Lifestyle

Mid-century marvel

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When YC Chen and Natalie Choi, creative director and senior designer at interior design firm hoo, were tasked with revamping this home in Happy Valley in 2015, they were faced with uninspiring white walls and a complete absence of style. "There was no design at all," shared Chen. 

The couple had been living in the 1,300-square-foot home for a few years when they decided to get hoo on board to jazz things up. Originally, the flat featured three bedrooms and two bathrooms—easily an excess of bedrooms for two people. Choi—the lead designer behind the project—and Chen decided to convert two of the bedrooms into a den for the husband and a shared walk-in closet. The bathrooms, meanwhile, were transformed into ‘his 'n' hers’ bathrooms. The only space that remained untouched was the kitchen, which had already been redone a few years prior. 


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"The wife wanted something quite French and feminine, which you can see in the walk-in closet," explained Chen, "and in the colour of the living room, which is a pale shade of purple-grey." Using this look as a jumping-off point, the designers decided to go with a mid-century modern aesthetic through the rest of the apartment. "We wanted to have a consistent look and feel throughout, so we just took mid-century modern as a natural connection," said Chen. It also seamlessly blended together with the more masculine den, which features darker accent colours such as black, dark grey and brass. 

The designers' top priority was to avoid the basic, uninspiring look of before. "The thing we tried to avoid is having four white walls," said Chen. "We wanted to give the apartment a whole different feel." To achieve this, Chen and Choi filled the home with plenty of texture and special touches: French moulding on the walls; a cloud-like feature wall in the master bedroom; and soft rugs on the floors. hoo also selected all of the furniture, lighting, and accessories, sourced from well-known European brands such as Gubi, Establo, Vitra, and Fritz Hansen.


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The couple’s love of travel granted them a forward-thinking view of design that easily put them on the same page as Chen and Choi when it came to the designers' vision. "They see a lot of things around the world," said Chen. "They aren't bound to a local, Hong Kong style. When we proposed different pieces, they recognised the brands, saying, 'I've seen this in Copenhagen, I've seen that in Milan.'" 

With such easygoing clients, the designers had ample opportunity to flex their creative muscles, trying out what was then a newer design approach for them. "This was one of our earlier tries at mid-century modern, and it came out quite well," continued Chen. "We had been wanting to do it for a very long time." As the firm's first complete mid-century modern project, this home marked the beginning of a style that would define the company in the years to come.


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