The new owners of a family home in Sai Kung refused to start work on its overhaul until every detail had been finalised. The result: a perfectly rendered vision. Before walls came down in Angela Locke's Sai Kung home, she spent three months working out what would go where. Time may have been of the essence, considering she, husband Dean and their young son Harrison were living in rented accommodation, but she was adamant no work would start until every detail had been drafted. Having taken a year to find what would become their ideal retreat, the couple saw sense in spending extra time to ensure the success of its transformation. Leading the revamp was Locke, a handbag designer turned portrait photographer whose aesthetic vision allowed the couple to imagine a large kitchen in their basement car park and picture windows in the place of its rear wall to illuminate the space. She worked with contractor Matthew Cheung of B&M Design (tel: 2856 3348) not only to create this light-filled open kitchen, which adjoins an intimate dining area and a cosy work zone, but also to build an internal staircase that allows access from the living areas upstairs. Designing the stairway took weeks, remembers Locke, explaining that building one straight down would have resulted in steps with narrow treads. 'Having a small child and a marble floor, it would have been too dangerous,' she says. 'So I suggested splitting the stairs [in three directions] to give us a bigger footboard.' Concessions to safety were also achieved with the other set of stairs, which lead from the entrance-level living areas to the bedrooms on the top floor. 'We didn't want hand rails,' says Locke, 'so we installed glass from the staircase edge to the ceiling.' Harrison, four, is also assured of a soft landing because of thick carpets in the main areas - including his bedroom, which takes up the space of two original rooms and retains two doors in case one area needs to be used by guests. The top level also accommodates the picturesque master bedroom and an inviting en-suite bathroom, whose brightness can be adjusted by blinds covering its glass ceiling. Here, as in much of the house, marble is used on the floor. 'I wanted to steer clear of tiles as much as possible,' says Locke, pointing out she also chose the material for the outdoor areas, despite its relatively high maintenance. Locke's uncompromising eye is evident in the aesthetic consistency throughout the house. Pointing to taps in the guest bathroom opposite the television zone, she says: 'Everything had to be hairline stainless steel; no shine.' There was no question either about the main colour scheme, which combines a khaki feature wall with a lighter shade (for the sofas), white and piercing blue (for the cushions). 'That was influenced by the two paintings of Dean and me,' Locke reveals, referring to a pair of large canvases hanging above the modular sofa in the living room. 'The background of one is brown and the other is white. I didn't want a brown or white wall so I came up with khaki. The rest flowed from that.' As important as the visual appeal of the interior was its spatial configuration. 'I really wanted a house that was good to move through, something open and spacious without too much clutter,' says Locke. Comfort in the home is enhanced by an Oxyvital air-cleaning system, switched on by an inbuilt timer. 'It kills germs and viruses, plus your house does not get so dusty. We all sleep well at night when it's on.' It is difficult to say whether it is the purified internal air, mixture of colours or spatial concessions that add oomph to the home and give it a friendly air. 'I wanted to be able to open the doors at the back to have a flow going through,' says Locke, standing in her living room and gazing at the outdoor area, which boasts a resort atmosphere perfect for relaxed get-togethers. 'We didn't intend it that way,' says Locke, 'but when we moved in and finished putting all the furniture in and laying everything out, I looked at my husband and said, 'This is a party house.'' STYLING David Roden tried & tested practical steps Four-year-old Harrison Locke can start the day by climbing down steps or whooshing to the ground on a slide at the foot of his bed. The unit, built for about HK$10,000 by Matthew Cheung of B&M Design (tel: 2856 3348), is also practical. Each step doubles as a drawer. 1 The welcoming terrace accommodates Dedon furniture that cost a total of about HK$10,000 from Everything Under the Sun (16/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 2554 9088) 2 Philippe Starck Miss K pendant lamps from the Conran Shop in London ( www.conranshop.co.uk ) hang above a Corian and stainless-steel dining table made by B&M Design (tel: 2856 3348). The chairs were bought at a discounted price from a shop since closed. The painting is by Valerie Sparks from the Flinders Lane Gallery (137 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia, tel: 61 3 9654 3332; www.flg.com.au ). 3 The staircase leading to the basement is split to widen the steps. The television area can be seen through glass above the pussywillow, accommodated in a pot from G.O.D. (various outlets, including 48 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2805 1876). Marble supplied by B&M Design covers the floors inside and out. 4 Sai Kung's hills are visible from the Lockes' king-sized bed, made by B&M Design and dressed with linen bedding (about HK$15,000 for the set) and a throw (HK$2,000) from Lane Crawford (IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 3388). Sun Sun Interiors (24 Fleming Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2511 2008) made the curtains in front of the picture window and the couple's wardrobe (on the right) with linen fabric from Tequila Kola (1/F, Horizon Plaza, tel: 2877 3295; www.tequilakola.com ). The pendant lamps (just visible) hanging on either side of the bed are by British designer Jeremy Cole ( www.jeremycole.net ). 5 A long island provides ample room for food preparation in the basement kitchen, built by Bulthaup (LG/F, shop A, Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central, tel: 2868 9323) for HK$520,000, including appliances such as the Wolf stovetop and wooden bench top. The tissue box holder from Ovo (16 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2526 7226) matches the greenery outside. The epoxy-covered floor was installed by B&M Design. 6 A pair of paintings of Angela Locke and husband Dean determined the colour scheme of their home. The works are by Simon Birch (tel: 9776 1446), who is represented by 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, 10 Chancery Lane, Central, tel: 2810 0065. A floor lamp from Lane Crawford stands beside a microfibre-covered sofa, which cost HK$80,000 from Ovo. The cushions come from Ovo, Inside (various outlets, including shop 231, Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2537 6298) and G.O.D. 7 The bright, airy en-suite bathroom, worthy of any resort, features a curvaceous tub (HK$150,000) from Boffi (81 Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, tel: 2577 5764; www.boffi.com ), which also supplied the sinks and taps. The lighting panel behind the tub was made and installed by B&M design. The ceiling blind was made for about HK$30,000 by Sun Sun Interiors.