By Brooke Chenoweth
Sophisticated, elegant and loaded with charm, Alena Lee’s Lung Mei village home is one of Sai Kung’s best-kept secrets. One of the first things you notice about the pristine white village house, with its simple black detailing, apart from the stark white of the walls and the sheer size of the place, is the sprawling lawn and the view over Sai Kung from the back. Sitting high on a hill, the house manages to be both open and private, quite a rarity in Hong Kong. At over 4,000 square feet – double the size of a standard village house – it offers far more space than most HK homes too!
The Lee family moved here in the summer of 2014, drawn to a number of appealing aspects: “The space, the view, the village, and the feel of it,” says Alena. The house had been previously renovated, and the space provided the perfect blank canvas for interior designer Alena. While some would be overwhelmed by such a large place, she relished the challenge, “I came up with a theme and an idea of how I wanted the home to feel. I knew as soon as I saw it that the basis of my colour scheme would be grey, and I’m very fortunate that I have a husband that trusts me and lets me do my thing!”
Originally from Australia, Alena lived in California for a number of years and moved to Hong Kong 13 years ago, but the influence of her second home is evident in her design style. Of the Lung Mei village house, Alena says, “I like to call it ‘my American Home in Hong Kong’.” From the neutral tones and natural fabrics to the simple, clean lines and subtle furnishings, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a home in the Hamptons.
The spacious ground floor boasts an open living and dining area, which features a mezzanine up to the first floor. The height of this adds to the feeling of space, and the elegant black wrought-iron balustrade is very classy. A large dining table is the centrepiece of the room, and it’s the kind of table that would work for both sophisticated dinner parties and low-key family dinners. It was custom-made for Alena by TREE.
“I actually worked with one of their carpenters to custom finish and colour our table to make it more unique and fit in with the design theme in our home.” Alena’s favourite piece in the room is a beautiful shagreen cocktail cabinet from Bowerbird Home, a gift she purchased for her husband one Christmas. She says, “I love the colour and texture of it. When you open the doors it has antique glass from France on the inside – it really is a stunning and unique piece of furniture that makes a statement.”
The first floor has been designed with family-friendly living in mind. The family room has lots of storage space, as well as ample room for six-year-old Harley to play, and a large sofa from TREE. “The sofa has been fantastic,” says Alena. “It’s comfortable – even for my tall husband – but has also withstood kids eating and jumping on it, and still looks as good as new.” A large guest room with its own built-in wardrobe is on this floor, too. It’s a cosy space with a “home-away-from-home” feel that you can imagine would have guests hoping to extend their stays indefinitely!
Upstairs is a series of rooms that gives a whole new meaning to the term “master suite”. A luxurious master bedroom, in the same warm tones as the rest of the house, offers a relaxing retreat, complete with an incredible master bathroom. “His and hers” offices take up two of the rooms, each a reflection of its inhabitant. But the showstopper on this floor would have to be the walk-in closet. More like a room than a closet, this perfectly organised, jaw-dropping space inspires nothing but envy!
When I ask her to describe her style, she replies, “I’m a classicist by nature, but I design homes that are elegant, calm, warm and inviting, with an unexpected twist. Plus, they must always be functional and practical.” This particular place is her pièce de résistance – a perfect example of her talents, and a wonderful family home.
8/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau | bowerbird-home.com
6/F, Horizon Plaza | indigo-living.com
28/F, Horizon Plaza 2870 1582 | tree.com.hk
Lane Crawford Home
Shop 4008, 4/F, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central | lanecrawford.com.hk
Canaan Curtains and Blinds
Kam Wah Building, King Man Street, Sai Kung | 2792 9892
42 Hollywood Road, Central | aesop.com/hk
The Skin Gym
21/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central 2810 8088 | theskingym.com.hk
G/F, 7A Hang Hau Village, New Territories | 2719 8718
Photographs by Stewart Shaw
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