Hong Kong Apartment: Recent Changes

No surprises here…our little toddler’s lifestyle (can you believe Campbell is TWO now?!) is demanding a few changes around our place. When we decided to upgrade from our previous one bedroom apartment I wondered how well and for how long our two bedroom, two bathroom space would work for us. I’m happy to report that we still very much enjoy our little space that the three of us share!

Over the last couple years, and definitely after the arrival of our baby – now toddler – we have adapted the space to suit us all, which you can read about here. There have been quite a few (albeit minor) adjustments since I shared our apartment tour prior to Campbell’s arrival. We recently made a few changes to his room layout to create more storage space. I thought I would share the adaptations in Campbell’s bedroom, and then realized I could share an updated tour of our space, with updates on what’s working for us and the ONE THING I really wish we could change.


The entry is actually non-existent in this place, and you walk right into our kitchen. Our solution for shoes, jackets and bag storage is working well. The space between the cabinet and kitchen island is juuuuuuust wide enough for our stroller to fit in and out. The new addition is a play kitchen for Campbell. We had originally planned to put it in his room, but it’s so nice to have him close by so we can all work in our kitchens together! It may move in the future.

  1. Ikea Pax (14″ deep) wardrobe + shelves – my parents had it in storage + we shipped over, reused from last apartment

  2. Ikea Fardal gloss white hinged doors – purchased in HK, reused from last apartment

  3. Custom stump stool by Peregrine – already owned + shipped over, reused from last apartment

  4. Ikea Duktig play kitchen – Campbell’s 2nd Birthday present, purchased in HK


We love this kitchen and its open concept. We often remark how perfect the island solution is, and how much work surface it adds to our space. We are experts at efficiently stocking our cabinets and Campbell views the plastic containers stored in the island as another stack of toys. We have added a cantilever high chair to our island, which Campbell uses at every meal and can conveniently un-clamp and stow flat if we want a bit more space.

  1. Ikea Stenstorp kitchen island (we painted blue) – purchased and shipped from Canada, reused from last apartment

  2. Glossy black Tolix-style stools – purchased in Hong Kong, reused from last apartment

  3. Phil & Teds Lobster Chair – purchased in Canada and brought back with us to HK

Did you notice that we have a new piece of art on the wall? This is probably the most bad-ass art you can imagine…it’s an original block print of two female soldiers that Braden purchased when he was in North Korea. Yes, you read that right: NORTH Korea.


Our little living room works hard as Campbell’s play zone during the day and a relaxation space for Braden and I in the evening. It’s important to us that we don’t feel that we are living in a playroom, so we have devised solutions that, for the most part, keep evidence of our little critter to a minimum. We got a bit tired of overflowing baskets of toys ago and decided some dedicated toy storage was in order. Without many options for location, we measured the little sliver of floor between our sofa and Campbell’s bedroom door, and chose a unit from Ikea. Our loose mandate is that once his toy collection grows beyond that capacity, items need to be removed and passed on.

The new toy storage displaced our little stone end table. I love it too much to get rid of it for now, so it’s got a new home tucked behind our TV unit. It looks a bit funny, but it’s staying there for now.

We also purchased a play mat to soften Campbell’s development from rolling to crawling to walking and beyond. I love that it’s double sided, so we can flip it to the black and white pattern and feel a bit more adult, with the playful car side hidden away. To make sure we didn’t damage the mat, we also removed the wheels from our storage cubes.

  1. Stylus sofa-bed – purchased in Canada and shipped over, reused from last apartment

  2. Stone end table from HomeSense – already owned + shipped over, reused from last apartment

  3. Lamp from HomeSense – already owned + shipped over, reused from last apartment

  4. Storage Cubes from Home Outfitters – already owned + shipped over, reused from last apartment

  5. Ikea Eket series toy storage – new addition purchased in HK

  6. Ikea Besta TV Unit – already owned + shipped over, reused from last apartment

  7. TV – splurged and bought in Hong Kong

  8. Dwinguler Playmat – purchased in Australia and brought back to HK

Our artwork wall is still loved (you can read about our artwork strategy here) and we haven’t changed or updated the grouping above the sofa.


Our little bedroom is serving us well. Our storage solutions are working well, especially the huge capacity under our bed and the wardrobes that keep everything organized. We’ve squeezed a bit of storage on the window ledge, mostly hidden by the wardrobe, where we keep our bench-top oven. The laundry basket sits on top.

  1. Ikea Pax Wardrobe (23″ deep) x2- purchased in Hong Kong, reused from last apartment

  2. Ikea Sekken Sliding Doors x 2 – purchased in Hong Kong, reused from last apartment

  3. Ikea Skubb Storage Bins – purchased in Hong Kong, reused from last apartment

  4. Ikea Malm Storage Bed – purchased in Hong Kong, reused from last apartment

  5. Mattress – already owned + shipped over, reused from last apartment

  6. Lamp from HomeSense – already owned + shipped over, reused from last apartment

  7. Ikea Malm Chest of 6 Drawers – purchased in Hong Kong for this new place

With the addition of our North Korea art, my self-portrait got relocated to our bedroom. When Campbell sees this piece he points to it and says “Mama!” We have never told him that it’s me; I have no idea how he knows.


We still love this bathroom and its abundance of storage. We have shelves behind a sliding mirror above the sink that holds a lot of our day to day items and there’s a cabinet below the sink to store larger items. We love the shower with its rain head and window that lets in natural light.


We have loved Campbell’s nursery set-up, but recently started to feel like we weren’t maximizing our storage options. We decided to utilize more vertical space, and replace Campbell’s dresser with full height cabinets. We gave away the dresser, which was a bit tough to part with because it’s such a nice piece, but it’s found a good new home! Our current challenge with this solution is no longer having a surface to change Campbell on, so for now we have left out some shelves in his cabinet and are using that area for a changing station. We also bought a new (much pricier) change pad and I wish we had made that decision right from the start…it’s so much better than the cheap one we had before that fell apart.

  1. Ikea Pax Wardrobe (23″ deep) x3- purchased in Hong Kong for our bedroom previously, plus two new additions 

  2. Ikea Vikedal Doors x 1 – purchased in Hong Kong for our bedroom previously

  3. Ikea Fardal Doors x 2 – purchased in Hong Kong recently 

  4. Antique armchair – already owned and shipped over, relocated from living room

  5. Ikea Stockholm cowhide pouf – already owned + shipped over, relocated from living room

  6. Ikea Stuva Cot with Drawers – gifted from friends who were leaving Hong Kong

  7. Ikea Vyssa Vackert Mattress – purchased in Hong Kong

  8. Ikea Raskog Trolley – purchased in Hong Kong

  9. Keekaroo Peanut Changer – purchased online and shipped to Hong Kong

Relocating the wardrobe left a naked corner of the wall art mural (which you can read about here). I’m in the process of collecting some new quotes and will fill in that area in the next couple months.


A second bathroom feels like a luxury, and serves as Campbell’s bath zone, a bathroom when necessary, and extra storage. We are so lucky to have that space. We’ve found that we use the dehumidifier less often as the air conditioning is on during the day with Campbell home, so it’s stowed away beside the toilet. Really, this bathroom is a combination bathroom and storage room.

Now that the weather is cooling down and laundry doesn’t dry on the balcony as quickly, we have created a laundry drying area in the high space above the toilet. A tension rod creates hanging space for items we divert from the dryer. We can put the dehumidifier on its clothes drying setting, close the door, and things dry quite fast. It’s a great system!

Campbell’s in a great routine washing his hands when we get home, and he loves to brush his teeth, but the only way we can make this happen is by sitting him on the little piece of counter beside the sink (not particularly safe or practical). We recently purchased a step stool for him to use and he loves it!

  1. Delonghi dehumidifier – purchased in Hong Kong, reused from last apartment

  2. Ikea Bekvam stool – purchased in Hong Kong

  3. Bumbo toilet trainer – purchased in Hong Kong


While we still wish our patio was accessible from the living room (this is definitely the one aspect of our place I wish we could change!)  we’ve gotten used to timing our entries and exits around Campbell’s naps and sleep schedule. Our little tyke’s 7pm bedtime keeps us at home most evenings, and we have been known to get a bit squirrelly sitting in the living room. We quite enjoy sneaking out onto the patio after Campbell falls asleep, often with a glass of wine and our portable Bose speaker, for some night views. We always have great conversations out there and out little patio feels like another room to enjoy.

With only one chair, one of us has been perching on the tiny ledge which is far from comfortable. To address this we purchased a ceramic stool in the traditional blue and white Chinese pottery style. Doubling as a side table or stool, it’s functional, can withstand the weather, and will work in any number of locations wherever we live next.

Our friends in Hong Kong were moving to Australia and getting rid of their Weber BBQ, the larger version of the one we brought with us from Canada. We passed our small one on to a friend and Braden has been enjoying increased grill capacity!

  1. Weber BBQ – gifted from friends in Hong Kong

  2. Metal 5′ Ladder – purchased in Hong Kong, reused from our last place

  3. Eames Molded Plastic Eiffel Base Chair – already owned + shipped over, relocated from our bedroom (essentially being stored outside as we have nowhere else to put it)

  4. Ceramic Stool – purchased recently in Hong Kong

I hope you enjoyed our little house tour. Do you think you could live here with a two year old?!

Alison Shields

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