As a guardian, your position is an extension of your soul, and you will spend a life-time patrolling and providing guidance in time and space as part of this position. The independent home symbolizes independence as well as unity on the part of the owners. HAO Design tries to introduce sensitive touches that gently unravel themselves in a comforting style during day-to-day routines.
The design scope includes the basement and four and half floors above ground, with green space for planting large trees in front of the house. The owners of this house are a couple who are both dentists. They are keen to nurture the independent spirits of their two young children.
According to the designer Ivan Chen, without obvious functionality assigned, attics often get left as wasted space by designers. In order to make full use of the unique triangular skylight in the attic and reflect the master’s love for the industrial Loft style, Ivan decided to draw inspiration from the ‘Batman’ movies, making the upper floors and basement (including the garage and storage room) a chic and elegant retreat that is fit for urban professionals.
The highlight is a black iron spiral staircase on the 4th floor (where the gymnasium, video and leisure room are located) leading to the attic (study). The spiraling railings resembles the endless pirouettes of the ‘black swan’ of ballet. It not only makes effective use of the space below, but is also a romantic ascent to the skylight. Moreover, it serves as a 360-degree viewing gallery of the magnificent ‘bookcase wall’ under the inclined roof.
The interior from the 1st to 3rd floors is decorated in an elegant American style which the hostess prefers. It blends together light classical, country garden as well as modern elements. The space is painted in bright and attractive colors, and decorated with minimalistic wood panels and rails. The multi-knot pattern of the floorboards and the grey oak restored vestibule shoe cabinet, balance both classical and modern tonalities. The family area is on the first floor where a European-style round arch wall runs between the living room and the dining room. By cleverly disguising the pillars, it also enhances the relaxing atmosphere and adds a sense of space to this long and narrow independent home.
Walking past the blue-board wall and the leisure platform, through the arch, one is greeted by a beautiful kitchen straight out of Meryl Streep’s ‘Julie and Julia’. The soft blue-grey island and dining dresser is designed with the master’s love of culinary art in mind. The brass and gold lamps add a sense of refinement. The American style windows allow the chef to appreciate the garden as well as keep an eye on the pets while cooking.
On the 2nd floor, there is a children’s bedroom, a storage room, a laundry room, and an open study room. A sliding door is discretely installed in the middle of the children’s room, which can be flexibly divided into a separate bedroom when it comes to the time the children need to be more independent. Can tidying up ever be fun for the children? Well, it can be if the handles of their cabinets are cut into dinosaur shapes that they love!
On the third floor, there is the main bedroom, dressing room, main bathroom and guest room. The Manhattan style bathroom design is ingenious. The exquisite arched windows are decorated with white shutters. The lower part of the wall separating the shower is decorated with marble railway retro tiles to protect privacy. The upper part is made of black square frosted glass to let light come through concealed sliding doors installed between the 3rd and 4th floors. When needed, the stairway can be closed off to prevent the children from running through. Beautiful details are celebrated through a balanced flow, which in turn brings a sense of discovery to a seemingly ordinary independent home.