Hide and chic

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 May, 2010, 12:00am

Textile designer Eddie Leung has a passion for wild animals; that much is apparent when entering his Mid-Levels apartment. A stuffed deer's head gazes out from the wall over the couch, animal hides are strewn on the floor and many of the soft furnishings in the 1,200 sq ft flat are in animal-inspired fabrics.

Leung doesn't support hunting but he does like to surround himself with the natural patterns and colours of the great outdoors.

His professional search for textiles has taken him to many places and he has picked up diverse pieces of furniture, artwork and ideas along the way. Moving to the apartment meant downsizing, so he had to carefully select what he wanted to take with him.

'The only new thing [bought] for this apartment is the table,' says Gavin Tu, of TUspace, who worked with Leung to create the interior.

After finalising the layout - one bedroom, one bathroom and an open-plan dining, living and study space - Tu sorted through Leung's belongings.

'I looked at what he'd got and worked with it,' he says. 'He likes a quite European, salon style ... but not overwhelming. It's quite eclectic, as well.'

Misty-blue walls combine well with Canadian-oak flooring. Leung wanted walls that were warmer than white but understated and not too bright. The blue fit the bill - in daylight, it looks cool and at night it takes on a softer, greyish hue, says Tu.

Tu replaced the apartment's modern windows with old-style metal and bronze ones that complement the interior's modern, muted colours.

'I wanted a traditional European touch but I also like to use modern things to mix and match,' says Leung. 'I really like the balance. I love the detail and the personal touches here.'

Bought at a Paris flea market, the chandelier that hangs over the dining table has delicate crystals that were damaged on the journey back from France. Leung made the repairs himself, using pieces from another chandelier and crystals bought at a Cat Street market stall for HK$20 each.

Leung brings back swathes of fabric from his frequent work trips to Europe and with them makes unique coverings for his soft furnishings. One of his most dramatic creations is in the living area. He covered delicately carved wooden chairs with animal-print fabric; further insight into his inspiration.

Says Tu: 'He's never been ... on safari. But he'd like to; as you can guess.'

1 Taking pride of place in the living room is a deer's head, which was a gift. The 1930s armchairs in the foreground, covered in cotton jacquard, were bought from an antiques dealer in Paris, France, for about Euro650 (HK$6,500) each. The other armchairs were bought in Spain and cost about HK$5,000 each. They are upholstered in cotton giraffe-print fabric from Cetec (18/F, Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central, tel: 2521 1325). The cowhide rug was bought in Morocco. The Knoll Saarinen marble table cost HK$10,500 from Lane Crawford Home Store (Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2118 3668). The teak and glass coffee table was bought in Bangkok, Thailand. Eddie Leung bought the bronze candelabra in Venice, Italy.

2 The fireplace in flamed-finish grey granite with a copper back panel was custom made by contractor Living Space (unit 4, 7/F, Block A, Gold Way Industrial Centre, 16 Wing Kin Road, Kwai Chung, tel: 9643 9688) and gives the room a warm centrepiece. The twin fires cost HK$3,410 each from Direct Designs International (13 Western Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2522 0880). A Josephine Baker-inspired artwork in mirror glass and mosaic, titled Banana Dance, by an unknown artist, was bought in Phuket, Thailand. The Pagliaccio table lamp by Jaime Hayon cost HK$24,000 from Lane Crawford (various branches; www.lanecrawford.com).

3 Custom-made old-style metal-framed windows with bevelled-edge glass were installed throughout the apartment for a sense of nostalgia. The fur throw cost HK$20,000 from Lane Crawford.

4 The bathroom opens into both the living room and the bedroom. The curved tempered-glass shower stall was designed by TUspace (2/F, 28 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, tel: 9648 8565) and built by Living Space. The overhead showers are by Philippe Starck and cost HK$4,280 each from The Professional Depot (373 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3106 6008). The Missoni bathmat cost Euro150 from Le Bon Marche, in Paris.

5 The Knoll Saarinen marble dining table (HK$65,000) and chairs (HK$15,600 each) were from Lane Crawford. Under the table is a natural hide bought in Thailand. The walnut and copper trim shelving was designed by TUspace and built by Living Space. Leung bought the 1920s crystal chandelier at the Porte de Clignancourt flea market in Paris for Euro2,200.

6 The ash, walnut and cherry wood bureau cost Euro3,000 from Antiquites Jacques et Francoise Germain (Marche Biron, Stand 195, 85 Rue des Rosiers, Saint Ouen, Paris, tel: 33 1 40 11 02 14). The Mademoiselle chair by Dolce & Gabbana cost HK$7,250 from Kartell (1/F, Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, tel: 2810 0408). Above the desk hangs a painting by Thant Zin, bought at auction from the Sovereign Art Foundation (www.sovereignartfoundation.com). The rabbit table lamp by Moooi cost HK$5,500 from Design Link (1/F, Ruttonjee Centre, tel: 2868 0991).

7 To separate the bedroom from the bathroom, Gavin Tu of TUspace built a corridor lined on both sides with wardrobes. For glamour, the doors are covered with a crocodile pattern in leather. A single cupboard houses more than 60 pairs of shoes.

The good and the ugly

Light show

Eddie Leung installed a false ceiling to cover damaged plasterwork but lost several inches of room height in the process. The addition did, however, allow him to install a down light in the ceiling above the centre of the chandelier, which reflects the crystals into mirrors at the back of the bookshelves, creating a stunning effect at night.

Tried + tested

Metal works

The warm sheen of copper, used as a skirting board, adds a touch of luxury throughout the flat. 'The copper does not have any protective coating on it, so it can age naturally and add character to the interior,' says Eddie Leung. The skirting was designed by TUspace and made to order by Living Space.

Styling David Roden