Interview with E F Design's founder Eric Fung

Several designer chairs line one side of the entrance giving off almost an art gallery feel to E F Design’s new office in Fortress Hill. Representing a milestone in Fung's career, the designer chairs are a part of his private collection, including his signature piece, the Mini Skirt chair. 

Eric Fung

Fung's interest in design was ignited from a young age. Beginning his career as a salesperson at his sibling’s system furniture company, Fung also started to sketch lay out plans for clients; gradually finding his talent on designing space. Encouraged by an architect to pursue his dreams as a career, he finally set foot on the journey as an interior designer and opened his own company 30 years ago, “Time flew by in the first decade of my career. I am doing the work I like and enjoy it very much, and all of a sudden, it has been 30 years,” Fung says.

Like many other industries, the design field has experienced several waves of changes in the last 30 years. Fung recalls that interior design was an unfamiliar field of work 20 years ago, however, luckily a few years after opening his company, interior design slowly became recognised as a career.

Designing mainly residential units, Fung explains working day-to-day with his company motto in mind, “The design we give, the life you live”, to provide the best possible space for his clients to relax in. “Life in Hong Kong is too stressful. Everywhere is crowded and space is small,” Fung explains, “People want to take a break at home, and it is our goal to create a space that makes people want to go home.”

E F Design

E F Design

Fung’s motto is demonstrated in a ‘Memories Wall’, another one of his signature pieces. “When I first started working in interior design, I always used black, white and grey as the colour scheme. My clients thought it emitted a modern and cool vibe, but at the same time, they felt there was not enough warmth in their homes. I created the ‘Memories Wall’ so that owners could present their life moments and look at the photos and remember them,” Fung says. 

Eric Fung

What differentiates E F Design from other interior design companies is that it has its own in-house construction team.
Comprising of about 50 experienced workers ranging from carpenters, plumbers and plasterers, “Our team can precisely implement ideas. We also have a factory to manufacture tailor-made furniture for clients. No subcontractors are necessary on our projects so clients don’t need to worry about workers cutting corners or skimping on the quality of the materials used,” Fung explains. All construction team members were carefully selected based on their experience and the success of the company comes from the great partnership that has been developed with them over the years, “We can better manage the schedule, cost and quality by good teamwork. I am very proud of our team.”

Fung explains that there are different challenges to the industry at different points in time. Recently the greatest challenge is to design the so-called “nano flat.” For those who own a flat less than 200 square feet, Fung advises, “Don’t buy too many pieces of furniture. Use light colours. Remember simple is beautiful.”

E F Design

E F Design

However, on the other hand, designing a spacious mansion is challenging too. While designing a foreign royal member’s properties in Hong Kong and Singapore, he found that the greatest problem was to find a reliable and large enough construction team in Singapore, a place he was unfamiliar with. Recalling the project, Fung still feels excited, “The project is different from all those I have done before. The client was flexible with budget and that allowed us to select the best materials and have freedom in what we wanted to create. When I designed his house in Hong Kong, I flew to France and Italy to source all lighting and furniture. We can create perfect spaces because of this freedom.”

When asked how to choose a suitable interior designer, Fung has the following advice, “Trust the professionalism of your interior designer. Of course, first and foremost, you must find a reliable design company. Tell them your requirements in the initial stage and allow the designer to have freedom. If you give too many ideas, the designer will end up following instructions and that’s when the magic of design is lost.”

(Sponsored by E F Design Limited)

Previous issues:
>> Red Sugar by Kerry Hotels
>> Liquid Interiors designs a flat in Happy Valley
>> Designing a Homantin duplex

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>> Interview with Designer Eve Mercier