Monthly Archives: January 2014

Temples to visit for Year of the Horse

If you don’t know what to do for Chinese New Year, think about visiting one of Hong Kong’s elegant temples. People here go to temples during Chinese New Year to pray for good luck and as part of a ritual to begin their Lunar New Year well. In my first years in Hong Kong, I lived a short walk from Man Mo temple on Hollywood Road. It always felt so peaceful in there, with large incense coils hanging and amazing lanterns hanging everywhere.  These days I love going into the Lin Fa Kung temple in Tai Hang.  Even though this is a smaller place, its decorations are beautiful.        

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Stamps and Chops

With Chinese New Year starting on January 31st this year maybe it’s time to get a chop, or a stamp made. Some of the best places to get one are just off Pedder Street in Central (turn down a lane way next to the MTR exit on Pedder Street and you’ll be there). Obviously the word horse will feature a lot this year, along with love, long life and money. From a choice of marble, jade or stone, the craftsmen will carve out your Chinese name or the Chinese characters of your choice. Present a double happiness stamp as a gift – it’s a lovely meaningful way to show appreciation for friendship and support each year.

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Grange Interiors

Scottish-born Catherine Taylor opened Grange Interiors in One Island South, Aberdeen, in May 2013; to tap into the incredible charm and talent of designers and creatives who come mainly from Europe and the United Kingdom. Everything at Grange is hand-picked by Catherine and she has the amazing knack for finding true artisans that are not yet in Hong Kong while also sourcing some pretty beautiful antique lights, silverware and linens. The wallpapers and fabrics by Timorous Beasties are incredible and can change any apartments feel. French ceramacist Fabienne Tassi’s hand-thrown white pieces are to die-for: clean, simple and well-priced. If you want help with interiors, or advice on pillows, fabrics or wall-coverings, Catherine is great for this. This area is getting better for eateries so once you’ve visited Catherine’s store pop into Percy’s inside the Lane Crawford store, or if vegetarian is more your thing head to MUM for lunch, their set-lunches are delicious. 

What made you start Grange Interiors?  I had an urge to own my own business, my Mum and Dad had their own business, so it was how I grew up. It also gives me more flexibility with a family. I came across some quirky independent designers from the UK that I used when I refurbished our 200 year old Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh and wanted to bring them to Hong Kong. I really admire their talent and many of their products still have an element made-by-hand.

Some of the things you might do in a day? It is like stirring a cooking pot… there is always a little bit of each area that needs attention. I will spend sometime in the shop meeting customers, then talk with designers/suppliers and place new orders, which often involves coming up with the most efficient shipping method. I am in awe of the designers, they are so talented and creative. I will also keep in contact with local magazines and let them know the new arrivals etc to feature. 

Describe your style?
Classic with a twist, often a touch of something from our travels. I like symmetry and therefore enjoy the Georgian period. I also enjoy the Art Deco period and mixing styles, some vintage pieces with new. 

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I’mperfect Xchange

Walk into Oil Street Art Space, North Point, and you’ll find I’mperfect Xchange. We live in a culture absorbed with the attainment of perfection. For designers, Hung Lam and Eddy Yu, their project called I’mperfect is doing a lot of good through creative collaborations that focus on the acceptance of imperfection. Which raises communal awareness related to the link between sustainable uses of resources and the living of a simple, more harmonious life. I’mperfect Xchange has a barter system when it comes to their transactions. Bring a can of food, or safely sealed produce, and this will get you an edible plant, such as basil or thyme. In addition, at Oil, the in-house organic farmer is great for collecting gardening knowledge. All food collected is taken directly to those in the community who are in need.

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