Wandering in Hong Kong | Old Wan Chai Market and Ovo Home

Across the street from the Blue House, at Queen’s Road East and Wan Chai Road crossing, is where you can find the old Wan Chai Market. For some reason, I’m still having this faint memory of Wan Chai market from my visit to Hong Kong back in 2007, maybe due to the distinctive Art Deco architectural style of the building. Now, a façade is all that remain. The wet market was closed down in 2008 and relocated to a few blocks down the street in a new, air-conditioned complex. A luxurious high-rise condominium was built on top of the original market complex.

However, to my pleasant surprise, the market complex now houses a furniture and lifestyle store – Ovo Home and its café. Well, you know me, I am excited by any chance to visit a good looking furniture store.. :)

Some pictures taken from the store –

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Almost tempted to buy this lamp!

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Wandering in Hong Kong | The Blue House

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I was in Hong Kong for a business trip last week, and have taken advantage of the Raya long weekend to spend a few more days in this city that is so dear to me (that’s where my husband and I got to know each other through a summer school program held by Chinese University of Hong Kong :))

Having been to Hong Kong for a few times already, I have decided to be less “tourist-like” this time and go without any planned itinerary/to-do list. Since we stayed at Wan Chai area, we started our “aimless wandering” around this area, trying to discover more than just the Golden Bauhinia Square.

Walking along Queen Road’s East and turned into Stone Nullah Lane, we’ve reached the Blue House (蓝屋). This “tong lao” (tenement house) is a preserved Grade-1 heritage site that is home to a community museum and a handful of long-time residents.

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The Blue House is a four-storey Lingnan-style house built in the 1920’s with a mixture of Chinese and Western architectural features. The distinctive blue colour was not a deliberate aesthetic decision – the decorators only had blue paint, so a blue house it became.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, kung fu master Wong Fei-hung’s student Lam Sai-wing and his nephew launched their kung fu studio here. There are still residents occupying the structure, despite a lack of modern conveniences such as flush toilets.

from Discoverhongkong

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Copenhagen | Visit to HAY House

Just 1 minute away from Visit to Illums Bolighus, is another Danish design store that you have to visit when in Copenhagen – the HAY house. Woo hoo! Seriously, what’s not to love about Copenhagen for an interior design enthusiast?

HAY House is located on the first and second floor of a grand building in Ostergade street. Visiting the shop is like stepping into a really nice apartment with large windows and beautiful herringbone wood floor. Every room is styled impeccably with furniture and accessories from HAY. It was almost summer when I visited the place, the Scandinavian sunlight streaming in through the large windows, the place looked every bit like my dream house :)

Here, you will find a large collection of HAY products, from stationaries, pillows and textiles to sofa, tables and chairs. Everything is approached in a straightforward and unpretentious way, but often with a twist in its design. The stuffs here are functional but never boring.

At the heart of everything that HAY does is the notion that contemporary design should spring from good idea, innovative technology and quality materials in combination with joyful, straightforward and uncomplicated aesthetics.

– from HAY

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Copenhagen | Visit to Illums Bolighus the Scandinavian Design Heaven

Visiting Copenhagen was quite a last minute decision in the planning of our Europe trip this year, but it was truly one of the best last minute decision made as we really enjoyed this city a lot.

Apart from the Scandinavian high prices, there are many reasons to love the capital city of the world’s happiest country. Beautiful architecture, lots of water and parks, new Nordic cuisine, stylish people on bikes everywhere and of course, Danish design and the many design stores around.

Illums Bolighus is the store that you shouldn’t miss if you only have time to visit ONE design store in Copenhagen.

“Imagine, no counters and formalities, the future – and it is gorgeous – is arranged in displays you could practically move into. It is the only shop in the world which can truly call itself the MOMA of modern living”  – Noted travel writer Temple Fielding on Illums Bolighus in the 1950s

Located at Amagertorv, the main shopping belt of the city, the flagship store is a 10,000m2 design emporium of modern design.  Erik Jørgensen, Carl Hansen & Søn, Louis Poulsen, Normann Copenhagen, Gubi,  Muuto, Hay, Ferm Living and many more … Illums Bolighus has it all.

I felt quite overwhelmed throughout my 2 hours spent in the store because there are just so many things to look at! (and just too many things I feel like buying!)The department store has a total of 4 storeys filled with little knick-knacks, home accessories, glassware, ceramics, lamps and furniture. Beware that you might just spent all your vacation money here because honestly, the stuffs here are really pricey and seriously good-looking :P

But of course you don’t have to buy sofa in order to visit here. In my opinion, it is totally worth a visit to just inhale or soak up the unique beauty Danish design.

Even the window display with the Panthella lamp feels ethereal. 

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Paris | Visit to Merci Concept Store

Hello guys! It’s been a while since my last post!

I’ve just gotten back from a short vacation in Paris, Amsterdam and Copenhagen and can’t wait to share some of the design shops I’ve visited in this trip :)

In our previous trip to Paris last year, we were so busy visiting the museums and all the famous sites (oh well, that was our first ever holiday in Paris… and how could we give up the Eiffel, Notre Dame Cathedral and The Louvre etc), I had to give the Merci a miss due to time constraint.

Second visit to Paris, we were much more relaxed this time, and finally made our way to the well known Merci concept store located in the heart of the trendy neighbourbood of le Haut Marais.

Merci is a general goods store founded by Bernand and Marie-France Cohen (the couple behind the luxury children’s clothing brand Bonpoint). It is a charitable concept store, which all the proceeds are going to children charities in Madagascar. The store was opened in 2009, housed in a sunlit lofty building converted from an old wallpaper factory and has since listed as one of the top places to visit in any kind of Paris design guide. I have probably seen a million pictures of Merci store in Pinterest and read numerous blog posts about this chic, eclectic store, but still felt really excited when I saw the iconic red fiat in the courtyard!Merci 01 DSC01442 Walking through the paved courtyard and stepping into the store, you’ll find a rotating exhibition. Right now they are having an installation of cloud-like structures, floating above the collection of household cotton sheets. It was really very pretty! photo 8 DSC01443 The ground floor and the half floor up has menswear,  womenswear and accessories; as well as the Aesop and Annick Goutal boutique. photo 30photo 27photo 28 photo 1

 

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