Love is in the air

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 February, 2011, 12:00am

February is when the Chinese and the Western Valentine's days fall, and it is the perfect time to give your home a romantic touch.

Clifton Leung, who runs interior design firm Clifton Leung Design Workshop, says strategically placed mirrors can add intimacy in a home.

He also advises to place an island table in a semi-open kitchen, allowing couples to dine and chat, shoulder to shoulder, while enjoying panoramic views.

For couples who want to transform their home into a romantic paradise without a designer, Leung suggests the creative use of lighting.

'Using dim lights and candlelight can give the apartment a romantic feel,' he says.

Leung adds that another way for couples to spend a romantic evening together is by installing a Japanese soaking tub, where they can unwind and relax after a long and tough day at work. He was invited by a couple at The Arch in Kowloon to transform their home into a romantic haven. He decorated the ceilings with mirrors and LED lights, and flanked the headboard with mirrors.

Leung has also designed luxurious apartments such as Parkway Court in Mid-Levels West, The Waterfront in Kowloon, and Ewan Court in Mid-Levels.

Leung says few couples ask designers to reinvent their home in a romantic fashion. 'Everyone wants the design of their home to exude comfort, but only a few of us would choose romance as the theme of our apartment's decor.

'The definition of a romantic ambience varies from one person to another. Many people have their own definition of what constitutes a cosy home, but they don't know how to go about transforming it into one. Thus they ask interior designers to help them.'

For couples who commission designers, it is important that they communicate their likes and dislikes, and what they want, Leung says.

'In general, my clients tell me what they want and I would handle the design part. Simple design is popular these days.'

Designer Konie Lam, a co-founder of Kon Design, notes that couples and designers alike have a penchant for minimalism, when it comes to designing homes for romantic occasions.

'The whole space, including the furniture, is treated as a backdrop with big white walls, accessories, and shelves,' Lam says.

Founded in 2005, her firm won the bronze award in the residential category at the Hong Kong Designers Association Asia Design Awards for its One Beacon Hill residential project.

Lam thinks that sleek interior design allows a change of mood by changing the accessories and lighting especially for romantic occasions.

She believes that candlelight provides the most efficient and economical way to create a romantic ambience.

Lam recommends changing the artworks and adding plush cushions and flowers to transform the space into a romantic place. Adding colour filters on to the existing lights injects freshness.

Lam suggests creating a PowerPoint slideshow presentation with special photos and playing it on TV, which allows couples to take a trip down memory lane of love.