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In super-pricey Hong Kong, upgrading to a larger home isn’t always an easy option. We hear three managers at Altfield Interiors that giving your home a fresh new look can boost its value too.

General Manager Clifford To, Marketing Manager Victoria Cheung and Showroom Manager Agnes Lee
You have so many famous brands in the store. How do you categorise them?

Victoria: Our product range includes textiles, wallcoverings, trimmings, hardware, lighting and leather, and we mainly categorise the brands according to style. For example, we have Contemporary Luxe European products from brands such as Rubelli and Armani/Casa Textiles by Rubelli, French and English prints, as well as American urban and contemporary offerings.

How can interior decoration add value to your home?

Clifford: It is a worthwhile decision to invest in good quality finishes for wall surfaces and hardware, which become a part of a property’s architectural integrity.

Do you deal with large-scale developments?

Clifford: Yes, definitely. For the past four or five years we’ve been supplying extra-high-quality Rocky Mountain hardware — door hinges, handles and other fittings — to Wheelock properties for its large-scale Mount Nicholson project on The Peak. These robust but attractive fittings are cast in top-quality solid bronze the old-fashioned way, and are excellent examples of how even inconspicuous details create value in a house. In another project in Hong Kong – with Evergrande, one of China’s largest real-estate developers — we supplied four buildings with American-made USV Wallcoverings.

Altfield has swathes of beautiful fabrics for décor inspiration
What advice would you give to prospective clients?

Agnes: There are several ways they can prepare themselves, for example by bringing photos of their homes, which gives us a good start on how to approach the job. Also do as much research as possible — today you can Google almost anything, or search Instagram. Or bring photos of places they’ve visited, such as hotels they really liked. This helps to give an idea of what they’re looking for, so we can point them in the right direction.

What are the most popular trends in home design?

Agnes: We have noticed a move away from cold and minimalist interiors to spaces that are more cocooning and colourful. At the same time, we also enjoy working with clients who prefer to develop their own design taste.

Do you get any unusual, even strange, requests?

Agnes: Not really. Colours, perhaps. But in Hong Kong people want to stay fairly safe, and they tend to go with neutrals. This also probably has something to do with the relatively small sizes of homes in the city. But there are also people who really like colours, so we might suggest they keep their shelves neutral but then work to layer it with accessories or artwork, cushions and carpets, flowers and even trimming – there are all sorts of things we can suggest to make their surroundings unique to them.

What suggestions do you have for making a flat appear bigger, or more spacious?

Agnes: There are several options, such as using textured wall coverings rather than bold prints, which can match more things and, being lighter coloured, can bounce light around the room to make it look bigger. Interesting lighting maybe. Mirrors can also make a space appear larger.

How often do your brands launch new product?

Victoria: We have more than 30 international brands, and many of them are like fashion houses, because on average, they launch one to two collections per year. These highly anticipated collections are mainly introduced in January or September, depending on whether they are European or American. Some of our recent travel-inspired textile collections are great for wanderlust young professionals, allowing them to create a sense of travel in their home.

In this Covid age, with people spending more time at home, do you think many are thinking about home improvements?

Agnes: We have been pleasantly surprised, because a lot of people are doing exactly what you’ve suggested. They might sitting at home and think, oh the sofa’s looking a bit tired…
Victoria: We find that a lot of clients who’ve put projects on hold are resuming them now.

Altfield Interiors Showroom
1101, Nine Queens Road, Central
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Chris Donnolley