Picture frame molding makes the living area feel homey, while cavities in the floor platform stow away all manner of possessions.

Inspired by his own experience living in a cramped tenement apartment, Hong Kong architect Patrick Lam works to maximize small spaces by pushing the boundaries of conventional renovations. In a recent Lantau Island project, the Sim-Plex Design Studio founder combined smart technology, secret storage, and feng shui fittings to transform a cluttered two bedroom into a functional, flexible four bedroom for a young family.

Patrick cleverly reconfigured the layout, blending a new open kitchen into the living area and converting the old kitchen into sleeping quarters. He also installed folding doors that can privatize the living room to host the grandmother who frequently comes for overnight visits.

Before: Squeezed into a corner, the old kitchen was incredibly tight.

Before: The old living room was overflowing with personal belongings

To create a sense of airiness in the 492-square-foot home, Patrick strove to highlight its prime Coastal Skyline location. He deviated from the expected futuristic style of many high-tech designs and instead utilized natural materials to accentuate the rare views of lush, green hills. “The building has very nice scenery outside, so I wanted to integrate the landscape with the interior,” Patrick explains.

Pale maple and light gray wood veneers top the custom melamine joinery that composes nearly every surface, providing brightness and warmth. White, moisture-resistant paint covers the remaining ceilings and walls. “We did not want to use any dark colors that would make the space look smaller,” reasons Patrick.

Patrick moved the kitchen into the living room for an open floor plan that feels more spacious. 

Courtesy of Patrick Lam