A romantic anniversary dinner for a recently repatriated couple at TATE Dining Room — a luminary on the Hong Kong dining scene — provided just the inspiration they needed for their home renovation. Reaching the end of their tether with the process of interviewing designers, they finally reached out to the man behind the venue’s sophisticated interiors — James ‘JJ’ Acuna of JJ Acuna / Bespoke Studio. Acuna has, in the short time since founding his studio, made a name for himself, designing Instagram-worthy projects across the city. Not typically a residential designer though, he and his new clients negotiated for several months to ensure their visions for the home aligned.
Once the agreement was made, no time was wasted. The five bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom 947-square-foot apartment in Hong Kong’s up-and-coming Tseung Kwan O neighbourhood was gutted and the space opened up by cutting it back to two bedrooms and one bathroom. The blank slate was just what Acuna needed to create something tailor-made for his well-travelled clients and their growing family.
Framing the compact entry is a patch of hand-made, glazed-clay mosaic tiles purchased directly from one of Morocco’s heady souks on a recent trip. These tiles became the impetus for the rest of the apartment’s colour palette and material choices, including the chevron oak plank floors, warm camel-coloured feature walls and textured, fabric-like wallpapers. An open-plan kitchen in a delicious shade of pistachio green accented by custom terrazzo countertops presents an unexpected and somewhat brave colour choice.
The bespoke service didn’t stop at finishes, though. Acuna and his studio also custom designed several one-off pieces for the home including a light fixture that floats above the kitchen island and two Windsor-style chairs. By deputising a small team of talented craftspeople, Acuna has achieved what any homeowner working with a designer want — something personal and tailored, and perfectly set for making memories.
SOURCE: Design Anthology