A clean sweep
The desire to create an immaculate living space was the defining influence on one flawless Mid-Levels apartment.
Ivan Lo likes to walk barefoot on spotless floors. He hates clutter and despises dust. Not surprisingly, the prime brief he gave interior designer Jason Yung - of Jason Caroline Design (tel: 2893 4061) - was to create a clean style for his Mid-Levels apartment. Stainless-steel surfaces, sensible storage and a modern, uncluttered look were paramount for his 1,666-square-foot home.
Lo, an investor-relations consultant, was attracted by the three-bedroom apartment's size, location and efficient use of space. 'The rooms are distinct squares ... you could see every square centimetre you can use,' Lo explains. He was also keen on the 650 sq ft reception area outside and the fact there is just one flat to a floor.
The kitchen and two bathrooms remained largely intact as his interior designer got to work on core areas - turning the third bedroom into an office, brightening the foyer and ensuring surfaces throughout the apartment could be kept immaculate.
Giving a modern backdrop to Lo's collection of Bang & Olufsen appliances was also key. Flat-screen televisions feature in many rooms, most dominantly in the large living area, while the furniture is simple throughout and curtains have been shunned for easy-to-clean blinds.
The biggest change was the loss of a wall separating the third bedroom, Lo's office, and the reception area. Yung opened up the space by putting fabric-laminated glass partitions where the wall once stood (see Tried & Tested).
Stainless steel in the foyer enabled Yung to adhere to the 'clean' agenda, while creating a sense of height with the reflective ceiling. It was the first time Yung had used stainless-steel flooring in a residential design, but Lo trusted his vision. As well as being clean, the material helped him to achieve a metallic look in the study, complementing the room's four television screens. 'I like the industrial feel,' says Lo.
Lo and his wife, Christine, decided, however, their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Chloe's room should have a fun ambience while adhering to the flat's spick-and-span look. The easy-to-clean wooden flooring in her quarters is offset by colourful wallpaper and a wall devoted to a metallic whiteboard for creative moments.
Boxes that serve as storage for toys were built to minimise clutter, a theme that continues in the master bedroom, where a large floor-to-ceiling wardrobe in frosted glass hides a vast collection of clothes. The door to the master bathroom was replaced with the same kind of frosted glass, to widen the perspective of the sleeping area and add a feeling of space to a room that features a large flat-screen television on the wall.
Yung chose engineered-wood flooring in the bedrooms and living area to meet Lo's request for a warmer, more 'hi-tech' look that was non-slip and thus toddler-friendly. And although specks of dust are easily visible on this surface, they are no match for the couple's $70,000 vacuum cleaner.
1 The 42-inch BeoVision 5 television ($130,000) and the BeoLab 5 speakers ($142,000) are from Bang & Olufsen (Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 0007; www.bang-olufsen.com). The B&B Italia Fat-Fat coffee table is available at Le Cadre (price on request; G/F, Ruttonjee House, 11 Duddell Street, Central, tel: 2526 1068), as is the L-shaped B&B Italia Dadone sofa (price upon request). The Pipe Sospensione standing lamp ($9,440) is from Artemide (Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, tel: 2523 0333). The dining table cost $19,870 from Desideri (6/F, Capital Plaza, 2 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2950 4026) and the B&B Italia Vol Au Vent chairs are from Le Cadre (price upon request). The Cicatrices de Luxe 5 Pendant Light ($44,000) is from Flos (Winway Building, 50 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2801 7007). The plant sculpture at the back is by Green Fingers (18 Wyndham Street, Ivy House, Central, tel: 2827 8280) and cost about $3,500.
2 Ivan Lo wanted to give the entrance area a modern, clean edge. Besides a stucco wall, stainless steel was used on the ceiling and floor to keep with Lo's brief of dust- free surfaces. The stainless-steel ceiling, custom made for about $2,400 a square metre, helps increase the visual height of the foyer, while the Brevetto Sistema Men Metal flooring ($1,800 a square metre) from Desideri was easy to install and is durable and clean. The halogen lights (about $400 each) are from Zodiac Lighting (Tak On Mansion, 32 Morrison Hill Road, Wan Chai, tel 2832 9987). Lo purchased the console table and vase from Lane Crawford (various locations; www.lanecrawford.com) and the plant came from Green Fingers. The Crasi table ($24,724) that accommodates the Bang & Olufsen television and speakers is from Desideri. The Boen stonewash grey oak flooring cost $1,730 a square metre from Equal (room 302, 3/F, Phase 2, Ming An Plaza, 8 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2881 7066).
3 Lo spends a lot of time working from home, so his office had to be functional and clutter-free. The television sets on the wall allow him to browse news tickers and watch web pages on a big screen. The four Sharp 32-inch LCD screens ($23,000 each) were purchased from and installed by New Lee Tung Audio (17/F, Radiant Centre, 7 Cannon Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2147 0696). A custom-made Corian desk ($21,000) stretches the length of the window. In front is a window seat that conceals wires and cables. The Tom Dixon-designed Starlight lamp was purchased in Sydney for about $5,000 and the Takumi Block Clock cost about $2,000 in Tokyo. The Eames aluminium chair ($23,470) came from Frontier Workspace Solutions (11/F, Lockhart Centre, 72 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2865 0377). The sheer roller blind is from Arredo Interiors (price upon request; G/F, Lucky Building, 39D Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2724 1803).
4 Most of the bathroom's original features were kept, although Lo had a large stainless-steel mirror custom made for about $3,500 to hide a water heater. The vase cost about $8,000 from Lane Crawford.
5 Storage was the main priority for Chloe's room, so Jason Caroline Design built cupboards and special boxes ($1,300 each) in which toys can be displayed, stored and accessed easily. The window seat, which cost $3,000, was also custom made. To afford the room a lively ambience suitable for a toddler, the Los chose Veruso One wallpaper (?35/$325 a roll from www.wallpaperfromthe70s.com) and a Foscarini Caboche lamp ($6,900) from Desideri.
6 Simplicity and cleanliness were key for the kitchen, and the Los retained most of its original features, such as the tinted mirror and formica cabinets and the coloured-glass wall underneath.
7 A breakfast nook was created in the kitchen. Equipped with an extendable table, it makes the most of the available space. The Flap Leaf table ($12,850) is from Desideri, as are the La Marie chairs ($2,000 each), designed by Philippe Starck for Kartell. The Easy Pieces stools ($2,500 each), designed by Christian Ghion, are from Flos. The cups and teapot are by Alessi (7/F, Sogo, Causeway Bay, tel: 2968 6377).
8 The plan for the bedroom was to keep it as simple as possible. The Nathalie king-sized bed ($39,500) from Desideri gives easy access to storage space below the mattress. The bedside table is available at Le Cadre. The Pipe Sospensione pendant light ($4,400) is from Artemide. The Frette bedding was purchased from Lane Crawford for about $15,000.
tried & tested
The entrance was the darkest part of the flat until Ivan Lo asked Jason Yung, of Jason Caroline Design, to bring down the wall separating the foyer and the office, and replace it with a fabric-laminated glass partition. A layer of fabric placed between two sheets of glass allows it to act as a screen that affords Lo privacy while he is working in the study. The screen also lets light through
to create a more open feeling. Fabricnation (room 1205, New Victory House, 93 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2180 8772) supplied the glass, but the panes were custom made for $600 a square foot.
styling David Roden