The renovation of a loft-style apartment has allowed a couple of globetrotters to display their eclectic collection of travel souvenirs without creating clutter. Clutter is an unwelcome guest in the homes of inveterate travellers who like to bring home more than memories. So, too, is the disharmony that can result from pairing keepsakes from different countries and eras. Not so the South Bay home of globetrotters Anne and John Wong. Their light-filled 2,800-sq-ft apartment is a blissful marriage of disparate cultures and old and new: modern and contemporary photography faces classic oil paintings bought at auction and antique Italian furniture sits beside hi-tech Bang & Olufsen audio equipment. Then there are the fung shui elements that complement the New York-style loft look, such as the wide, open living room that features jugs of water for harmony. 'It just happened through years of travel and living in different places,' says Anne Wong. 'That little chandelier came from France, the chairs are from Portugal, the crystal lamps are Russian.' The passing years have also added to the couple's art and book collection. Abstract art in striking colours provides visual interest, accentuated by Asian works in more subdued hues. And where the walls are not hung with artwork, they are covered with shelves that do more than hold books (see Tried and Tested). 'Things fell into place,' says Wong, adding that she and her husband gave each other veto options should one detest something the other had selected. 'But the opportunity never arose; we both have similar tastes. This home is an amalgam of our purchases.' They include items seemingly cut from the same cloth. 'Things like the carpet and the sofa set in the living room might look made to order [they both have similar hues and pattern],' she says, 'but they were distinct buys from different locations at different times.' Not everything in the quiet three-bedroom apartment, nestled between the beach and a backdrop of stony hills, suited the couple when they moved in six years ago. For instance, a wall separating the dining and living areas was torn down to make the flat, which features large windows, feel roomier. 'I think it might be because of our former New York lives that we wanted space when we moved here,' says Yang. 'But we kept the door frame because it indicates a separation of the two spaces, without an actual barricade.' The space also provides ample room around the generous antique dining table, which can accommodate many but has never catered to anyone other than the couple's close circle of friends and family. 'Our home is many things to us, including our sanctuary,' says Wong. 'Wild, raucous parties ... that's not our style.' The couple took sole responsibility for every room, so the flat is a reflection of their tastes. 'Contractors followed our instructions but no interior designer or architect individually shaped our house,' says Wong. 'We knew what we wanted and didn't have a third party imposing their views on us. I think it's because there are architects in my husband's family that somehow a fine balance has come about.' The Wongs also refused to follow a rule often cited about bedrooms - that televisions have no place there. 'We curl up on the sofa and watch movies together here. Just us.' Also unexpected in the master bedroom is its spartan style. 'It's my husband's style all the way - no clutter, no knick-knacks,' says Wong. 'His aversion to stuff littering the place has made me trim my own accessories on the bedside table: no perfume bottles, creams, stationery, slips of paper, nothing. I'm only allowed one thing - an alarm clock.' tried & tested behind closed drawers When the Wongs' walk-in closet adjacent to their bedroom started overflowing with clothes, they had several choices: install an extra wardrobe or make more space with what they already had. They chose the second option. The base of a bookshelf in their study was hollowed out and a long metal pole affixed to both sides to provide hanging space for shirts. To maintain the room's aesthetic, a facade of drawers was chosen as a front instead of cupboard doors. Pull on any of the 12 gold handles and the doors swing open. 1 Italy-based Chinese artist Chan Kuochiang's major pieces, bought throughout the past decade, hang in the living room, dining room and corridors. The walls are painted in muted shades of grey (living areas), tea tree (kitchen) and lime blossom (bedroom), bought from the Paint Library (5 Elystan Street, London, tel: 44 20 7823 7755). After samples were received via mail order, small areas of different walls were painted, lived with for a week then given a final yea or nay. The sterling-silver Baroque lamp in the sitting room is from Buccellati in New York (46 East 57th Street, New York, tel: 1 212 308 2900). The lamp is also available in Hong Kong through CARSAC Limited (shop 109, The Landmark, tel: 2968 1088). The dark-wood panelled floors throughout the apartment were chosen to create an earthy, warm tone. The dining table hosts a pair of crystal lamps, or crystal and malachite girandoles as the French call them, from Etienne Levy (42 Varenne Road, Paris, tel: 33 01 4544 6550; www.levy-antiques.com ). The 18th-century Portuguese chairs and mahogany dining table are from renowned dealer Carlton Hobbs (8 Little College Street, London, tel: 44 20 7340 1000; www.carltonhobbs.com ). 2 The antique regal pair of Tsu-Tan (purple sandalwood) arc chairs are from Yee Hing Loong, Blackwood Furniture Lacquerwares and Chinese Arts and Craft (144 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2546 9153). The antique Chinese planters are from Treasure Arts (42 Hollywood Road, tel: 2854 2226). 3 Major kitchen appliances are from Miele (111 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2890 1518), which the Wongs like because of the brand's sophistication-meets-utility, frill-free designs. Windows were enlarged to invite nature into the kitchen. 4 Amid yesteryear art and artefacts, antiques and plush furniture, the Bang & Olufsen (shop 228A, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 0007) sound system provides a striking contrast in the living room, one of the few reminders of the 21st century. The dark-wood floors throughout the flat are covered with colourful carpets from various locations. The Tibetan rugs in the corridor were sourced through antiques dealer Zhang Yong Zhi from Antique Carpets, tel: 6463 1669. 5 Inspired by legendary designer Bill Blass' home decor, the floor-to-ceiling bookcase in the bedroom is a near replica of on in the fashion icon's New York apartment. Home to books, antiques, CDs and a music system, the piece was custom made by Takenaka, Japan's oldest architecture, engineering and construction firm (17/F, Sun House, 181 Des Voeux Road, Central, tel: 2543 1013). There's no denying the luxury of the fox-fur throw (from Prada, shop 326, Pacific Place, tel: 2918 9233) that drapes across the sofa, where the couple unwind before the only television set in their home. The Savana sofa ($39,700, from LeCadre, 2116 Hutchison House, 10 Harcourt Road, tel: 2526 1068) is flanked by a pair of Minotti Villon cube stools ($9,800 each, from Sol y Luna, 16/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Nam Road, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 2814 0203). 6 The master bedroom is a vision of comfort, one end accommodating the bed, the other bookshelves, a sofa and a television. The bedding is from Pratesi (available at Lane Crawford, Times Sqaure, tel: 2118 3605; www.lanecrawford . com) and the antique bedside lamps are from Buccellati. Above the bed is another Chan Kuochiang painting.