Things We Love

Terrariums and mossariums

We want to open your minds to the little lives inside a terrarium (or mossarium), to make you see how easy it is to grow them, and to make something a bit different. But what is a terrarium? The idea is that you make a tiny plot of garden inside a glass bottle, or vase, or mini aquarium. They are low maintenance and perfect for apartment living because all they require is a touch of sun and a good watering once a week.

Lilliput Tales have spent over three years making these small-scale cultivations. For lessons on how to start one of these wonderful little
gardens, or to buy supplies, head to Art Garden, G/F 48 Flowermarket Road, Prince Edward, Kowloon. +852 6286 726 in the Flower Market, and ask for Jasmine Lo or Kay Lo. Their atelier has everything from pebbles, coir, or sphagnum, moss, to cacti from all over the world, and tiny sculptures (if you are inclined towards art directing your little world). Jasmine is very skilled and experienced, and should you be interested in a custom-made terrarium, her work is always mesmerising.

We have also discovered King Yuen Garden, G/ F 223 Sai Yee Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon. Tel: +852 2789 3998, which is full of cacti and exotic plants specifically for terrariums. There’s even little bonsai that beautifies everything. What we’ve found is that terrariums are a really lovely project to have going, and given regular love and attention, they can thrive. And they light up a room.

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Pom-pom wreath and tassel workshops

For our collaboration with Tang Tang Tang Tang and KPC yarn we are conducting some fun Christmas craft workshops with a focus on wool and all the wonderful ways to work with it. We have classes for adults and for children. We have only a few seats left now for the 18th of December adult workshops. 

FOR THE ADULTS: We’ve decided on one-hour workshops where the task will be pom-pom wreaths made in Tang Tang Tang Tang colours – think warm greys, happy yellows and muted creams – and lovely tassels to dress up Christmas gifts. The tassels look great as key-rings, necklaces, or styling up bare spaces like window frames. Tang Tang Tang Tang will provide some light Christmas refreshments. And once you have mastered your wreath you can wander around their beautiful store and browse for Christmas gifts. KPC yarn is supplying their stunning line of wool and their products will be available to buy at the workshops. For bookings and payment visit our online shop here. Simply click on the workshop on your preferred date and email us at admin@stylebriefhongkong to let us know the time slot you require.  

Dates for pom-pom wreath and tassel-making workshops:

November 25, 6pm-7pm ( SOLD OUT )
                       7pm-8pm ( SOLD OUT )

December 4, 6pm-7pm (SOLD OUT )
                      7pm-8pm (SOLD OUT) 

December 11, 6pm-7pm ( SOLD OUT)
                        7pm-8pm (SOLD OUT)

December 18, 6pm-7pm (2 places available)
                        7pm-8pm (4 places available)

Cost:               HK$180/US$24 per person

Keep reading for the workshops for children below…

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Timeless game

Mahjong is an important part of Hong Kong culture, and many residents share a taste for the game.  It’s wonderful to seek them out and drop in on one in the squares near Shanghai Street, or down the open air fabric market in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon side.

Check out the striking and poetic antique mahjong sets, and so much more including amazing tiles, the family run business Chi Ming Mahjong, 60 Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, Tel: +852 2770 7839, has to offer.  As well working in-house is a mahjong tile carver who produces all the sets by hand. Note the convenient, travel-sized tiles at the Jade Market among all the beads and intricate jewels.  A wrong turn down Shanghai Street, Kowloon turned up some pale pink vintage Directions of Playing Mah-jongg books (written in English).  They are now available to buy here. 

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A Glammed-up crocheted shopper kit

A passion for handicrafts runs in my family. My mother was the woman in the 1970s who was skilled in many textile techniques (often self-taught), such as sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, tie-dye, and at one time I even recall her exploring the old-fashioned skill of spinning wool – and that was all before she studied to become a professional potter. To this day there are handicraft projects all over her home and while I may lack some of her expertise I enjoy taking some of her Seventies pieces in a new direction, which brings me to this glammed-up crochet shopper.

What better way to give a crochet shopper a new lease of life than to combine a fluorescent chain. This craft kit (available to buy here) includes a pattern which provides a simple plan for the beginner to intermediate to follow; four balls of KPC wool, 1.5 metres of fluorescent chain, and a crochet hook. Read the instructions, and you’ll be off on your first fun crochet journey. There are two colour ways to begin with – but there are plans to explore more options so check back for more ideas should you require them.

Good luck!


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Tiny Tasks

I love miniature things. A spindly sculpture house perched on a cliff (in my childhood home) has a lot to do with it, because to construct something so slender is one of the most challenging tasks for an artist.

Today Stylebrief’s miniature fascination includes artist Franco Ho of Francoz Garden who moulds extraordinary miniature scenes out of clay, which are breathtaking and feature vignettes of real life.  When Franco was first asked by a client to make a traditional Chinese temple for a school, he hadn’t tried anything like it before.  With pieces of wood and clay he set about casting a small temple, and within two months the exhibition consignment was complete.  The artworks are important because they are simultaneously beautiful but also manage to maintain an archive of historical buildings and scenarios being lost to history. Franco’s little scenes have a wonderful allure. To peek inside one, such as the dumpling restaurant or the street stall, is to disappear into a little world.


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Tipping the scales

We are always on the hunt for classic scales that can bring a bit of extra style to the kitchen you’re living and working in. The great hand-crafted bamboo sets found in Hong Kong are definitely visually beautiful but not necessarily what is needed for day-to-day cooking. However the range of scales in Hong Kong is vast, to say the least and available to suit almost every need, from practical digital or price calculating ones to top-loading scales for your flour or fruits. Mrs Ho at 345 Shek Lung street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Tel: +852 2388 5285, is a genius at going from scale to scale as she demonstrates and picks out the perfect set for you. Right next door to Mrs Ho is another small shop selling mechanical baker and industrial type scales if that is your thing. Hop Sing Chinese Scale Shop, on the corner of Wing Sing Lane and Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon. Tel: +852 2780 8544, has every kind of scale you can imagine. Having the right scales makes everything in the kitchen a bit simpler, but good-looking ones definitely cheer me up. 

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Lee Kung Man Knitting

Lee Kung Man Knitting Factory is one of my favourite places to pick up a classic white T-shirt, and is only a few minutes’ walk from Ki Lung Street in Sham Shui Po. We’re talking a collection of undergarments for men, women and children – what I Iove is the men’s white T-shirts with jeans or under jumpers in winter. Just ask the very friendly sales assistants to find just the right style for you from an array of neatly stacked piles of beautifully packaged garments.

188 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon. Tel +852 2777 2439

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stylebrief goes shopping

Stylebrief has been out sourcing again and we think it’s time to put some of our discoveries in the shop. One of our first vintage finds (and there will be many more gems to come) are these two exquisite enamel trays found in a little store on Kowloon side. The larger tray is 50 cm and the smaller one is 45 cm. They are in top condition and this kind of shape is perfect for pre-dinner cocktails or serving coffees to brighten up the morning. International shipping is available and all prices in the shop are in USD. For any inquiries email us at

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Imperial Yellow

Finding ceramics in Hong Kong is easy – every possible shape, size and colour is available here. A colour as bright as the sun – ‘Imperial Yellow’ – is this week’s current love. Its meaning is allied with the word ‘king’, and pieces drenched in it are a standout in their elegance. Oh, the only thing is the more luxurious price-tag: these beautiful artefacts can date back to the Ming and Ching Dynasty when they were designed for the Imperial Court. But quality stands the test of time, and now that they are available to the everyday collector, the investment is definitely worth it. A splash of sun-kissed porcelain is also a smart way to brighten up a room where there is not a lot of natural lighting. Our go to place is Friendship Commerical Building, 105-107 Hollywood Rd, Hong Kong. tel: +852 2548 3830 – David Choi is a master at ceramics and will gladly give you a quick history lesson as well.  

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Cloisonné (circa Ming Dynasty) is the resulting effect of metalware decorated with an ancient technique which uses enamel, gemstones, coloured glass paste, and various other materials.  In the late ’90’s one of the best place to find Cloisonné bowls, vases and plates in Hong Kong was a little store on the first floor of a building on Elgin Street. Sadly, this store ended up closing down, along with a cluster of great stores around it.  On late-night walks I used to pick up a lot of curios and other bits and pieces from there where dust would be all over the Cloisonné.  A simple wipedown with a damp cloth at home revealed an extremely beautiful object gleaming in vibrant shades in a treasure trove of designs.

A couple of good places to find Cloisonné around Hong Kong today are:

The Sum Ngai Brass Factory in Kam Tin, New Territories, has a huge collection of Cloisonné out, and for well-priced vases and Christmas decorations this is a good place to shop.  Ornamental and oversized bowls are available as well as splendid statement-making urns.  Pop into Friendship Trading Company, 105-107 Hollywood Rd, Central, for even more affordable gifts – the pencil holders and vases are just two examples of lovely Cloisonné staples.

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