Design duo Erika Lau (left) and Kelly Chan (below left) work at Philip Liao & Partners. Lau is the chief interior designer, and Chan is an associate. The pair’s portfolios span luxury residential fit outs, hospitality projects, and heritage revitalisation, such as the renovation of the Tai O Police Station on Lamma Island.
Interior design and cooking are art forms, and chief interior designer at Philip Liao & Partners Erika Lau is experienced in both. The architect also holds a certificate from Le Cordon Bleu, one of the most prestigious and established culinary arts schools in the world.
With her passion in cooking, Lau was the perfect candidate to help STYLE create the ultimate dream kitchen. For the project, she joined forces with associate Kelly Chan, and the result is a luxurious and cosy environment suitable for more than just food preparation.
As organic, healthy food is the ultimate luxury for our body, the dynamic duo have created a dream kitchen revolving around the theme of "farm-to-table", a recent dining trend which has taken the world by storm.
"I spend a lot of time in the kitchen when I have free time," Lau says. "[Cooking] is one of my true passions, and [it] has a therapeutic effect on my busy lifestyle."
The kitchen features a lush green wall. According to the designers, the self-watering green wall and the many planter boxes offer a family resources to prepare healthy, fresh and wholesome food.
"Growing their own food will also be a great educational project for children, who can learn about the true value of food and refrain from wasteful habits. Another resourceful touch is that the roof collects rainwater to irrigate the plants."
As a food enthusiast, Lau can truly appreciate the value of keeping produce as fresh as possible. With that in mind, due regard has been paid to the appliances installed in the kitchen. A top-of-the-line Sub-Zero refrigerator keeps produce fresh. The professional-standard cooking appliances from Wolf include "a four-piece range, convection steam oven and a highly efficient ventilation system". There is also a custom-built stone oven and outdoor gas grill.
Lau and Chan consider the outdoor area their favourite part of the design. "The idea of having an outdoor area, plus a green wall, fulfils the farm-to-table concept," the designers say.
Furthermore, it was important for the designer to create a sustainable kitchen. "We are true believers of sustainable living, and it is an important [concept] for designers. There are limited resources in the world, and we need to understand how to use them wisely and efficiently," Chan says.
Sustainability aside, it is clear that the duo created an open and warm space for a family to get together. They believe the design reflects the way families are living today.
"Nowadays, the preparation of food as well as eating it are social activities that facilitate bonding and quality time," Lau says. "An open kitchen like this where food is prepared, served and shared in the same area will bring a family, as well as beloved friends and guests, together."
The space is "designed for homeowners who see sustainability as a vital investment for future generations", Chan says. To reduce energy usage and costs, the team incorporated a skylight to maximise natural lighting during the day, and installed bi-folding doors between the terrace and the kitchen to encourage users to take advantage of good weather and skip air conditioning if the weather permits.
Embracing the theme of nature, the team incorporated an old tree in the middle of the indoor kitchen space, which serves as a strong centrepiece. They also used reclaimed timber to build a beautiful dining table around the tree.
The designers chose a neutral palette to complement the touches of nature throughout the luxurious kitchen.
The design of the kitchen embraces two trends the designers wish to see more of - sustainability and the reclamation of home life.
"This kitchen flows with life," Chan says. "Combining food preparation, dining and living into one space makes this kitchen the centre of the household, and allows a family to enjoy more quality time together throughout the day, no matter how busy they are."