Looking to buy a flat near where they lived in Hang Hau, design enthusiasts Eugene Ng Hon-keung and J Sin Kit-ching were thrilled when a 950 sq ft unit became available in their building. But then began a search for a designer that lasted six months. “We even talked with some designers in the UK,” says Ng, who, like Sin, is a property investor. As admirers of the Michelin-starred restaurant Tate Dining Room, in Sheung Wan, they were already familiar with the work of its interior designer, JJ Acuna , of JJ Acuna / Bespoke Studio, but hesitated to approach him with a residential project. “It’s true that we are mostly a commercial designer, for restaurants and bars and so on,” says Acuna. “But their brief was very specific and focused aesthetically, and it aligned with mine. They wondered what our designs would look like in a residential setting and I have to say we were curious, too.” Completed in 2018, the near-one-year overhaul brought a considerable change in layout. From the original four-bedroom flat plus helpers’ quarters, the apartment morphed into two bedrooms with open kitchen, living and dining areas. The couple specified shades of green for the interiors and also wanted to find space for an inlaid tile artwork found while holidaying in Morocco. As the starting point for the design, the tiled piece found a fitting home in the entryway and saw Acuna extend the inlay theme to the chevron oak flooring, which features a brass inlay border in every room. Handcrafted brass accents, ceiling cornices and vertical fluting on beams add warmth to the calm neutrals of the living area, while pistachio and sage greens enliven the newly opened kitchen. The kitchen island, custom designed to the specific model of washer, dryer and even bin, does not allow any wasted space. “We love the curves everywhere,” says Ng. “They’re so elegant and practical.” While the curved corners had been decided early in the process, they took on added significance when the couple discovered, on demolition day, that they were expecting a baby. “It’s fantastic because everything is naturally baby-proof,” Ng says. First-class plane cabins provided the inspiration for the rounded corners, which are most evident in the toilet that replaced the helpers’ space. A sliding door, fronted with shoji-style walnut-and-linen doors found throughout the flat, opens into a streamlined space with a round basin and round backlit mirror. “The word that kept coming up in our design discussions was ‘lifestyle’,” Acuna says. “We wanted to add that hospitality touch, that elevating lifestyle.” We took a lot of time over everything and JJ helped us make some unique choices [...] it’s got to be the best designed apartment in Hong Kong Eugene Ng, homeowner Ng agrees, pointing to details such as full-height wardrobe door pulls that appear as vertical lines, drawing the eye upwards. Every inch of storage was dedicated to particular items but allowed for flexibility. For example, a suitcase shelfbuilt to the dimensions of their well-travelled Rimowas now accommodates toys and other infant paraphernalia for their two-year-old son. Thought also went into the walk-in wardrobe. Occupying a former bedroom, it features sliding doors of textured glass that create a light-box effect at night. “We trusted JJ when he said all this is the size things should be. And he was right. The dimensions and proportions of everything are perfect; everything just works,” says Ng. The main bedroom’s en suite, once two bathrooms, is a case in point. “It’s a much better use of the space and feels really luxurious,” says Ng. “For our housewarming we had a lot of people over and for some reason everyone liked getting into the shower. So we know you can easily get four or five people in there. “We took a lot of time over everything and JJ helped us make some unique choices. Even though it’s his first residential project here, it’s got to be the best designed apartment in Hong Kong.” Entryway detail The one-of-a-kind green inlaid tile, sourced by the owners during a holiday in Morocco, is accentuated further with a gold inlay border in the oak flooring. Kitchen The open kitchen features an oblong island, with a pair of rattan stools (US$379 each from Crate & Barrel ). The brass light fixture overhead was custom designed by JJ Acuna / Bespoke Studio , as was the kitchen (prices on request). Living area The photographs above the sofa (HK$37,396/US$4,600 from BoConcept ) were taken by homeowner Eugene Ng. All plants were supplied by Wah King . The round rattan table is an old piece. Main bedroom Textured glass doors close off the large walk-in wardrobe, which takes up the space of a former bedroom. Main bedroom detail Flanking the bed are wall-mounted lights (HK$1,200 each) from Roanoak and vintage nightstands. The brass door fitting came from Schoolhouse and cost HK$2,000 per set. Main bathroom The large brass-edged mirror (price on request), custom designed by JJ Acuna / Bespoke Studio, is subtly backlit. The Vesoi sconce was HK$3,500, from OraLED . Baby room The baby room is simply furnished with a Stokke cot (HK$4,990) from Indigo Living and dresser (US$999) from The Land of Nod (now known as Crate & Kids ). Baby room detail The leather-and-oak Carl Hansen & Son armchair (HK$16,783) came from Manks and the vintage table set was bought online from Bangkok-based antiques store Papaya . Tried + tested Inner space Often too small for a standard bed, the smallest bedroom in many Hong Kong flats might be termed a “study” but ends up used for ad hoc storage, piled high with random items not welcome elsewhere. Rather than waste space in such a way, designer JJ Acuna proposed removing a wall, using half of his client’s fourth bedroom to enlarge the dining area. The remaining half was turned into a flexible-use storage cabinet with a shelf for suitcases. The doors create a calming backdrop that defines the dining area. The walnut dining table (HK$16,800) was from Alot Living and the bench (HK$7,850) came from Omós Home . The chairs (HK$4,500 each) came from a batch that had been custom made by JJ Acuna / Bespoke Studio for a restaurant project. The brass and LED light fixture was from Archetypal and cost HK$25,000.