Timeless furnishings, top-of-the-line accessories and hand-painted silk wallpaper give this Hong Kong home an understated sophistication.
Home of the Week: a former show home reinvented
"We were happy when the owners told us they wanted everything gone," says Lee. "So we gutted the entire place. Nothing was left from the original."
The owners didn't want a minimal, modern home. At the same time, they wanted something understated that exuded quality.
As such, the home boasts top-of-the-line furnishings - everything from fabrics to wallpapers - and timeless pieces. Chairs, tables, desks, coffee tables, sideboards, lighting and beds are all by Promemoria, the Italian brand recognised for its understated style and craftsmanship.
The brilliant blue table lamp in the family room and Murano magenta chandelier in the living area are both by Barovier & Toso. Adorning the dining room and powder room walls are gorgeous hand-painted silk wallpapers from de Gournay, and adding a touch of soft mauve to the living and dining areas are drapes made out of sumptuous handmade silk damask by Rubelli.
The soothing, sophisticated colour palette for the living area was inspired by several pieces the homeowners already had from their previous house - the maroon armchair and ottoman and the caramel-hued sofa, all of which are from Donghia. "We worked from these pieces to tie everything together," says Lee, referring to the pretty touches of magenta, Bordeaux and lilac dotted around the space.
Meanwhile, upstairs in the owners' daughter's room, the fresh, lively space was entirely fitted out with fabrics and wallpaper from Designers Guild. "We chose Designers Guild because the patterns still tie in with the classic feel of the rest of the house, but in a more contemporary way," says Lee. Bright fuchsia and turquoise make a brilliant combination in this space, which was specially designed with a transparent glass wall so that, while the study area and bedroom are visually connected, the two rooms are still physically separated.
There were several other specific requirements regarding the design of the house. Two requisites for the kitchen were that it had to have high-end appliances (Sub-Zero, Viking) and large enough to accommodate an island.
To enlarge the area, Lee and Shamim removed a maid's room and created glass door to lead out on to the backyard to allow more natural light to flood the kitchen. They also repositioned the staircase of the home, which originally ran through where the oven now stands. Although this proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of the renovations, it was well worth the effort - the owner was thrilled with the results.
Two other requirements were to install a state-of-the-art media room and a gym. Lee and Shamim accomplished both by transforming the basement into an entertainment and recreation area. For the media room, the designers created custom-designed storage. Across the hall is the fully-equipped, self contained gym.
In terms of style, the owners left it largely up to Lee and Shamim. Their only specification was the master bedroom wallpaper, a pretty Nina Campbell design they'd used in their previous home.
It's striking this perfect balance of addressing the needs and wants of the clients, coupled with smart design that makes this project such a success. The trust between Lee and Shamim and their clients helped to get every detail of the interior finished to standard that exceeded all expectations.
* Red Cover, with photographs by Edgar Tapan
Where to find it
Colefax & Fowler Hollands & Burton, 050 654 6472, www.hollandsandburton.com
Designers Guild Maison d'Arte, Villa 1186, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai, 04 34 88 550, www.maisondart.ae
Nina Campbell, Osborne & Little Aati, 04 337 7825
De Gournay www.degournay.com