A family affair

After living in a spacious, 2,800- square-foot duplex in Mid-Levels for over 30 years, this client decided to give his home a fresh new look in early 2018. Having gotten married and started a family, he required more family rooms and bedrooms. He also wanted to take better advantage of the home's impressive views of Victoria Harbour. Interior design firm E F Design was tasked with the undertaking,  introduced to the client through a friend.

This project's brief required that E F Design depart from its usual luxurious approach, as the client favoured a warm and simple design over an opulent one. "We achieved this atmosphere by using plenty of wood, while adding some feature walls and marble detailing in the furniture," said Eric Fung, founder and chief designer at E F Design. While a duplex with a rooftop and a view is a hard-to-find gem in the Mid-Levels area, the apartment is not without its quirks; the project also presented something of a challenge due to the home's unique layout.

"The plan of this building is special, very much like a gun in shape," explained Fung. Indeed, walking into the apartment reveals an L-shaped layout, with the living room and library on one side of the foyer, and the dining room, kitchen, and multifunctional room on the other. "The original plan of this house had many walls, especially on the upper level, where the rooms were not divided so nicely," said Fung. "So we demolished the walls and created a whole new layout."

The dining room was extended to provide a wider view of the sea. Originally, a bedroom sat next to the dining room, which Fung removed, opening up the dining room and providing more space for the client’s piano and painting equipment. This multifunctional area can also be used as a play room for the client's two daughters or a room for painting, depending on the family's needs. "The client insisted on a place to showcase his Chinese paintings," continued Fung, "so we turned one of the bathrooms into a library." As the old bathroom's ceiling accommodated a skylight, which allowed natural light to flow in, Fung and his team thought it was the perfect place to display the client's art collection.

Finally, an open bar area, which originally bordered the kitchen, was relocated to just outside of it. The kitchen was then enclosed by a sliding glass door so as to contain smoke and smells when cooking.

The upper floor features the master bedroom—which was moved from one side of the apartment to the other to enjoy the sea view—two guest rooms, a family area, and the childrens’ bedroom. An ample changing room with a sliding door is shared by the entire family, while the master bedroom was fitted with a larger walk-in closet.

The final product is a far cry from the home's previous look, which featured simple blacks, whites, warm woods, and the occasional errant splash of colour. This new iteration of the apartment not only caters to its occupiers’ functional needs, but also grants a calming, unifying design that transforms the home into a true refuge.