Like restaurants, there are a host of retailers in Hong Kong that specialise in one item or category of items. If you want bathroom fixtures, you hit the shops on Lockhart Road. If you’re looking for complete room suites you may want to browse the showrooms on Queen’s Road East. If you’re looking for outdoor furniture specifically, the place to start could well be Horizon Plaza’s Everything Under the Sun.
Since it opened in 1996, just before the outdoor living boom descended on the SAR, EUTS has led the charge in supplying Hong Kong’s terraces and rooftops with high-end, high quality, ultra-stylish outdoor furniture and accessories. By sourcing stock from around the world, the boutique — albeit a warehouse-sized boutique—has managed to hold on to its status as the go-to spot for something a little different but totally functional.
“When I’m sourcing new products there are many factors to consider,” explains managing director Craig Pallister on how items make the cut for EUTS, design, quality and materials that work in Hong Kong being the most crucial factors. “Hong Kong is a very contemporary city and people here are looking for the latest trends in design. As a city, we are well travelled and know what the latest trends are in fashion and style and we need to bring those forward in our furniture,” he says. The store tries to maintain a quality standard minimum, and of course, not all fabrics work in the city’s soupy weather. “We know how harsh our climate is and not every product will be able to stand up well. We also have to look at where it will fit into our range, is the size suitable for our market, where does it come from. There are a lot of things to consider overall.”
Among the brands EUTS carries are Gloster, Tribu, Cane-line, Tuuci, Extremis and Cadac (if you’re in the market for a grill) among others. Much of the stock also comes down to consumer demand — be it for styles, brands, particular products or simply service. But one thing Pallister does admit to “adding” to the stock is, “Value for money. That’s a not a product … but it’s something I have really put a focus on this over the last few years. When I look around the showroom I can honestly say we have great value for money in our offerings. There is a lot of bad product in Hong Kong and people get caught out on it.” On a less intangible note, one of Pallister’s favourite new additions to the showroom floor include the Henrik Pedersen-designed Gloster Whirl table with the Curve chairs for a nicely mismatched mixed set. “I love teak; it’s a fantastic material and adds that little bit extra natural feeling to our urban environment.” As an added bonus, Pallister likes round tables for their inherent sociability.
All this naturally comes with a price; Everything Under the Sun’s gear doesn’t come cheap. For many, the idea may be to browse EUTS and then try and find a similar knock-off at IKEA or cobble something together from Japan Home Centre. But can decorators on a budget find what they want? “For sure. Most people do shop on a specific budget and we carry a wide range of items to cater to all sorts of requirements,” states Pallister. There’s no need to hide a small or moderate budget, and chances are the staff can find something in your range. And remember, this is Hong Kong. Even stores have space limitations. “It’s not possible to have every product on display, and we do keep more items in our warehouse. We will happily put a proposal together for you,” finishes Pallister. So maybe it really is time to get outside.