Yu-Chang Chen, founder of interior design studio hoo, is used to clients giving him free rein. But this 2,300 sq ft home in Jardine’s Lookout was a particular treat. “Our client [a retired grandmother] was very open-minded and trusted us completely, so we did absolutely everything for her – from changing the layout to suit her way of living to sourcing and styling every last piece on the shelves,” says Chen. The trust had been earned several years before this 2017 project, when hoo worked on the home of the client’s daughter, also in Jardine’s Lookout. But where the daughter had wanted a clean, minimalist interior, Chen and Natalie Tsoi Kit-wing, hoo’s lead designer for this project, envisaged a more elegant, old-world aesthetic for the mother. “Our client had just one piece that she wanted to bring with her – a grandfather clock that she has had for over 30 years,” says Chen. “We took that as our starting point. But we didn’t want it to look like an old lady’s home. That wouldn’t have suited her at all. We wanted an elegant, classic and timeless home for her.” Brothers’ Hong Kong bachelor pad gets masculine makeover Tsoi adapted the 36-year-old flat’s three-bedroom, two-bathroom layout to create a luxurious bedroom suite with a walk-through dressing room leading to an enlarged en-suite bathroom. A second room, also with an en-suite, functions as a “playroom” for the client’s grandchildren and features a raised bed platform for sleepovers. Custom-designed parquet flooring and decorative door mouldings lend the interior a genteel European flavour, enriched with antiqued mirrors and feminine accents in rose and gold. For added depth, Chen commissioned French-Moroccan artist Assia Bennani to paint a subtly textured ombre-effect wall in the living area, where white dissolves into a smoky grey-blue at the base. A sliding door at the end of the corridor from the living area opens to reveal the guest bathroom with a dramatic wall of pink-hued blooms on a dark backdrop. “No shower in there means a good opportunity to use wallpaper, which can add a lot of personality,” Chen says. “It’s a grand romantic statement and my favourite feature of the whole apartment.” Designing such a large space for just one resident was both a luxury and a challenge. On the one hand, there was no pressure to eke out extra storage but on the other, avoiding dead space became challenging. It became apparent that placing a sofa against the living-room wall would put it too far away from the television for comfortable viewing. The sofa was brought forward, which allowed Tsoi to install a fireplace in the wall behind. We try and make all our projects unique and have their own character Yu-Chang Chen, interior designer Furniture and furnishings were hand-picked by Tsoi and Chen, who looked for unfussy elegance everywhere from Lane Crawford to Taobao. Keen to avoid anything elaborate or “too old-lady house”, he chose large pieces, such as the sofas and daybeds, for their simple forms and plain steel legs. Hexagonal tiles add a contemporary touch to Shaker-style cabinets in the bathroom while the kitchen and enlarged laundry area are as modern as their appliances. One-off purchases made by Chen in small European shops, including vintage art prints from Copenhagen, a brass dish from London and a collection of vases from a market in Stockholm, are all thoughtfully tucked into the space. “We try and make all our projects unique and have their own character,” says Chen. “It’s a lot more work but I enjoy that hand-finishing and styling part at the end. It’s the best part.” Living area The Carl Hansen leather chairs were from Manks and cost HK$27,000 (US$3440) each. The Scighera coffee table was HK$40,000 from Cassina . The Living Divani sofa cost HK$92,000 and the Handvärk daybed was HK$40,000. The fireplace (HK$30,000) and rug (HK$32,000) were both custom designed by hoo . The round mirror came from Indigo Living and cost HK$5,100. Dining area The parquet flooring was custom designed by hoo and made by Karlian for HK$220 per square foot. The dining table (HK$73,000) came from La Chance and the chairs (HK$8,500 each) were from Gubi . The Modo light fixture by Roll & Hill cost HK$45,000. The two art prints, which were gifts, are flanked by bronze sconces (HK$1,700 each) from Restoration Hardware . In the kitchen, the stools cost HK$3,800 each from Tolix and the Arc Globe pendants (HK$8,000 each) came from Allied Maker . Powder room The bold floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman cost HK$4,500 in total. Kohler ’s Victorian-style pedestal sink (HK$10,000) is complemented by Dornbracht tapware (HK$8,000). The mirror (HK$8,000) was from Gubi. The hexagonal mosaic tiles, which cost HK$2,000 in total, came from Hop Hing Lung Material (235 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2511 3013). Hallway From the guest room, the doorway to the main bedroom is framed by sliding glass doors (HK$32,000) designed by hoo. The sconce was HK$4,500 from Allied Maker. The antique chest came from the client’s previous home and the vase (HK$1,500) was from Fritz Hansen . Main bedroom The floral-print wallpaper was HK$4,500 from Altfield Interiors . The velvet bedhead (HK$8,000) and marble-topped bedside tables (HK$12,000 each) were custom designed and made by hoo. The brass bedside lamps were from Wästberg and cost HK$5,800 each. The console with drawers was HK$34,000 from Snedkergaarden . The round mirror (HK$7,000) came from Gubi. The table lamp was HK$8,000 from Louis Poulsen . Dressing room A trio of pendant lights (HK$4,000 each) from Bert Frank preside over an island of drawers custom designed and produced by hoo for HK$90,000. The Louis Poulsen lamp is as before. The artwork was a gift. Bathroom The walls and floor are lined with marble tiles from Pacific Lifestyle , which cost HK$70,000 in total. The cabinetry (HK$15,000) and mirror (HK$3,500) were designed by hoo. The sink and brass tapware (HK$60,000 in total) came from Kohler, as did the hand shower (HK$5,000). The vertical wall sconce (HK$8,000) was from Bert Frank. Guest room A Ligne Roset sofa (HK$46,000) divides the room in half. The television console was HK$18,100 from Nature Evolution . The window seat (HK$23,000) was custom designed by hoo. The ceiling light (HK$3,500) came from Louis Poulsen and the artwork was a gift. Tried + tested Mirror effect Yu-Chang Chen and Natalie Tsoi of hoo used brass-framed mirrors to evoke vintage elegance in their client’s home. But it is the wall of French-style cupboard doors inlaid with antique-effect mirrors that steals the show. The cabinets (HK$80,000) and acid-etched mirrors (HK$40,000) were custom designed and provided by hoo. The inlaid marble floor was from Claybrook and cost HK$15,000. The stool was HK$3,800 from Tolix and the ceiling light (HK$12,000) came from Allied Maker.