Sunday, October 31, 2010


For years I would say - you can have Christmas - give me Halloween.  After living in Chicago, Buffalo and Pittsburgh - I loved the changing of the leaves and decorating around the fall colors.... throwing on a sweater and going for a drive in the back woods area.   
My kids are grown up now - but I still have the images of driving to remote pumpkins fields to get the largest pumpkin for the best price.  Another great retailer had a set price and you would run out and grab as many as you could carry for it.  
Then taking our finds home ......  cutting open the top and plunging our hands inside removing the gooey mess so we could start carving.  I don't remember the kids ever wanting to do that part. 
After moving to Hong Kong in the 90's ..... it was such a disappointment that Halloween was not celebrated except at the school.  Finding costumes was much more difficult and creativity was a major factor in making a happy child.  

So I started decorating our elevator area as a spook house while living in the Manhattan on the Southside. 

1. First I went behind the building on the mountain and cut down dried stalks of weeds.  This represented corn stalks and filled the hallway with them.
2. I cut up black plastic garbage bags in shapes of icicles and taped them to the ceilings.  When the elevators open.... the bags would move.  It also covered the lights to darken the mood. 

3. We had a large bench ... and I made up full body ghouls...  stuffing clothing with pillows and newspapers.  Then placing a mask on top with a hat... this was tricky.
4. There were of course spider webs, ghosts and gadgets that moved when you clapped your hands scattered everywhere.
5.  For 10 days before Halloween .... you could hear everything going off as the kids stopped on our floor.....many never seeing Halloween decor before. 
6. On the night of Halloween - my 2 boys would take the place of the ghouls dressed in the same clothes. I dressed in the old witches costume with the long hair, black clothes and the scariest mask imaginable with the tall black hat. We stayed perfectly still ... because the trick- or-treaters thought we were still stuffed.  THEN WE JUMPED AT THEM!
7. Of course, you have to have background I put together scary music and sound effects and the night began!
I had to tell some parents NOT to allow the wee ones in - they would be too scared.  We gave out so much candy that night - we ran out..........(we had to get it in the Philippines!)  

Now, Hong Kong is infatuated with Halloween, costumes and the macabre.  What a change a decade can make. 

So it's a beautiful day in Hong Kong - cool weather and clear skies - and unfortunately there will be no Halloween at our house.  I'll be on the tennis court instead.  I'm so sorry...........

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The soft gray used with white creates a light and airy feeling. The result is elegant and relazing. A punch of any color can be used to give one more step of dimenion. 

Gray is the ultimate neutral. It looks good with almost any color and ranges from cool to warm.

A gray palette works well in a room with a rustic country motif. The weathered gray hutch stands out against the light gray walls

The gray blue hue also works well in contemporary settings. The dark gray brings an elegant touch to the otherwise minimal décor. 

Dark Gray gives this formal dining room a dramatic flair. Chairs upholstered in the same gray hue create a luxurious setting. The brown in the chandelier, mirror and chair frames, bring out the brown undertone in the walls and connect the rooms elements. 

A palette of bright white and charcoal creates a serene bedroom.

Velvet in a smoky gray and charcoal gray

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Considering the origins of burlap, also known as sackcloth, it's use as a decorative fabric may come as a bit of a surprise. It's been around for several years but hasn't lost it's popularity.
It originally caught my eye at Pottery Barn when they used it for display.  The impact was rustic, unique and economical!
 If you want the vintage or industrial.... here's an idea.

It's breathable and resists mositure and can take the wear and tear from even the toughest of families.

Known more for it’s durability,burlap has traditionally been used in the home for area rugs or tablecloths.  But did you know that burlap is biodegradable and good for the environment?

These tablecloths are featured from Ballard Designs and Wisteria.  They take about 6 yards of fabric - so it can be very CHEAP! to use burlap.  It can be found in the Central lanes or cheaper yet..... in Sham Shui Po.
I love the detailed ruffle on the small ottoman.  Box pleated trim can also be found in a shop in Sham Shui Po in an array of colors and sizes. 

The tufted ottoman is a great look...... another way to save is to find faux leather in Sham Shui Po.  You won't need a lot..... but purchase a strong quality one (no fuzzy backing) and with a slight testure for a realistic look. 

Use burlap instead of decorative fabric to create formal style pinch pleated draperies. Ban the edges with grosgrain ribbon..... and let the sun shine in!

Wood base with Burlap lampshades?  Let me tell you a secret.......  I've been working on developing wood lamps and hope to have the project available soon. 

Kids artwork?  

Now this one is different.......  the inside is painted burlap.  


  • While burlap fabrics offer many advantages, there are a few drawbacks. The traditional loose weave of most types of burlap means that the fabric is much more susceptible to stretching over time. If placed in direct sunlight, burlap will fade relatively quickly in comparison to other decorating fabrics.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


PLEASE! consider the selection of stylish mirrored furniture. 
Mirrored furniture adds a healthy portion of glam to any room, and it works with so many styles. Depending on the style of the piece, you can place mirrored pieces in very traditional rooms, Hollywood Regency rooms, and in very contemporary spaces. 

I now sell these lamps.  This one is about HK $1640


Don't limit mirrors to your walls.  Add a touch of excitement and glamor to a small space with the use of mirrored furniture.  I have a very tall version of this one - and then balanced it with a silver glazed porcelain lamp near by. 
These pieces will reflect colors and patterns and light, so take that into consideration when arranging a room with mirrored furniture in it. Use it to your advantage to show off pieces nearby that you want to accentuate.

It's easy to glam up your bedroom with a pair of matching mirrored bedside tables.

Filing Cabinet   COST: HK$1400 plus delivery
There are a couple of things you can do to really make the mirrored console pop in a home. One of the best things to try is to add something beautiful to the top of the mirrored console. The mirror will catch the color of the items and spread it through the home. It will also spread the light from the room with it, which can make a big difference in the way a room looks.

COST: HK$6880 plus delivery
The dramatic focal pieces are best in the hallway or in other prominent spots. We designed the one above for a customer and painted it with a high gloss white finish.   

They're created using silver leaf to complement the shine of the mirror. 
 We usually tone down the shimmer by sponging gold and black and creating and aged feel. 
 Recently we finished a dresser beautifully using a gold 'wash' over the silver...... achieving high end sophistication.
COST: HK$7580