Smart Space Planning Opened Up a 285-Square-Foot Hong Kong Studio

published Oct 2, 2023

Smart Space Planning Opened Up a 285-Square-Foot Hong Kong Studio

published Oct 2, 2023
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Cris Batula’s small apartment in Hong Kong has had a few iterations. Although it’s only 285 square feet, it has picturesque views from its window, which was what first attracted Cris’ best friend to the space when she purchased it. They both work for an architectural lighting design firm, and so the pair of friends took on the small apartment as a project — Cris interior designing and the friend project managing. 

Credit: Cris Batula

When she first purchased the space, there were more walls than there are now, and Cris explains that one of the first design goals was to eliminate some to create an open-plan space to make it feel bigger and brighter. She also wanted a lot of wood and natural materials to create the illusion of a brighter space.

Credit: Cris Batula

“After a year, we finally finished all design stages, from finalizing the design from all schemes we made, to finishing the 3D and drawings, finding a contractor, workshop and material selection to construction,” Cris writes, reporting that his friend was very happy with the final design’s results.

Credit: Cris Batula

After only a few months of living in the space, the friend moved to Thailand and asked Cris if he wanted to take over the apartment. “At first, I didn’t want to, as it’s an hour away from work, but I also would not want other people ruining what we’ve worked for, so I agreed,” Cris writes. 

Credit: Cris Batula

Cris says that he kept the apartment’s design and styling for nine months. “I finally found the courage to tell my friend I want to restyle it according to my own personal taste, which is more eclectic and maximalist,” he writes. “She agreed and I immediately started by buying original prints of Basquiat’s work and some additional furniture pieces I like to have. It took me just a couple weeks to order, buy, and outsource all pieces I added in the space, printing my own photographs and adding a lot of plants to make the space as lively and as ‘me’ as possible. Now I live in the apartment happy and satisfied with the work I’ve done, not only during the first stage of the designing but even right after I moved in and made it my home.”



  • Whole apartment — Nippon Paint “Pearl 1152”
Credit: Cris Batula


  • BRUNBRÄKEN sofa pillow — IKEA
  • Carpet — Taobao (Chinese online store)
  • TERTIAL table lamp — IKEA
  • Sofa back table — Taobao
  • Marble table lamp — Taobao
  • Vases — Random flower shop in Flower Market in Mongkok
  • Center wood table — Carousell (online secondhand market)
  • Butterfly stool — Carousell
  • Basquiat print + frame — National Gallery of Victoria
  • 60×80 frame for photography + other small frames — Taobao
Credit: Cris Batula


  • Dining chair — Taobao
  • Dining table — Pricerite (Hongkong local and online store)
Credit: Cris Batula


  • Wicker high breakfast stool — Carousell

Thanks, Cris!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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