Age & Beauty: Home alone is a joy when one’s spacious, graceful abode offers personalised attractions
A restful retreat for relaxing after retirement is the dream of many but a realisation for only the fortunate few. Being able to live the later years on your own terms in your own home is a blessing, especially when ensconced in a light, spacious and contemporary apartment that exudes modest opulence while offering tailormade comfort.
Such is the Hong Kong Garden residence of a retiree who lives alone. Despite having to work occasionally, her mantra is to enjoy a life of (almost) leisure to the fullest. Most of her family lives abroad so this 2,000-square- foot apartment conveniently located at Sham Tseng is designed to suit her individual tastes and hobbies. The avid mahjong player loves to invite like-minded friends around for games and parties, which gives people a chance to admire her beautiful home.
Providing relatively quiet living, Hong Kong Garden offers two units per floor and was built almost 40 years ago. This may seem ancient to those city-dwellers obsessed with the newest blocks on the market, but the apartment has been renovated to instil a modern and harmonious flair.
Older properties usually have greater flexibility when it comes to refining infrastructure to boost ventilation and drainage, and designer Ken Leung from Hei Design has smartly taken advantage of this for a freer allocation of the interior space. The remodelled air flow works together with suspended ceilings hiding awkward beams for a smoother, more seamless ambience.
Originally, this was a three-bedroom unit, but with two bedrooms remaining idle after the family moved abroad, the owner sought a revised floorplan to utilise every corner of the home. Now a manifestation of her vision of an enjoyable, indulgent space, it looks elegant to the core.
The serene residence reflects the owner’s heartfelt love of detail, with gorgeous design features and a variety of amenities. Each area has been carefully crafted to cater to moments of enjoyment at home with additions such as a glamorous walk-in closet and a lavish jacuzzi.
Materials including marble, brushed metal, plain and fluted wooden wall panels and tinted glass were intentionally chosen to evoke a sense of detailed design and a deep impression of nature. The colour palette embraces grey, blue and cream with tan accents. Leung cleverly brought the stunning sea view outside into greater focus within, so the lady of the apartment and her guests can enjoy nature during rest, work, dining and entertainment.
The living room is finely styled with a unique floral wallcovering, which also serves as an artistic backdrop for a desk situated among the ample seating. A wall of windows and wide apertures provide a mesmerising ocean view, creating a soothing space for work and relaxation. Delicate figurines adorn the shelves and niches, hinting at the cultured sensibility of the owner. Adjoining the living room is a small dining area. Given its proximity to the entrance, this is a welcoming first sight for visitors. Pendant lights hanging above the round dining table ensure it is sufficiently lit at night, while plenty of sunlight streams in during the day. The tan leather upholstery and curves of the dining chairs nod to the striking accent armchair in the living room. Leading off from the dining nook is a well-equipped kitchen.
Aside from installing a long, mirrored walk-in closet in the master en suite, the design team oversaw the demolishing of the wall between this bathroom and the smaller of the two other bedrooms. This served to trim the unused bedroom and enlarge the master bathroom for placement of the jacuzzi tub as well as a walk-in shower. The principles of feng shui were also considered – the new floor plan removes the energy-blocking, ill- fortuned proposition of the en-suite door facing the bed.
The homeowner can now conveniently step into her spacious dressing room after bathing or applying makeup. The bigger bedroom previously used by the family has been transformed into a dual-purpose guest bedroom and entertainment room. Ahead of a mahjong party, the bed retracts into the wall to release space for up to two gaming tables – these are stored in a huge cabinet after use. A pair of sliding doors at the entrance makes the room larger and more easily accessible to guests during mahjong time.
The concealable bed and a large full-length fitted wardrobe embedded in the wall between the guest and master bedrooms allow for occasional stayovers by friends and relatives. The bedroom floors are wooden and the décor minimal; these rooms offer the essentials of comfort without any visible clutter for peaceful days and restful nights.
Fitting the picture of an abode designed for the simultaneous enjoyment of solitude and nature, this is an ideal home for one to spend quality time in their later years. When life is no longer so busy, indulging in favourite activities becomes the daily routine.
Text: Zaira Abbas
Photos: Hei Design