Interior designer Fox Daniels is not afraid to use big colours in small spaces. We step inside her gorgeously Bohemian city crash pad.
When designer Fox Daniels lived in Paris, she fitted out her tiny city apartment like “a jewellery box” She has taken a similar approach to her Hollywood Road pied-a-terre slash office, thinking through every inch of the 800-sq-ft space in order to adapt to the limited confines.
“I wanted to create the idea of a loft,” she tells IIJ, as she sits in her beautifully re-upholstered pink chaise longue. First, she knocked the walls out of the former three-bedroom flat and removed all the existing decoration. “It was just bizarre,” she laughs. “Just cookie-cutter stuff, so I took everything out and turned it into an open plan space.” Fox turned one windowless bedroom into a cosy, soundproofed sleeping cocoon with a heavy sliding steel door. She turned another bedroom into a convenient walk-in closet with a mirrored door, thus maximising the feeling of space.
As well as reconfiguring the flat so as to enhance the space. Fox used her trademark striking colour combinations and objects d’art to liven things up. “It’s so important to me the minute you walk over a threshold that it’s theatrical,” she says. “Hong Kong is a tough city, so you have to be able to walk into a space and feel like you have entered a different world.”
The designer initially thought of fitting the space out with an English boys’ club feel with heavy curtains and Chesterfields; in the end, though, she decided to decorate her home in a way that would reflect the surrounding neighbourhood’s artsy feel.
The result is a dramatic purple and green theme. “Whatever you put next to bold colour will stand out,” she says, pointing out an antique medicine cabinet sourced from Zhuhai. “The piece itself is actually rather banal and not too intense, but in front of the purple it really pops.»
Old furniture like this blends with newer pieces, too, while masculine elements nicely offset the feminine. The yin/yang balancing act comes through in the way in which Fox has positioned a pretty, mint-green cabinet next to the hard lines of the industrial-style steel kitchen, or a solid, smoky steel door next to brilliant fuchsia pink walls. “It was important to keep it masculine and feminine,” explains the designer, as she and her husband both live and work in this limited space during the week.
Having made life and work function perfectly in such a compact area. Fox has plenty of tips for others looking to renovate a small space. “You have to keep your furniture off the floor so it doesn’t look too heavy, and then use bold colour to make your eyes go all over the place,” she advises. “That makes each little corner interesting and it makes your environment feel like a luxury coat you can wrap yourself up in.”