Work, rest and play are all possible in a large warehouse-style apartment discovered by two jewellery designers. It's not often you come across a gem of a space in the heart of the city. But that's what jewellery designers Mark Armstrong and Perry Josito of John Ferdinand ( www.johnferdinand.com ) did when they were hunting for a place that allowed them to live, work and show their collections under one roof. They found the perfect solution in a refurbished building in Sheung Wan. 'This used to be a residential building but it was stripped down and completely renovated,' says Armstrong of the 1,450 sq ft space. Two units that had been merged, the space was in a raw, loft-like state - with exposed brick work, a concrete floor, an exposed ceiling and no internal walls. Armstrong and Josito immediately saw how they could use the space. 'Fortunately we got in when the contractors were still finishing up so we were able to say what we wanted,' says Josito. The pair chose a concrete resin floor and requested power points be placed in the middle of it. They also adjusted the lighting and repositioned some of the air-conditioning units. 'We wanted a flexible space without too many walls; something unstructured where you can move things around as necessary,' says Armstrong. Josito elaborates: 'We like to entertain as part of our business, so we wanted a space that was kind of open but would also be comfortable to live in.' The duo have created a look that is semi-industrial yet still lounge-like and contemporary. With large banks of windows on two sides, four-metre ceilings and a huge floor-to-ceiling bookcase running along one wall, the flat contains different zones but works well as a whole. To one side is a cosy, Thai-style home theatre area on a platform that has storage space underneath (see Tried & Tested). 'I always had a vision of watching television and putting my feet up,' says Josito. 'So I thought, why not build a day bed here?' They plan to install curtains that can be drawn to afford overnight guests some privacy here. Beyond the raised platform is a sleek work zone featuring desktop computers and a low-level shelving unit that defines the space. Cables and wires are all neatly hidden in slim custom-built trays running behind the desks. 'We don't like cables being on display,' says Armstrong. 'The trays raise the cables off the floor and allow easy access if we need to change any of them.' A dining area and a more formal lounge zone are perfect for entertaining friends or clients. The huge bookcase, complete with sliding access ladder, allows ample space for storing book and displaying collectables while enhancing the loft-like feel. A selection of rich textures and soft furnishings offsets the industrial styling. 'We were a bit worried all the grey and stainless steel would be too industrial so we wanted to warm it up a bit,' says Armstrong. The sleeping area is a semi-open space. A pair of long Indian-silk curtains in slate and silver have been installed - they can be left open to allow in light from the bedroom windows or closed for privacy. The duo may have moved into their pad only a few weeks ago but it already has a comfortable, lived-in mood, ideal for work and private life. Says Armstrong: 'It's very hard to find this kind of place in this part of town. It really feels like somewhere a designer might live.' STYLING Esther van Wijck tried & tested surprise in store A Thai-style raised seating area cleverly solves two common problems for homeowners: clutter (a no-no in open-plan homes) and lack of space. The two adjacent sofa bases are more than just a comfortable place to watch television or for guests to sleep on. Each has a hydraulic-lift system that raises the base to reveal generous storage space. The hydraulic system was custom made by contractor Hang Loon Design and Contracting (3/F, Jones Mansion, 22 Cheung Hong Street, North Point, tel: 9039 6456). More storage space is available at the end of the platform (not pictured) for audio-visual and internet equipment. 1 A pair of sofa beds face each other in the living area. The sofas can be laid flat to provide more seating for visitors. The beige sofa cost HK$4,500 from Melandas (8/F, Lee Theatre Plaza, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2881 6198); the scatter cushions are from G.O.D. (Leighton Centre, Causeway Bay, tel: 2890 5555; www.god.com.hk ) and Jim Thompson (9 Surawong Road, Bangkok, tel: 662 632 8100; www.jimthompson.com ). Between the sofas is a pair of side-by-side pigskin trunks, HK$800 each from G.O.D. The lamps (HK$600 each) and artwork were purchased from Stanley Market. 2 Bertha, the cat, perches on a reproduction Chinese cabinet (HK$3,000 from AsiaXpat's Trading Post; www.asiaxpat . com). The In the Mood for Love movie poster cost HK$200 online from eBay ( www.ebay.com ) and was framed by Zetter Picture Framer (Wing On Building, 38 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2542 4269) for approximately HK$1,000. The replica old-style telephone cost US$40 from Pottery Barn ( www.potterybarn.com ). 3 Benz, Lady and Bertha relax in the Thai-style home-theatre area. British velvet (HK$3,000 in total) from New Bedford Interiors (67 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2520 0330) was used to cover the sofa bases and backs. The striped cushions are from Pottery Barn. 4 The sleek kitchen, with metallic laminate doors and a stainless-steel countertop and splashback, was designed by Johnny Wong at FAK3 (tel: 2964 9950; www.fak3.com ) and built by contractor Hang Loon Design and Contracting (3/F, Jones Mansion, 22 Cheung Hong Street, North Point, tel: 9039 6456). The trio of lacquered Tintin prints were purchased from a street stall in Hanoi, Vietnam. The bathroom leads off the kitchen to the right. 5 The dining table and chairs were purchased through AsiaXpat; displayed on top is a selection of men's jewellery by John Ferdinand. The shelving and ladder were designed by Wong and custom built by Hang Loon. 6 When the two-toned curtains are closed, the bedroom is separated from the living area. The silver fabric panels in the centre create the impression of a door. Lady, a Pomeranian, and Benz, a Pekinese, relax on a sofa bed that cost HK$4,500 from Melandas. The bed is covered with a green velvet and gold silk throw custom made by Seal Decor (56 Au Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam, tel: 84 4 928 6686). Seal Decor also made the silk and velvet cushions. 7 When the curtains are open, light from the bedroom windows fills the living space. The bed and wardrobe (to the right, not pictured) were designed by Mark Armstrong and Perry Josito (tel: 9195 7856; www.johnferdinand.com ) and custom built for HK$23,400 by Hang Loon. The tall padded headboard is made of PVC fabric (HK$1,200 from New Bedford Interiors) and was assembled by Hang Loon for HK$2,800. The Keith Haring prints on the side tables were bought in New York for US$3,000. The duotone Indian-silk curtains in slate and silver were designed by Josito and made by New Bedford Interiors for HK$7,000. The tealight candle frame (on the left) cost HK$1,200 from Francfranc (2/F, Hang Lung Centre, 2 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 3427 3366; www.francfranc.com ). 8 Sleek styling continues in the bathroom, with a stainless-steel showerhead and toiletries holder. The slim white tiles enhance the industrial feel. 9 The office area, with desks underneath the window and a low-level shelving unit (foreground), was designed by Armstrong and Josito and custom built by Hang Loon. Behind the desks is a narrow tray-like shelf that hides the computer cables. The small grey filing cabinet is from Aluminium (shop D, 8 Kingston Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2577 4766; www.hk-aluminium.com ). The semi-sheer rolling window blinds were made and installed by Hang Loon.