For a city where space is limited, like Hong Kong, making effective use of space and making it appear larger than it is is a common request from homeowners. To match their lighthearted and casual lifestyle, this young couple worked with Inch Interior to achieve their dream of a calming oasis at their new 445-square-feet two-bedroom abode in Tuen Mun.
Familiar with the design language of the minimalistic Nordic style, it took the design firm, made up of a team of young designers, three months to complete the project. With no furniture brought over from their previous apartment in Tseung Kwan O, Inch Interior’s lead designer Synthia Wan started with a blank canvas.
Unhappy with the original layout as rooms were all over the place, the first task on the list was to readjust the arrangement – a tedious and lengthy process. To make more effective use of the home’s layout, Inch Interior knocked down several walls and executed large-scale renovations like switching around the placement of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. “It’s not an easy task to achieve both efficient functions of the space and an aesthetic look. Lots of piping and electrical rework had to be done. It does offer more freedom in terms of design but the added layer of complexion adds to the overall renovation time,” says Grant Yim, COO of Inch Interior.
The end result saw the kitchen become an open kitchen to minimise a claustrophobic and maximise a free-flowing feeling – a general piece of advice from Yim when designing smaller (500 square feet or less) units – helping to make the visual perception of the living room to be much deeper and broader than it actually is. The knocking down of the walls also allowed for more effective use of storage cabinets along the walls throughout the entire home.
In the client’s favourite part of the apartment, Inch Interior used their signature colour of navy blue paired with gold trimmings in the bedroom. With a darker bed frame and the dark blue element of the bed, the use of a contrasting grey colour palette was used for the wardrobe to bring a sense of spaciousness while setting apart the storage and sleeping area. In the second bedroom, the client requested the addition of a study plus guest room so the team at Inch Interior added a pull out bed so when it’s folded up, the design feels more streamlined and can be solely used as a study room.
Inch Interior incorporated different elements to achieve a tranquil, bigger apartment such as the use of horizontal lines of the wooden wall – instead of its usual vertical patterns – behind the TV in the living room. Additionally, connecting the bedroom and the living room is a ‘hidden’ door, so when closed, it appeared as part of the wall, further highlighting the space and making the room appear larger.
In the living room, the use of ambient lighting from the ceiling coves and use of natural lighting further emphasised space and tranquillity; while the free-flowing feeling in the design layout was tied in with the light colour palette used throughout. This can be seen in the heavy use of wood, white and neutrals, metallic accents and the occasional pop of jewel colours, all of which really helped with creating a tranquil and calming ambience.
Pleased with how the living room turned out, Yim said it was his favourite part of the apartment due to several reasons. The first of which is the tranquil feeling achieved that paired perfectly with the accessories and decorations used and the combination of elements, texture and the flooring used.
With the interior design firm’s trademark colour and most of the furniture in the apartment specifically designed and customised from the interior design firm – a service the interior design firm regularly provides, along with construction drawings, floor plan advice and smart-home solutions – Inch Interior really made their mark on this apartment.