Text Catherine Shaw / Styling David Roden / Photography K.Y. Cheng
For Reika and Sid Shetty, living well also means living responsibly.
"I grew up in Tokyo where recycling is second nature," says Reika. "Renovation projects produce a lot of waste and we wanted to avoid that by using natural materials like wood and trying to recycle as much as possible."
Hong Kong has been home to the couple since 2010, four years after they met in New York. Sid, who grew up in India but moved to the United States as an adult, now works as regional director at Victoria's Secret and Reika runs Mayarya, a boutique specialising in maternity clothes. The business is named after their one-year-old daughter, Maya, and three-year-old son, Arya.
With clear ideas about the look they wanted for their family home they decided not to appoint a designer and instead worked directly with a contractor who understood their need for environmental-design integrity.
The first step, says Reika, was to strip away the 2,500 sq ft apartment's "Marie Antoinette-style" interiors and remove internal walls in the living, dining and kitchen areas to create a modern, open-plan industrial-loft ambience. Floor-to-ceiling windows installed along two sides of the combined living and dining rooms were added to maximise the spectacular views over Happy Valley.
Eco-friendly touches include a distinctive timber-clad wall stretching the length of the living room. The rugged yet refined effect was achieved by mixing locally sourced wood salvaged from boats and leftover floor planks.
"There is always wastage of at least 20 per cent when flooring with timber," says Reika. "We just added the leftover wood to the wall for added texture and interest."
The strikingly modern kitchen bar counter was created from elm reclaimed from old Chinese houses. The countertop sides are lined with hard-wearing steel, an industrial touch that is reflected in the kitchen's utilitarian shelves and white brick walls. The bar stools, dining table and dining chairs were also made from the same reclaimed elm.
"We recycled our old dining table to create seating and a coffee table for the balcony," says Reika. "It feels good to see it being used in different ways instead of being thrown out."
Elsewhere, the original four bedrooms were reduced to three, which allowed the master bedroom to be enlarged to create space for a custom-designed, built-in dressing room that doubles on one side as a television and display cabinet. Other structural changes included removing the shower in the guest bathroom by the entrance to provide additional space for the adjoining kitchen area. A sizeable shoe cupboard and built-in hidden storage area were added near the entrance.
Although the apartment's overall design theme leans towards modern-loft style, the home has a relaxed family aesthetic achieved with a mixture of humble materials such as wood and contemporary touches including lampshades by Tom Dixon, Kare Design and Artemide.
"Good lighting changes the whole atmosphere of a space," says Reika, who transformed a long corridor leading from the entrance to the bedrooms by introducing a quirky collection of lampshades in various styles and colours, hung at different levels.
Photographs, sculptures and artefacts collected on trips to India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Africa are also on show throughout the home. Reika says she often moves them about to create pops of colour.
"My mother is a painter so in our house in Tokyo we have a lot of paintings and colour. I grew up in that environment. It is what I do for my children and at Mayarya. I like to mix things up with different brands and colours against a neutral backdrop to create something exciting and fresh."
Sitting room The L-shaped linen sofa (HK$16,800) and television console (HK$7,900) both came from Hamptons Furniture (various locations; www.hmfhamptons.com.hk). The coffee table (HK$3,000) and oversized clock (HK$2,400) came from Aluminium (various locations; www.aluminium-furniture.com). The cowhide stools were bought years ago from G.O.D (various locations; www.god.com.hk). The medley of recycled timber panels (HK$42,000 plus HK$35,000 for installation) was acquired through and installed by Cats Interior Design (26/F, Technology Plaza, 651 Kings Road, North Point, tel: 2960 0266). The mask was bought years ago in Namibia and the Artemide ceiling lamp cost HK$9,800 at E Design (54 Morrison Hill Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2893 5050). Also by Artemide is the floor lamp (HK$8,000), which came from Homeless (28 Gough Street, Central, tel: 2851 1160). The entire apartment was floored with Burmese teak (HK$58 per square foot, not including installation) sourced through Ample Sino Holdings (367 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3102 9138).
Kitchen The steel-topped elm bar counter (HK$46,000) was custom made by Wood Shop (Tai Kei House, 37 Tung Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2234 0111), which used the same reclaimed wood to make the bar stools (HK$2,200 each). The steel edges are repeated with a set of matching steel shelves (HK$4,000) against a white brick wall evoking a New York industrial-loft ambience. The Tom Dixon pendant lamps (HK$2,100 each) came from E Design.
Dining area The dining table (HK$12,000), bench (HK$3,000) and chairs (HK$10,000 for four), all made with wood reclaimed from old houses on the mainland, were bought at Wood Shop. The overhead lamp (HK$2,500), by Kare Design, came from Aluminium. The textile figure was picked up in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Master bedroom The leather bed (HK$12,000) came from Artura Ficus (15/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 3105 3903). The timber side table (HK$3,600) and matching low bench (HK$12,000) were from Wood Shop. The Tolomeo by Artemide table lamp cost HK$2,000 at Aluminium. The woven basket (HK$250), from Ginger at The House (199 Moonmuang Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand, tel: 66 53 419 014), doubles as an occasional side table. The Shettys commissioned the pre-wedding photographs when they were living in New York. The cashmere throw cost HK$4,000 at the Ulaanbaatar Department Store (Peace Avenue-57, Sukhbaatar district, Ulan Bator, Mongolia, tel: 976 11 323206). Tom Dixon's Etch Light brass lamps (HK$4,700 each at E Design) offset the dark-red ceiling.
Child's bedroom Arya's bedroom is a colourful mix of textiles and toys from around the world. The bed (HK$5,290) was sourced from Flexa (261 Queen's Road East, tel: 2688 2303) and the cupboards (HK$499) and wall shelves (HK$520) were from Ikea (various locations; www.ikea.com.hk). The tapestry was bought in Sri Lanka and the miniature Nepalese stool (HK$350) made from recycled materials; storage bags with bright spots (HK$495 and HK$355 depending on size); mobile over the bed (HK$490); and bed cushions (HK$540 each) were from Mirth (M/F, Yip Kan Street, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, tel: 2553 9811).
Balcony The outdoor table and bench were made for a total of HK$1,500 by Kam Tai Engineering (tel: 9498 1220) using wood recycled from the family’s old dining table. The orange waterproof cushion (HK$2,560) came from Irony Home (12/F, Horizon Plaza, tel: 2845 2567) and the smaller cushions (HK$300 each) from Blueberry Home (www.blueberryhome.in), in India.
Bathroom Shetty created a striking master bathroom with a custom-made mirror (HK$2,500) and bright red wall tiles (HK$85 per square feet), both sourced through Cats Interior Design. The sink (HK$3,600) came from Hop Lung Building Material (293 Lockhart Road, tel: 2802 2273). The Artemide wall lamps (HK$1,300 each) were from E Design.
Niche to see you With her background in fashion, Reika Shetty has acquired a large and eclectic collection of accessories. To accommodate and keep tabs on the many variously sized pieces, she designed this custom-made drawer for her dressing room. The drawer was built by Cats Interior Design and cost HK$3,800.