Situated in Central with views overlooking the heart of Hong Kong, an opulent private clubhouse designed by Kelly Lo is filled with designer furniture and retro colours. We visit the space and find out what was the source of her inspiration behind the interior design.
Taking up one floor of an office building in Hong Kong’s Central district and occupying some 1,700-square feet, a luxurious private clubhouse by designer Kelly Lo is a comfortable, cosy space in which her client can entertain friends and business partners. According to Lo, she “designed the space with an assortment from various brands that specialise in different materials and furnishings”, all of the latter being sourced from Italy.
For example, the main sofa in a plush teal green is from Meridiani; the brass side tables and acid-etched bronze shelves are from Henge, and the floating gold-leaf pendants that make up the main lighting above the dining table are from Catellani & Smith. In keeping with her usual style, Lo has also included a customised Tai Ping carpet to ground the space – in varying shades of blue with asymmetrical edges, it’s placed under the two-tone marbled coffee tables in front of a flat-screen TV.
“I love layering different materials and textures, as they make a space so much more interesting and helps move the eye around the room,” says Lo. “I actually designed this entire clubhouse around this bronze cherries sculpture by Surinamese sculptor Vigelandzoon Lothar, which my husband and I discovered while in Megève, France.” Made of cast bronze, the sculpture was then patinated to give the cherries their luscious colour and depth – and it was love at first sight for Lo, who called the client immediately to see if they were interested in buying it, even before even knowing exactly where it was going to go. It eventually wound up in the private clubhouse, where it became a starting point for Lo’s interior design.
“All the colours and textures used in the clubhouse were chosen to accentuate and support this sculpture,” she says. “The teals and watery blues of the wall upholstery and furniture provide a background of contrast for the cherries to really pop. The bronze of the sculpture is also referenced throughout the space in the form of side tables, shelves and small details in hardware.”
Bronze cherries aside, Lo was also going through a blueish teal colour phase when this project began; prior to this, most of her projects were centred around warm shades, such as burnt orange and burgundy. She wanted a change in her own work and it so happened that the textiles and wallpapers she was considering at the time displayed the most gorgeous effects in teal and blue colour compared to other colourways. “It was meant to be,” she muses.
Indeed, Lo’s penchant for bold colour usage is heavily influenced by her previous boss, Jamie Drake of Drake Anderson in New York City, who’s known as the King of Colour. Just like him, she’s not afraid to use bold colours for the interior she designs, insisting that “colours give life and personality to a space”.
Lo’s extensive travels around the world have also highly influenced the way she designs interiors. “There’s endless inspiration out there from colours, patterns, textures, textiles, history, architectural forms … there’s always something new,” she says. “Travelling is the greatest source of stylistic inspiration and I miss it.”
According to Lo, whose eyes light up whenever she talks about it, the most special piece of furniture in the clubhouse is the dining table. A limited-edition UFO table from Emmemobili, it features a perfectly matched Nero-Portero marble top and as well as a lazy Susan, with a flawlessly curved shiny brass base and an under top for a floating effect. It took eight months to make and, in their quest for perfection, the craftsmen changed the table-top marble slab three times to give Lo an optimal book-matched pattern. Moving and assembling the table to its current location was also a daunting task for Lo and her team, as the table weighs almost 2 tonnes.
Although the space Lo has designed is a clubhouse, it’s still rather cosy and liveable. Asked whether this was her intention, Lo says, “Most definitely. The time for rigid formal spaces is over. Overall, clients nowadays prefer informal spaces that are luxuriously flexible. In fact, they prefer subtle glamour over grandiose opulence, like traditional heavy gilding and moulding. Subtlety is key.”
She also stresses that she always designs her interiors to reflect how she’d like to feel in a space, considering that people are invariably at their most comfortable in their own homes. For this clubhouse, it was paramount to create a sumptuous space that’s like a home, inviting and welcoming to the client’s guests – a space, in fact, that anyone would like to linger in, even after formal business is complete.