hours to remove any remaining VOC’s, all existing filters are checked and changed if necessary before this process.
What do you think of the completed home? Is this somewhere you could imagine living? Would you like to have all of these storage otpions? We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing how we create and manage our healthy and sustainable interior projects and that the insights we’ve provided inspire you to make your home more healthy and sustainable!
For more information, feel free to contact Liquid Interiors, your healthy and eco consious interior design consultants.