Property

URBAN SERENITY

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Designing this home, which is located in Larvotto estate in East Ap Lei Chau, was a bit of a race against the clock. The homeowner had an extensive list of specifications: create a simple design with plenty of storage, add two more bedrooms to accommodate her mother and her son, and adhere to the guidelines provided by her Feng Shui master to ensure good chi. On top of that, the project had to be completed in time for her and her family to move in — in just three months.


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Architect Bill Lykouras, design director at lifestyle property development company Lan Kwai Fong Properties, accepted the project as a favour to the client, who is a personal friend of his. The final design, however, has turned out to be a point of pride in the company’s portfolio. Lykouras worked on the design concept in collaboration with architecture and construction firm XLMS, who also oversaw the project’s execution. The two companies have worked on many projects together in the past, ranging from resorts to parks. 


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“The challenge was putting in those two extra bedrooms without effecting the ambience of the apartment,” said Lykouras. “When you walked in, the whole front of the apartment overlooked the marina. We wanted to maintain that vista.” The solution, Lykouras went on to explain, emerged through careful planning wherein they maximised every square foot of the flat’s L-shaped layout, confining the private areas to one section of the flat in order to avoid encroaching onto the open living and dining area as much as possible. 

The relaxing, light-filled space is complemented by a largely neutral colour palette, which also contributes to the home’s calm ambience and simple aesthetic. Neutrals are a staple in Lykouras’ book, who describes his design style as “timeless, classic elegance”. Lykouras’ approach was happily well-matched to the Feng Shui master’s considerations too. He specified that light colours and timbers should be used for the walls and floors rather than bright or dark shades (brighter colours were to be used as accents only). Some of his other guidelines, on the other hand, were more difficult to work with, and required some negotiation and compromise; having to include exactly five lighting pieces in a small bedroom, for instance.

All in all, though, the design met the homeowner’s desire for a simple, comfortable space to a T. “It’s less of a status symbol and more about her family and how she lives her life,” added Ian Hau, founder and director of XLMS. “She has a young child who’s going to grow up in this home. So, it was about balancing design and a family environment. Residential works are very personal.” 


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Indeed, Hau and Lykouras have created a space that accommodates the family’s lifestyle, but is also filled with touches that showcase their personalities, from the son’s subtly nautical-inspired bedroom that showcases his love of boating, to the zen-like lounge area where the client loves to relax and watch TV or take in the view over a glass of wine. The homeowner’s move marked a stepping away from a frenetic, travel-filled life to focus more on her family, and her new home reflects exactly that.