Cottage in the country

clifton leung study

Purchasing a new home can be quite the undertaking. Plenty of research is required to select the right neighbourhood, and then the right apartment or house. Other times, one can have the perfect property in mind before even making concrete plans to buy. This couple remembered a house in Yuen Long from visits to parents, aunties and uncles, who lived only a short walk away from the property. When they decided to buy a new weekend home, they snapped up the house immediately. 

clifton leung living room

The first order of business was revamping the 2,500-square-foot, three-storey house entirely. At around 20 years old, the structure had never been touched before the couple bought it. “All the pipes, wiring, windows, everything, we had to take out because it was too old,” said Clifton Leung, founder and chief design officer at Clifton Leung Design Workshop, who the couple commissioned to redesign the space. Leung also re-did the home’s layout, most notably converting the three bedrooms on the first floor into one continuous loft-like space comprising of the master bedroom, master bathroom, and study. 

clifton leung bathroom

“Our style is minimalist, practical, and timeless,” Leung said, explaining his studio’s aesthetic. “Our designs are friendly and comfortable, and we want clients to enjoy them for many years.” The cottage is undoubtedly comfortable but otherwise the project was a departure from the firm’s typical understated approach. Leung took this opportunity to experiment with inspirations he doesn’t usually draw from. The master bathroom on the first floor, for instance, which leads directly into a corridor, takes its cue from open bathrooms you can find in plush hotel rooms. “It’s a modern rustic cottage, so we wanted to have a bit more fun with it,” he said. “We could be a bit more eclectic, have a bit more variety and colour.” 

clifton leung study sepia

The home’s furnishings are casual and cheerful: a blue sofa is the highlight of the living room; mismatched chairs gather around the dining table and feature in the studies with quirky curios gathered on bookshelves. The majority of pieces were selected and sourced by Leung, from brands such as Scandinavian classics HAY and Fritz Hansen to sculptural lighting purveyor Flos and the stylish Studioilse. 

clifton leung kitchen

The most important elements of the home, however, can be found outdoors. “The clients wanted to have great indoor and outdoor living,” said Leung, citing the outdoor terrace as the couple’s favourite spot in the home. “They wanted to enjoy the sun and to be able to cook outside.” With this in mind, Leung added a sumptuous outdoor open kitchen and barbecue area as well as a patio in front of the main entrance, which features a breezy set of table and chairs as well as a small bar area in the window, connecting the area with the home’s interiors. A minimalist black electronic gate in front of the home can be easily opened so that the couple can enjoy the surrounding countryside or closed for privacy. Even the garage area, decked out with fairy lights, can be used as an additional dining space. “That’s what we were aiming for—to have a fun, easy and relaxed environment,” concluded Leung.

clifton leung living area