Saturday, June 16, 2012

Outdoor dining ware, shall be fun and funky

Longing for the summer warmth so we can dine outside in the garden, or just sit there and listen to the birds singing.

Socially responsible melamineware

Nowadays, there are a wide variety of dining ware for outdoor use in different materials. RICE, for example, has some of the most exquisite melamine bowls, plates, and cups in vibrant colors. Great for outdoor use during the summer. The story goes, Charlotte from Denmark started RICE with her friend, Hans who was (perhaps still is) in Thailand. They started by selling some of the melamine wares made in Thailand and today you can find their products across the globe.
Melamine dining ware from RICE in vibrant colors. Great for the summer!

My personal favorites are the ones with floral print  or the playful hen print.

Bamboo Bowl 25x10 cm, Fluorised Pink
Bamboo bowl, fluorised pink 25 x 10cm
by Mayor
Bamboo Bowl 15x8 cm, Turkis
Bamboo bowl, Turkis, 15x8cm

Bamboo, environmentally friendlier material?

Though I love the colors and prints, and their commitment to social responsibility, melamine to me feels a bit "plastic-y". For those of you that feel the same, there is the option of bamboo material, from Mayol for example, also Danish (why are the Danes so good in home design and decor?). It's getting more popular with bamboo materials, not only for dining ware but also for fabric. Some claim bamboo is more environmentally friendly. Honestly speaking, after been working for more than 6 years in environment and social responsibility, I don't know why bamboo would be environmentally friendlier than sustainably logged wood for example. Something I need to investigate later.   

Vintage or not, enamelware should be the next big thing 

My absolute personal favorite, something I would love to have in my garden would be vintage enamel mugs, bowls, tray, as I remember from my childhood. It used to be so common (at least in Asia). My grandmother had them; great for every day use and it's no fuss if the mug is a bit dented or chipped. They used to come with floral print in bright colors. There are also enamel kettles and basin. An idea would be to use them for washing hands after eating shrimps or crayfish. 

Found this online, at a vintage store in Singapore, By My Old School.

For those of you that don't quite share my nostalgic association, I have also found these very chic, funky enamel mugs, using the 1939 British "Keep calm and carry on" poster campaign and some with a twist. Whichever your favorite is, there is NO reasons for paper plates and disposable plastic cups.
Image 1
Image 1Image 1
Or more funky ones from

Friday, June 1, 2012

Peony, for good fortune

Visited Guldsmedsgårdens plantskola, a peony nursery, last weekend. A lovely little place to visit if you are interested in peonies. They have a wide variety of peonies that can be ordered online, ranging from a couple of hundreds kronor to more than a thousand, for Itoh Hybrid assortment.
Peonies have a very privileged place in the Chinese culture and significant meaning in feng shui art. It's often depicted in many calligraphy paintings, textile prints, porcelains, and if you fancy antiquity, a pair of 10.1cm in diameter famille rose peony bowls were auctioned off for more than $2.8 million at the Christie's.

Photo by the Christie's

Often praised for its compassion and nobility, the flower earned a very high status in the Chinese history and culture, so much so that it is sometimes known as the "King of flowers". The flower also carry special meanings in other cultures, and not the least to mention, the symbol for the 12th wedding anniversary.

For fortune and good luck, place an object with peonies like a flower pot at home, or simply a bouquet of fresh peonies, paired with orchid.
Photo by Bonnie Yap