Keith Chan at hintegro transformed a nondescript two-bedroom into an open-plan, industrial-chic bachelor pad that’s bound to impress.

There comes a time in every individual’s life when they make the decision to take flight from the family nest and create an abode of their own. For auditor Ray Lin, that time came in 2018. After an intensive three-day search, he found the perfect property to purchase—a 450-square-feet flat in Tai Kok Tsui in close proximity to public transport as well as his former home. With a square layout, sweeping sea views and plenty of privacy—unlike his previous home, where everything was so close that he couldn’t open his bedroom window without worrying about the neighbours potentially looking in—the flat fulfilled all of Lin’s requirements.

The flat also featured non-structural walls—an important detail, as Lin endeavoured to convert the two-bedroom home into an open-plan studio with an industrial aesthetic. He tasked Keith Chan, founder and designer at interior design studio hintegro whose work he discovered online, with turning his vision into a reality. “Lin is very fond of rough textures and styles, for example exploded pipes,” said Chan. “He also wanted red bricks and a dark overall colour scheme.” The design concept was completed and decided upon within a mere month, while construction took another four.

Chan knocked down all the walls, opening up the kitchen and reversing the positions of the bedroom and living and dining area so that the public areas flowed into each other more naturally. The spacious bedroom also allowed Lin to have a queen bed that he could get in and out of from either side, all while enjoying access to the balcony. “Since the flat was designed to be for one person, there was no problem with privacy,” said Chan. There was a slight issue with the entrance being easily viewed from the lift area upon opening the front door, but the addition of a ceiling-height wardrobe solved that.

The open layout also meant that Lin could watch the 65-inch living room TV directly from bed. To ensure that the bedroom could be closed off when Lin had company over, however, Chan installed custom-designed bi-fold doors between the bedroom and the living area, allowing for easy and flexible transformation of the space.

In order to imbue the home with the industrial yet elegant vibe that Lin desired, Chan went with dark wooden flooring and cabinetry, rendered concrete and brick walls in the bedroom and living area, white subway tiles in the kitchen, and a black leather Karimoku sofa. Considering the home’s modest size, most of the furnishings and fixtures were custom-built by hintegro to ensure that they fit. “We wanted to create a masculine, gentlemanly mood for the apartment so that we could imagine the client sipping a glass of whiskey there after a busy work day,” explained Chan.

An at-home bar artfully suspended above the dining table definitely contributed to the sophisticated bachelor pad look. Chan drew on his previous experiences creating bars for venues such as Mizunara: The Library in Wan Chai for inspiration. “When creating an at-home bar, it’s important to blend the kitchen and the dining area,” advised Chan. “Selecting material is another main concern. I would suggest materials that are easy to clean and maintain. Also, you have to be careful with wine storage.” Placing wine near the window and exposing it to sunlight in the process is a definite no-no.

The kitchen and dining area has proven to be Lin’s favourite space in the home. “He loves cooking and he usually invites friends to come over and enjoy wine together,” recounted Chan.