Design Firm Lim + Lu On Bringing Tranquility Into Your Home

Lim + Lu's living room design at private residence in Southside, Hong Kong. Image courtesy of Lim + Lu.
Portrait of Vince Lim and Elaine  Lu. Image courtesy of Lim + Lu.
Lim + Lu’s study room design at a private residence in Happy Valley, Hong Kong. Image courtesy of Lim + Lu.
Lim + Lu’s dining room design at a private residence in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong. Image courtesy of Lim + Lu.
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With people spending more time at home now—Vince Lim and Elaine Lu highlights ways to make your home more of a sanctuary.

TEXT: Jacqueline Kot
IMAGES: Courtesy of Lim + Lu

 

Now more than ever, your home is a sanctuary, a place where you can shut out the ongoing stress and change that is the year 2020. And with all of us spending more time at home now that it is the main place where we work, eat, relax and sleep, we are increasingly mindful of how it looks and how it makes us feel. Vince Lim and Elaine Lu, the founders of Hong Kong-based design firm Lim + Lu, share insights on the small but significant changes that can make your home even more appealing to dwell in, even if you are there from day to night.

 

Portrait of Vince Lim and Elaine  Lu. Image courtesy of Lim + Lu.

 

One of the first things you can do to create more of a calming ambiance is to incorporate more natural elements into the living room—whether it be plants for that extra touch of greenery around the room, or furniture and decorative objects made from natural materials such as wood, marble and ceramics. “For us, when we think of creating a sanctuary, we think of something that is neutral and ties into nature,” says Lim. “It can be as simple as including some greenery in the space, particularly bonsai trees.”

A more major move will be to change some of the furniture—whether it is the smaller items such as the coffee or side tables, or even the main pieces such as the sofa. “Try picking natural materials for each piece. For example, with the sofa, you can have one with wooden legs. For the coffee table, instead of a glass top, pick one with a wooden or a natural marble stone top,” says Lim. “You are bringing the nature into your apartment through the usage of materials. Tactile materials and textures can completely change the look and feel of the room.”

Changing some of the textiles around the room, such as the drapes, curtains, throw pillows and blankets, to ones made from natural materials such as cotton and cashmere in lighter shades is also a way to include more subtle, soothing tones into your home.

“Although colour choice is very personal, as a general rule, for areas that you spend a long time in such as the living room or study, choosing a light neutral or a soothing, muted shade for the walls and flooring, with a tasteful touch of a brighter colour in the furnishings, would create a calming yet invigorating environment. Light neutral or muted shades on the walls will also make the space appear more expansive,” says Lu.

 

Lim + Lu’s study room design at a private residence in Happy Valley, Hong Kong. Image courtesy of Lim + Lu.

 

If you are thinking of rearranging the furniture for a fresh look, Lu suggests repositioning the seating so that it faces each other to encourage conversation. “Seating that faces each other will create a more intimate feel—the sofa can face the television but you can rearrange a lounge chair so that it faces toward the sofa, to encourage family members to interact more,” says Lu.

When it comes to the dining room, having a sculptural lighting pendant above the dining table can elevate the look and atmosphere of the dining room. Lim also suggests adding flexibility to the choice of lighting in the space, as most people working from home will probably be working at the dining table at some point. “You might have a general lighting scheme that makes the whole space bright for more practical reasons but you can have a secondary layer that is more decorative lighting, like a ceiling pendant feature, a floor lamp or table lamps on a credenza. The secondary lighting system is there to help create a mood and highlight certain features of the space, which is useful for dinner parties,” says Lim.

If the dining area is slowly becoming the nucleus of the home, where family members are gathering to work on their laptops during the day, then adding some eclectic touches to the area can make it more laid-back and cosy. “Trying mixing it up by using different chair styles at the same table, it helps make the space less formal and turns it into a place where you would want to spend more time,” says Lu. “If you have slightly larger dining chairs, you can add some throw pillows in it to lighten up the mood as well.”

 

Lim + Lu’s dining room design at a private residence in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong. Image courtesy of Lim + Lu.

 

Working from home can sometimes feel a little monotonous as you move from the bedroom to the living area and back again, with less of the usual activities—from the commute to work, to a lunch break or a mid-morning coffee run—to break up the day. When you are spending the bulk of the day at home, sometimes the only time you spend in your bedroom is when you are in bed. Adding a small chaise or lounge chair, a designated spot where you can relax just before bedtime, can make the bedroom more of an oasis and a place where you can decompress from the day, and not just a room that you are heading into just for sleeping.

“If your bedroom allows for it, it is always good to have an armchair or lounge chair in it, some sort of furniture that allows you to recline and be comfortable,” says Lim. “Your mind will be more at ease because you are not moving straight from the living or dining room to the bed, there is a middle activity that allows you to sit and relax and think about the day.”

 

 

 
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