Ah, the horse. A majestic animal known for its grace, beauty and strength. Someone you can rely to get the job done is a workhorse. The more horsepower your car has the more guts it has. And we all know what “stallion” can mean. It’s no wonder one of the Chinese zodiac signs is named for it.
But there’s more to decking out the house for the Lunar New Year than just propping horse trinkets willy-nilly and maybe top-loading the Blu-ray collection with westerns. Colour is key too, and with Christmas barely in the rear view, at least you don’t have to worry about hauling out the red again. Not surprisingly, keeping a tight rein on what comes into your space, for however long, shouldn’t go over the top. Too many golden horses and you run the risk of chintz.
First things first: Food. No holiday is complete without it, and chances of entertaining guests (hopefully dropping in with lai see) are high. So local designer Mariko Jesse’s toile pattern ceramics altered with images unique to Hong Kong (the Star Ferry, birdcages, dim sum baskets) are the ideal tableware for tea or coffee at Chinese New Year. Available at TREE, the line includes teacups, mugs, cup and saucers, teapots, plates and full Chinese dining sets ($125 to $1,650) among other accessories.
Red and gold are major colours for CNY, and if you’re looking to make a bigger statement, there is no shortage of red interiors available. Tequila Kola’s Ashley chaise lounge in red microvelvet ($11,900, other fabrics optional) will work for the rest of the year too, but the vaguely decadent design and colour make for an eye-catching permanent addition. But if you’re looking more for an accent here and there that can be stored until next Lunar New Year, the red Nacthmann candleholder ($2,390) and Dragon jar in gold ceramic ($1,880) make the point without getting out of control.
If you’re a traditionalist, you will want some kind of horse in the house. Typically, icons like it should be gold, but for something a little unconventional, zip over to Town House and check out its selection of horse imagery. The Anglada sculpture ($1,955) in silver may be an odd choice of metal, but it does make for a novel spin on the usual ornamentation. Also available are more flowery ceramic items as well as a highly stylised, multi-coloured, poly-stone figurine that could easily appeal to kids — or the kid in you.
Finally, linen maker Sleep Naked isn’t taking a detour from its icy white linens but it has created a lucky towel for the proud Hongkonger that can be toted with you on your CNY vacation. The red and white flag motif beach towel ($351) is a light weigh, luxury cotton with a reversible design and is every bit as comfortable against the skin as Sleep Naked’s regular towels. It could only be more perfect if it had a horse on it.