22Apr2020
Bringing elegance into the home using mid-century modern style

Some design eras never go out of fashion. American mid-century modern is one such timeless style. With its sleek lines, uncluttered spaces, minimal ornamentation and understated look, it evokes classic elegance. 

Sometimes clients approach us with a specific style in mind, and it’s not hard to see why a recent client chose American mid-century modern as their go-to style. The young family wanted their apartment, located in Mei Foo Sun Cheun, a large private housing estate in Lai Chi Kok, to be converted into an open, stylish and liveable space. 

Functionality is of high importance in mid-century modern design, and, as a young couple with a baby, our client needed their home to be practical as well as aesthetically pleasing – and they desperately needed more storage space. 

The original apartment didn’t have many structural walls, so changing the design layout was relatively straightforward. However, most apartments in Hong Kong are smaller than those in America, so we had to modify some of our applications to make the mid-century modern style work. Another challenge was the low ceiling, and the apartment was dark with little natural light. 

To create spaciousness in the living room and dining room, we used a dado rail to add distinction to the muted colour palette of grey and white. We used frame panels on the walls to create the illusion of depth and added negative detailing to the ceiling to create a sense of height.   

We used a combination of recess lighting and feature lighting in the living and dining rooms to add brightness to the space. The feature lighting also created a distinct separation between the two areas, by pulling focus to the table at the centre of the dining room. We added internal doors with French windows to draw in more natural light. 

The clean, distinct lines we created in the kitchen added depth and height, streamlining the space. Mid-century modern style favours the juxtaposition of different materials, and we applied this to the surfaces used in the kitchen: we paired a slick, modern bench and brick-pattern tiles on one side with a traditional wooden bench on the other.

We relocated the master bedroom to the opposite end of the apartment and added a built-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom. In keeping with mid-century modern style, we added a gentle natural curve to the shelving. We disguised the extra storage space we added with a panelled exterior, and we created height by adding accents to the ceiling line.

At last, the apartment had a feeling of spaciousness and brightness that the earlier design had lacked, and it embodied the classic elegance of mid-century modern style. Our judicious use of tonality, design accents and elongated lines elevated our clients’ apartment to a timeless, welcoming home.  

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