Andrea's Family Home in Hong Kong

House Call

Name: Andrea Cesaro + family
Location: Hong Kong

Hong Kong is famous for its “shoebox-size” apartments. The scarcity of land and strong economic growth pushed property prices towards unaffordable levels. So with two kids (3 & 4 years old) in our family, my wife and I were afraid to purchase our first property so far from home — I’m Italian and she is American. Eventually, we settled for a small size unit.

When we purchased the condo, the building was still being constructed and we had no idea of what the actual unit would look like, but could only rely on the mock model seen in the developer showroom. We dived into it also attracted by the fact that the development philosophy reflected healthy living and eco-friendly lifestyles, featuring, for instance, water-filtration system (which eliminates the carbon footprint, cost and plastic waste of imported bottled water) as well as bamboo flooring (which not only looks great and is hard wearing, but doesn’t destroy mature forests).

So in the space of few weeks, we arranged financing and signed the contract — waiting for completion of the project, which would not happen for another 10-12 months.

Soon after closing, we started to have nightmares about the size of the unit — no matter how we looked at the floor map, there was no way we could fit our family into the flat! We needed to do something. We hired a creative interior designer who eventually came up with a layout that would accommodate our needs. The downside was that we needed about 6 weeks of renovation upon delivery to knock down walls (make it an open kitchen-concept, shrink the guest bathroom, change the location of the master bedroom door) and install custom fitted closets and storage cabinets.

We still had to sell almost half of our previous furniture, but decided to start a new and “lighter” life with fewer selected pieces. Once the renovation was finished, we moved in and realized that we could live in the apartment comfortably and had more than enough living and storage space. As we say in Italy — Benvenuti nella nostra casa!

Our Style: modern with some hedgy touches

What Friends Say: “it is so you”

Favorite Element: silver cabinet in the living area — but we don't know who manufactured it?!

Proudest DIY: installed the Bover ceiling lamp in the dining area

Biggest Challenge: finding space for everything we need

Biggest Indulgence: Saarinen table

ENTRANCE CORRIDOR
Two of the drawings along the brick wall are by my favorite artist — my wife. There is also a drawing by a Chinese artist that my wife bought in Beijing. On top of the guitar, a photograph by Hong Kong-based Bob Davis.

LIVING AREA
We love our shell chair by Hans J Wegner and the Artemide “Tolomeo Mega” lamp, which provides a very soft and warm light. But probably the piece we love the most is the silver cabinet my wife discovered in a corner of a random furniture shop. It has a touch of Asian style, while jiving with the rest of our home. The aluminum retro-looking side table was bought in Shanghai by an unknown manufacturer and the cow rug it sits on is an interesting match. The cement wall provides the definite modern touch.

DINING AREA
The Saarinen table fits perfectly in the space and we decided to match it with Origlia “Plurima” chairs — very simple and light. The ceiling light is a “Mei” from Bover in Spain.

MASTER BEDROOM
We are happy to have pushed our interior designers towards rounder lines and we feel the result is spacious and comfy — despite the size of the room. The azure Eames chair contrasts nicely with the overall tone of the rest of the furniture and the Artemide “Melampo” bedside lamps in parchment paper.

GIRLS BEDROOM
The Vitra “Hang It All” Eames hanger provides a lively note in the simple white tone of the kids bedroom. We chose a “white” theme because it is quite soothing and that’s what the kids need before going to bed! But this piece provides the necessary bubbly touch.

KITCHEN
The cabinetries are all custom made — the white and stainless steel combination allow the appliances to stand out and get noticed.

Thanks Andrea & family!

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE Check out past house tours here
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.