Design Create Value for PropertyStaffed with a group of young, creative designers and construction professionals Comodo has been planning space and carrying out interiors for residential, commercial and retail space as well as branding concepts and furniture design all over Hong Kong and has quickly established itself as a ideal choice for those seeking simplicity, grace and function. Square Foot chats with design director Alain Wong about the definition of value in a home.

You do residential interiors as well as commercial and retail spaces, branding and furniture design. Some would argue the purpose of design is to create value in a property. What do you think?
Design has its own value. A space without any interior design ideas is just an empty space. “Value” can be monetary and psychological. In the United States, some designers and contractors purchase and renovate a property to sell. Famous designers are invited to do some commercial projects and the reputation of the designers makes an obvious difference to the projects. Design is not only for functionality. Design, or its artistry, reflects people’s value and something subconscious. In a philosophical way, classic style reveals the hierarchy of the society while minimal style is more democratic. Put it in Hong Kong. People want a natural and peaceful environment to live in, where they can take a good rest and be their true selves. So designers help them create such value.

It’s been said that when redesigning a home, owners should put 8 percent of the price into kitchen redesign. Do you think that’s true?
It depends what you are looking for. The kitchen is special compared to other areas in the house. It has many functions squeezed into a relatively tight space, plus some personal and specific requirements. It can involve a large proportion of the total renovation cost, vary in materials, hardware, design details and even brands of appliances; there is a wide range of prices of kitchen design brands in the market. The same goes for the choice of apartment size versus location. Some people choose a tiny flat in Central areas, while others prefer a large space in the New Territories, given the same price.

What do you see in the way of design trends that are popular but that may not do much to help with the value of a home? Which ones work well?
I assume something creating value is what people like and has a higher chance of being popular. Since Hong Kong is a cluster and people have busy daily lives, people prefer to have a minimalist, spacious, calm and peaceful living environment. A design in such style can probably attract buyers and get a good price.

Wish List
What does Comodo have planned for 2013? What would you like to achieve?
Definitely a breakthrough to design, and perhaps to further enhance our service and production quality. I won the Perspective Awards in 2012 so hopefully it will happen for the second time this year.