Creating A Scandi-Zen Retreat In The Heart Of Asia
Healthy & Sustainable
Are you wondering what a Scandinavian Zen retreat looks like? Well, this blog post is going to show you with the help of a recent feature in the wonderful Home Journal Magazine! We will also take the opportunity to look back at how this Liquid Interiors residential project developed and share the full transformation so you can see how we took this home from ordinary up to the clouds!
Intro To The Property
When Liquid Interiors were asked to be Interior Designers on this project we were delighted to get involved. The property is a 1,800 sq ft three bedroom, two bathroom flat situated in Mid-Levels with good aspect and the scope for a really stunning interior. The client was interested in sustainability and consequently chose the partner contractor Henley Consultants Ltd to enable them to follow LEED certification guidelines on sustainable materials. Liquid’s role was to provide a full turnkey service for this project, this meant designing an original concept for the interior with a focus on wellness that brought to life the clients dreams of a soft, light and soothing home. The project also included managing the construction and selecting and ordering all the furniture and accessories to complete the entire look.
First of all lets take a look at what we had to work with. So this place doesn’t look too bad does it? Here are some photographs taken before the project started when Rowena (our Founder and Principal Interior Designer) had newly met the clients.
Despite having some lovely pieces of furniture this property was certainly tired and rough around the edges, the décor had seen better days and the natural light was not being maximized with a dark wood floor and some dark furniture that seemed to be sucking the life out of the space.
Having lived in this home as a rented property for four years prior to purchasing the clients knew this home really well and were very clear on what their requirements were for the space. If possible, it’s a great idea to be able to live in a space before you make any big decisions about changing it, that way you can correct all those practical frustations in the new design.
Although the owners had lots of really lovely pieces of mid-century modern furniture and accessories (many considered to be design classics) these were not being showcased to their best and instead were lost in the confusion of the interior style.
The home was functional and spacious but had become cluttered and impractical without enough or suitable storage.
The atmosphere was not simplified, relaxed or luxurious but more a functioning space that needed reorganizing and a whole new sophisticated image.
The Design Brief – This Is Where It Gets Exciting!
In renovating this space the client “wanted to create a space where people could feel at ease and relaxed whenever they enter and to make the most of the natural light”. They also wanted to make the most of their mid-century modern design classics within a sophisticated, calm and luxurious ambience. Making the space work for them practically was also high on the agenda with storage solutions that would minimize clutter.
Rowena’s vision was inspired by these ideas, and from them she created an elegant and feminine design with the right balance of curves and a Scandinavian touch.
The colour palette was soft and bright, natural light being reflected with additional layers of internal lighting for an overall feeling of walking into a cloud. The ambience is one of a calm, zen-like retreat with wellness at the very heart of the home.
The renderings from this project really show how this design developed from the brief. You can begin to see how this home could be a light-filled and atmospheric space and how the existing items of furniture, such as the Eero Saarinen marble tulip table, would fit seamlessly into this newly luxurious haven.
The kitchen was a particular area that was carefully considered to maximize the use of the space and to make cooking and food preparation efficient using high quality, low energy, appliances. Entertaining friends and family is a big part of the client’s lifestyle and so making this space fun and practical was hugely important. It has a clean, bright and contemporary feel.
The master bedroom is streamlined, with extensive built-in-storage and clean lines with a textural designer bed forming the focus of the room.
In this project, light is maximised through the light colours and reflective surfaces and is also created with layers of light troughs and ceiling lights. Circadian lighting was specified for the light troughs in the bedroom and study areas so that these spaces could be lit with a changing range of lighting from bright and bluish light in the morning to warm and dimmer light in the evenings, replicating the movement of the sun through the day. Circadian lighting can improve sleep, health, wellbeing and human performance.
The whole home was specified anew with a water purification system. This not only benefits drinking water but also purified water is better for your skin and hair, and particularly beneficial to those with skin conditions. The bathrooms were also equipped with vitamin C showers that de-chlorinate water, boost the immune system and improve the feel of hair and skin.
And The Work Began….
Getting the very high quality finish we all wanted for this project meant stripping back A LOT of the existing building.
It looks dramatic doesn’t it and at this point it’s easy for some clients to wonder if it will every look habitable again!
However, experience and the extensive detail in the design and planning mean we are confident when faced with these scenes.
This bathroom was taken right back to basics.
Here the built-in bespoke cabinetry for the television and living room storage is well underway. Creating built-in furniture gives a seemless look to a home and can often make a room feel more spacious.
Here the lighter, brighter new FSC wooden flooring has been installed, immediately giving the space a more Scandinavian feel.
The Final Stage is to Green Clean The Whole Property
At the end of every project we conduct a complete flush out of the existing air to remove particulates, pollutants and Volatile Organic Compounds that may have entered the space during refurbishment.
We also carry out a full clean with ECO certified cleaning products. Conventional cleaning products can be dangerous and even if you are not in physical contact with cleaners containing toxins, there may be a long-term effect on your health of VOC’s and other chemicals. ECO products ensure safer levels of air quality.
The Transformation Is Complete – The Final Reveal & A Very Beautiful Magazine Shoot
Looking at the wonderful photographs of this property shot and styled for Home Journal Magazine it is hard to believe where it started! This beautiful home is a light filled, calm, scandi-inspired sanctuary furnished with design classics.
The apartment has been transformed into a muted, luminous and relaxing retreat from the bustle of the world outside. It has a luxurious feel where design classics from Arne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames and Fritz Hansen have space to breathe and sit comfortably side-by-side with more recent acquisitions from Ligne Roset and Alessi.
The dining area has a feature display area of cabinetry that hides fridges for a wine collection, displays feature glassware and also has a secret pull out counter for wine serving.
The entrance area had quite a large platform in the layout. We made this a multi-use space by making the entrance cabinet a place to store jackets on one side and for exercise storage on the other. The low bench at the entrance also serves as a place to hold floor cushions and a salt lamp for meditation.
The mirror has a custom pattern made from laminated glass that gives a hint of reflection for working out as well as a Zen ambiance. The space is beautifully accessorized and of course there is space for plants, which enhance the air quality and bring a sense of natural wellbeing into the home.
Behind the inspiring commissioned artwork in the study room is a hidden Murphy bed to be used by visitors. The artwork panel elegantly conceals this.
The pink and grey hues in the bedroom create a whimsical, gentle feel and the freestanding bathtub is the ultimate in luxury and relaxation. Zen accessiories ease the senses back to meditation and mindfulness and create a calming atmosphere.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the tour through this wonderful project and seeing how truly transformed homes can be by an inspiring Interior Design concept and a client with fantastic taste. We think Scandi-Zen is a look and feel we could easily live with every day, how about you?
To read the full article from Home Journal Magazine click here.
To find out more about our Interior Design process click here.
The beautiful photography is by Mitchell Geng courtesy of Home Journal Magazine.
Feel free to contact Liquid Interiors, your healthy and eco conscious interior design consultants.