Home, for some people, is a respite from the stresses of work. Jacky Yeung also wanted a refuge in which he could feel like a kid again.
“I’m in finance and it’s sort of why I have such a childish design sense,” he says. “I need to be mature and professional because of my work but when I’m home, I choose to be more carefree and fun. It’s my way of staying young.”
It’s easy to see Yeung’s inner child in the “kidult” style he chose for the 800-sq-ft Ap Lei Chau apartment he inherited from his parents two years ago. In the living room, for instance, an oversized teddy bear doubles as a body pillow, and in the serene bathroom, a yellow robot head dispenses toilet paper. These functional toys share space with playful accessories and whimsical furnishings, the rainbow hues of which pop against white walls.
Yeung entrusted the renovation to Frankie Lam, of Bugs Design Consultants, who turned the once dark, cramped quarters into a commodious, contemporary space, providing the perfect backdrop for Yeung’s eclectic belongings.
Four bedrooms became one, along with a storeroom, a dressing room and an airy study. Left unchanged was the living and dining area, which, despite being trapezoidal in shape, somehow worked with Yeung’s furnishings. It is here that Yeung and his partner spend their evenings, taking in the sea view or watching movies enhanced by surround-sound audio.
Of his furniture pieces – including a cast-iron and wood table from the Philippines, colourfully mismatched dining chairs and a distressed bench – Yeung says none is as important to him as the retro lime-green desk lamp that sits on a retro sideboard from Thailand.
“The light has been in my family for as long as I can remember. It’s probably older than I am,” he says. “It reminds me of my family, that they’re still a part of this home even though they’ve moved away.”
Not being able to create an open-plan kitchen, because of a structural wall, Lam removed the door and used the same rustic Boen wood flooring as he did for the rest of the living area and beyond, to create a sense of continuity. The designer also installed customised cabinetry in teal and white to match Yeung’s playful palette, and used thin skirting boards to give the illusion of height and space.
Private areas are delineated by a sliding door that closes off a corridor when the couple have guests. Beyond it are the dressing room, with mirrored wardrobes, and a shared study with sweeping sea and mountain views. A custom-made Tetris-inspired bookshelf in this work area was the handiwork of a trusted local contractor, who made the item in situ by assembling pieces of durable plywood into an irregular geometric pattern set against a multicoloured background.
“Nowadays, a lot of custom furniture is built in China and the ready-made pieces are shipped and assembled in Hong Kong,” says Lam, about the solid shelving that is intended to accommodate heavy books. “But this was constructed in the flat and that made it tricky.”
At the far end of the home stands the couple’s bedroom. In this sparsely furnished space a teal fabric headboard, which spans the entire width of a wall, is paired with a hand-painted wooden nightstand that Yeung hauled back from India.
“I get inspired when I travel to new places,” he says.
When he’s not exploring new destinations, however, Yeung finds inspiration at home, which gives him a zest for life.
This kidult should never feel the need to grow up.
Living area The Boboboom oversized teddy bear cushion (HK$1,800) was from Lane Crawford. The Cassius Deluxe Excess Lounger sofa (HK$13,880), by Per Weiss for Innovation, came from Aluminium, which was also the source for the white Opus bookshelf (HK$3,500) by Casamania. The Paul Smith rug (HK$10,000) was bought from The Rug Company, in London. The distressed television bench (HK$5,000) was found at Homeless. The Macaron ottoman (HK$2,000), from Filobula, and the vintage-inspired rocking chair (HK$2,000), from Joe’s BO, were both shipped from Thailand.
Dining area The dining table (HK$18,720) came from Triboa Bay Living and was bought in the Philippines. The iron and wood bench (HK$5,178) was from Tree. The coral and turquoise Ru Chairs, by Shane Schneck for Hay (HK$2,400 each), were from Homeless. The two copper-toned pendant lights (HK$398 each), by Plumen, were from Desk-one HK and the middle Pharaoh Pendant (HK$3,500), also by Plumen, came from Manks. The wooden sideboard (HK$4,500) came from Joe’s BO and was bought in Thailand.
Kitchen The custom-made cabinetry (HK$46,825) was built by New Fortune Decoration (12/F, Kin Fat Industrial Centre, 13 Kin Fat Street, Tuen Mun, tel: 9340 6696). Much of the flooring throughout the flat is Boen oak (HK$81,620 in total) from Equal.
Study The Deskbox desk (HK$9,500), by Raw-Edges Design Studio for Arco, came from HB Collection. The red AAC22 chair (HK$2,232), by Hay, was from Homeless, as was the miniature green Seggiolina Pop chair (HK$630), by Enzo Mari for Magis. The Tom Dixon Mirror Ball ceiling light (HK$3,500) was from Lane Crawford. The custom-made Tetris shelves (HK$12,000) were built by New Fortune Decoration.
Bedroom The teal fabric headboard (HK$5,752) was supplied and installed by New Bedford Interiors (67 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2520 0330). The hand-painted nightstand (HK$150) was purchased in India. The red storage box used as a bedside table (HK$150) was from Franc Franc.
Dressing area The built-in wardrobes (HK$53,090) were custom made by New Fortune Decoration. The Brokis Balloon lamps (yellow, HK$1,602; turquoise, HK$2,502) came from Homeless. The Papa Rocky stool (HK$828), by Everyday Studio, was from Desk-one HK.
Bathroom The cabinetry (HK$18,250) was custom built by New Fortune Decoration. The basin (HK$2,850) and toilet (HK$4,875) are both by Kohler and came from Hop Lung Building Materials (39 E6 Sing Woo Road, Happy Valley, tel: 2893 2639). The Roca bath mixer (HK$1,056) came from RocaConcepts (The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2510 2660). The robot-like toilet paper dispenser (HK$300) was from LOG-ON.
TRIED + TESTED
Out of sight … A quality entertainment system was essential to Jacky Yeung.
“We watch a lot of movies at home and since we were doing an entire home refurbishment, including tearing up the flooring, we thought it’d be better to invest more in a sophisticated surround-sound system than in wireless speakers.”
To keep messy wiring and cables at bay, Frankie Lam, of Bugs Design Consultants, ran the speaker cables through protective rubber tubes in the wall and beneath the floorboards to the other side of the room, where they are connected to an amplifier.