Text Jo Baker / Styling Charlot K / Pictures May Tse
Finding the right apartment was a relief on many levels for recording artist and dance instructor Katie Targett-Adams. But most importantly, it solidified what had been a whirlwind romance for her and her partner, Tim.
“In a sense, we were still getting to know each other,” says Targett-Adams, who arrived in Hong Kong from Scotland six years ago, then met her now-husband, a lawyer from New Zealand.
They began hunting for a flat shortly after. “Managing to choose an apartment we both loved, and then finding that we shared the same design taste, was somehow massively reassuring,” she says.
In 2008, the couple bought two lightfilled, top-floor flats in a five-floor walkup along the Mid-Levels escalator.
Three stages of renovations moulded the two flats into a 1,450 sq ft space that boasts a modern, natural look and a scenic rooftop view, and indulges their love of entertaining.
The flat displays Tim’s interest in ergonomics and addresses his wife’s need for rehearsal and office spaces.
“We knew it would be important for me to be able to work, rehearse and meet music and dance clients somewhere suitable,” says Targett-Adams, who has recorded six albums of various types of music, and now runs posture and dance classes for women through her company, SuperStyle.
For the first three years, the couple did little except have the walls removed between the two flats and roof terraces.
“It wasn’t quite like his ‘n’ hers, but definitely a two-in-one,” says Targett- Adams. “I had a nice office space in the second kitchen for a while, with the kitchen cabinets holding all my work stuff. I became quite fond of it.”
During that time, however, they were able to come up with a clear brief for what they wanted. Tim, who prefers orderly living, wanted plenty of hidden storage for his wife’s ever-growing collection of performance dresses, shoes and jewellery, and baby harps.
The solution was to have built-in space in their sofa, beds and kitchen banquette, in addition to discreet floor-to-ceiling cabinetry in the living space, two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The true innovation, however, lies in the apartment’s versatility. The hardwood floor, natural light, mirrored panelling and easy partitioning of the living room make it easy to turn the space into a dance studio and reception area.
The door to the couple’s bedroom is concealed in a mirrored wall and their projector screen disappears as seamlessly as Targett-Adams’ chest-height desk, which folds down into a cabinet behind the sofa, to create space when there are visitors.
Inspired by various Asian resorts they have visited, the couple are still in the process of improving on and expanding a previous outdoor kitchen and dining deck on the roof, which includes a shaded cabana and open lounge area – where they’ve hosted many a memorable party.
But it’s not all about the visitors. “We both tend to overwork and need somewhere to help us unwind,” says Targett- Adams. “With this home, I think we have a private sanctuary.”
Dining room The banquette seating (HK$32,000), with concealed storage, was designed by Pram Yoewono (Yoewono Design, 9A, 5 Glenealy, Central, tel: 2817 1414) and custom built with warm orange, hand-stitched leather by G.O.D. (48 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2805 1876). The unvarnished hardwood table was left behind by the previous owners, while the dining chairs (HK$1,200 each) came from Indigo. The wicker plant pot (HK$250) was from Ellermann (36 Tung Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2291 0388).
Lounge The versatility and space here makes for an easy transition into a dance and rehearsal studio for Katie Targett-Adams (www.superstyle.asia/), party venue or cosy lounge. There is storage space in both the sofa, which cost HK$22,000 at Indigo (various locations; www.indigo-living.com), and the ottoman, which was inherited from the previous owners. Behind the sofa, timber cabinets house a small fold-out desk that was custom built for HK$19,000 by Jon Pan at JP&M Fine Interiors (10 Scenic Villa Drive, Pok Fu Lam, tel: 2964 9268). The three balcony doors, in Australian Yarra wood, were made in New Zealand by Smart Wood (www.smartwood.co.nz) for HK$50,000. The silk cushions, from The Green Lantern (72 Peel Street, Central, tel: 2526 0277), cost HK$300 to HK$500 each, and the Eberson Slate Rug (HK$14,500) was from Designers Guild (www.burkedecor.com). The floor lamp was inherited, as were the Chinese chairs behind the sofa.
Reception An antique desk (also inherited from the previous owners) creates the sense of a reception area next to the living room, with sculptures in wood and bronze (the dancer, a gift, was by British sculptor Michael Simpson). A Vietnamese painting purchased during the couple’s travels builds on the cheerful tone found throughout the apartment’s main space. The heavy sliding doors in aged antique New Zealand oak (HK$152,000 from JP&M) act as sound buffers etween rooms.
Roof The couple have spent three years landscaping their roof, working with Adam Lu, of Edco Construction (1608 Beverly House, 93 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2575 2880), to refine the lighting and vertical garden. The cabana was built by JP&M Fine Interiors (metal beams, HK$42,000; curtains, HK$6,500), which also built the metal frame (HK$36,000) for the vertical garden.
Kitchen Although the original cabinets were retained, Pan replaced the wooden counters with white marble and extended the kitchen island into an L-shaped counter. The Lautus adjustable bar stools (US$59 each; www.luv1986.com) and Glo Ball light (HK$3,700) from Flos (44 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2801 7608), were chosen for their modern, ergonomic design. The Chinese stool was inherited. A framed Chinese Imperial Order sword handle was given to the couple to improve the apartment’s fung shui.
Bedroom The master bedroom has a serene aesthetic, with rustic, romantic accents provided by the wooden bench (inherited), laundry baskets (HK$300 each; Tree, www.tree.com.hk) and painting, which the couple bought in Athens, Greece. The bed was custom built by JP&M Fine Interiors for HK$18,000, as were the floating side tables (HK$3,600 each). The Philippe Starck reading lamps (about HK$7,000 for the pair, from Flos) satisfy Tim’s love of modern design.
Guest room This small room serves as a quiet retreat, storage space and guest room. “We have visitors quite rarely and didn’t want the space taken up by a permanent bed, so a sofa bed seemed the best option,” says Targett-Adams. The sofa bed cost HK$16,000 at Indigo. The ottoman was inherited from the previous owners; and the rug came from Ikea (HK$1,000; www.ikea.com/hk). Three custom-built windows add light and character to the room but have been placed high for privacy. Targett-Adams accented the insides of each window frame with three shades of paint. The lamp and basket were inherited.
Through the looking glass Jon Pan, of JP&M Fine Interiors, affixed the wall and door between the living room and the bedroom with panels made from Grade-A clear, reflective, non-distort mirror (HK$39,000 for three floor-to-ceiling panels). When shut, the door is almost invisible.