Eco-friendly Urban Living SpaceSince 2002 Tiffany Design Group (TDG) has been creating innovative interiors for everything from home to schools, and from landscapes to furniture. Project designer Eva Chan chats with Square Foot about summer, trends and the great outdoors.

What separates you within the industry and makes your work unique?
TDG has a wealth of knowledge in design as well as a good sense of sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives in our design. We keep an artistic eye on colour and shapes and work alongside our clients and take the time to understand their requests and concerns. We’re always determined to deliver the best design and products and incorporate all the client’s objectives in the project. And we consider our designs elegant and engaging from the first impression.

What kind of interiors trends are you seeing for this year?
Green home products will continue to be an important design trend. Home goods cannot be confused with fashion. Household goods’ life spans should be 5 to 10 years, not “in” for one year or one quarter. It’s more apt to call it a movement and as a movement we only care about what the point of view is.

So what is the difference between green home products and general household goods? “Green home product” is a term that is used for furnishings that have a significant impact on the ecology of the planet. Green Furniture, often symbolised by a tree, are products that use materials from sustainable forests, have low toxicity levels, are locally manufactured and are durable. It should lend itself to easy repair, disassembly, and recycling. These products can be easily taken apart, sorted into their constituent parts, and recycled at the end of their useful lives.

What are the keys to residential design for Hong Kong’s weather? Are there particular materials you look at?
Hong Kong’s climate is basically four distinct seasons: spring, a very hot and humid summer and a cool and dry autumn and winter. In home design the selection of materials are of ones that have a high level of stability, such as glass, stone, tiles and plywood for furniture; natural paints can decompose or neutralise pollutants, odour, bacteria and formaldehyde in indoor air. We attach importance to the materials in order to emphasise a healthy environment, which a lot of people request.

What was the most challenging part of that?
Understanding the nature of the project site. The pursuit of customers’ tastes is our source of inspiration and meeting client requirements and needs to create very spacious, energetic living environments within that is key.

How do you incorporate outdoor space and indoor space if a client has it?
By trying to maintain a balance between indoor and outdoor spaces — opening the interiors onto the exterior. A great strategy is opting for large windows and glass doors and trying to make the house seem larger than it actually is by incorporating the mix of interior and exterior spaces into the structure. Creating a smooth and seamless connection between a garden, for example, and the interior living area.

Do you like to see roofs and terraces used for living space instead of storage?
The benefits of a terrace or roof garden are that they significantly reduce the effects of heat on a building and provide much needed urban outdoor gathering spaces. They also create more appealing views. Using a roof also reduces the cost of roof maintenance and increases its lifespan. It’s also a great way to create opportunities for urban agriculture.