Friday, May 18, 2012

Colors and warmth are what we need

Spring is here (though not the warmth), it's time to rid the dull, grey wintry cold by introducing some colors and vibrance in our homes. I felt in love with Josef Frank's colorful and joyful design. Born Austrian, Josef Frank later migrated to Sweden and became the chief designer at Svenskt Tenn. He was considered one of the most prominent designers in the history of Swedish design, and yet his design is quite unusual for the more commonly known sleek and well-defined Scandinavian style. Perhaps that was why I like it so much.
Josef Frank Teheran White matched with plain red linen fabric for colors and vibrance. To add the Oriental touch, I added red Chinese button knots to the other pillow cases.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Idea for "mors dag" present?

Mors dag (Mother's Day in Sweden) falls on the 27 May this year - a different date than the more commonly celebrated elsewhere - first Sunday in May.

For my mother-in-law, it will be a gift from Happy Gift. Question is, will it be something for herself or something for the home (which she likes as well)? A Bodylicious with frangipani and grapefruit body smoothie, body souffle and soap; or a bottle of chamomile diffuser in a luxurious glass bottle, by True Grace?

A pampering Bodylicious kit;

Or the luxurious Chamomille diffuser for home

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Where the fusion officially begins

My “fusion” perhaps officially began at our weddings with “double happiness”. I couldn’t bear the thought of "fusing" the two traditions – Chinese and Swedish - and have one wedding. Two contradictory traditions, two families and friends half the world apart, two mothers (my mother and mother-in-law)….  so two weddings it is! Of course, it wouldn’t be a 100% authentic Swedish or Chinese either, as the other half is not. So we introduced subtly each other’s cultural elements in the ceremonies.

Wedding stationeries: wedding programme in red (Chinese wedding or good luck color) and embossed “double happiness”. The same theme in the invitation cards to our Swedish guests and placement cards for the reception.

Although the character “double happiness” is most commonly used for weddings, it is not uncommon to find home decor with the same character such as porcelain vases, cabinets, and pillow cases. Today, “double happiness” is not something that is exclusively for Chinese homes or for weddings, but is also commonly used in Feng shui practice for Love or Happiness. 
A pair of Chinese urns bought at a local auction

Photo album wrapped in Chinese fabric - a nice present idea

East meets west

It’s fascinating and interesting how our everyday life is so commonly influenced by the different cultures other than our own. After been living in Sweden for more than ten years, some part of me have become more Swedish than an average Svensson; while the other part of me cling on to the traditions and cultures I was raised in for the first 20 years of my life, as it is my identity – a mix of Chinese traditions, infused with Malaysian culture.

Now and again I come across Swedish home designs applying feng shui (closest pronunciation I could find online to the word, which literally means, wind water) practice; and I am captivated by how Asians (or the world) are entranced by perhaps the most exported Swedish home designs you can find – IKEA.

My blog will be dedicated to the best of both world – Western (Swedish) and Oriental (Chinese, Malaysian/South East Asia), and my passion for home design, but who knows I might throw in some recipes, travels,or write a few words about what I believe would be Swedes’ second most favorite flower – orchid (almost everyone gives orchids when they are invited to home-cook meals in Sweden). First being tulips, of course - ONE MILLION tulips are sold in Sweden a day! It is the highest per capita, more than the largest exporting country – the Netherlands itself!

Speaking of tulips – lovely tulips blooming in the garden, and I couldn’t help it but cut a few and put them in the house. They last much longer than the ones you buy in the stores.