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Art Design Home Tour: This Colourful Abode Was Inspired by the Couple's Favourite Restaurant in Hong Kong

Home Tour: This Colourful Abode Was Inspired by the Couple's Favourite Restaurant in Hong Kong

Home Tour: This Colourful Abode Was Inspired by the Couple's Favourite Restaurant in Hong Kong
Homeowners Angues Chan and Genevieve Lam; the colour palette of the living room takes inspiration from Tate Dining Room, a restaurant in Hong Kong
By Hong Xinying
By Hong Xinying
November 20, 2020
Designed by James JJ Acuña, home of a newlywed couple takes colour cues from a dining venue they adore, but also features their personality through a host of bespoke elements

Interior designer James JJ Acuña often likens his creative efforts to those of a tailor. Much like the precise fit of a made-to-measure suit, he believes interiors should be customised to match the client’s needs and lifestyle. “Tailors choose fabrics and cuts that fit that client—we’re happy to look at our projects and working methods in a similar way that people see tailors,” says Acuña, who is the founder of his eponymous practice JJ Acuña / Bespoke Studio.

“We listen carefully to make sure we understand what our clients want versus what they need, and then we respond appropriately by designing bespoke spaces that fit our client’s current habits and aspirational lifestyle.”

The colour palette of the living room takes inspiration from Tate Dining Room, a restaurant in Hong Kong
The colour palette of the living room takes inspiration from Tate Dining Room, a restaurant in Hong Kong

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This thoughtfulness is clearly evident in an apartment located in the Mid-Levels enclave in Hong Kong. The home of Butler Asia co-founder Angues Chan and his wife Genevieve Lam, the sociable newlyweds wanted a living and dining area where they would entertain guests to be made distinct from their private quarters. The well-travelled couple also wanted to incorporate subtle nods to modern architecture, while having a contemporary interior that is both stunning and inviting.

The dining area is furnished with custom-made velvet chairs  and bench seating
The dining area is furnished with custom-made velvet chairs and bench seating

Another key goal was to maximise the magnificent views that the apartment offers. Its elevated position looks out to lush vistas of the rolling green hills, as well as the city skyline. “The home faces the east, so there’s beautiful sunlight that comes through in the morning,” observes Acuna. “We liked the fact that the existing site was a really well-preserved home; although the original interior looked very dated.”

(Related: Home Tour: A Cosy French Villa With A Rustic Charm

Rattan wall panels add a sense of heritage while separating the study from the social zone of the home
This unique door handle is among the bespoke elements crafted to match the vaulted ceiling
 

Originally a two-bedroom unit, the walls of one of the rooms were removed to increase the size of the living and dining areas in the 1,100sqft apartment. The studio reconfigured the formerly symmetrical floor plan to create a new foyer, a dining area and a study, and also relocated the kitchen and powder room. Vaulted ceilings, graceful arches and cove lighting create a sense of drama in the social quarter of the home.

The living room features pendant lights by Brandon Mike, a vintage chair by Pierre Jeanneret and a striking purple rug; an exposed column with gold leaf detailing adds  a stylish edge to the home
The living room features pendant lights by Brandon Mike, a vintage chair by Pierre Jeanneret and a striking purple rug; an exposed column with gold leaf detailing adds a stylish edge to the home

Pastel shades and creamy tones contribute to this abode’s ethereal look. “We met the homeowners through a restaurant client we’ve designed a couple of projects for,” explains Acuña. “They also really loved a restaurant we designed called Tate Dining Room in Hong Kong, which had a balanced combination of pink, white, beige, and blush elements which we included in our material board for the home as well.” 

(Related: Home Tour: How A Designer Convinced Her Client To Use Colourful Accents In This Cosy London Apartment

The rattan sliding doors delineate the kitchen from the dining area
The rattan sliding doors delineate the kitchen from the dining area

These soft shades are paired beautifully with French-influenced mouldings, trimmings and cornices, which are juxtaposed with timber and rattan panels that reference Asian-style furnishings.

“Brass detailings on the flooring, dining banquette, bathroom basin and door handles elevate and frame this ethereal tone-on-tone concept,” says Acuna. “All the door handles were made-to-order and sourced by the owners in Europe; my clients like to think of these details as necessary finishing accents—the same way accessories complete a fashionable outfit.”

“Brass detailings elevate and frame the ethereal tone-on-tone concept”

An exposed column with gold leaf detailing adds  a stylish edge to the home
An exposed column with gold leaf detailing adds a stylish edge to the home

The designer also wanted to honour the graceful bones of the property. He left one of the original columns in the living room bare-faced and finished in gold leaf by French surface-finish artist Elsa Jean de Dieu, in a style inspired by kintsugi, the Japanese practice of mending broken pottery with gold lacquer; this handcrafted detail adds a stylish edge to the space.

Other notable details include the six bespoke pendant lamps in the living room, which were created by American concrete artist Brandon Mike and commissioned by the owners. The lighting pieces are crafted in concrete and clay, in blush and earthy tones to match the palette of the apartment.

A painting by  José Parlá holds court in the  master bedroom
A painting by José Parlá holds court in the master bedroom

For the master bedroom, the design team worked closely with French concrete panelling studio Concrete LCDA to create unique pressed timber textures on the concrete wall. The couple also selected an artwork by Cuban-American artist José Parlá from the Gagosian Gallery to complete the elegant composition. The ensuite bathroom is as well-choreographed, featuring curved details that recur throughout the home while taking cues from glamorous hotel suites.

(Related: From Gucci Décor to Dior Maison: 6 Gorgeous Home Interior Collections

The master bathroom features curved corners and other sinuous details inspired by the interior architecture of  the home
The master bathroom features curved corners and other sinuous details inspired by the interior architecture of the home

Of all the beautiful spaces conceived for this apartment, the designer adores the dining room the most. “I love designing spaces that involve hospitality and call for a group of people coming together to enjoy food,” shares Acuna. “We were able to design and fabricate a restaurant-style banquette in hardwood walnut and brass on an existing ledge, making that window ledge disappear completely in order to create a table for six.”

(Related: Home Tour: Design Intervention Transforms A Penthouse Bachelor Pad In Bangkok

Custom-made by Bonnemazou Cambus, this door handle is crafted to match the graceful arches of the vaulted ceiling
Custom-made by Bonnemazou Cambus, this door handle is crafted to match the graceful arches of the vaulted ceiling
The kitchen is  a minimalist space elevated with  brass trimmings and stone flooring
The kitchen is a minimalist space elevated with brass trimmings and stone flooring

This curved seating arrangement is paired with custom-made dining chairs in velveteen and brass that were hand-picked by the couple. The owners also selected a dining table designed by Bruno Moinard for Roche Bobois, and a pendant lamp from Ladies & Gentlemen Studio. The design team happily discovered an instant chemistry with their clients, who were much involved in the renovation and decoration process from the start.

“Our clients travel a lot and they would look for vintage pieces like the mid-century modern desk in the home office and the Pierre Jeanneret chair in the living room,” shares Acuna. “The couple have great aesthetic sensibilities, so we made sure that we were able to meet them at their taste level.” And it shows in the completed interior, which perfectly encapsulates the couple’s personal taste as well as the studio’s elegant realisation of the home of their dreams. 

This story was first published in the October-November issue of Tatler Homes Singapore; read it online with our compliments on Magzter

  • Photography Xu Liang Leon

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Art & Design Tatler Homes Interior Home Decor James JJ Acuña Hong Kong decor home design

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