Interior Designer Steve Leung on the Meaning of Home

Many of us begin to form our ideas of home from childhood experiences. Steve Leung was no different. He grew up in a number of different dwellings, including a large communal house with 40 other people in Kowloon City, a stately family home in Homantin, and civil servants’ quarters in To Kwa Wan that his father was eventually entitled to. Leung learned to appreciate privacy and location, and has been seeking the perfect place to call home since he purchased his first flat in 1982.

“I met my wife in university and our first home was a 500 square foot place in Aberdeen,” recalls Leung. “It was on the 33rd floor with a roof. My first criterion for a home was privacy—and this has not changed over the years. The flat faced the sea: no one could see into our bedroom. I loved our ocean view and privacy with outdoor space. But since I had just graduated from university the year before, it was difficult to pay the mortgage initially.”

One of Steve Leung's residential projects at Kau To Highland

After learning to appreciate the tranquility of south side living, Leung’s second home was a 1,400 square foot, two-bedroom unit in Repulse Bay that he purchased for HK$4 million in 1987. It was also the same year that he started his first company. “Though I only had enough money to pay the down payment, I had faith that my company will be successful,” he admits. “I have no interest in investments. I don’t buy stocks. Real estate is my passion. My home is a very special project. All of the places where I’ve lived have been very different. My first home was furnished with IKEA pieces. The second had contemporary Chinese furniture.”


"I don’t buy stocks. Real estate is my passion."


Leung went on to buy and sell more homes in Stanley and Chung Hom Kok before moving last year to his multi-storey house in Clearwater Bay. With its soothing ocean vistas, outdoor swimming pool and generous entertainment areas for his family, Leung has ample latitude to display his eclectic art collection while indulging in gardening. “I gave much of my life to my company—I now hope to spend more time at home,” he notes. “In the next 10 years, I don’t have to go into the office as regularly. I can sometimes work at home. I can entertain clients there. And this house was designed to give me plenty of opportunity to develop my hobbies and interests, such as photography, writing and painting.”

YOO Residence

With Steve Leung Designers turning 20 this year and one of Asia’s largest interior design firms with more than 450 staff across greater China’s major cities, Leung has become known as a master of residential design. Regardless of whether his firm handles large projects for established local or mainland developers, or boutique residences for international brands such as YOO, Leung and his team ensures that every detail is addressed. He has also collaborated with local and international manufacturers on projects ranging from furniture and ironmongery. “I love working on projects,” says Leung with a smile. “I love choosing products and admiring their details. Even when I’m on holiday, I will look at household accessories.”


"A home chooses you just as much as you choose it."


Though he is content with his current house, the architect in Leung is always seeking the next project. “Maybe I will buy land and design a house from scratch next time,” he muses. “A home chooses you just as much as you choose it.”

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