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Imperfect Wabi Sabi Apartment

The Imperfect Residence, designed by Nelson Chow from Hong Kong based architecture firm NCDA, is a recently renovated one bedroom apartment in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the title concisely refers to the designer’s guiding light, namely the old Japanese philosophy Wabi Sabi, which is based on finding beauty in imperfection and appreciating simplicity.

Translated into the language of interior design, these principles have created a residence of restrained elegance and contemporary minimalism, where everything is seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the building and where bold geometries are combined with materials in their natural, unfinished state.

The apartment is based on the Japanese origins of the interior design informed by Wabi Sabi and is configured as a ceremonial three-stage journey from the sculpture garden to the sanctuary to the altar. Connected by three darker passages, the three main rooms are airy and light and designed holistically as concise compositions.

The living room, inspired by the sculpture garden, enters a dark, wood-clad vestibule and has smooth, hand-brushed plaster walls, parquet floors inlaid with marble and oxidized metal parts. By opening one of the folding panels on the marble riser, the entrance to the sanctuary becomes visible. The sleeping area is accessed through a wood-clad raised platform inspired by the concept of the Genkan – a traditional Japanese entrance that separates the outside world – and is dominated by a large window that illuminates a harmonious arrangement of geometries and materials. Another hidden door, this one at the end of the raised passage, leads to the altar, namely the dressing room and the main bathroom. Check out how these spaces are organized and get inspired by this unique design!

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