30 September 2019 - The lack of space is one of the most complained-about aspects of life in Hong Kong. If you find yourself nodding in agreement, this article is for you! OKAY.com has collected four simple but efficient tips that can visually enlarge your apartment to create a better sense of space and turn your home into more of a sanctuary.
1. Open design
Open design has gained wide popularity in recent years, and for good reason. One may have doubts about the lack of privacy with the elimination of walls, but what you get in return is a much more functional space that you can truly enjoy. Some common ways to achieve this are creating an open kitchen, or to simply combine rooms and establish larger living areas. This might be reducing the number of bedrooms (e.g. having 2 children share a larger room instead of small separate rooms), or combining a smaller living room with an adjacent bedroom to create a much larger family area.
Smaller units are sometimes the best candidates for open plan layouts, since the transformation it can make is all the more impactful. For example, This studio apartment, located at Kennedy Town’s Sea View Mansion, maximizes its space with an open design and no separating walls at all (except for the bathroom). The bed is cleverly positioned in an alcove of sorts, giving a feeling of privacy so residents can enjoy a semi-private “bedroom”. The open kitchen also comes with a trendy bar top, which is ideal for a romantic dinner for two. The unit is sold either furnished or unfurnished with one thing guaranteed - a spectacular sea view - at HKD6,850,000. Find out more here.
2. Vertical storage
It is virtually impossible to expand the actual size of a home but there are many little hidden corners that we can explore and take advantage of. Look up! See those awkward gaps between the cabinets and ceiling? Grab your measuring tape, figure out the size of the usable space and seek out a skilled carpenter or someone who can turn that weird corner into your new shoe cabinets, or a storage space for your suitcases. Considering a bedroom overhaul? A raised bed can instantly increase the size of storage in your apartment. What about that dreaded window sill that takes up your precious space and ends up collecting dust? Try turning it into a proper storage bench or a loveseat at the foot of your bed for a sophisticated interior-design-magazine vibe.
Look no further for a good example: this two-bedroom apartment in Bella Vista, Mid-Levels West, has done well in maximising indoor space. A slightly narrow corner between the wardrobe and the windows has been converted into a study nook, which makes a perfect home office for those who enjoy flexible work arrangements or run their own business. Storage space is definitely abundant in this unit: shelving units and cabinets can be found under the desk, near the bathroom sink, over the kitchen sink etc. The smartly-designed apartment is available at HKD11,000,000. Look for more details here.
3. Walk-in wardrobe
A walk-in wardrobe sounds almost overly luxurious and something only reserved for those who live in a mansion. The truth is that most mass-produced wardrobes are not one-size-fits-all, and what happens is we are often left with some awkward space after installing normal cabinets. In comparison, a custom-made wardrobe makes use of every inch and provides a definitive space for your clothes, shoes and bags, as well as miscellaneous items and even electrical appliances. This way your home will definitely look 10 times tidier and more put together.
No idea how to make that happen? Click below to check out this nearly 400-square foot apartment in Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan. The unit is furnished with a wonderful walk-in wardrobe, wall shelves and storage space near the ceiling, as well as an open kitchen with a built-in oven for those who love their culinary delights. View the HKD8,000,000 apartment here.
4. Mirror, natural light and sliding doors
A full-length mirror can transform a small unit instantly with its reflection visually maximising the space and helping lights travel more efficiently. The best part? It costs almost nothing. Another way to facilitate light reflection inside your home is, first and foremost, let in lots of natural light, then opt for decor in primarily lighter or neutral colours.
Sliding doors are also an amazing space-enhancer, avoiding the need for “swing space” where doors would normally open and enabling every square inch of a room to be fully utilized. Combine a sliding door with a shaded glass inlay and you’ll let even more light into the room.
This Pokfulam gem illustrates all of the above perfectly with an overall white decor, light-hued furniture, a full-length mirror and two large windows that allow natural light to penetrate into the living room, including through the sliding door to the bedroom. In this apartment, even the doors to the shoe cabinet have been removed, not only creating more usable space but also creating a charming display area for photos and houseplants, in addition to easy access to footwear! Check out the details of the HKD7,500,000 apartment here.
Instead of constantly feeling cramped by the size of your home, why not get creative and try out one of the tricks we’ve listed here? Believe us, you won’t believe how easy it is to transform your “shoebox” into a functional, tasteful and lovely home.