Being spoilt for choice is an enviable position to be in but it can sometimes make decisions harder. Donna-Marie Treanor, group marketing director for homeware brand Sonder Living, was surrounded by so much beautiful furniture at work that she found it hard to settle on the pieces for her 1,400 sq ft Discovery Bay duplex. She, her husband and their two children (aged eight and five) moved there a year ago from a smaller flat on Hong Kong Island, so although they kept a lot of their existing things, they needed more to fill the gaps. “I love the products I work with but when it came to choosing specific items for my own home, it was overwhelming,” says Treanor, who is originally from Ireland but has been living in Hong Kong for six years. “I almost didn’t know where to start.” Enter Brazilian interior designer and stylist Joyce Taufer. A chance conversation about the trials and tribulations of decorating a rental apartment led to her stepping in to help. “It was great having Joyce on board. She already knew and understood me and I’d seen and liked her work. The personal connection helped the entire process,” Treanor says. Inside an artist’s Hong Kong home, items are curated not cluttered The biggest challenge was avoiding a showroom look. Tempting – and easy – though it might have been to buy everything from a single collection at Sonder Living, Taufer steered her friend away from being too “matchy matchy”. Although Treanor had her heart set on several pieces, Taufer managed to push her out of her comfort zone (over a few glasses of wine) and persuade her to mix up designers and styles. “I know a home should reflect your personality and being able to rely on Joyce’s confidence that something would work took the stress out of decision-making,” recalls Treanor. “Also, I’ve got young children so the furniture I chose couldn’t be too precious – no matter what I had in mind.” As the combined living and dining area in particular had to work for the family as a whole, she chose robust, natural pieces that could withstand little knocks and sticky fingers and still look stylish. Taufer also urged Treanor to make a feature of an otherwise dead corner next to the dining table by investing in a bespoke Chinese wedding cabinet. “I felt that having a piece of Asian-style furniture would give the apartment a sense of place and highlight the fact of living in Hong Kong,” says Taufer. “It was a bit of a gamble as the supplier had never done it in the finish we asked for but it turned out really well.” Because the three-bedroom, two-bathroom flat is a rental property, Taufer couldn’t alter any structural details but with the landlord’s blessing, she was still able to give it a personal touch. She sanded down the original timber flooring and customised it with an oil stain paint. She replaced roller blinds with billowing semi-sheer curtains and improved the outdoor terrace, which is accessed from both the lounge and the master bedroom, sprucing up rusty railings. How a Hong Kong flat accommodates four adults, all working from home Keeping the living area walls white, she painted Treanor’s daughter’s room a fabulous candy pink, her son’s room a grey-blue with the evocative name Darkened Puddle, and created depth in the master bedroom with a softly moody grey, lifted by accents of crisp white and coral. “I wanted my bedroom to be a bit more glam than the rest of the apartment,” Treanor says. “After eight years of having a little boy who was always up in the night, I wanted to treat myself to an oasis of calm.” With the advent of Covid-19, the apartment is doubling up as a workplace and classroom as well as accommodating family life. The pretty vanity in the master bedroom functions both as Treanor’s desk and dressing table while the dining table is usually commandeered for school projects. She says the outdoor area, which leads down to a grassy garden, has been a godsend in recent restricted times. “The terrace has become a true extension of the interior. We do a lot of entertaining outside and it has been great for the kids to be able to go out and play, especially when they have been off school,” she says. “From the minute I got here, Discovery Bay has felt like a safe haven and our apartment matches it with its wonderful feel.” Living room The artwork Ink Study , by Jean-Pierre Brown from Sonder Living at Indigo Atelier , makes a statement in the living room, decorated by interior designer and stylist Joyce Taufer . The Ian three-seater sofa in Marek Spritzer fabric (HK$25,290/US$3,263, made to order); Gear floor lamp by Nellcote Studio (HK$5,890); Oliva coffee table (HK$14,990); and Cardosa media console by Thomas Bina (HK$20,990) were all from Sonder Living at Indigo Atelier. The rug was bought a while ago and details have been forgotten. The small sculpture, beneath the table lamp (no longer available), was picked up by tenant Donna-Marie Treanor in a gallery in Miami, in the United States, and the vase on the coffee table was HK$800 from Mariane Chan Ceramics Design . The faux Christmas tree was US$899 from Balsam Hill and the Soho dining chairs were by Kelly Hoppen (HK$5,490 each) from Sonder Living at Indigo Atelier. Living room detail Geometric Shadow Box , by Jean-Pierre Brown from Sonder Living at Indigo Atelier, sits on a Cardosa console; on the right is IFC in the Mist, by William Furniss . The Marianne chair by Thomas Bina (HK$10,990) came from Sonder Living at Indigo Atelier. The figure on a horse, a gift, was hand-carved in the Philippines and the vase was HK$299 from Zara Home . Kitchen Although compact, the kitchen has everything Treanor needs to prepare a festive feast. Terrace The terrace is perfect for alfresco entertaining. The pair of Curlo candlesticks (HK$589 for the set) came from Indigo Living and the wireless, rechargeable, cylindrical gold lights were US$308 each from Voltra . Dining room detail Transforming one corner of the dining area into a focal point is a Chinese wedding cabinet that was custom made and finished in mainland China for HK$6,500. The Kettle pendants (HK$3,390 each) were from Nellcote Studio , the vase (HK$799) was from Zara Home and the face plant pots (HK$299 each) came from H&M Home . The photograph is of New York. Main bedroom Giving out glamour in the main bedroom are the Newman bed (HK$25,990), Diaz nightstand (HK$10,990) and sculptural Ray table lamp (HK$5,090), all by Kelly Hoppen from Sonder Living at Indigo Atelier. The curtains were custom made in China for HK$2,500. Bedroom detail In the main bedroom, the Chloe vanity unit (HK$15,990) and matching chair (HK$8,390), from Sonder Living at Indigo Atelier, double up as a workstation. The mirror was HK$799 from Zara Home and the vase was HK$299 from H&M Home. Daughter’s room The bed (HK$1,190) and ceiling lamp (HK$499) were both from Ikea . The mosquito net was HK$200 from Taobao and the rug was HK$2,200 from Petit Bazaar . Tried + tested Now you see it The walk-in wardrobe in the main bedroom features a full-length mirror, which slides out from its designated space when needed and slots neatly back in when it isn’t, allowing the cupboard doors to close. The Chloe chair (HK$8,390) was from Sonder Living at Indigo Atelier.