When businessman Samuel Law Yiu-fung went flat hunting after getting married in 2018, he and his wife decided on Ho Man Tin, a neighbourhood that had left him with memories of a childhood so happy he was persuaded to raise a family there. The couple chose a 10-year-old, 1,746 sq ft apartment, which afforded space and promised a good night’s sleep: what would be their bedroom overlooked a quiet park. But to meet its potential the flat needed an overhaul. Not only did they want a big suite for themselves but also a room for their baby, an open kitchen and adequate storage. And they hankered after a pared-back, raw aesthetic. A fan of British minimalist architect John Pawson, Law noticed the work of local designer Alain Wong Chi-hang, of Comodo Interior Design, and was drawn to his functional, contemporary approach to interiors. How a Hong Kong couple future-proofed their home From three small bedrooms and as many bathrooms in the private half of the flat, Wong reconfigured the space to create a large main bedroom with an en suite, a walk-in wardrobe and a study. There was also space for a store room beside a guest bathroom. The baby would have a room beside the living area. Looks wise, Wong introduced pewter and charcoal hues, combined with textured grey marble, and used naturally unfinished walnut wood for much of the furniture. “The design is quite masculine,” he says, adding that he was careful to balance tones and textures with warmth and rawness. It was important, for example, to ensure the living area – with its textured grey wallpaper, navy sofa and dark-wood entertainment unit and coffee table – didn’t end up gloomy, which is why Wong left one of the walls white. “But instead of a plain white wall we used wooden veneer to create textural details and grid lines,” he says. “The touch of the veneer also adds warmth.” Indirect lighting enhances the feeling of comfort. Floor lamps and dimmable recessed lighting generate a soft glow while the kitchen’s handblown Bomma pendant lamps add a metallic sheen. Light strips installed in the ceiling and under the cabinets provide additional illumination for cooking. While the couple opted for an industrial look in the kitchen, complete with concrete-finish floor tiles, Law’s wife, an avid cook, guided the space’s design. “She loves cooking Western, Chinese and other Asian foods so we needed a full set of appliances, including a steamer and an oven,” Law says. To maximise storage and create space for a wine fridge, Wong extended the L-shaped counter into more of a J-shape. He also knocked down a wall that had previously divided the kitchen from the living room to create an open-plan space perfect for both entertaining and nights in. “I enjoy drinking wine and dining with my wife at the bar table,” Law says. Much of the flat’s furniture was obtained from Nature Evolution, a go-to source, says Wong, because of its detailed craftsmanship. “It’s exactly what we were looking for in loose furniture to echo the entire apartment design.” Stand-out pieces include the Edra sofa, which is fitted with movable “smart” cushions, which can be adjusted and reclined in every direction – low, oblique, “bergère”, for enveloping or high, for reading. It can also be changed into a chaise longue. “It’s functional and can accommodate numerous guests at a party,” Wong says. “It’s like an interactive art piece.” It’s also where Law splurged, which is why he wanted the sofa to be a feature. “I chose a special wallpaper in grey to make its navy curves stand out,” he says. Making it even more special is a shadow gap behind the sofa, which gives the impression of a floating wall, an effect augmented by a dimmable LED light strip hidden in the ceiling that can be adjusted for mood. A lot of effort went into details and custom finishes that give the flat a streamlined look, Wong says, adding, “If you look in the bathroom or kitchen or study you don’t see many handles. And the doors are all flush.” There’s sleekness also in the study. Here, Wong installed a shelving system with inlaid LED strips to display Law’s model-car collection. Lining the wall, the Ferraris are works of art in yellow, red and blue. “I’ve been collecting them for years,” Law says. “And I have a real 458 Italia and a 488 Pista in the car park.” Living room The Edra sofa (HK$176,500/US$22,800) and Thomas Bina coffee table (HK$19,800) were bought from Nature Evolution . The round Shanghai rug (HK$8,599) was from BoConcept and the textured wallpaper (HK$15,700 for the whole flat) from Tat Ming . The floor tiles (about HK$150,000 in total) came from C&F Construction (Bright Way Tower, 33 Mong Kok Road, Mong Kok, tel: 2391 0027). The open kitchen, designed and built by Comodo Interior Design for HK$100,000, features Bomma Soap pendant lamps (HK$4,900 each) and Neva bar stools (HK$7,100 each) from Nature Evolution. The wall tiles (HK$11,000) were from La Maison . The sink and tap (HK$14,800 in total) came from Oscar Bath and Kitchen . Living areas The modular television cabinet (HK$67,000) and Artisan’s Shift floor lamp (HK$8,000), with cylindrical shade, were from Nature Evolution. Dining area The Artisan Lakri walnut table (HK$37,800), Neva dining chairs (HK$8,600 each) and cedar bench (HK$27,500) all came from Nature Evolution. Study The Thomas Bina chair (HK$4,680) was from Nature Evolution and the desk lamp (HK$3,000) came from Artemide . The wood wardrobe, low cabinet and desk were custom made by Comodo for about HK$108,000 in total. Study detail The shelves, with inlaid LED strips that display Samuel Law’s collection of Ferrari model cars, were custom made by Comodo for HK$12,000. Main bedroom The king-sized bed is from the couple’s previous home. The window bench with drawers (HK$19,000) was custom made by Comodo. The walnut TV cabinet (HK$17,800) and rose-gold lamp (HK$1,400) came from Nature Evolution. En-suite bathroom The sink and tap (HK$62,000 in total) and towel warmer (HK$9,800) were from Oscar Bath and Kitchen. The teak stool (HK$2,660) was from Ovo . En-suite bathroom The free-standing tub (HK$58,000) came from Infinite Bath . Tried + tested Leading light Balancing functional and aesthetic concerns proved challenging when it came to lighting design, says Alain Wong. But it also yielded interesting solutions. In the foyer, the designer installed a nine-metre-long light tube that runs the length of the corridor. Because the strip is aligned with the light boxes in the living room, the tube is off-centre and closer to the cabinet display. At first this seemed like a problem, but the light flare soon became one of Wong’s favourite design details. “Sometimes what starts out as a problem later becomes a feature,” he says.