When I asked Veronica Chou, to describe her Hong Kong home she responded with “Chinoiserie, comfortable and technological,” and I couldn’t have agreed with her more. As soon as you enter the apartment, your attention will go to the vibrant decor and large furniture pieces. Also, mostly everything is controlled with an iPad. The businesswoman, who moved into her sustainable and high-tech apartment after full renovations in early 2015, asked longtime friend and designer Laura Cheung of Lala Curio to take charge.
“For this house in Hong Kong, we definitely wanted to speak to the Chinese style,” says Veronica. “We didn’t want a western-looking house in Hong Kong. We were quite hands-on [with the design process] and it was before I had kids. I’ve had different homes where it’s more subdued but I wanted this one to have a wow factor. Laura, who’s the designer, was my next door neighbour. I grew up with her. We went to the same schools, as well. I’ve always loved her work and I thought it was beautiful.”
The space, which boasts efficiency and an amazing view overlooking the Victoria Harbour, features an array of unusual decor, various colour schemes and hidden objects, which makes for great conversation starters when guests are over. Growing up, Chou wasn’t always into this traditional-looking style that she’s now so fond of, but things changed when she left the city and jetted off to the States. As the founder of the environmentally-friendly women’s fashion brand, Everybody & Everyone, sustainability is a crucial factor when it comes to Veronica’s lifestyle and living space.
“Being Chinese, there are so many design elements that are beautiful. When I went off to boarding school in America, I became more attached to Chinese culture and history,” says Veronica. “Then I worked in China for eight years and because of the amazing economic growth at that time, there were also things that were getting demolished. I remember seeing and worrying about how much Chinese culture was going to be preserved, so I think, stylistically, this place is beautiful. When I was doing this house, I was just starting to learn about sustainability. I remember telling Laura to make sure the paints weren’t toxic and to make sure there are eco-paints and glues and basic stuff like that. Limited products were available and at that time, there weren’t so many sustainable options but I definitely asked as much about it as possible. I think the frustrating part is that, sometimes, it’s not 100% [sustainable] and none of these things really are. From the basics like changing all of my makeup to clean and eco-brands to changing our shampoos and cleaning products – I think all these little swaps [help] and just trying to stay away from plastic as much as possible.”
Standout features in the home – and there are many – include intricately-detailed sinks, an exotic mosaic tile wall, hidden TVs embedded in cabinets and a magic mirror in the master bath, but one that sticks out is a multi-faceted turquoise masterpiece – an extravagant chest in her children’s room, featuring tons of little nooks and drawers, a pull out desk and a built-in plug.
“Before I used to change my boys’ nappies on there and now they use it for studying. I love everything in here. Laura was the one who came up with it. She likes to put a lot of [hidden] easter eggs into the designs. [On the wall in the master bedroom] there are some baby stuff because she knew I was going to have a baby. I’m practical and I like things to work and be efficient. I think there’s an element of this in the house and in my clothes.”
Photographer: Natalie Dunn
EditorVogue Hong Kong