INTERIOR DESIGNER Tania Chow The Partnership ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNER Gary Chang Edge (HK) ANTIQUES EXPERT Tsang Chi Fan Christie's Hong Kong HANDYMAN Mark Fraser CDI Professional Decorators PAINT SPECIALIST Paola Dindo Paola Dindo & Associates HORTICULTURALIST Richard Coumbe RC Landscape Specialists My flat comes with a 1,000-square-foot roof terrace that's empty except for some building materials and old planters. Any ideas on how I can fully utilise this space? Gary Chang replies: The best way to use this fantastic asset is to make it an extension of your indoor living space, effectively doubling your apartment's size. You could create mini 'rooms' for a variety of activities, from dining to sunbathing: an outdoor living area complete with weather-resistant sofas; a dining and barbecue area; a play area for the kids; or even a sleeping area under shade. Factors to consider when organising these outdoor rooms include where direct sunlight falls and whether you want to look at (or be looked at from) surrounding buildings. All manner of things could be used to divide the space: furniture, fabric canopies, planters, raised platforms, foliage-covered trellises. You might want to consider storage to avoid having to cart things up and down stairs. Make sure the terrace is safe for children, with a suitable balustrade around the outer edges and non-slip flooring. Then to make the terrace truly useable, install electric lighting so the fun doesn't end at sundown, plus electricity outlets to allow for audio/visual equipment and alternative light sources. My young children like to paint but their artwork often ends up on the walls as well as on paper. What can I paint on the lower walls that can be wiped clean? Paola Dindo replies: Latex emulsion, available at most paint shops, has a slight gloss finish and is, to a certain extent, washable. Measure out a strip of wall from the floor upwards that's as high as your eldest child's reach and apply a strip of low tack masking tape to the wall. Buy a can of latex emulsion to match your existing wall colour, apply with a roller and gently remove the tape before it dries.