It is always important to build a good foundation for any type of project, even more so if you are talking about a home. This is the way All Star Design, winner of the 2015 Top 10 Interior Design Award by Squarefoot, approaches every project entrusted to them.
“We examine the space very thoroughly and seek to establish a solid foundation before anything else. For refurbishments, especially, it is likely that we have to deal with things like waterproofing and re-flooring. We find the best technology and materials, and conduct careful testing. In most cases, the clients do not need to worry about them until their next renovation, over 10 years later,” says Ann Chan, Deisgn Director of All Star Design.
These important but mostly behind-the-scenes structural works really determine the longevity of a flat. Even the way the workers take down a wall is a delicate matter. “If it is a core wall, we have to apply with the Buildings Department. And in any case, if you take down a wall too forcefully, the side walls may crack in two to three years’ time, if not immediately,” she adds. The company also works closely with material suppliers to understand their strengths, using the best building materials from Europe.
Creating a Sense of Space
Chan says that most Hong Kong clients want a feeling of airiness, whether the flat is 200 or 10,000 square feet in size. Glass and steel can help to give the unit more transparency and a heightened sense of space. “There are other tricks such as making hidden wardrobes behind mirrors and feature walls. But of course there are safety concerns especially if there are elderly or children.”
A link between the interior and exterior environments also helps to create continuity and a sense of space. If your flat is endowed with lush greenery or sea views, take advantage of them with good seating positions so you can enjoy them to the max. “Set up mirrors next to the window to maximise the view, but add some sort of barriers if you want to avoid looking right into your neighbours’ [homes],” Chan suggests.
For houses with gardens, try using flooring that is visually similar to the house and garden to make this spatial integration.
Decluttering is important for compact units. Chan says, “The smaller the unit, the neater it has to be so you don’t feel its size. A raised floor and feature wall hiding storage are great because you always feel more comfortable seeing decorations rather than storage spaces.”
A capable interior designer has to have perceptive eyes and ears. Chan stresses the importance of client communication, an in-depth understanding of the unit from inside out and the flexibility of working with expectations and even requirements of feng shui.<
Her design style tends towards the minimalist but she acknowledges the clients’ requests and tries to work within them. With decades of experience, All Star provides one-stop professional service from overall planning to interior design, furniture design, construction as well as overseeing projects from start to finish.