Small wonders

Lara Tabac

Most living quarters in Hong Kong are a little tight, and room for storage is often sacrificed.

At just 470sqft gross per unit, the recently renovated Shama serviced apartments in Mid-Levels are a study in how to turn every centimetre of space into clandestine cargo holds and make a little go a long way.

'We designed the units as one would a yacht,' says Elaine Young, chief executive and co-founder of Shama, who worked with designer Dillon Garris to create these ship-shape models of shore-side living.

'We wanted the serene space that we'd created to remain uncluttered, so we made sure that every bit of space counted,' says Young. Each unit has a generous wardrobe and under-bed storage that operates easily using a piston mechanism. The sofa lifts up for more space, and the stool seats, which double as side tables, are hollow inside.

As well as incorporating storage within the custom-built furniture, Young and Garris created 'flexible spaces that can be changed by the occupant depending on mood'.

They overcame the challenges imposed by the size limitations by installing sliding silk panels that separate the bedroom and living area and including a large oval table that can be used for dining or as a desk. Natural fabrics in solid or neutral muted hues help to open the space further.

The key to maximising space in a home is getting the layout right, says Young. Those without a 'clever eye' can always hire professionals.