A year-long renovation, overseen by a family man on a mission, has resulted in a modern home that caters to adults and children alike.
An interior with highly polished white marble floors, minimal storage space and design features in glass and steel sounds like the quintessential bachelor pad. But for Hong Kong businessman Dilip Parmanand, these are essential ingredients of a family home, created by a mega makeover of his Ho Man Tin apartment.
'[My wife, Marina, and I] liked this place when we saw it because it has lots of facilities for children,' says the father of three: daughters Tanya, eight, and Selina, six, and baby son Krishna. The extensive amenities include play- and sports grounds, meaning the children can spend a lot of time outside the apartment but still be safely within the complex.
The bright and airy home, which measures 3,200 sq ft, was originally two apartments. The interior walls were torn down, leaving an open shell that took Parmanand and his contractor, Terry Lai of Main Point Interiors (9/F, China Industrial Building, 155 Kowloon City Road, To Kwa Wan, tel: 2761 3677), a year to complete. The two met regularly and visited the apartment about three times a week to help with the visualisation of their plans.
Parmanand had done his homework. Having spent a lot of time visiting show flats, he knew exactly the look he wanted, which included the marble floor in the main living area. 'I always like white,' he says. 'It's more modern. But I didn't want too much white.'
Most of the walls are similarly pristine. To avoid an overly clinical look, he opted for contrasting black steel frames around doorways and the display cabinets in the living room. It's now one of his favourite features. 'This is what makes the home look really nice, the black steel.'
The glass-covered walls in the passage leading from the master bedroom to the living area are another unusual feature. Simple designs were etched on the back of the glass before it was spray-painted in an off-white shade, creating a textured look but a smooth feel.
The living room is a large, open rectangle that serves three purposes: it's an entertainment area - the sofas sit in front of a large TV screen; a bar - a built-in, glass-topped drinks servery stands in a corner; and a dining area - which is near the kitchen. Inset into the living room ceiling are concealed tube lights that change colour (see Tried & Tested) but the 'wow' factor is provided by the glittering Fendi chandelier suspended over the round, glass dining table, which was chosen 'so the table becomes part of the chandelier'.
Aside from the vibrant red kitchen, the most colourful rooms in the apartment are the girls' bedrooms, which are identical except in colour. In Tanya's room, the curtains, bedspread and a framed, padded fabric-covered rectangle over the bed have a purple swirling pattern; in Selina's, the same elements are in orange. 'I chose the colour for her and she loves it,' says Parmanand.
The riot of colour continues in the girls' bathroom, with one wall tiled in pink, purple and dark-brown mosaic. 'This took three months for us to decide,' says Parmanand with a laugh, explaining that they wanted to design each of the flat's three bathrooms in a different style.
It's now Parmanand's dream home and it's difficult for him to say what he likes best.
'I love the glass walls. I love sitting on the sofa in front of the lights. And I just love that chandelier,' he says. 'I love it.'
1 The living room floor is covered in highly polished white Greek marble. The pale grey Hamilton sofas by Minotti cost HK$140,000 in total from Louvre Gallery (shop B, LG/F, Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central, tel: 2526 8400). The round white-marble coffee table with steel legs was custom made by Main Point Interiors (9/F, China Industrial Building, 155 Kowloon City Road, To Kwa Wan, tel: 2761 3677) for HK$30,000.
2 The bar was designed and installed by Main Point Interiors. It is topped with glass that has been spray painted with silver dots. The couple's Czech crystal collection is housed behind aluminium-framed, black-glass-panelled cupboard doors. An electric-blue light along the bar's base emphasises its shape.
3 The circular glass-topped dining table cost HK$30,000 from a shop in Happy Valley. The six dining chairs are by Fendi Casa and were a gift. The Fendi chandelier is from Fendi Casa in Los Angeles (308 N Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood, United States, tel: 1 310 854 1008) and cost about US$15,000.
4 Because the front door opens directly onto the living area, a panel of dark glass on top of a black Minotti cabinet shields the dining zone from immediate view. The glass plate featuring Van Gogh's Starry Night, available for approximately HK$9,000 from Raffles (shop 1097, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2196 8677), was a gift.
5 The floor of the spacious master bathroom is in white Greek marble. Black marble, also from Greece, covers one of the walls. The narrow shelf inset in the wall above the toilet features concealed electric-blue lighting. The Kohler Jacuzzi cost HK$75,000 from Hop Lung Building Materials (shop A, Kiu Fu Commercial Building, 300 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2802 2274).
6 Natural wood and grey tones create a modern, relaxed ambience in the master bedroom. The light-coloured oak flooring cost HK$80 per square foot from Beauty Floor Engineering (shop A3, 272A Lockhart Road, tel: 3427 8640). The filmy curtains cost HK$12,000 from Art Draperies (102 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2136 1588). The panel over the bed was designed and installed by Main Point Interiors. The leather and suede diamond-patterned rug cost HK$5,000 from a furniture shop in Happy Valley.
7 The rectangular kitchen was built by colour.living (333 Lockhart Road, tel: 2295 6881) for HK$240,000. The vibrant red lacquered doors provide a vivid contrast to the cool colours of the rest of the apartment.
tried & tested
Customised lighting reaches new heights in the home of Dilip Parmanand, with a system of multicoloured tube lights set into two sides of the living room ceiling. Parmanand was inspired by a similar set-up in a show flat and had it installed by Main Point Interiors (9/F, China Industrial Building, 155 Kowloon City Road, To Kwa Wan, tel: 2761 3677). The coloured tubes can be set by a timer to switch on and off in a slow sequence so the colours appear to melt into each other, or fixed on a colour to match the mood of the evening.
styling David Roden