Minimalism For Yogis In A Peaceful New Home In The City
Do you like minimalism? Would you love to live in a home that is ordered, organized and a calm retreat from the city with stunning design features? We have a newly completed project to share that brings together all these elements along with our healthy and sustainable ethos and SMART home technology.
We’ll be showing you a complete run down of the project from concept through to completion, giving you even more insights into the Liquid Interiors design process and demonstrating how we develop our ideas right though to a beautiful finished home.
What Was the Property Like Before Liquid Interiors?
The property is a 977 sq ft split level apartment in mid-levels, central Hong Kong with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open plan living space. The apartment is shared by two sisters, who love yoga, minimalism and entertaining, and we set out to combine these three elements seamlessly into their new home. We provided a full turnkey service on this project including design, build, furniture selection & purchasing, styling and artwork.
So lets start to take a closer look at the project! Here’s the original layout of the apartment where you can see that there is an open kitchen, living and dining area on the lower level and the bedrooms and bathrooms on the upper level.
The layout was not something that we wanted to adapt as with limited space the open-plan living floor and bedrooms on the upper floor worked well for the clients.
The interior shots show the apartment before any work began. The décor is plain and understated and decorated in neutral colors and materials that lend themselves well to rental properties, but it was not the luxury home our clients aspired to. The windows are big, which lets in lots of natural daylight although the property is in a densely built up area.
The glass panels on the staircase are a nice touch but aside from this the apartment is essentially a blank canvas on which to stamp a completely new look.
What Inspired Our ‘Minimal Yogi’ Concept?
Right from the beginning our clients were looking for an adaptable and minimal home that left space for yoga practice as well as holding gatherings for friends and for playing computer games. They wanted a peaceful haven in the city with a modern and simple look and a Zen vibe.
With this brief in mind we came up with three initial concept ideas, ‘Classic & Neutral’, ‘The Joy of Living’ and the concept that went to the heart of their interior dreams ‘Minimal Yogi’. This is the concept that was chosen to move forward and you can see from the presentations below that the mantra “It is not about having less, it’s about making room for what matters” encapsulates the look that our clients were searching for.
The illustration below demonstrates how the idea of the Minimal Yogi could be imagined through design with a light touch and a calm and elegant feel, clean and modern lines running throughout with black and metallic accents that retain a feminine and light feel.
We Had Our Concept Idea, Space Planning & Design Development Was Next
Our completed layout plan takes full advantage of every piece of space available. The lower level has been designed to cater to our clients lifestyle, the open plan includes an open kitchen, living and dining area with a multi-purpose area in the middle that can be used for exercise, yoga and meditation or socializing. The center island for the kitchen can be used for casual dining or as a bar when entertaining and the living area has a large feature TV unit designed to conceal all gaming and AV equipment as well as act as a large storage area.
The hallway has a console unit that doubles as a shoe cabinet and the staircase leads to the bedrooms and bathrooms that have been laid out to make maximum use of the space. The wall between the two bedrooms has been moved slightly to give the smaller bedroom some extra space, making them more evenly matched and hanging and storage space has been introduced as a high priority.
Introducing Our Healthy & Sustainable Philosophy
Early in every project we like to establish the different inspiring, wellness and eco features we can build into the homes we create. For our clients healthy features were very important and good air quality was a priority as they are prone to allergies and also have a gorgeous longhaired dog.
So we included a whole home built in air purification system, which was concealed in the dropped ceiling areas on both floors. As well as decreasing allergies, air purification systems decrease sickness and aid comfort, concentration and good sleep patterns. Laundry drying was to be confined to an enclosed area under the stairs with a built in fast drying dehumidifier.
In the bedrooms Circadian lighting was installed so that the lighting scenes can change from sunset scene, to wake up scene and daylight scene via a Philips Hue lighting source.
The same lighting scenes continue in the bathrooms. In this way, the waking up experience is enhanced with cool lights that mimic the color temperature of dawn in the morning, can neutralize to comfortable daytime temperature during the day and can then change to a warm sunset glow in the evening before bedtime. Circadian lighting in our homes has many advantages; mainly it regulates our bodily functions such as alertness, digestion and sleep.
Automatic 100% black out curtains shield out light pollution at night and an amber night light in the bathroom allows for easy waking up to go to the bathroom throughout the night without interrupting the sleep cycle.
Water purification was installed in the kitchen to provide pure drinking water and as with all our projects FSC and formaldehyde free wood was used throughout the project. Low or zero VOC paints, varnishes and other finishes were specified for all surfaces and the construction site was strictly controlled to ensure over 50% of materials removed from site were diverted away from landfill.
Bringing Our Design Ideas To Life
Following on from our concept and space planning we began to bring our concept ideas to life by presenting them to our clients in several different ways.
These scale elevation drawings begin to show how the layout will work and to illustrate in a practical way how the furniture will fit into the space.
Here you can see how the feature glass, stone and marble staircase connecting the lower and upper levels will provide a calming and Zen transition space between the two floors.
The layout of the living and dining area starts to become a reality in this illustration with the plants above the kitchen island providing life and a relaxing energy.
As we moved through the design and planning process we then provided renderings for our clients that are an amazing tool in conveying the intentions of our design work. The renderings below really bring the space to life and allow the client to make big decisions about their home before anything is set in stone.
This rendering gives more detail on the statement staircase with glass detail and begins to allude to the new spacious and elegant impact the apartment will have when it’s finished!
The Zen atmosphere is maintained in the living space where light walls and light materials with simple blocks of marble and thin black lines in feature furniture bring a light and airy atmosphere to the space.
The flooring is lighter and the living space has cool, neutral tones, but with touches of warmth brought in by some gold/copper metal finishes and artwork.
The two bedrooms have a bathroom each and are harmoniously styled, although one is accented with brass accessories and the other with copper.
Each bedroom and bathroom has it’s own look and feel whilst maintaining the calm, relaxing and light vibe our clients really wanted.
Selecting The Perfect Furniture, Styling & Artwork
We go into a lot of detail when choosing furniture for our projects and work with international sourcing agents to get exactly the look, size and style we need. Alternatively if what we need is not available we have items made bespoke. We produce multiple furniture boards for our clients to illustrate the potential furniture options for each room or space, this one details the living area and you can see how the furniture choices, the colors, textures and shapes all fit in with the minimal yogi concept.
Understanding the essence of our clients’ style is enormously important to us and right from the beginning of any project we take a lot of time to get to know our clients likes and dislikes. For us this is important because we want our clients finished home to reflect them, their passions and interests and to be a truly meaningful space for them to spend time in.
The WELL Building Standard encourages connection with space and place because it’s good for our emotional and physical wellbeing to feel that sense of connection, particularly in our homes and it is the little styling details we can introduce that help create this feeling.
We like to keep our styling minimal but with meaning, allowing stand out items space to be admired without being cluttered. We favor items that have useful or emotional durability, and we love to add plants to our homes; not only do they help purify the air but they break up the space with a natural vibe and improve our emotional health and wellbeing.
In terms of art, we wanted to give our clients a range of options, so we have some very minimal suggestions as well as livelier pieces to help give more character to the home, since the overall design is quite restrained. Art on the walls makes a home feel special, personalized and creates an emotional anchor for those living with it.
Creating The Dream Home On Site
The construction process always goes backwards before it can go forwards and this series of photographs illustrates how dramatically a property can change.
We used our trusted contractors to work through the renovation process; using our own people means we can be very restrictive about what materials are introduced to the site and they are skilled in construction waste management which is essential to our eco philosophy.
The existing decor in all rooms was stripped right back and new electrical points and switches were installed throughout to fit with the new furniture plan. The air purification system was installed into the dropped ceilings and the split type air conditioners were covered up during the construction process, later they were concealed with louvers throughout the apartment.
We like to ensure that everything that goes into construction has low or zero VOC’s and once the project is complete we conduct a full fresh air flush out for 24 hours to remove any dust and particles that may have entered the air inadvertently during the works.
The stairs were completely stripped back and lighting was installed on each step, the walls were prepared for tiles to be adhered and the treads were changed to stone.
Some of the practical space saving tricks we found to maximise the space in this home can be seen in the photographs below.
The hydraulic lift reveals valuable storage beneath the bed frame. The area beneath the stairs has been recessed to provide open shelving for storage, books and treasured posessions. The hallway console doubles as a shoe storage cupboard to keep the entrance area tidy and ordered and the kitchen is hidden behind folding doors to conceal the sink and appliances when not in use.
Finally The Completed ‘Minimal Yogi’ Home – The Perfect Place For Peace & Parties
The finished apartment can be seen in the photographs below, we’re extremely proud of the final result but do you think we’ve produced a home that represents our clients’ dreams and our design process?
The minimalistic kitchen with marble bar has a fun feel for entertaining with overhead glass storage, which is also brought to life with air purifying plants. The greenery takes advantage of the high ceilings and being up high doesn’t take up any precious floor space. The kitchen is concealed within tall, bespoke cabinets and is equipped with a water filtration system.
The open plan space is zoned for different activities with the dining area at the back where a minimal and comfortable nook in the corner with bench seating has been created to enable more people to fit into the space. The angles of the bespoke dining and seating area are softened with the lighter touch of a curved sofa and light troughs create a feeling of natural daylight.
The dining area nook is lit from above with some dramatic metallic pendant lights and the strong black table is styled with a minimal shaker and tray.
The plain and light materials and textures of the open plan area keep the space really light and airy. The same materials are used throughout, for instance the black marble of the dining table is mimicked on the TV feature unit to create continuity. Space in the middle has been left for meditation and exercise. This room is easy to transform from a social party scene to calm exercise and a Zen ambience.
The bespoke TV unit has been made from a stone tile used throughout the property and it conceals extensive storage, wifi, TV and gaming systems
The coffee tables are two tones of metal keeping the feel very minimal and the carpet is made from bamboo silk, demonstrating how sustainable materials can be used in a luxurious way.
The pale and luxurious materials feel a world away from the outside, from the curved sofa all the buildings outside can be seen reinforcing the feel of a haven or Zen space away from the very dense city outside.
The minimal Zen meditation area contrasts with the city scene beyond and creates a quiet, reflective area and a space for mindfulness and yoga. The low cabinet is just the right size in which to store yoga mats and other exercise equipment.
The console table in the entrance area is a sophisticated addition to the hallway but also doubles as a shoe cabinet, showing that functional can be beautiful. The lights above create a feature and the metal handles have been added throughout the design.
The wall lights create a moody and softer comforting and welcoming feel to the entrance area when they are on and bathing the walls in muted light.
The dramatic lighting of the staircase provides an otherworldly Zen experience with the backlit circular concrete light providing the feeling of an eclipse.
A dramatic effect is created on this staircase by lighting the space exclusively from highlights from beneath the stair treads and backlit wall lights.
All the finishes of the staircase were changed and it was extended slightly beyond the glass; the darker tiled wall creates a contrast and the minimal, slim handrail provides architectural detail.
The minimal-yogi style bedrooms are designed for ultimate sleep quality. This bed has a large padded headboard that aids in absorbing sound. With space at a premium the hydraulic bed lifts to reveal lots storage beneath; the feature lights have been suspended from the ceiling and a Philips lighting system provides circadian settings throughout the day and night.
The automatic roller blinds help to provide lighting control. A mini workstation is serviced by office storage and printing equipment stored within the ceiling height cupboards.
The cupboards aren’t particularly deep and the niche has been included to open up the space and stop it feeling too restrictive. Inside the wardrobe are open shelves, hanging space and drawers with plenty of full height storage.
Pale, reflective materials and mirrors were used to create depth and expand the small space in this bathroom. The black metal towel rail creates a graphic detail and light troughs lend a feeling of natural daylight.
The clean lines and curves of the bathroom design are complemented with slick matte black features such as the low-flow faucets and brass accessories. With no natural daylight the circadian lighting system allows the clients to tailor the lighting temperature to give them a sense of enhanced energy in the morning with lighting that mimics the color of dawn, comfort during the day with a warm white color temperature and a sense of ease and relaxation at night with warm sunset lighting and amber night lighting in the bathroom. A refillable soap dispenser completes the styling look.
This bedroom was a darker space, so we used frosted glass on the wardrobes, to reflect the light around the room and give it an airy bright feel. The Minimal Yogi concept is carried through to the lighting and styling with clean and minimalist feel.
The bathroom to this bedroom is styled with copper highlights and a carved stone feature wall behind the mirror.
A light trough gives feeling of natural daylight and with low flow faucets reduce water consumption.
A Haven In The City For Minimalism, Yoga & Entertaining
We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring this project and taking a look around this very special home. We feel it perfectly demonstrates how we combine luxury Interior Design with our healthy and sustainable ethos and SMART home technology. The clients now have a bright and spacious apartment with a calm and minimal design that feels relaxing and peaceful but still adaptable enough to entertain and host parties. We think this is a perfect combination! Let us know what you think too.
For more information on styling take a look at our recent blog post on styling a meaningful home here.
For suggestions on bringing plants into your home take a look at our post on plants here.
To find out more about air quality in your home this blog is useful.
For more information, feel free to contact Liquid Interiors, your healthy and eco conscious interior design consultants.