• Wei Shen

Interior design case study: a modern condo renovation in Shenzhen.

Home is not only where one resides on a daily basis, but a personal connection that lies within each and every one of us. To me, home is not just an enclosed physical space to accommodate our daily activities, it's more supposed to be a paradise fulfilled with one's unique identities that are reflected by an armchair, a piece of art, a color palette, a smell, a specific ambiance, etc...something that can let one feel like their true selves when no one else is around.

Today we are going to have a tour of this 129 m² condo project in Shenzhen, designed by studio FUN. In this interior design project, you will not see some showroom-like types of renovation. Instead, highly personalized tastes and customizations are omnipresent, therefore, inspirations may be found here and there depending on your different focuses. Remember, it's to get inspired, not to copy from. A good design can never be successfully duplicated in another context.

Upon purchasing this condo, the couple planned to simply fulfill this place with some tasteful furniture after basic finishing work (the condo was delivered unfinished, which is the main case for condominium projects in China so that people have more flexibilities on selecting their preferable materials). Not until halfway of the construction did they figure out that choosing all the materials in order to achieve what they wanted was much more complicated than expected, then an interior design team was brought in.

Interior renovation plan

Image from FUN

At this point, it was not practical to change the layout since the project was halfway done, as all the plumbing, electrician and dropped ceiling work had finished, the role of the interior design team was more of a makeup artist instead of a cosmetic surgeon. The couple was quite cooperative during the entire creative process, from major space optimizations to decisions as small as selecting a garbage can, they respected the designer’s guide seriously, for instance, customizing wall art frames from a specific artist, instead of buying an off-the-shelf product.

Bearing the thought that the couple loved a combination of relatively simple construction work and rather stylish decorations, the hired designers successfully transformed this condo into a contemplative world with a restrained retro style, through basic building materials as well as details full of personal touches.

Living room

Living room with textured walls interior design

Image from FUN

Initially, full white walls were planned by the couple for the living room. Given the needs of breaking the monotony, the designer opted for a high black baseboard (or we can say low wainscoting) which adds a retro vibe to this space and indicates the fundamental concept of a classic-modern hybrid. It also gives a reasonable height to the TV console, which emphasizes on the fluency of the space without compromising necessary storage and design details. Wood grills take a good portion of the off-white wall. Again, the monotony of the large wall is eliminated, and textures & layers of the wall area are created at the same time.

Living room with grill walls interior decoration

Image from FUN

A carefully chosen wall frame, instead of hanging, is leaning against the grilled wall, which allows more possibilities when the occupants want to try it at different locations. Meanwhile, it creates a rather casual characteristic for this cozy nook. Curtains made of natural linen drape to the floor. I really love this kind of detail. It magically changes the atmosphere of the living room, comparing to a cropped length above the floor. Some may complain about the maintenance. In my opinion, linen cleans easily and dries super fast. More importantly, most enjoyable luxurious materials require higher maintenance which we really need to accept, just like the use of marble countertop in many people's homes.

LC4 lounge chair in a living room design

Image from FUN

At noon, sunlight enters the living room through the translucent curtains, painting a warm, cozy and serene atmosphere, super relaxing. The best activity I can think of would be reading a book on this LC4 Chaise Longue, designed by architect Le Corbusier, for an entire afternoon. Definitely an anchor for me to indulge myself.

The marble coffee tables were customized in a local stone factory. Based on the size of the raw stone, designers arranged the cutting plan on the computer in order to guarantee the best patterns within the desired dimensions.