This Compact Happy Valley Home Is An Exercise In Clever Design


January 23, 2018 | BY Emily Leung

How BerinMade's Erin Hung transformed an intimate investment property into a chic and functional family home

When they moved back to Hong Kong from London two years ago, Erin Hung and her husband Ben were not willing to dive into the property market. Nor were they ready for their forever home. “Our family is still young and work is still very fluid,” she says. 

See also: Best of 2017: Top 5 Hong Kong Homes Of 2017

They decided, instead, to accept a kind offer from Ben’s parents, who suggested they stay in their investment property and design it to suit their family’s needs.

Erin explains she is hugely inspired by the micro-living trend. “I know that by Hong Kong standards, our flat is more than ample in comparison to lots of people in the city, so I can’t justify calling it a tiny house. However, I love the minimalist, eco-friendly philosophy of the movement. The idea that you don’t need lots to stuff to live, but instead you need to live in a clever, efficient way. I think this applies to our space, yet in the same way it also applies to our time and how we spend it.”

See also: 5 Tips For Buying The Perfect Moroccan Rug

The apartment already boasted a very well-proportioned two-bedroom foundation. They redesigned it to accommodate a decent-sized helper’s room and opened up the kitchen, dining and living areas to enhance the space. As the plumbing and electricity hadn’t been updated since the flat was bought, they gutted everything, retaining only the parquet floor.

While she is a designer by profession, as founder and creative director of the multi-award-winning stationery studio, BerinMade, this was the first time Erin has designed a home.

She worked closely with her contractor from Evergreen Decoration Company and commends them for being patient and detail oriented, taking the time to explain different processes and options while respecting her vision for the project.

“We are family oriented and love quality time spent together getting messy, spreading out and relaxing. At the same time, I cannot stand chaos and clutter and didn’t want to sacrifice our sense of style. I wanted to strike a balance. I think our space works because it is kid-friendly enough for our daughter to play and relax in without being too precious” says Erin.

See also: 5 Ways To Organise Your Home For A Decluttered 2018

“We designed the home with plenty of hideaway storage to keep unsightly toys out of plain sight, and my own mini-office can also be hidden behind closed doors when it’s not used. Sometimes you just need to close a door on a mess and come back to it later when you’ve had a cup of tea—I’m totally that person.”

However, Erin’s favourite part of the abode is the two layers of sliding doors between the sleeping spaces. “Our daughter loves opening her door in the morning and seeing us immediately,” Erin reveals. “The space almost feels like one big room whenever the doors are open and the light floods through the windows on both sides. When we want a little more privacy, the doors slide shut and essentially the space functions as two separate rooms.”

Erin reserves a final word for Eico paints, which she thoroughly recommends. “They are water-based and eco-friendly and their colours are incredible. Everyone who comes into the flat compliments them,” she says. “The way it catches and absorbs light makes the whole room feel brighter, airier and warmer at the same time. As a designer, colour is one of the things I’m pickiest about, and they are non-toxic to our environment which ticks all the boxes for me.”

Photography: Edgar Tapan | Additional styling: Sneha Vaswani and Manuela Di Felice

This story was originally published on Home Journal.

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