The brief for this 1,800 sq ft (167 square metre) house in Hong Lok Yuen, in Hong Kong’s New Territories, was to make coming home feel like going on holiday. An Asian holiday, to be precise. “It’s a long drive from the city, and after a day at work, it can be exhausting,” says homeowner Kevin Li Hung-mau, who shares the two-storey, three-bedroom house with his wife, Regina Chan Sun-tei, and their two dogs. “So during the design process we asked for somewhere that feels like a vacation space – somewhere truly relaxing.” Turning the dream into reality was a job for Keith Chan Shing-hin and Stephanie Ip Si-tung, from Hong Kong design company Hintegro. By the time construction began, Regina was pregnant with the couple’s first baby, requiring a few child-friendly tweaks to the design, including a gender-neutral yellow and green colour scheme for the guest bathroom and a rounded cabinet in the guest bedroom-turned-nursery. Elderly couple’s Hong Kong retirement home emphasises accessible design Other considerations included Kevin’s cars, Regina’s Hermès collection and Sundae the Welsh corgi and Panda the shiba inu. The new design begins at the totally renovated entrance, where a double door opens into an indoor-outdoor courtyard that designer Chan describes as “poetic” for its koi pond fed by a Japanese rain pipe, century-old bonsai tree on a tall wooden stand, and a full-length mirror “for a final check on the way out”. In a luxury home, not everything has to come from a luxury company, but from a combination of locally made items, labels and bespoke Keith Chan Shing-hin of Hintegro A wall with grey brick tiles behind the pond is a nod to ancient Chinese architecture. Through a second double door is an indoor lobby used as a shoe-changing and “dog-prep” area. Against one wall is a full-length, built-in bench below a wall of shoe cupboards; opposite it is a glass wall into the garage, allowing Kevin to admire his Lotus Elise, Jeep Wrangler and Mini Cooper. It was designed to be eye-catching, with LED lighting, textured flooring, photos of Kevin’s cars, past and present, and wall-hung skateboards. Skylights keep the space bright. This 700 sq ft Hong Kong flat takes its inspiration from a century-old tree “It’s a graduated entry, from public to private, outdoors to indoors, with a mixture of materials,” Chan says. As well as the grey brick, materials include raw and polished concrete, stone and ceramic tiles and a scattering of pebbles. A low-level planter against the glass wall adds a natural element. The ground floor is open plan, with bifold wood and glass doors to the kitchen. “They can be closed when they’re entertaining, or cooking Chinese food, which can be smoky,” Chan says. The slatted finish on the doors is echoed in the wood panelling in the living and dining areas, where the colour scheme was inspired by Regina’s much-loved Hermès collection: walnut, warm grey, off-white and a splash of orange in the Mutina floor tiles at the bottom of the stairs and in the downstairs bathroom. From a dingy, cramped 3-bedroom flat to a light-filled, open 1-bedroom home “They were designed by [Milan-based French artist] Nathalie Du Pasquier, who also designs for Hermès, so they were perfect,” Chan says. Another touch of warmth in the downstairs bathroom is the copper basin, which was handmade by the elderly craftsmen at Mong Kok-based Ping Kee Copperware. “In a luxury home, not everything has to come from a luxury company, but from a combination of locally made items, labels and bespoke,” say Chan, whose new shop, HINT, in Sai Ying Pun, Western district, espouses a similar ethos. “We designed the dining table specially for them, with yellow metal legs, because the dogs liked to bite the legs of their old table. It’s bespoke but it’s also a lot less expensive than the European labels.” How 2 Hong Kong flats became 1, with Zen vibes and versatile spaces Upstairs, the main suite has an Asian holiday vibe, with walnut and rattan furniture, dog-friendly wood-effect tile floors and a glass-floored balcony overlooking the low-maintenance courtyard garden and green view. “The rattan is a reference to Southeast Asia but was also popular in Danish mid-century modern furniture,” Chan says. While the oversized bath in the en suite (see Tried + tested) is Japanese-influenced, there are also nods to the couple’s 1980s Hong Kong roots in the glass-brick wall and terrazzo-topped vanity unit. Even the render on the walls in both the en suite and the garage is a reminder of holidays past: it is a special plaster mixed with diatomaceous earth to absorb moisture in humid environments, and is often seen on Japan’s heritage buildings and castles. Living and dining areas Designer Keith Chan Shing-hin, of Hintegro (hintegro.com), opened up the living and dining areas and installed round-cornered archways at each end of the space. A structural beam in the centre of the room was clad in walnut, and three faux ceiling beams installed to create a country look. The beams are balanced by slatted wood panelling below the dado rail. The beams, panelling and television cabinet were designed and built by Hintegro. The Cenova sofa was from BoConcept (boconcept.com). The Les Cavaliers cushions on the sofa and Les Trotteuses occasional table are by Hermès (hermes.com). The Le Klint floor lamp 325 in light oak, by Vilhelm Wohlert, came from Finnish Design Shop (finnishdesignshop.com) and the Seda rug was from Miss Amara (missamara.hk). The Le Reverse floor tiles, in Dune, were from Anta (antahk.com). The plants were from LeeFlora HK (leeflora.com) and the light switches, by Buster & Punch, were from Planet Ninety (planetninety.hk). Staircase The round window at the bottom of the staircase complements the rounded corners of the archway while also echoing the tail lights of Kevin Chan’s beloved Lotus, which can be seen through the window. “That’s a cute combination,” Chan says. Bringing a splash of Hermès panache to the concrete staircase are Mattonelle Margherita tiles by Mutina (from Anta), which were designed by Nathalie Du Pasquier. The solid-wood handrail is a holdover from the house’s previous owner, Kevin’s father. The art print is by Danish graphics studio Garmi from The Poster Club (theposterclub.com). Garage In the shoe-changing and dog-preparation lobby is a glass wall to the garage, where Li keeps his cars – including an orange Lotus Elise – skateboards and bicycle. The black steel frame, glass panels and door, skylights and wood and brass front door were all designed and built by Hintegro. The Daichi Japanese plaster, on the garage wall, was from Cap Global (cap-global.com.hk). The dark Carrière du Kronos floor tiles were from Anta, and the plants were from LeeFlora HK. Kitchen The Silestone worktop was from Cosentino (cosentino.com) and the doors and cabinetry were designed and built by Hintegro. The Cava wall tiles, by Living Ceramics, in white with orange grouting, and the Mestizaje flooring in Chateau Antique, by WOW, were from Anta. The Betty TK8 bar stools, by &Tradition, were from Homeless (homeless.hk) and the Copenhagen SC7 pendant lamp, by &Tradition, was from Finnish Design Shop. Dining area The bespoke walnut dining table has yellow metal legs to deter furniture-chewing by the dogs. It is available from Hintegro’s new store, HINT (1 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2357 4711). The black CH24 Wishbone chairs, by Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen & Son, were from MyConcept (myconcept.com.hk). The Muuto Strand pendant lamps were from Finnish Design Shop, and the sideboard was bought years ago. On top of it is an Atrium Round and Round hand-painted lacquer tray, by Nigel Peake, from Hermès, as was the Passifolia porcelain tableware. Main bedroom The walnut veneer bed has hydraulic storage. The bed, headboard and bedside tables were designed and built by Hintegro, with antique brass Manor T drawer handles by Furnipart from Fine Design Hardware (662 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, tel: 2787 9088). The Levitate pendant lamp, by Afteroom for Menu, was from Finnish Design Shop, and the Folia portable lamp, by Saint-Louis, was from Hermès. The walls tiles were from ASA Tiles. Garden The fully tiled garden has a range of planters with mature plants from LeeFlora HK that are flourishing in Hong Kong’s rainy season. The Lime floor tiles, from ASA Tiles (store.asatileshk.com), are practical for the dogs and also provide an area for Li to practise his skateboard tricks. The glass-topped pergola, bifold window and concrete outdoor bar were designed and built by Hintegro. The outdoor furniture – Hee bar stools and Palissade lounge sofa – are by Hay from Homeless (homeless.hk). Tried + Tested The extra-large bathtub is a relaxing indulgence, with lush planting adding a Balinese touch that meets the holiday brief. It is “family-sized”, Keith Chan says, at 1700mm by 1200mm by 600mm deep. It was designed and built by Hintegro using Bera & Beren tiles, by Living Ceramics, from Anta topped with artificial marble from Po Kwong Stone (296 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2478 6760). The matt white Mestizaje wall tiles, by WOW, came from Anta and the glass bricks were from ASA Tiles. The four-piece Inciso bath mixer in brushed black metal is by Gessi from colourliving (colourliving.com). The candleholder (on the wall) was designed by Hintegro and made by Yat Muk (instagram.com/yat_muk), and the plants were from LeeFlora.