While many people dream of escaping to the countryside, property investor Tony Lo Chin-ho and his wife, Polly Wong, wanted an urban home from home, where they could entertain visitors. They found a 2,000 sq ft apartment in a nondescript 1950s building in Tin Hau and asked architect Johnny Wong Wing-fuk, who had kitted out their Tai Tam home, to come up with a design. “My husband and I wanted a hangout space where we could also work and enjoy being in the city,” explains Polly. “The apartment is conveniently located in an up-and-coming area that has lots of trendy bars and restaurants but still retains its ‘old’ feel. The idea was for a modern interior that was also comfortable and relaxing – the kind of place where you don’t have to take off your shoes and that makes people want to stay.” Wong, of boutique design studio FAK3, gutted the original apartment, ridding it of cubicle rooms, multi-paned windows and outdated decor. Because staying overnight and cooking weren’t high on the couple’s list of priorities, Wong made the sole bedroom, en-suite bathroom and kitchenette stylish but compact. He created a separate entrance hall, complete with a small office for privacy, but devoted most of the square footage to a sleek, open-plan living area. Strategic furniture placement divides the space into sections for dining, lounging, working and drinking; however, it is the rotating entertainment cabinet at its heart that steals the show. Built to hide a structural column, the floor-to-ceiling cabinet is partitioned into vertical segments. It features a television, coffee-making facilities and a mini bar and operates via a Crestron smart home programme on an iPad, turning according to the couple’s needs. They might have drinks on the sofa followed by a movie in the evening; the next morning, Tony can enjoy a coffee in the study and keep an eye on the news without leaving his desk. “Polly and Tony wanted a very fluid and flexible concept for this apartment,” says Wong. “They didn’t want to rigidly compartmentalise everything. The cabinet separates different groups of people but at the same time it connects them visually. It also makes movement [between groups] very easy.” Wong was keen to promote this sense of fluidity and avoid jagged angles throughout the apartment. Complementing the shape of the cabinet, he created curving walls and used circular motifs such as seating with softened edges, a ring-shaped pendant light and a round bar table. The latter features a circular cutout that can be filled with ice to act as a cooler. Concealed drainage removes melt water without mess or fuss. “I first saw something like it in a bar and thought it was such a great idea,” says Lo. “Our friends love it and they prefer standing around it to sitting at the table or on the sofa. The hole can be covered when the ‘ice bucket’ isn’t needed.” Why a Hong Kong home has more living areas than bedrooms The tall table is positioned near a side door to a small balcony, fitted with a gas barbecue. Although it overlooks a main road, the outdoor area lets in natural light and air and offers a real sense of being in the city, Wong says. A neutral interior was chosen because the Los enjoy collecting art and didn’t want it to clash with the decor or furniture, which was custom made by FAK3. Wong used wood panelling throughout but varied the textures for visual interest. Storage is hidden behind the panelling and the corridor is home to an impressive wine fridge. Knowing his clients appreciate fine details, Wong made every finish count, such as covering the guest bathroom walls in matt bronze and using the same material in the light switches and cabinetry edging to tie everything together. “I didn’t want a carbon copy of my home so this apartment’s look and feel is totally different,” says Lo. “It is a more simplified space but somewhere we can really have fun.” Living area The Mani sofa (HK$99,800/US$12,900), Suso armchairs (HK$18,800 each), Lime marble-and-steel coffee table (HK$17,800) and Mist tufted rug (HK$48,000) all came from architect Johnny Wong’s bespoke furniture company, R34I . The floor lamp was US$14,400 from Hermès . The Peacock wall sculpture, by Curtis Jere, and the Denham and DaftPunk Bearbrick sculptures all came from Lane Crawford . The speakers are from Fever Productions . Living area detail Taking centre stage in the living area is a rotating entertainment column designed by Johnny Wong, of FAK3 , and operated using Crestron smart home technology. It cost HK$300,000 to install and fit out. Dining area The square artwork, Story Of Energy Symbiosis , by Corinne Malfreyt-Gatel, and the circular piece, Orchid Large, by François Hurtaud, both came from Art De Vivre . The Halo pendant light is by Paul Loebach (price on inquiry). The marble-topped dining table (HK$60,000) and leather dining chairs (HK$7,800 each) were designed and made by R34I. Ice bucket table The ice bucket table (HK$23,000) was designed by FAK3 and made by IWC. The artworks, Story of Energy Symbiosis (top), by Corinne Malfreyt-Gatel, and Orchid Small , by François Hurtaud, came from Art De Vivre. Corridor Walnut engineered panels (HK$2,000 per square metre), used throughout the apartment, line the corridor from the living space to the bedroom and contrast with light marble flooring (HK$3,500 per square metre); both materials were supplied by IWC. R34I designed the leather bed (HK$30,000). Work area The Red Story , by Ilya Rashap, was from Yellow Korner and the yellow figure, Petit Bonhomme Jaune , by Henri Iglesis, was from Art de Vivre. The Fountain crystal table (HK$14,600), by Tokujin Yoshioka , and magazine rack, by Piero Fornasetti , were from Lane Crawford. The desk (HK$28,000) was designed by FAK3 and made by IWC, and the replica saddle was from Hermès. The Aan chair (HK$9,800) and Wing chairs (HK$11,800 each) were by R34I. The shelves, by IWC, cost HK$238,000. Office nook Near the entrance, the engineered walnut desk (HK$35,000) was made by FAK3, and the Giotto chair (HK$10,800) by R34I. Guest bathroom The marble basin (HK$18,000) and shelf (HK$5,000) were designed by FAK3 and made by contractor IWC (tel: 6212 5145), which also supplied the brass wall panelling (HK$5,000 per square metre) and the mirror (HK$7,800). Tried + tested Behind closed doors To hide a small bathroom window with a less than perfect view, Johnny Wong, of FAK3, created a bronze slatted “door”, fronted by a mirror. The window can be opened, allowing fresh air to circulate via the slats even when the door is closed. The window cover (HK$12,000) was made by IWC; the marble wall tiles were HK$3,800 per square metre from IWC.