Love it or loathe it, you can’t avoid Christmas — the supermarket carols, the gaudy shopping mall decorations (really, purple tinsel?). The only saving grace for Christmas in Hong Kong is a blessed dearth of houses with enough outdoor bling (often blinking) to guide a 747 to a safe landing and shovelling heart attacks. But what do you do to deck out a home when the seasonal style is something of a constant and which has also been highly commodified?
The first rule is easy. “Don’t over do it on the decorations. Moderation is the key to any space and especially smaller spaces … Decide on a colour theme and stick with it,” advises John McLennon, Indigo Living’s managing director. Geoff Fuller, managing director at Tequila Kola, agrees. This year’s TK accent pieces really pop and can work in any space, but for smaller ones he notes, “To pare it back just have less accessories and use only one primary colour. An easy way to do it is with red and white, or for something a bit different, try blue and white.” TREE’s managing director Kate Babington, however, is a little more tolerant. “Christmas is a joyous occasion, a time for celebrating and enjoying the company of your loved ones, which means the rules should be no rules!” Everything from mood-setting scented candles and simple wreaths to fully lit trees and scattered poinsettias is just fine.
Among TK’s Christmas lines are metallic linens in silver, white and red solids and patterns, cushions in blue and ornaments in matching tones. Of the bold colour choices Fuller points out red’s eternally “in” status and that silver is gaining traction for its ability to brighten up homes during the dark winter months. But, “We also use white and icy blue — a modern version of white. White has a long Christmas history.” And admittedly it’s hard to separate Christmas from snow regardless of one’s geographical roots. “I think we still cling to the use of these traditional colours as a way to bring back the joy, comfort and cheer of Christmases past and life’s simple pleasures,” Fuller theorises.
Over at Indigo, McLennon claims this year colours include traditional red and white, but also a touch of warm green that, again, evokes memories. On top of the classics, “[We’re] also featuring antique golds mixed with glass and crystal for a very elegant table or tree. Pair this with an abundance of candles or flicker lights and create the perfect Christmas ambiance,” he suggests. Also prominent this year are copper and bronze finishes that give an historic feel, particularly for ornaments.
Over at TREE it’s all about traditional motifs with an environmental edge. “This year our theme … means going back to the roots of Christmas by bringing the outside in,” explains Babington. Wreaths, reindeer figurines, hanging decorations, candle holders and yes, trees are modelled from reclaimed Philippine driftwood, bone china, colourful abaca paper weave and recycled glass, paper and jute. TREE’s items have a rustic charm that harkens A Christmas Carol. The reusable faux pine trees are a novel spin on that most traditional of Christmas icons and range in size between a tabletop-friendly 30 and just over 80 centimetres tall, ideal for tight corners. Baubles on the trees may be tricky, but as Babington finishes, “These natural decorations complement all interiors … Whilst the eco-chic wood decorations give a more sophisticated Christmas feel, they can be accessorised with red, white, silver or glitter.”
Of course if all else fails you can just pick up a fresh pine tree (!) and not need anything else. Those babies say it all.