How designer Natasha Usher transformed a Baguio Villa luxury apartment into an elegant space with a timeless look and feel

When this four-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, located at the Baguio Villa luxury estate in Pok Fu Lam on Hong Kong Island, was purchased, it was “tired and old, with no design done”, says Natasha Usher, founder and design principal of Hong Kong-based Natasha Usher Design Enterprise (NUDE). 

The new owners enlisted Usher’s firm to carry out an overhaul of the property, which takes up 2,120 sq ft and also has a balcony measuring an additional 100 sq ft. The process took around five months. 

The clients have an appreciation for urban, European designer residences, says Usher. “They wanted their home to be a timeless space with classic modern accents, complete with simple, stylish details.” 

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Soothing grey tones and shades of taupe dominate many parts of the home, though with subtle pops of colour: a wall painted sage green in the dining room adjoins the living space, and there are bronze accents throughout. Usher wanted to “explore a bit of colour without deviating too far from a neutral palette”—the colours and the material complement each other, she says. 

The walls in the living room and master bedroom feature moulding details created by the designer: these are not commonly seen in Hong Kong other than in classic-style homes, she says. Meanwhile, herringbone motifs are used on the wooden floors in the living and dining areas. These are juxtaposed against simple, contemporary details, such as a minimalist TV cabinet designed by Usher that features wooden doors with metal inlays. This provides a flattering contrast of classic and modern elements, says Usher. 

The original layout of the home offered four bedrooms, which were already generously sized, says Usher. Because the clients are raising a young family, it was important to retain the number of bedrooms. The master bedroom was expanded, however, with walls broken down to accommodate a larger en suite bathroom. 

It is now a luxurious space with marble walls and flooring, featuring two vanity sinks and a spacious walk-in shower. The two rooms aside from the master bedroom and children’s bedroom function as an entertainment room for the family and a study. 

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Throughout the home, functional changes needed to be made. A large mud room, which also functions as a storage unit for luggage and shoes, is near the kitchen. It is concealed from view, providing ample storage space that’s rarely found in Hong Kong apartments, says Usher.

The kitchen was redesigned with the clients’ needs in mind: heavy-duty drawers were installed, along with a new counter space and storage units. A glass board is positioned near the fridge, offering a space to jot down daily notes and shopping lists. 

Cabinetry, hardware and furniture throughout the apartment are designed or purchased to the clients’ requirements, and the majority of the loose furnishings are custom-designed by Usher. The wardrobes feature his-and-hers configurations and dehumidifiers. Recessed shelf lighting and self-closing soft hinges are used in all cabinetry, while door hinges and power outlets are hidden from sight—“details that demonstrate both aesthetics and practicality”.

“Designing a home must represent the owner’s individuality,” says Usher, who is also responsible for the interiors of various major commercial projects in Hong Kong. “I try to reflect the homeowners’ style, blended with our own creative interpretation, to give their home a personal identity.”

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