Jason Caroline Design
Who? The husband and wife team of Jason Caroline Design (jasoncarolinedesign.com) has been whipping up small, creative home and restaurant designs from its Central office since 2001. Before starting the studio, Jason Yung and Caroline Ma (below, with Yung) trained in the United States and then worked for large Hong Kong architecture firms. 'We find smaller projects more satisfying,' says Yung. 'In large firms with big projects you feel like you design for your boss - you rarely get to work closely with and design for the client.' Being architects, the duo take a structural approach to interior design, reworking spaces to make them more dynamic and better suited to a client's lifestyle.
What has the firm done? The studio has a portfolio ranging from the remodelling of restaurants for the Maxim's group in City Hall to the transformation of a Hong Kong homeowner's spare apartment into a personal spa. The latter, Spa as Home, has won a number of awards. The firm has recently worked on a series of local show flats, used by developers to promote and sell homes. 'The challenge is to sum up the people in the area and decide what kind of living style would appeal to them, then to really get the most out of the space,' Yung says. 'But we try to be honest with a space and show exactly what it is.'
How about recently? The Florient Rise Showcase & Sales Office, a four-room-apartment mock-up in Kowloon Bay, was a recent project. Since the property being sold is attached to sweeping landscaped gardens, Yung and Ma (with staff designers Keith Chan and Will Ng) chose a four-seasons theme. The developers wanted to collaborate on everything from the music to the design of the sales brochure.
How did it turn out? The style is contemporary chic: a red cocoon chair by Moroso (left) sits in a 'forest' of aluminium pipes and mirrors; a sales hall wall is adorned in abstract flower blossoms with cloud-like shapes suspended near the ceiling; and furniture includes Vitra's Coconut Chair and B&B Italia's Fat sofa. The project won the pair a Greater China design award at last year's Hong Kong Art & Design Festival.
'It's quite rewarding,' says Yung of show-flat design. 'These spaces are used for family days out at weekends, as well as for sales. Hong Kong people take their kids there, look at the latest trends, try out different chairs. I guess it's because so many have small homes - they like to dream.'