Text Catherine Shaw / Styling David Roden / Photography John Butlin
"I like feeling like we live in the country while my office, in Tsim Sha Tsui East, is just half an hour's drive away," says Steven Feniger, of the Beas River home he shares with his wife, Eve, and their twin babies, Justine and Jasmine.
Situated in the leafy Valais neighbourhood, the two-storey, 3,000 sq ft house was newly built when they found it. And although it was exactly what they were looking for in terms of size and location, the couple decided to renovate the interior, save for the kitchen and bathrooms.
"I wanted a space I could personalise," says British-born Feniger, who fell in love with the light-filled 830 sq ft open-plan living and dining space, with three-metre-high floor-to-ceiling sliding doors.
Feniger hired interior designer Bruce Harwood, chief executive of BHI Group, to rework the space.
"I've worked with him on three projects," Feniger says. "The first was such a success he was asked to design similar layouts for five friends who bought flats in the same building."
Harwood says it was relatively simple to create the well-organised, functional interiors and monochromatic scheme Feniger requested. The ground-floor layout, although open plan, features a series of subtly defined spaces for the living and dining areas, as well as a nook Feniger uses for his hobby - acrylic painting.
To demarcate the living area, Harwood designed a striking unit running along one wall. It houses a 65-inch television, an extensive array of electronics and a contemporary bioethanol fireplace that extends into the "art studio", which features another built-in wall unit, this time with distinctive open shelving.
"The television wall unit is raised off the floor but it still hides all the usual electronic equipment and plugs, giving the space a clean look," says Harwood. "I used a variety of grey-black tones and textures within the unit to create interest and break down the scale of the piece."
Harwood also re-clad the four-metre-high wall flanking the dining area in a grey slate tile, upon which is displayed two of Feniger's artworks. "I took up painting again when we moved in 18 months ago," he says. "It helps me relax."
Other changes included replacing the original timber entrance doors that opened directly onto the dining and living areas with glass doors that, together with adjacent sliding doors, create the effect of a continuous window along one side of the house.
"Fully retractable mosquito screens mean the windows can be opened up onto the courtyard entrance to create a larger sense of space," says Harwood. "The outdoor space was originally grassed but we removed this to create an additional parking spot for Steven's Porsche 911 C4S. It looks like a beautiful outdoor sculpture."
Feniger, who came to Hong Kong in 1996, is chairman of 55 Consulting, a company he founded in 2003 to provide specialist sourcing and supply-chain advice. His expertise helped him to find a manufacturer on the mainland that could create the size and style of copper lampshades he had envisaged for his new home.
"They followed specifications exactly and created a distinctive piece," he says. "I like to keep the interior palette simple, adding statement pieces, different textures and splashes of colour."
Upstairs, there are two bedrooms and a study.
"There wasn't much we needed to do to the second level," says Harwood. "The focus here was to create a larger and streamlined walk-in dressing room between the master bedroom and en-suite bathroom, adding grey-tinted glass sliding doors to separate the wardrobe and bathroom from the rest of the room. We also created a study for Steve, who often works from home."
To maximise the natural light, a 3.5-metre-high mirror was installed on the wall by the staircase leading to the rooftop terrace.
"It creates a light well and, with another of Steve's copper lampshades, a dramatic entrance to the rooftop," says Harwood.
The 800 sq ft rooftop sports a custom-designed entertainment space, large inviting sofas and a fireplace. However, the couple more often find themselves in their ground-floor private garden, complete with a contemporary water feature designed by Harwood, Japanese garden-inspired stones and a wall lined with bamboo.
"I am lucky to have a job that takes me all over the world, but I feel fortunate to come home to this house. It resonates with that difficult-to-describe feeling of 'home'," says Feniger.
Living room The linen sofa (HK$19,450) and teak side table (HK$4,250) came from Tree (28/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 2870 1582). The rug (HK$7,000) is from Carpet Buyer (17/F, Horizon Plaza, tel: 2850 5508). The Fritz Hansen grey side table (HK$9,640) was from Lane Crawford (IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 3388). Bruce Harwood, of BHI Group (9/F, Fu Fai Commercial Centre, 27 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2787 7863), designed the customised wall unit (HK$49,840), which accommodates a television and fireplace and was built by B2 Contracting (18/F, Success Commercial Building, 245 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2802 2828). All the paintings are by the homeowner, Steven Feniger. The wall clock cost HK$900 at CB2 (1277 Robson Street, Vancouver, Canada, tel: 1 604 669 9797). Feniger’s hobby nook was created by installing a wall unit (HK$26,200), with an easy-to-clean Corian countertop, built by B2 Contracting. The colourful bowls (HK$780 each) were from Tree and the easel (HK$890) from Art Supply Centre (77 Bute Street, Mong Kok, tel: 2390 0228).
Staircase The mirror (HK$12,000) was built by B2 Contracting. The lamp is the same as that in the dining room.
Dining area The copper-leaf ceiling lamps cost 2,900 yuan (HK$3,650) each and were custom made by Hong Yang Lighting Shop (2/F, Wu Fang’s Home, 211 Taining Road, Luohu District, Shenzhen, tel: 86 755 2562 9669). The teak dining table cost HK$16,250 from Tree while the dining chairs were HK$2,900 each from Ulferts (Cityplaza, Taikoo Shing, tel: 2567 8370). The rug (HK$10,000) was sourced from Yarns (1/F, 313 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2891 2221). The wooden statue was bought during a holiday in Thailand. The paintings are by Feniger. The slate-grey wall tiling (HK$263 per 60cm by 60cm tile) came from La Casa (175 Lockhart Road, tel: 2511 7880).
Kitchen The newly installed kitchen, which opens onto the ground-floor patio, was not changed.
Master bedroom The bed (HK$8,800) and the unit containing the bed head and side tables (HK$7,000) were custom made by B2 Contracting. The side screen (HK$7,000) was added for fung shui reasons and installed by the same contractor. The Fillsta ceiling lampshade (HK$600) came from Ikea (various locations; www.ikea.com.hk). The sliding door with opaque glass was made by B2 Contracting and cost HK$5,000. The perspex framed painting on the wall was a gift.
Outdoor area The teak table (HK$10,450) and chairs (HK$3,950 each) came from Tree. Harwood designed a waterfall feature with benches on either side (HK$89,000 in total; made by B2 Contracting).
Bathroom The bathroom, which was newly fitted when the house was bought, was left unchanged.
Remote access Interior designer Bruce Harwood added a slim glass strip "window" on the front of the custom-built living room wall unit to allow the television and music systems' remote controls to be used without opening the door.