Monthly Archives: December 2013

Merry Christmas

This is a quick message to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. This will be our last post for 2013, so we wanted to thank you for your wonderful feedback and messages over the last six months. We hope you have enjoyed reading our stories as much as we have enjoyed writing, styling and photographing them for you. Thank you all for your support and for coming back post after post. We will be back on Monday the 6th of January 2014 with lots more stories, places, recipes and people to meet.  

Belinda & Ingrid 

Stylebrief- Xmas thank you




Flower Market

The Flower Market in Mongkok, Kowloon, is definitely one of our favourite places in Hong Kong. There are small boutiques opening up, and right now the markets are overflowing with Christmas trees, hyacinth buds, poinsettia, ivy, Christmas bush and bright, inexpensive Christmas ornaments. If your Christmas table is in need of a makeover, this should be your first point of call. Sum Kee Yuen has super stylish mini pine trees that would look beautiful on a table. Create bunting, or make your own stars for each little tree as perfect place settings for your Xmas day guests.  

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Latitude 22N

The showroom and studio of Latitude 22N is housed in a 1970’s warehouse in Chai Wan. Here Hong Kong born and bred Julie Progin and her American born husband Jesse McLin work and showcase their varied collections. This clever duo not only create and design but also work with artisans in Jingdezhen province in China, the home of porcelain, to produce a modern yet quirky take on ceramics. You will find it hard to leave Latitude 22N without something. Their suspension lights come in a multitude of colours; their ‘Ding’ light, in white or black, is a delicate yet striking modern take on the hanging light. Their basic porcelain bowls, plates and cups are produced in beautiful hues, and their collections, The Night Market, Song and Waves are unique and refreshing. Everything is done with precision and thought. It makes me think that ceramics/porcelain is definitely coming back in a big way.  After graduating with a Bachelor in Fine Arts at Kansas City Art Institute and then a Masters degree at The Alfred State School of Ceramics Arts Jesse McLin went to New York and taught at Parsons School of Design where he met Julie Progin. Jesse works with many different materials: metal, paper, ceramics, glass, and the incredible wooden tree installations could be used as a room divider or just to just simply have in a space gives a sense of calm. Jesse’s childhood growing up exploring the redwoods of Northern California perhaps gave him an eye to hand carve these beautiful wooden sculptures. Julie studied textiles at Duperré in Paris and ended up exploring product design at Parsons in New York, but her Hong Kong roots brought them back to launch their own design studio. 

What made you start Latitude 22N?

Our wedding was the starting point. We wanted to share our appetite for ceramics and design with our loved ones. Next thing you know, we pulled up our sleeves and set out to create our wedding decor out of ceramic from lights to candle holders down to dinner plates. This is when our Song dinnerware collection came to be. We were inspired by the delicate, simple and nature influenced patterns of the Song era that were made in Jingdezhen, porcelain capital city of China, that we had seen at the Metropolitan in New York where we lived at the time. The designs we came up with had such good responses that we decided we had to find a way to make more pieces and what better place to make them then to go back where the source of our inspiration came from. So we packed our bags and headed off to explore the know hows of Jingdezhen’s craftsmen, dropping off suitcases in Hong Kong along the way. What we found there was breathtaking. Amazing white porcelain and skills that we had not encountered before. Naturally we started exchanging ideas with the artisans there and drew up more and more collections back in our studio in Hong Kong. The name Latitude 22N was then decided – 22N for the terrestrial coordinates of the city of Hong Kong. Latitude as a reflection of our diverse skills, backgrounds and that of all the people involved in the making of our collections. 

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Wooden cutting boards are so great for styling and a can’t-live-without kitchen aid ( the ease of a well-crafted one is a relief when chopping vegetables). A great shop in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon Woodwork Professor, G/F 335-339 Shanghai Street. Tel: +852 2332 2443 specialises in all kinds: square shaped, pizza tray ones to large circular styles. They also have a large stack of camphor boards out the front of the shop. No good for cooking but a lifesaver, when hung in the wardrobe, from moth attacks on precious clothes. Just across the road is Man Kee Chopping Board, G/F 340-342 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei. Tel:+852 2332 2784 they also have a good selection of wooden boards. 

Rubbing a little sunflower oil or coconut oil all over the board around 3- 4 tablespoons with cloth gloves every few months will keep your board glossed and in prime condition. 


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Christmas is a go-go

Christmas is nearly here, so if you are looking for live trees and beautiful wreaths, head to Chung Hing Gardening & Landscaping, Chun Hing Garden, Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley. Tel: +852 2573 5408. This incredible urban nursery is located in between Happy Valley racecourse and the historical cemeteries of Hong Kong which are a story in themselves. If you are Sai Kung side, talk to Pedro at KK Horituculture – this family run establishment always has lovely Christmas trees, wreaths and candle settings for the table. Tau Chung Hau Road, Sai Kung, Tel: +(852) 2792 7440.

Once you have a tree you will need some decorations. I recently supplied the lifestyle store Mirth in Hong Kong a bunch of my own – I add a touch of Liberty fabric to vintage bells and glass spheres – which will lend some seasonal dazzle to any home or apartment. 

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