Located in the luxury estate of Hong Lok Yuen, this residence, which belongs to a millennial couple, turns the dogs—and a collection of prized vehicles—into the main event

In this sprawling house in the exclusive Hong Lok Yuen estate in the New Territories, design details made to accommodate the owners’ Welsh corgi and shiba inu—as well as a collection of supercars—can be seen at every turn. 

The 3,100 sq ft, two-storey, three-bedroom, three-bathroom house—1,399 sq ft of which are taken up by the garage and garden—is home to Regina Chan and Kevin Li, a couple in their 30s, who previously lived in a downtown apartment. They moved into this house after Li’s father, who had lived in the home since the 1990s, decided to relocate to a single-storey apartment for easier accessibility. 

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Having taken over the house, which had not been renovated since the elder Li moved in, it was important for the couple to reimagine the home’s interiors. Rather than a minimalist look—something that’s “seen in a lot of homes, and didn’t feel very warm”, says the lady of the house—they wanted something that had a homely, yet tropical, resort-inspired aesthetic. “We wanted to come home from work and feel like we’re on holiday,” she adds.

They asked Hong Kong-based interior design firm Hintegro founder Keith Chan and senior designer Stephanie Ip to carry out an overhaul of the home, after seeing another project the company had completed at Hong Lok Yuen. 

Chan is an Hermès collector, while her husband is passionate about supercars, skateboarding, and sneakers. They wanted a luxurious and contemporary design, and one that was both pet- and child-friendly: their two dogs are a big part of their lives, and in the middle of the three-month design process, the couple found out they were expecting. 

“With Regina and Kevin, I understood they enjoy luxury products, but they are not showy,” says Keith, who spent time with the owners to find out their likes and dislikes during the design process. “The design of the house had to reflect their personalities.” 

The house is designed to have two large entryways—one follows another—in a look and feel that is reminiscent of Chinese- and Japanese-style courtyard homes. The first is a semi-outdoor space, where a pond and prized bonsai are positioned—a welcoming space for the couple, and their guests.

Stepping into the indoor foyer, a large shoe cabinet designed for Li’s sneaker collection is placed here, while a skylight means it is an area the dogs enjoy relaxing in.

We wanted to come home and feel like we’re on holiday
Regina Chan

This is also where a stunning garage, seen via a glass wall, comes into view. Accommodating two cars, it is a space where Li’s passions are put on full display: it is decorated with framed photos of vehicles he previously owned, as well as a collection of skateboards.

It had been a dream for Li to be able to enjoy the sight of his cars from the living room: this is also why a small window was installed in the wall that divides the garage and the living space. 

The adjoined living and dining rooms are populated with Hermès pieces, some of which were acquired prior to the renovation. This includes the Les Trotteuses D’Hermès Occasional Table, as well as a colourful, tropical-inspired collection of porcelain tableware.

This inspired the designer to incorporate colours like walnut and beige into the living spaces, which complements the pieces in orange—a signature of the French luxury brand—as well as green on the tableware, says Keith. 

In the owners’ previous home, the dogs often scratched and bit furniture, remembers the couple. On a wooden dining table designed by Hintegro and created by local carpenter Yat Muk, metal legs painted yellow are installed, which stops the dogs from causing damage. The bottom of wooden bi-folding doors that separates the open kitchen from the living and dining spaces is installed with copper to provide a straightforward solution to scratch marks from the dogs’ paws. “Any scratches would still be visible, but you would be able to sand them down,” explains Keith. With wood, any attempts in reversing the damage caused by scratches would be impossible.

Meanwhile, a small fence is installed at the bottom of the stairwell. This prevents one of the dogs, which has short legs, from running up the stairs and hurting its spine.

The kitchen, which was originally enclosed and had felt cramped, was opened up. It follows the same aesthetic as the living and dining spaces, says Keith, though some small details differ: the tiles, sourced from Anta, have orange-coloured grouting between them, for example. An island was added, becoming the centre point of the space, while the windows that look out to the garden were replaced with larger bi-folds.

“The layout of the kitchen now feels much better compared to before—the space is used efficiently,” says Li. “Sometimes we sit here after dinner, enjoy some fruit, and chat. It’s also nice to see the dogs play in the garden while we’re cooking.” 

In the garden, a trellis is installed. This is unlike the framed canopies typically seen in outdoor spaces in Hong Kong private homes, where owners want them to be built as large as possible to compensate for interior space, says Keith. “It’s good for maximising natural lighting [in the home], while the shadows under the trellis also look nice.” An outdoor shower, made for the dogs, was installed, while beautiful plants—including a lemon tree, requested by Regina—are also in place. 

The house originally had three bedrooms upstairs, and the space was redivided to create new layouts. The number of bedrooms remains, though the redesign also resulted in a larger master bedroom and en suite. The wall behind the master bedroom features green brick, a material produced in Guangdong that is widely used in the construction of traditional village houses across southern China. This was a material he had always wanted to work with, says the designer—and he was glad the owners were open to using it. A walk-in closet, meanwhile, features simple wicker cabinet doors. “Luxury doesn’t always mean expensive materials need to be used,” the designer says of the use of green brick and wicker. “You can use affordable materials, but the execution—and details—can be luxurious.” 

The en suite bathroom features materials and designs popular in the decades past in the city—a move inspired by Li’s interest in old Hong Kong—such as a glass partition next to the bathtub and a terrazzo sink. 

A second bedroom is a nursery, while a third is envisioned to become a study for the baby—and his or her future siblings—to spend time in.

Read more: 3 of the Most Luxurious Hong Kong Bathrooms We’ve Seen

Luxury doesn’t always mean expensive materials need to be used
Keith Chan

Features in the home that the couple’s guests might be hard-pressed to find elsewhere include a copper basin in the powder room. It is created by Ping Kee, a coppersmith shop in Hong Kong, which supplies bowls to local herbal tea shops and Chinese hot pot restaurants—Hintegro had commissioned the shop to create this piece for the home. With time, the material of the basin changes colour, resulting in a one-of-a-kind piece.

The construction of the house took around six months. Looking back on the project, the design firm’s founder says his first impressions hadn’t been very positive, thanks to the clutter inside and the location of the house on the edge of the estate—it neighbours a guard house. Considerations made include those on the site context—whether the house’s exteriors are in coherence with its surroundings, and where sunlight can be maximised.

“When there are constraints, we think about what we can do,” Keith says. “We cover the negatives, and enhance the positives.” 

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