There’s no denying that ‘sustainability’ and ‘eco-wellness’ are trending buzzwords in today’s design climate, but have you ever wondered how these abstract concepts play out in reality? In other words, what does a sustainable eco-wellness home actually look like? And what practical design features are needed to make a space more eco-focused?
While there is a wealth of online information available on this topic, there’s nothing quite like seeing with your own eyes how it should be done. Cue Liquid Interiors’ Mount Pavilia project, which stands out for its accessible and tech-forward approach to all things eco. Keep scrolling to see more.
“The flat encourages lifestyle choices that improve health and the environment, and is a unique showcase to the world of a beautiful and homey family living space that focuses on love and connection as well as pioneering design.” – Rowena Gonzales, Designer and Founder of Liquid Interiors
Show and Tell
Situated within the Mount Pavilia development in Hong Kong’s Clearwater Bay, this 1750 sq ft family home lays claim to being Asia’s first eco-wellness show flat. It was created in collaboration with Hong Kong developer New World Development, and aims to demonstrate the importance of wellness in residential design.
As such, the project – led by award-winning designer Rowena Gonzales – is packed full of innovative sustainable living features which work to improve the health and environment of its future occupants.
“The residents are likely to be a typical busy Hong Kong family with two parents, one child and grandparents living in a home together with a helper. They’re a family that cares about their health and appreciates nature and their connection with their environment, and want to maximize that connection in a Hong Kong setting.”
Out of Africa
Design-wise, the interiors embody eclectic warmth. “We took inspiration from the African Savannah,” explains Gonzales. Think neutral tones and organic textures, such as the abundance of wood and woven accents. “The styling was kept natural and quite neutral rather than iconic, whilst retaining a global essence.”
“I think it comes through when you enter the flat that we have created a true home that centers on the health and well-being of the family living there. In every design decision we have focused on a home that is a sanctuary and escape away from everyday life.”
“From the beginning of any new project we take a healthy and eco-approach, placing emphasis on understanding our clients’ health, wellness and environmental priorities,” shares Gonzales. “We are focused on finding positive solutions to designing spaces and bringing luxury healthy living to our clients where wellness and sustainability take the lead, providing healthier and happier homes.”
When it came to the design of this particular apartment, the Liquid Interiors team first looked to their tried and true ten point list of healthy and sustainable living concepts. These include clean air, clean water, wellness technology (e.g. circadian lighting), transformable living, and healthy eating. The thought process behind these originates from international building criteria set forth by LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) and the WELL Building Standard.
Out and Out
In practical terms, this has resulted in some beautiful forward-thinking sustainable design features. Inspired by the ‘connect’ concept for instance, a beautiful outdoor garden linked to the interior by way of a floor-to-ceiling folding glass wall of windows allows for connectivity with nature.
“The flat woven all-weather outdoor rug, together with all other rugs in this show flat, are certified as free of child labor by Goodweave and Care & Fair. They have been dyed with environmentally friendly dyes, and the outdoor rug was woven with recycled plastic bottle yarn.”
Health is Wealth
“Growing microgreens and herbs to use for salads and juicing is a wonderful way of bringing nature, a sustainable food growing system and healthy eating into the home,” enthuses Gonzales. “Combined with the rapid composter, this creates a circular system. The fertilizer created by the kitchen food decomposer can be used to sustain the garden. This type of feature can really connect people with an eco-lifestyle.”
Beyond diet, a good night’s sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Luckily for the occupants of this apartment, the bedrooms have been especially designed to meet the optimum environment for rest.
“Good wellness design is actually often about supporting the simple things in life,” notes Gonzales. “Everybody needs good quality sleep, and the smart home circadian lighting system in this room creates the perfect environment for this.”
“Circadian lighting mimics the color temperature of the sun. As the resident wakes up, dawn simulation gently increases the amount of light in the room as blackout blinds slowly retract and the sound of chirping birds plays in the background. The temperature in the room is slightly elevated to allow for the resident to wake in a pleasant setting.”
“As the resident goes to bed, the temperature is lowered, blackout shades are automatically closed and the lights are slowly turned off. A short ocean track helps to clear the mind and relax the body into sleep.”
Elsewhere, a transformable study meets exercise and meditation space directly targets the stress inherent in Hong Kong’s high pressure work environment.
Here, a sit and stand ergonomic workstation works to improve posture and reduce health risks when working. At the same time, this workstation can be hidden to allow for a clutter-free environment conducive to exercise and relaxation.
Whilst it’s true that we’ve covered many eco-focused design projects on the site before (see here and here), Liquid Interiors’ Mount Pavilia draws attention for its vibrant beauty and easy charm. It’s at once accessible and practical – all of the design features make sense within the context of healthy living, rather than existing just for the sake of eco-appearances.
Looking to add some sustainability into your own home? We turned to Gonzales for her expert advice. “In general, I would say to break down all the elements that you can improve and take small steps to work towards a more eco-wellness focused home. Inform yourself and don’t get trapped with green washing. Make sure that you understand the basics of low VOC materials and write in the contractor’s contract that if the transparency of the eco-materials are not revealed before execution that they will not be able to collect payments.”
“Ultimately your home needs to be your healthy, stress-free sanctuary, and that should be the overall aim of any changes you might make.”