An upside-down home


Jessica De Borja visits an upside-down home in Dragon Lake Villa.

As soon as you clap eyes on this three-storey, 2,700-square-foot house, you know there’s a pretty stylish mind behind it. The drama starts at the entrance, with a sliding timber door and an extended platform with a stainless-steel floor grill framed in black granite.

“We added a fluorescent light box beneath the floor as a different way to keep it lit in the evening,” says designer and architect Louis Lau of Ample HK. It’s the first of many clever ideas that keep you guessing as you move through this Clearwater Bay home.

It’s an “upside-down” house, with the bedrooms on the first floor and the living spaces on the second. Moving swiftly beyond the lightbox and up the stairs, the first-floor landing boasts an ingenious sliding door-slash-display cabinet backed with frosted glass, and a large void that lights the entire floor.

“The open study area on the first floor connects the three bedrooms and a bathroom,” Lau says. “This was the darkest area in the whole house, so we created the opening and walled the side of the desk and stairs with glass as an additional light source for the space.”

The clean, minimalist lines and natural colour scheme of the master bedroom, with more sliding doors, large windows and en-suite bathroom, make for a soothing sleeping area. “We used mainly Canadian maple timber veneer and plain white walls throughout the house,” Lau says. As a sudden contrast, the bathroom has dark granite walls, white marble sinks, and glass dividers between shower and bathtub.

The children’s bedrooms and bathroom are more youthful: blue for a tiny tyke and a pretty green for a teen-dream oasis, complete with a cozy outdoor terrace and a hot tub surrounded by bamboo fencing and blooming plants.

On the second floor, glass doors and enormous windows open onto a large patio and garden that runs past the living, dining and kitchen areas. In contrast with the light tones downstairs, the walls are painted vibrant red. An antique Korean step chest separates the dining room and the living area, with its simple white sofas, glass tables and flat-screen TV. Contemporary art and ornaments complement the modern design.

And Lau points out the balustrade: “We used frameless glass around the opening to the lower floors as a simple way of matching the modern concept,” Lau says.

Contact Louis Lau, Ample HK,, 3529 1864.

Contact Louis Lau, Ample HK,, 3529 1864.