“Hong Kong is notoriously well-known for its ultra-compact living environment,” said Wilson Lee, design director at local architecture and interior design firm Studio Adjective. “So, we always try hard to avoid complications and maintain a direct and simple design, with a touch of sensibility and sophistication.” The studio’s approach is evident in this 1,300-square-foot apartment in Aberdeen, where they employed a judicious use of space to really open up the home. Think multi-purpose elements such as a cabinet that transforms into a bench in the living room, sliding doors, and a free-flowing layout.

The clients—a couple—moved into the apartment from elsewhere in Hong Kong Island’s southside, drawn to the property for its spectacular sea and mountain views. They tasked Studio Adjective with the design of their new home after a referral from a mutual friend. Given the space’s original design—wooden floors, white walls, white ceiling—the studio had their work cut out for them. The couple wanted a complete makeover with all-new furniture; completing the renovations and the design process took 10 months altogether.

The brief was for a calm and minimalist atmosphere. The clients also specifically requested dedicated spots for their artworks, a walk-in closet for each of them and a two-in-one bathroom. Going beyond his-and-hers sinks, the couple wanted two of everything in the master bathroom, including showers and toilets. “As a busy couple, they have different wake up times and patterns when using the bathroom,” explained Lee. “They often clash when using the same space at the same time.”

To ensure that the bathroom and walk-in closets didn’t encroach on the spacious vibe, Studio Adjective eschewed the typical room-by-room arrangement in favour of a more open, interconnected layout. The living and dining areas open onto each other, while the kitchen is enclosed; its door is a gradient glass sliding door, allowing for some level of visibility between the rooms even when the door is closed. “Enclosed rooms for privacy aren’t necessary all the time during the day,” said Lee, “so we prefer to open up spaces when they are not in use for more flexibility.” The studio also connected different areas by using the same materials or design language; the grey and slate panels of the kitchen cabinet connect with the striped grey backdrop of the living room, while the oak floor of the living room extends into the bathroom.

White-washed oak and different shades of textured greys form the crux of the colour palette, contributing largely to the apartment’s minimalist aesthetic. “We injected a minimal atmosphere into the project, at the same time providing sophisticated details and material combinations,” said Lee. The muted colour scheme is also the perfect backdrop for the couple’s art collection; a custom-made cabinet wall in the living room, for instance, provides ample storage but also a good display space. “The clients are art lovers,” Lee elaborated. “We both believe art is not just decoration, but should become part of the space.”

Other changes included putting a stronger focus on the stellar views through new window frames in the living room and raising the bed to the same level as the bedroom window. Furnishings and lighting by European brands such as AYTM and Artemide further elevate the sense of sophistication. The overall look exemplifies Studio Adjective’s design philosophy, explained Lee: “minimal and direct design, context-conscious and material-conscious thinking, and connectivity of spaces”.  

 

Studio Adjective’s founders