A shoebox apartment inspired by Lego

This 377-square-foot Hong Kong apartment has acquired a simple Scandinavian look, with Lego as its design inspiration. Let’s see how Sim-Plex Design Studio made it work.

  • A shoebox apartment inspired by Lego

Text by Yen Kien Hang

There was a time when the buzzword “kidult” was all the rage. A combination of “kid” and “adult”, nothing embodied this concept more than the variously coloured interlocking plastic bricks known as Lego. Not only are they loved by children, but also by adult enthusiasts who collect or create Lego models and art as a hobby.

Shoebox lego inspired apartment

The same can be said for the young couple living in this 377-square-foot apartment in Hong Kong. Building Lego models had always been a common interest for both as it served as a stress-reliever after a busy day of work.

However, as designer Patrick Lam of Sim-Plex Design Studio discovered, these hobbies were often seen as a luxury in cramped urban living spaces. “Can we integrate the display of hobbies and interests into a redesigned space?” he wondered. And so, even though this two-bedroom apartment was not large and lacked sufficient daylight, the need to display the homeowners’ multi-dimensional Lego art has been prioritised. 

Shoebox lego inspired apartment

Taking inspiration from Scandinavian design, Patrick first combined the two bedrooms and used a half-height storage cabinet as a divider between the bathroom and the master bed, while maintaining a sense of transparency. The cabinet facing the bathroom reserved a space for displaying the couple’s Lego art, while the hollow space on the side of the master bed could be used to store books or small boxes for Lego components. The tabletop then can be a reserved space for electrical outlets. 

Shoebox lego inspired apartment

The home’s high ceiling, which is over three metres, is also a “good problem” to have. As Patrick explains: “If full-height feature walls were used, it would create a more oppressive feeling. Therefore, we employed a colour scheme of white above and grey-blue below to create a sense of space without making it feel cramped.” He also accessorised the room with pink curtains, cushions, and wall art to provide a bit of colour contrast, thus creating a fashionable feeling akin to being in a boutique hotel. 

Next to the window in the master bedroom is a long work desk, with slim drawers for stationery and other items. Its tabletop can also be lifted when needed, transforming it into a dressing table with a hidden mirror and small compartments for cosmetics. The wardrobe opposite also comes with doors that include full-length mirrors on the inside for convenient use when getting dressed. The side of the wardrobe then features small compartments to display Lego figurines. 

Shoebox lego inspired apartment

Outside, in the living room, the original open kitchen layout has been kept and a low wooden television cabinet used to create a natural feeling. Spotlights and white sheer curtains enhance the sense of brightness. The door to the master bedroom has also been replaced with a fritted glass sliding door, which not only preserves privacy but also allows sunlight to enter, creating a comfortable and bright Scandinavian atmosphere. 

Dubbed “Lego Homeland”, this Scandinavian-style makeover, which focuses on a simple and comfortable natural look while preserving the “kidult” element for extra playfulness and fun, is truly a “staycation” that succeeds in counteracting the modern and fast-paced urban life in Hong Kong. 

Sim-Plex Design


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Shoebox lego inspired apartment
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