Our little Hong Kong apartment

April 16, 2014


I love seeing what other people’s spaces look like, so I figured you might like to see D & I’s little one-bedroom apartment here in Hong Kong. It’s super small (as in about 400 square feet), but our one consolation is that we have an attached terrace that’s as big as our apartment is inside. Our place is a constant work in progress, but here’s what our living room looks like at the moment!


All my furniture was shipped, via the Pacific Ocean, in a container ship from my previous one-bedroom apartment in Chicago. Luckily my job paid for my moving costs to Hong Kong, but they would only pay to ship all my American-size furniture over; they wouldn’t give me cash to buy new furniture here of a more appropriate size. Hence, we have a very large queen sofa sleeper that takes up a quarter of our living room. Guests love him, but D & I will probably eventually replace the big guy for something cute & petite.


We’re at that stage in our lives where our collection of furniture is a smorgasbord of hand-me-downs. The lovely coffee table used to be in my family house in North Carolina, and we will probably have to let it go as well for something that you don’t bang your leg in as you walk in the front door. I bought the couch used from a very nice lady for $300 in Evanston in Chicago, and it’s originally from the historic Marshall Field’s department store (which is sadly no longer in existence.) This is the couch’s summer look. The woman had had a slip cover specially designed for it with three cushions (instead of two). So I have two giant cushions hiding out in our bedroom closet… sorry d ;) The couch is a nice dark brown under its cover, which, of course, is its winter look.


There is a door to the terrace from the living room and another from the bedroom, which is a feature I love since guests then don’t have to go tramping through our boudoir. Of course, since we don’t have a closet other than our bedroom wardrobe, corners also have to serve as handy little storage spaces for necessities like umbrellas, a duster and a vacuum cleaner. Strangely, one of the things I miss most about the U.S. is having closets… why that is not a thing here is beyond me.


Our walls are made of concrete… yes, concrete, ha. I went out and bought a drill to hang this guitar, but had to end up hiring someone to actually hang it up! (Alas, I was too weak.) The dreamcatcher I bought in Japan at a Native American store, which I was surprised to see in… Japan.


D & I share this desk as our workspace. The pink phone I bought at the night market here in Hong Kong to have a fun little way to talk to friends and family on Skype. It just plugs into the computer and functions like a headset.


Books are a hard thing to let go. I got rid of tons before I left Chicago, and now that I have a Kindle I am luckily not bringing too many more into the apartment here (we’re at maximum capacity, as you can see). We’ve also resorted to hiding our very ugly filing cabinet with a fun Ikea fabric for the time being. Another project for another day… The desk is from Pricerite here in Hong Kong, and was about $120 (including delivery & assembly). We don’t have a television, so that computer there is dual-purpose. ;)



We received the cute cacti as a present from Diarmuid’s sister Marie when she was here visiting. (Thanks, Marie!!) They were purchased at the Hong Kong Garden Show that runs once a year here. The big plant is from Ikea and the little one in the pitcher was purchased at a local shop here. The tray was purchased by D at a “junk store” (which are everywhere here in HK and sell the most random of things).


I made all the pillows on the couch after I took a class on, yup, pillow-making in Chicago at The Needle Shop (where the fabric was also purchased). The art on the wall was bought on Etsy and at the MOMA store here in Hong Kong. And the three little wall hangings above the door are just wrapping paper of birds and flowers that I framed. The newspaper rack was a present from D’s mom (Thanks, Isolde!!) from Ireland, while the shoe rack was found on the side of the street, and we adopted it.


We like to welcome guests with little personal touches (my friend Reyna was here visiting last week, as you can see). This photo was taken from the kitchen, which is open to the living room. I made the art board that is above our couch with some foam board I had bought back in the U.S. You can see a quick tutorial on how to make one here. The fabric was purchased at the Western Market in Hong Kong, and I think it’s kinda Betsey Johnson, don’t you?

Well, thanks for stopping by! We can’t wait to share with you the rest of our apartment soon and little updates as we make it more like home. ;)

☁ -kristin (& d)