Monday, June 29, 2009

Elements oF Style: "Pillow Talk"

Dress up your chairs or sofa with pillows, not only it provides comfort, it also serves as a decorative punch. It depends on your wallets, pillows comes in various constructions, fabrics, styles, trims, shapes and sizes. An uninviting living room, bedroom, boudoir or den may take on a totally new dimension with the addition of the right pillows. Tips: The least costly way to bring colors into your living areas.

Below decorative pillow collection is inspired by the soothing patterns and warm, elemental colors that I encountered on my travels throughout Asia. They evoke images of the Forbidden Palace in China, ancient temples in Japan and Thailand, and a rare, intricate python skins from Cambodia. Materials used are silk and ultra-suede, many details are hand-fashioned, all covers are proudly made in New York City.

IN New York Magazine Winter 2009

For more information:
Call Takashimaya New York.
(212) 350 0111
or ~


Friday, June 26, 2009

LiFe: Remembering Farrah & Michael

A very sad day in USA.

We lost two artists in a day.

One in the morning, and one in the evening
They both were part of us when growing up, in the East or West, North or South,
Now, a part of us is being taken away ...
without giving us a chance to say goodbye

Both of their works have inspired many
and will continue to inspire many more
they have brought the world closer
gone, they may have been
but their legacies live on
they will remain in our memory forever.

May both of their souls rest in peace.

Nothing last forever,
let's us deliver our best in each task,
love one another and no more war!
make this a better world.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I loved to breathe in the fragrance of the tea leaves …

Every year, I loved to help my grandmother dry herbs for cooking and medicine in the tropical Malaysian sun. She always said the best time was during the lunar month of May, when the sun had its most power to create and preserve life. When it was time to take a break, she would brew white tea from her homeland, the Chinese province of Fujian. I loved to breathe in the fragrance of the tea leaves she stored in a simple glass canister with a tin cover. The anti-oxidant qualities of White Tea are famous in Fujian. The scent has always been a reward for a job well done!

This candle will illuminate and inspire your private moments, home and dreams

Made in France
60 burning hour

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for other candles

click belowThis item is available at
Takashimaya New York
(212)350 0111

Launching Event at Takashimaya New York
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TRAVEL: Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Click images to enlargeWatching sunrise at Angkor Wat was worth the trouble of waking up at 4.30 AM.

Still half asleep, I got myself to the hotel lobby at 5 AM. Sam, my Cambodian driver was already at the lobby waiting for me.
Sam was a good driver; it took him 15 mins to drive to Angkor Wat from my hotel. He was my driver for the entire period of time when I was at Siem Reap. I invited him to join me for dinner a few times, though he declined to join me for a happy hour drink at Le Grand hotel.

As usual, before I could get out the car, Sam already opened the car door for me. I walked across the dragon bridge into the Angkor Wat compound. I saw a small crowd gathered close by a pond, and many heavy duty professional cameras had already set up, I quickly found a spot to sit down. I wanted desperately a cup of Starbucks coffee though deep in my heart I was happy not to find any of these America businesses at the vicinity!
Dawn was gone and a crack of light in the distant sky, there was still no sign of sunrise yet. People began to get a little restless and impatient ... in all a sudden, people laughing and giggling, everyone seem to be energized, and all cameras turned to the other direction, clicking like a bunch of crazy paparazzi.

Well, there was a young horse came out from somewhere with a morning wood toward another horse, and the next moment 2 horses quietly doing their morning connection performance! I came to understand what it meant by horse hung!

A flock of birds flying across the sky to announce the "morning has broken" (I was thinking of Cat Stevens' song), the sky turned into red and orange, the sun rising majestically, Angkor Wat was simply looking spectacular!

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GIFT Ideas .... Colored Crystal Goblets

~ Entertain with style ~
Absolute a brilliant gift idea
for weddings, birthdays or housewarmings.

Add colors to your table setting,
this generate happy and festive mood & good energy!
Bon Appetite!

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Art oF Living: Devon Apple Pie

I love apple! I love all kinds of pastry using apple.
I spent a number of summers at Southey Farm, Devon, England - a place where I had a lot of fond memories. The farm kitchen was spacious and it was heaven for me to show my culinary skills! There were 2 cookers in the kitchen, and one of them was an ancient electric cooker that I became very fond of; I felt I was traveling back to the old days of England that I never experienced of. Both cookers were great for cooking and baking. The apple orchard was practically just outside the kitchen, all the trees were full of apples! Often I just walked across and picked a full basket of apples.

My apple pie was definitely a winner at the numerous country dinner parties in those summers. Claire, Mark and Steven all loved the apple pie! And Mr Big, the landlord, without fail went for the second huge slice!
This is a Devon Apple Pie recipe for Southey Farm.

Double crusts for 9-inch pie (I recommend using Pillsbury crust; it is just as good as home-made)
6 -7 good size apple

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoon of honey

2 tablespoon flour

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon of all spice

Pinch of salt

1) Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place on pie crust on a 9-inch floured pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.
2) Peel, core and slice the apples. Cut all in even sizes; I like my apple chunky.
3) Mix sugar, honey, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice and salt in large bowl.
4) Stir in apples.
5) Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.
6) Cover with top crust and seal the edges. Cut slits in the top crust. As shown on the picture, I used fork to engrave a letter “S” for Southey.
Tips: Cover edge with 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent burning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
8) Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.

Serve warm or room temperature with ice cream and a cup of tea.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Elements oF Style: Foyer

Foyer/ Entrance

A foyer is the entryway to your home, it gives guests the first impression about who you are, and more importantly, it is the area that greets YOU when you come in from the outside world.

Below 2 pictures showing one "before" and one "after". In this foyer in Manhattan Upper West Side, we used many components to get this look. First we renovated the whole area, closed up the additional door in the foyer, enlarge the entrance door into living room with 8-foot height French doors. Recessed ceiling light and a low chandelier, also added ceiling crown and high baseboard. In term of furniture, we have pieces from Chinese, Africa and Indonesia; making an interesting and welcoming statement for a home.


Make a grand statement with the foyer, whether big or small, using the right decor can make this part of your home stand out. You need a beautiful entry door, elegant door hardware, beautiful stair railings and columns to accent your living and dining area.

Pic below show a foyer at a home in Palo Atlo, client wanted a classic look but not too much fuss. We used a classic bench with beautiful monogram on the bench, a compatible classic pedestal with a nice pot of ferns, viola!
click on image to enlarge
Foyer Decorating Tips

1. Colors: Be creative. You could try painting your foyer a different color from adjacent rooms. Warm colors appear more inviting.

2. Lighting: A dimmer is highly recommended in this area, this would allow you to control the brightness of this area. Depends the height of the ceiling, one can use a dramatic chandelier to a small scale or just recessed lighting. Always have in mind of space and scale when choosing lighting.

3.Mirror: Whatever style you chose to do, hanging mirror in the foyer is a necessity to show attractive features on the opposite wall and to give an affect of increased space. Also, this allows you to do the last minute checking on your way out to the world and, allows guests to check themselves when entering your home.

4. Art Work: This area can be use to display a gallery wall of artwork, photographes or showcase a beautiful piece of sculpture or bronze on a foyer.

5. Furniture: Do not clutter this area. A console and bench or chairs are ideal, not only a beautiful piece to look at but serve you and guests to sit down while waiting or putting on shoes.

6. Always has a vase of fresh flowers and a perfumed candle at the foyer to give it a final touch.


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Before & After

Monday, June 15, 2009

GIFT ideas ... Crystal Bathroom Accessories

24% Lead Crystal from Europe

House guests would be delighted with this extra touch in the bathroom.
These are excellent gift items.

tips: placed a bar of soap on the dish, filled the swab jar with colorful bath salt and wrap with organza fabric for your guests as welcome gifts.
- soap dish can turn into a card holder or keys or paper clips holder
- turn the soap dish around and it is a candle holder for 3" dia candle

click image to enlarge

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