Anthony Hindmarsh is in the business of matching people with a home. His boutique real estate agency, Qi-Homes, is so named to evoke fung shui principles of energy flow throughout a residence - a concept that helped shaped the recent renovations of his own 600 sq ft flat, in Central. To help him achieve a design in which 'living, entertaining and work areas flow and interact with each other', Hindmarsh enlisted interior designer Monique McLintock.
'Anthony's design brief was luxury, symmetry and a touch of Knightsbridge, London,' McLintock says.
Hindmarsh had clear ideas about the look and feel of the integrated living, dining and kitchen space, which he illustrated on three 'mood boards' with magazine clippings and notes, highlighting everything from ceiling moulding and lighting details to the subtle use of reflective surfaces to give depth to the flat.
'We took the place right down to cement and started completely fresh; I don't think the flat had been updated since the early 1970s,' McClintock says. 'Then came the challenge of applying everything Anthony wanted into the space.'
Hindmarsh prioritised space for the living, cooking and bedroom areas, so the bathroom was kept small. Nevertheless, McLintock managed to incorporate the elements of luxury into the bathroom her client wanted: a bathtub, rain and waterfall showerheads, a heated towel rack and a ceiling-mounted heater-dehumidifier.
Much thought to movement and functionality was put into the open-plan kitchen, where Hindmarsh and his partner enjoy cooking and entertaining. The custom granite island was fitted with an electronic stovetop on one side, leaving plenty of counter space that triples as preparation area, breakfast bar and home-office workstation. A television screen, which doubles as a computer monitor in 'office' mode, was embedded behind the connecting tinted-mirror feature wall, giving the space a sleek and seamless look.
McLintock designed two pieces - wooden bar tables on rollers - that can be pulled out, to serve as extra counter space and dining surfaces, or stay neatly tucked under the counter.
'Anthony had quite a list of things he wanted for the [100 sq ft] kitchen, including a full-sized built-in dishwasher, a wine fridge and a custom-sized cubbyhole for the cat litter box,' McClintock says. 'At the beginning, I wasn't sure how [we were going to accommodate his demands], but we actually did fit everything in nicely.'
In contrast to the dark grey sleekness of the kitchen, a warm ecru and softer textures were chosen for the adjoining living area. A built-in display bookshelf - for some of Hindmarsh's vintage volumes and objets d'art - serves as a corresponding feature wall for the living area. The cascade of full-length silk curtains lends height to the room. Small spotlights - wired into an integrated lighting system with a choice of Hindmarsh's preferred settings - were fitted into the cornice to enhance the warmth of the room in the evening.
The play of texture and warm and cool colours con- tinues into the sole bedroom. McLintock chose bead- ed glass panels with a grey underlay for the wardrobe doors and dark grey cloth blinds to contrast with the sand-coloured laminate flooring and warm wood of the four-poster bed frame. A vintage Persian rug and a gilded chandelier with crystals add ornate touches to the otherwise minimal yet intimate atmosphere of the room.
'Anthony was hands-on every step of the process,' McLintock says. 'It was exciting and rewarding to get into the details with him. I think we hit everything on the wish list.'
1 Living room
Monique McLintock (303 Tai Shing Building, 43 Bonham Strand West, Sheung Wan, tel: 6779 3791) designed the sofa and ottoman, which were made by Bricks & Stones (97 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2520 0577) for HK$6,250 in total. The ottoman allows for storage and the inside of its lid, which is lined with wood, can be flipped over for use as a coffee table. Ecdeco (30/F, New Tech Plaza, 34 Tai Yau Street, San Po Kong, tel: 6012 4418) built the shelving unit for HK$17,160. Anthony Hindmarsh found the antique French crystal lamp (one of a pair; HK$13,000 each) at Helis & Tang (38 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 3482 6100). The objets d'art and vintage books are from Hindmarsh's collection. The Tibetan chest (HK$13,000) was bought from Shambala (2/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 2555 2997).
2 Living room detail
Hindmarsh used the chest to create an old-fashioned wet bar in a corner of the living area. The crystal decanter (HK$7,500) by Baccarat was from Helis & Tang. The Baccarat crystal ice bowl came from Paris, France. Hindmarsh bought the French sterling- silver tray on eBay for US$2,000.
3 Bedroom detail
The wardrobe was designed by McLintock and built by Ecdeco for HK$33,000, using Beadazzled wallpaper in gunmetal (HK$14,000) from Altfield Interiors (11/F, 9 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2524 4867).
The bedroom boasts elegant symmetry. Hindmarsh bought the French crystal chandelier (HK$19,000) from Helis & Tang. The elmwood bed frame (HK$12,000) came from Oriental Home (20/F, Horizon Plaza, tel: 3542 5336) and the linens were from Margaret Muir (Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2869 9186).
5 Front door
The solid wood front door (HK$5,100) was custom made and painted by Ample Sino Holdings (367 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3102 9138). Hindmarsh found the lion's head door knocker - similar to the one used at the British prime minister's resi- dence at 10 Downing Street - in Portobello Market, London. The Ezon digital door lock (HK$4,350) came from PLC Locks (212 Lockhart Road, tel: 2519 9601).
The wood flooring, which was custom stained, cost HK$45 per square foot from Sunwood Building Materials (308 Lockhart Road, tel: 2827 0990). The artwork is from Hindmarsh's collection. The audio-visual system, which includes a Samsung HD 3D television and Bang & Olufsen speakers, is managed through a Sonos internet-streaming sound system (HK$10,000; www.sonos.com ).
7 Dining area
McLintock designed two mobile bar tables, which can be stashed under the granite countertop; King Power Engineering (313 Lockhart Road, tel: 2303 0522) made the counters for HK$6,000 each. The leather bar chairs (HK$1,000 each) were from G.O.D. (Leighton Centre, Sharp Street East Entrance, Causeway Bay, tel: 2890 5555).
Royal Kitchen Design (3 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2573 3993) built the kitchen, including the granite counter and cabinetry, for HK$145,000. The Wave circular cooker hood (HK$15,800) came from Elica (www.elica . com). All the lighting elements for the flat came from I Lighting (388 Lockhart Road, tel: 2803 5012) and cost a total of HK$17,000 (including installation).
Tried + tested
The living room's east-facing windows receive an abundance of sunlight. To keep the flat cool during the day, when it is empty, Anthony Hindmarsh had motorised aluminium shutters (HK$15,000) installed on the exterior of the building by Best United Engineering (G/F, New East Sun Industrial Building, 18 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, tel: 2344 9028). 'They work perfectly to keep the heat at bay and save on air-conditioning bills, and they're environmentally friendly,' says Monique McLintock.
Styling David Roden