American BRITTA BUTLER has been in Hong Kong for 15 years; in 2014, she launched B Squared Design after seeing a gap in the market for a full-service boutique, residential design firm in Hong Kong that could handle entire projects from start to finish.
What sets B Squared apart from other Hong Kong design firms?
We don’t just offer interior design services but architectural services as well – so we truly are a “one stop shop”! We comprise a Cantonese-speaking project manager, trusted contractors and a full suite of handymen; we use carefully selected factories to manufacture bespoke pieces, and we have long-term cultivated relationships with furniture shops throughout the region
Give us an insight into some recent residential projects you’ve worked on.
Our projects range from interior design of several rooms in a home to full gut renovations. Recently, there has been a demand for updating kitchens and bedrooms, and creating home offices and dedicated kids’ homework spaces, as everyone is spending so much time at home these days.
What sorts of things are specific to Hong Kong in terms of architecture and design?
Space is obviously a huge consideration here, whereas in other places I’ve lived and worked it hasn’t been such a factor. I used to design buildings from the ground up, and here residential almost always means an internal renovation of a flat. I see this as a challenge, not a problem, and many of my designs involve innovative approaches to space planning and storage.
I also do a lot of custom furniture that has to do double-duty because of spatial constraints – for example, a bed with storage underneath. My signature B Squared Murphy Bed came about as a result of the need to get creative with small spaces.
What’s an interiors trend right now that you’re particularly excited about?
I’m very excited about the increasingly pivotal role that natural and textured materials and botanical wall coverings are playing in design. Part of my aesthetic has always been to use texture and layered materials to create a luxurious and unique space, so this trend is right in line with what I like to give to my clients.
I also love a feature wall in a space, and the plethora of nature-focused wallpapers and paint colours now on the market are wonderful for bringing the outdoors in. They also evoke relaxing climes and locations that we cannot travel to at the moment.
How does Hong Kong inspire you?
It has a vibrant mix of old and new, industrial and natural, chaotic and peaceful. There’s just so much to draw from here! I take a lot of my cues from the world around me, and when I’m designing a space, I make sure to take into account the neighbourhood and surrounding environment.
What do you like doing in HK when you’re not working?
Trying new restaurants with friends, spending time with my teenage children and seeing what they’re into, and taking walks in Stanley with my pug and French bulldog.
This article first appeared in the City Guide 2021/22 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.