When popular YouTuber Taylor R first saw her Clear Water Bay apartment, with its generous windows giving way to expansive green views, it was love at first sight. Her husband, Tom, took more convincing, having lived most of his life amid the hubbub of Hong Kong Island. But installed with their poodle Rosie in the sleek, contemporary flat with chic interiors courtesy of designer Peggy Bels, it all feels right.
“This was the first place we looked at in Hong Kong and I immediately fell in love with it because it’s a bit out of the city,” says Taylor. “I’m from Canada, so I really like how you can look outside and see greenery.”
It’s a scene far removed from the former model’s first spell in Hong Kong nine years ago. “I did a few overseas contracts before I came to Hong Kong and I loved it so much that I decided to stay for four years. I stayed in models’ apartments with up to eight girls from all over the world. Because of modelling, I moved around a lot and lived in different countries, in different apartments and with different people, which was fun and gave me great experiences, but really lacked stability and longevity. I’m so glad to finally have my own space that I could make my own for the long run.”
Home Sweet Home
Almost a decade on, her home is now a spacious, light-filled haven that includes a rooftop of the same size. However, it was a long process after finding the apartment until finally moving in.
“It was a new apartment but we started from zero,” says Taylor, who enlisted Bels to strip the space back and transform the layout, turning the original four bedrooms into a vast master bedroom with a large closet and a bathroom with serious wow factor, a guest room with an en-suite bathroom, and an office for Tom. The resulting apartment, which was seven months in the making, has a distinctive contemporary vibe—all concrete walls, metal detailing and monotone furnishings, aside from splashes of indigo on the dining chairs.
“I found Peggy on an interview on YouTube and checked out her Instagram,” Taylor recalls. “I noticed that all the homes she does have a very specific character to them. I could tell ‘That’s Peggy Bels,’ and I really liked that. She uses a lot of raw elements, like metal, wood and concrete. Tom and I spent a lot of time as a couple in Japan and many Japanese homes have those elements, and that’s what we liked and wanted to incorporate into our home. So she fit really perfectly with our taste.”