Get The House Ready For The Lunar New Year

All signs for the Year of the Ram (or Goat or Sheep, the choice is yours) so far point to a much better 12 months than what the outgoing Horse wrought. It’s generally believed rams/goats/sheep are calm and nurturing, so keeping a few ovine symbols around the house this year can’t hurt — in red if possible.

A clutch of Hong Kong’s most popular retailers have a broad swath of all things rammy up for grabs. G.O.D. starts things off with a series of small gifts that celebrate the New Year in a low-key way. Have your morning java for the next 12 months from their zodiac mug ($70), and make sure to place it on a kinda-sorta matching horoscope coaster ($60). If your holiday entertaining includes wine, a set of Hong Kong icon glass markers ($280) will keep your Chardonnay distinct from a guest’s Chablis. And when you’re out shopping this year, the sheep-themed collapsible tote bag ($180) is environmentally friendly and way cooler (and yes, cuter) than the plain cotton bags supermarkets offer up. And G.O.D.’s lai see packets ($55) will make those $10 bills look a whole lot better this year.

Over at TangTangTangTang, the lifestyle emporium looks to jazz up the everyday with a range of seasonal cooking and service ware, starting with its signature, blocky rice cooker — that looks like anything but — in red ($800). Once dinner’s ready, dish out food on the Garden bone china dinner set ($1,000 set of two), and don’t forget to put the silver fortune cookie salt and pepper shakers ($600) on the table. For more casual get togethers bring the requisite tea (or coffee) out in the red tinted Lattice tea service ($1,200 set of four). And for flowers, go for T4’s red and silver-plated square vase ($1,800).

Of Homeless’ typically design-forward accents and accessories for CNY the highlight might be UK brand Innermost’s HiHo Rocker Sheep ($17,800), a reimagining of the children’s rocking horse. Either facing forward in action mode or backwards for a lazier lounge, the HiHo certainly brings something new to the living room for the creative. And yes, there’s a kid’s version too. Speaking of kids, from France comes the La Fontaine coat hook by ENO ($330), an easy way to decorate spaces that demand hanging things. With winter lingering, the Sew Heart Felt rug sheep from the UK ($1,150) is cosy underfoot and made from 100 percent Merino wool — no sheep died to make it. Chehoma Belgium’s salt and pepper shakers ($688) are the kind of table accents that work year-round, particularly for easygoing outdoor gatherings. From Germany, Designimdorf offers a sheep-shaped steel wool scrubber ($275), and artisan brushmaker Redecker combines the prosaic with the lucky for its goat’s hair blind duster ($175). And though it lands on the porcine side of the aisle, nothing says “faat choi” like a piggy bank — in this case Areaware’s pig-shaped gold money box ($1,855).

Finally, local favourite TREE adds some themed eco-friendliness to the mix. Sticking with traditional reds and golds, toile pattern ceramics that are emblematic of Hong Kong by local designer Faux! are still available ($125 to $1,650) but adding to the options this year a range of service ware. A modern spin on the traditional, the Spring Blossom platter and bowl ($1,450 to $2,950) are elegant additions to the table. All those new year flowers can be showcased in vibrant recycled glass vases (from $697, and nesting apple-shaped rattan baskets ($795/set) can hold candy and whatever else you want off the coffee table. Raw coconut shells inlaid with gold leaf ($95) are another novel and ecologically responsible way to share sweets — and you can toss extra change in them year ‘round. Finally, what would the Lunar New Year home be without a lantern? Designed and handcrafted by Mekong Creations, a non-profit working with and for women in disadvantaged rural communities in Vietnam and Cambodia, TREE’s bright cotton or paper mini-lanterns ($95) are the perfect way to start the New Year with good fortune; spreading a little of it to someone who could use it. Gung Hei Faat Choi, everybody.