Category Archives: Furniture Tips

An Expat’s Guide on Buying Furniture in Hong Kong

Newcomers in Hong Kong may be in for some shocks such as expensive apartments, pleasantly wide variety of under-promoted shops and characteristics that are uniquely Hong Kong. So before heading to a furniture shops in town, spend a few moments to review the following tips.


1. Before leaving home. Be realistic with what to expect for your apartment. Even when you are endowed with ample space, measurement of a designated spot for a wooden table, sofa or custom furniture is just the first step. Not only that, verify if the furniture fits well in the entrance door or building’s lifts and check if furniture can be assembled indoors. Otherwise you might spend extra to get things sorted out, and, worse, waste time, money and effort trying to bring that coveted fixture home.

2. When looking for cheaper options. Knowing that shops in Hong Kong are charged exorbitant rates means you have an idea it should be factored in pricing of display goods. In time of ultra efficient logistics — parts are made at places where costs are minimum and delivered to showrooms promptly — shop rentals still matter to Hong Kong furniture stores. In short, shops located at prominent addresses are likely going to sell more expensive fine furniture, whether they’re antique or knock off.

Hint: Our shop is located in a nondescript warehouse in Taikoo which, in our opinion, have lower overhead costs than those found in Wan Chai’s Queens Road East or Horizon Plaza.

3. When Arranging Delivery. Please note that once you have your eyes set on one attractive piece of furnishing, it’s not always as easy as wrapping it up and set for delivery. Sometimes display items are, indeed, made for display. Once an order is made, a corresponding trigger is sent to a warehouse to arrange delivery, or for custom made furniture, specifications and instructions are passed on. In short, you may need a bit more time before you enjoy your latest home accessory acquisition.

This also means you may shell out extra for the convenience of home delivery.

4. When Considering Used Furniture. Some expats  (especially those whose tenure in Hong Kong is short-term) are more practical and consider used furniture. A simple search across expat portals in the city should show plenty of offers, notably during the Chinese New Year season when people tend to replace “old” with “new” as they welcome the Lunar New Year. However, buyer beware. Although it’s likely you’ll find lots of bargains, there could also be issues. Paying extra for transport, undiscovered cracks on edges or won’t fit in your living room. Once money changes hands, it’s understood you agree to unwritten terms: no return, no exchange, you take it as it is.

Chinese New Year Spring Cleaning

Cleaning has been a big part of Chinese tradition. At one end it’s symbolic of “sweeping out the old and ushering in the new,” on the other hand it’s how one prepares for the new year, just as one tries out a resolution promised before the new calendar year.


It is important to clean just before the Chinese New Year, celebrated this year on the 31st, so as not to sweep again for a few days after CNY to prevent sweeping away the incoming good luck.

No wonder by this time, it is common to see huge ads about cleaning agents, from bleach to toilet scrub, featured on television, bus stops, and newspapers, because it is expected to include these products in the grocery list.

When doing the cleaning chores, cleaning procedure follows an age-old method: starting at the door, dust and rubbish are swept to the middle of the floor and placed in the corners and not thrown out until the fifth day after Chinese New Year. Households are also careful not to sweep dirt out by the front door so good fortune won’t be swept away from the family. If swept inwards and carried out through other means, no harm will follow.

For newcomers who are not familiar with this Chinese tradition but wish to follow them:

  • Do not clean during Chinese New Year holiday, wait until a few days later before you may resume doing the cleaning chores.
  • Significant colors that add fortune and bring good luck in Chinese culture.
  • Interact with others in a positive way. Greeting of ‘kung hei fat choi’ means ‘we hope you’ll be wealthy.’
  • Visit friends with and hand out red packets or lai see, filled with crisp bills. They are intended for unmarried people from married ones.

Caring for Reclaimed Wood

Many years ago, when virgin wood timber was widespread, homes, buildings, docks and many other public infrastructure were built from these materials.

At the end of their useful life, as homes get demolished and buildings torn down to make way for new structures that use modern materials, such seasoned timber are given a second lease of life and are recycled, or reclaimed, into something new and useful. Prized for their mature character and wears their distinct vintage patinas and grains, solid reclaimed wood are kiln-dried and crafted by hand into excellent pieces of furniture like tables, chairs or even utilized the same way before their transformation.

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However, no matter how invincible they may be, retaining strength from the years or decades of usefulness, salvaged wood may finally succumb to misuse or improper care procedures.

How to care for reclaimed wood

1. Blemishes, marks and spots may appear from daily use. Removing these imperfections can be done by carefully and lightly scouring the surface with fine grit sandpaper in the same direction as wood grain until the stain disappears.

2. After applying sandpaper and removal of marks, clean the surface with soft, lint-free cloth to free reclaimed wood from sawdust and other residue.

3. For salvaged wood that gets a fair share of use at home like tables or stools, apply a thin coating of beeswax to serve two purposes: condition the wood with a natural matte finish and protecting the wood grain.

4. An ideal way to clean salvaged wood is to use soap and water-vinegar solution. This mixture helps prevent unwanted smudges and stains.

5. Obviously care needs to be placed on tables made of salvaged wood. Consistent use of placemats and coasters helps a lot in preserving these valued pieces of furniture.

Cleaning Wooden Accessories At Home

Wood offers a soothing and calming feel in a home. To preserve their appeal and impact, we also need to be mindful on proper care of these precious home furnishings.

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1. Do not skip dusting wood furniture. Dusting removes tiny particles and airborne deposits and can scratch the surface of a prized piece of wood fixtures. Clean, dry, soft cloth and feather dusters are ideal for the job.

2. Be careful when using all-purpose cleaning sprays. This is especially true for those that don’t have plastic coating used on children’s furniture and kitchen tables. Read the label first.

3. Cleaning grimy wood. Some experts recommend a mixture of olive oil, denatured alcohol, gum turpentine and strained lemon juice. Apply with soft cloth and finish with clean clothing.

4. Dust in the direction of the grain. Doing so will help preserve the distinctive wooden patterns and minimize scratches.

Tips on Christmas Furniture Decoration

Christmas is the time of the year that speaks of joy and merrymaking. While at home, your furniture and accessories can complement this festive season.

1.  Remove clutter at the entrance

We receive probably higher number of visitors during the holiday season that on other months of the year. As more people visit us, it makes sense to clear our front hall and entrance areas free of clutter and unnecessary obstruction that could get mangled or cause accidents to you or your visitors.


2. Prepare to hang coats and outerwear

People who come and pay a visit during Christmas not only bring gifts; they also carry heavy coats and outerwear. Ensure that you have a place for them to conveniently  hang those winter clothing. Otherwise, your couch could be  filled with them, depriving their legitimate occupants.

3. Create more space for people to move around

If necessary, move furniture in a way that the atmosphere creates more space and allow people to move around more freely. Christmas parties may include games, dance and music so anticipate the amount of space to be used for such purpose.

4. Create a focal point

A holiday celebration would seem empty if there is no focal point in the house. Christmas tree is the likely bet, but its placement should also be given enough consideration. Load it with gifts and adorn it with elaborate lights or relocating it at the most well-lit part of the house are some suggestions.

5. Additional furniture

Are the expected guests composed of elderly people who wish to sit down, or hyperactive kiddos who move around the house more freely? Then this should dictate how you will arrange furniture: more space for children to play around and more seats for adults to converse or watch favorite films while munching on homemade cookies.

How to Fix and Avoid Wood Furniture From Cracking

It happens to all of us. We buy expensive beautiful wood furniture and it cracks after a while. Wood is a living breathing material, so it swells, shrinks, dries, warps and cracks.

The biggest killer of wood is climate. Especially in homes that use dry electric heating, the dry heat dries up the wood at alarming rates causing it to warp and then crack. This article goes through the different ways that furniture makers and home builders compensate for cracks.

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Reclaimed Wood: The theory behind this is that aged and reclaimed wood has aged far enough to be past critical drying points. The drawback to this is that reclaimed wood can be in short supply, it is usually reclaimed for old buildings. Another drawback is that the wood can be in somewhat less than favorable conditions, dents and nicks are a common site.

Air Dried and Kiln Dried Wood: Another way to compensate is using air and kiln dried wood. Air dried wood is dried by outside air over a long period of time. This makes the wood very hard and less likely to crack. Kiln dried wood is dried in a kiln for usually about month. There is a massive drawback to drying wood in a kiln however. It is very expensive to run kilns so much. Even companies who ship out 200 containers of wood are finding it very expensive to run their kilns. It also is less hard than air dried wood because the heating process stop the wood from hardening naturally, it also can cause defects in the wood.

Wood Veneers and Composite Wood: A veneer is a thin sheet of wood pressed on a layer of plywood or pressboard. People think that veneers are cheaply made and of bad quality. However this is untrue. A good quality veneer is chemically dried and treated, making is more stable than normal wood, and it will not shrink, swell or warp.

Picking The Right Wood
If your wood is going to be painted use composite wood. If your wood is going to be stained use veneers on for the panels, they are less likely to warp and split.
Antique hand made furniture can sometimes be a problem with cracks and splits, when these techniques were developed we didn’t have electric heating and air conditioning. Other splits and cracks can be cause by improper use of wood glue.

Reclaimed Wood: A New Trend In Town

While the idea of antique furniture as a sign of affluence in a Hong Kong has been going on for many years, the adoption of wooden fixtures made of reclaimed wood hasn’t gained traction until recently.

Reclaimed wood — we call it salvaged wood in our product category listing — are reused pieces of timber extracted from places like demolished buildings, warehouses and disused factories and given life again as fancy bar stools or complementary pieces of an art gallery as the use of these materials become one of the hottest design trends right now.

Reclaimed wood furniture: Westminister TV Cabinet

Salvaged wood offers a number of benefits and advantages such as generally cheaper to acquire — although manual labor and custom design spike its prices — and less damaging to the environment. Also these types of wood offer special pedigree impossible to find in new wood materials.

Our salvaged wood furniture consists of dining tables, benches, console tables, beds, TV cabinets and more. 

4 Rules When Buying Old and Used Furniture

There are a few rules you must follow when purchasing old furniture for your home or office. While antiques may look fantastic, they are not always fantastic to take care of use in the home. Following each of these steps will allow you to get the right furniture for your purposes.

1. Purchase Sturdy Furniture

While some furniture pieces may look great, they are not sturdy at all. When you are shopping, it is ok to test the furniture, to lean on it, sit on it, check to see if the legs are level, etc. Doing these things will give you an assurance that you are purchasing something that will not fall apart tomorrow. Without checking these things, you could end up in a bad situation once you get the furniture home.

2. Purchase Furniture You Are Happy With

old_furnitureWhen buying old furniture, you might fantasize about refinishing it and doing all these wonderful things to it. While this may be fun for you, you also have to purchase furniture you already enjoy. If you think that refinishing it is going to make you like it, you have probably picked the wrong piece. The refinishing process should be one that simply enhances the piece for you.

3. Purchase Sets When You Find Them

You can’t expect antique furniture to stick around once you find it. Because it is unique and out of production, you must purchase whole sets of furniture when you find them. For one, you want to have the whole set. For another, if someone else were to purchase the other parts of your set, they might spend a lifetime trying to find the pieces you bought. It’s much better to keep sets together.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Bargain Shop

Old furniture should not cost you an arm and a leg. While there are occasional pieces that are worth their weight in gold, most pieces are to be purchased at a savings to you compared to what it would cost to purchase it new.

Keep in mind these steps as you purchase old furniture for your home or office and you will find your spaces beautifully-appointed.