Text Charmaine Chan / Pictures John Butlin
When Post Magazine visited the Peak home of British expatriates John and Jennifer Moreton years ago, the couple lived in a stylish, 2,800 sq ft colonial-style apartment with a shared garden. Theirs was a single-storey flat full of hi-tech conveniences and home comforts: their nine-year-old son had a play loft in his bedroom; the master bathroom contained an infinity bath; and the centrepiece in the living room was a fullsized pool table that, with a top, could double as a dining table.
How things have changed for the family … although some remain the same.
Their new home, also technologically integrated, is a split-level, four-bedroom South Bay house. The most striking feature is a nine-metre swimming pool in a private garden with trees, cabanas and a mountain view. Elsewhere, the same pool table is in a dedicated room, the master en-suite bathroom contains a sunken bath and the son’s room (he is now 18) covers nearly an entire floor and comes with its own lounge.
“It is nice for [our son] to have a separate space,” says Jennifer, who, like her husband, works in finance. “His room is like a small flat.”
But few apartments, compact or otherwise, have what his third-floor suite boasts: an outdoor shower (see Tried + tested) on a balcony leading off the ensuite bathroom. Beside it is a jade orchid tree so tall it screens the shower.
“The higher you go the more dense the tree becomes, so you get privacy,” says Jason Caroline Design’s Jason Yung, who, with his wife, Caroline Ma, returned to work with the Moretons on their new abode after having previously designed their apartment on The Peak.
Their brief this time was to turn the 40-year-old multi-level house into a bright, contemporary home in a modern classic style. The Moretons requested interiors “rich in design but simple”.
Jennifer says, “I wanted it to flow from room to room and floor to floor.”
From the living areas on the lowest levels, for example, the lounge and kitchen merge into outdoor areas defined by the pool. Inside, a half level above, is a breakfast nook-cum-bar and open dining area, which draws the eye to a bespoke chandelier by British lighting designer Sharon Marston.
“We showed [Marston] the rendering of this place and told her what style Jennifer likes,” says Yung, explaining how the lighting designer, who is known for her dramatic fibre-optic creations, came up with the cascading chandelier made with delicate floral shapes in autumnal shades. Similar colours can be found in artwork in the same room.
Up one flight of stairs is a haven for the couple: the master bedroom and en-suite bathroom share the same floor as a workroom, off of which is a balcony.
Further up is their son’s suite, where a split level separates the sleeping area from the lounge.
“My son loves his room,” says Jennifer.
“When his friends are over they congregate in his sitting room to watch movies and play games. He also uses the pool table a lot with his friends. We can cope with lots of visitors now.”
And that’s without even taking into account the top floor, which accommodates a guest room and gym, as well as the pool table, which the Moretons originally shipped to their Peak home from Florida, in the United States.
With multiple R&R spaces in the house, plus spa-type amenities, private suites and outdoor areas, it is hard to decide on favourite areas. Ma, who lingers in the master en-suite bathroom while leading a tour through the house, gazes at the sunken bath and declares, jokingly: “I want to live here.” She also points to the generous windows beside the bath that afford views of the pool, fringed by banana trees. But the same view one level down is the one Jennifer enjoys the most.
“My favourite part of the house is the sitting room, where the windows open up fully to the outside terrace, giving a continuous living space,” she says. “It is so relaxing and like being in a resort.”
Living room In front of the Flexform sofa (HK$160,000 from www.flexform.it) is a carpet that cost HK$142,700 at Fort Street Studio (3/F, Westlands Centre, 20 Westlands Road, Quarry Bay, tel: 2889 5150). The Minotti armchair and footstool (prices on request) came from The Design Showcase (Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central, tel: 2537 9688). The ebony-veneer entertainment console (HK$50,000) was designed by Jason Caroline Design. The slatted side table is from the couple’s previous home.
Pool area The nine-metre pool cost HK$1million to build. The two Kettal Landscape daybeds (HK$128,000 each), outdoor umbrella (HK$17,300), Gloster table (HK$38,770) and Gloster chairs (HK$3,500 each) all came from Everything Under the Sun (9/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 2554 9088).
Dining area The chandelier was made for £9,500 (HK$117,700) by Sharon Marston (www.sharonmarston.com) in Britain. The dining table (HK$155,400) was from Le Cadre Gallery (Ruttonjee Centre, tel: 2526 1068). The chairs are from a previous home, as is the art, including a painting by Edward Seago and a Darth Vader sculpture by British pop artist Clive Barker. The ebony-veneer floating chest of drawers (HK$52,000) was designed by Jason Caroline Design.
Master bedroom The Cadmo wall lights (HK$3,900 each) came from Artemide (1/F, Ruttonjee Centre, tel: 2523 0333) and the Minimal ceiling fan (HK$40,480) from Boffi (83 Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, tel: 2577 5764). The family’s cocker spaniel sits on walnut flooring (HK$363 per square foot) from Equal. The Meridian digital speaker was bought years ago.
Son’s room The height of the split-level floor accommodating a private sitting area was just right for a desk (HK$15,000), which, like the television console (HK$25,000), was designed by Jason Caroline Design. The Tolomeo desk lamp (HK$3,200) came from Artemide, which was also the source for the Mesmeri wall lights (HK$2,100 each) in the lounge. The Herman Miller Aeron chair (HK$7,920) is available from Posh (3/F, Warwick House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, tel: 2169 9288). All the furniture in the lounge was from the Moretons’ previous home. The Boen oak floor (HK$300 per square foot) came from Equal.
Skylight Providing natural illumination to the top floor is a skylight (HK$72,000) designed by Jason Caroline Design (14/F, Lucky Building, 39 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2517 7510).
Master bathroom The Whirlpool bathtub (HK$255,320) and Teuco tap (HK$3,700) were from colour.living (333 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2295 6263). The Vola heated towel rails (HK$28,980) came from Massford (16/F, First Commercial Building, 33 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 3105 0599).
Open secret To make the most of a small balcony off an en-suite bathroom, Jason Caroline Design installed a shower for al-fresco bathing. The floor boards by Moller cost HK$140 per square foot at Joyful Sky (3/F, CRE Building, 303 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2152 0701). The Axor Starck shower (HK$1,820) came from Massford. In the bathroom are a Flamina basin (HK$9,580) and Vola heated towel rails (HK$28,980), also from Massford.