We are very excited, since we moved to a new showroom in Quarry Bay. We now have our own floor, full of design furniture pieces. We have kept our New York loft style atmosphere to host our guest around. Please feel from to drop us a visit in the coming days, and enjoy our coffee and cakes. We hope to see you soon! The SofaSale Team
Lofty idealsThe high ceilings and bare concrete walls of an industrial unit were the perfect canvas for a gallery director.Text Christopher DeWolf / Photography John ButlinIf there’s one thing Donna NguyenPhuoc loves about her Wong Chuk Hang studio, it’s the 12-foot-high ceiling. “The high ceiling is No 1… by far,” she says. Not only does it make the place feel less constricted, it also allowed her to install a cockloft, which transformed one corner into a two-level space with a bedroom above and a workspace below. Though consisting of a staircase and platform, and several integrated drawers and cupboards for storage, it was surprisingly straightforward to build. “I’m still amazed,” she says. “The carpenter came in with a few pieces of wood and did so much with them.” The set-up is one that’s popular with artists and designers who have settled in industrial areas and converted factory units into combined livingworking spaces. When NguyenPhuoc, director of Ap Lei Chau’s Damina Gallery, bought her 1,100 sq ft property, she says: “It was concrete floors, four walls and that’s it.” A priority was to keep the space as open as possible. “I don’t like chopping spaces into small rooms, which you see in a lot of Hong Kong flats,” says NguyenPhuoc, who undertook the redesign herself. The kitchen, dining area and living room all flow together, bathed in light from a south-facing window – to make the most of which she installed a bathroom with frosted glass walls and a glass barrier for the cockloft. In the bathroom, a deep Japanesestyle tub – clad in black, grey and white mosaic tiles, to set it off against the black walls and floor – is a space-saving alternative to a regular bathtub. “It’s big enough for four people,” she says, half-jokingly. NguyenPhuoc wanted to keep an industrial feel to the place, so she retained the concrete floor but applied a black varnish with rough strokes to give it an undulating, painterly quality. For contrast, she painted the concrete and brick walls white, which, though uniform in hue, boast interesting textures. For the open kitchen, which runs along one side of the flat, NguyenPhuoc opted for a glossy black finish to the cupboards and a black-and-white tile backdrop. One corner was left unfinished, revealing the raw concrete beneath. Why? “People always wonder what the space was like before,” she says. The cockloft bedroom is more intimate than the rest of the unit, thanks to a carpeted floor. Instead of a bed, there’s just a mattress – partly out of necessity, because of the proximity of the ceiling, and partly because NguyenPhuoc liked the casual feel. Shelves, drawers and wardrobes are all built into the wall at the foot of the bed. NguyenPhuoc’s decor softens the inherently industrial space with bright colours, shaggy rugs in the living and dining areas and – crucially – a lot of art, including sculptures and paintings. Throughout the flat, simple, streamlined features such as the black coffee table play against busier, brighter items such as the bright-red living room rug and sofa. “I wanted it to be black and white with a few colours that pop out,” she says. Work nook The desk (HK$8,000) and storage baskets (HK$550 for a set of three) came from Tequila Kola. The vintage phone (HK$2,000) was found on Le Cong Kieu Street (aka Antique Street), in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The lanterns are from Twenty Two North (HK$700 to HK$1,500). The black-and-white painting is by artist Phuong Quoc Tri and the colourful painting by Kongo; both of whom are represented by Damina Gallery. The work chair cost HK$2,390 at SofaSale (2/F, Tung Kin Factory Building, 196 Tsat Tsz Mui Road, Quarry Bay, tel: 2541 1230)
HONG KONG, May 28th, 2013 -- SofaSale.com.hk formally announced the acquisition of the TrendyDesignFurniture.com online sales platform from L&M Furniture group. TrendyDesignFurniture is a leading online modern furniture retailer selling a wide range of modern furniture, like chairs, lamps, sofas in Hong Kong, China, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. TrendyDesignFurniture operates from Shenzhen China and was one of the first direct to Consumer furniture platforms operating in Mainland China, with both a domestic distribution and a strong export distribution market. According to a (SofaSale) management statement: “Acquisitions like TrendyDesignFurniture fit our ambition to expand our sales network, and at the same time create economies of scale, driving down cost. This is a direct fit to our company mission to ensure customers will not have to overpay for quality European design furniture.” Financial details of the deal are not announced.
SofaSale.com.hk Contact: +852 2541 1230 [email protected]
Hot propertyA fireplace may not be practical in Hong Kong but one makes a great conversation piece for a Chai Wan-based lawyer. Text Charmaine Chan / Photography K.Y. Cheng / Styling David Roden Who in subtropical Hong Kong needs a fireplace? Friends of Vincent Ng often ask him that question, but the lawyer, who trained in Britain, is adamant the built-in bioethanol-fuelled hearth in his living room is an important feature of his Chai Wan flat. "Practically, it doesn't serve a purpose," says Ng, who owns the 550 sq ft, sea-view apartment with rooftop. "But I really enjoy sitting there looking at the fire. I find it very soothing and therapeutic." The flueless fireplace satisfies the fondness for roaring fires Ng developed during frigid winters at Oxford University. It is also undeniably eye-catching. Set within a purpose-built niche underneath the stairs -- a space that otherwise would have been wasted, and painted black, it enthralls when its flames lick the darkness. Furthermore, the void in the wall makes more floor space visible from certain angles, creating the illusion of a bigger flat. "That space beneath the staircase was awkward," says Ng. "Something had to be done." Ng - who insisted on all-white walls throughout - placed a television above the niche. Elsewhere, favourite pieces of art are hung in strategic locations: for example, a painting of a taxi by local artist Chow Chun-fai, a friend, decorates the wall above the sofa. Besides injecting a burst of colour into an otherwise neu-tral palette, it complements the vintage vibe for which Bugs Design Consultants is known. "I liked Bugs because they are sensitive about combining styles, especially 1950s, 60s and Scandinavian styles," says Ng. "They do well blending furniture and objects into contemporary settings." Although he had firm ideas about many aspects of his flat - which he rented out for two years before moving in - Ng heeded Frankie Lam from Bugs' advice on a crucial layout decision. Both agreed the two small bedrooms would be better as one large space for Ng, the flat's sole occupant, but they differed over whether to integrate the bathroom and staircase into it. Lam, whose layout Ng concedes was the right one, suggested having a discrete bedroom with a concealed door (for a clean look), and using the corridor leading to it to accommodate a store room. In the end, the bathroom and staircase up to the roof were left as they were, allowing guests to use them without having to enter the bedroom. Ng also heeded Lam's advice on gardening matters. The grapes growing up a trellis by the outdoor dining area should bear fruit next year, accord-ing to Lam, who harvests his own grapes at home. To make the roof more welcoming, a raised wooden floor was installed. The planks stop about 30cm shy of the sides of the roof, allowing space for plants to be accommodated in the troughs without the plastic pots they're in being seen. Creative solutions elsewhere were the joint work of Lam and Ng. By installing a sliding door to the kitchen, the room can be made to feel part of the dining area, again enhancing the feeling of space. And above the counter a wall of subway tiles stands out for one simple reason: Lam darkened the grout. Ng says: "I originally wanted [the grout lines] to be white but Frankie said, 'Why not make them bolder?'" In the dining area, Lam bought drawers from Muji to incorporate into a bookcase that was built to Ng's specifications. "I wanted to display small things, and for the pictures and bowls to be part of the decoration," says Lam. "Also, when people come over it starts conversations when they say, 'Oh you've read this book,' or 'Oh, you've got this.'" Doesn't the fireplace tend to break the ice? "You can say it's a waste of space," Ng says, laughing. "But I like it."So much so he turns it on even in summer … along with the air-conditioning.Now that should warm the room with heated discussions. Stairwell Vincent Ng took the photos of cherry blossoms in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan. The black-and-white photos, also taken by Ng, feature some of his favourite cities, including Paris, London, Havana and Kyoto. The pendant lamp was HK$1,000 from SofaSale (2/F, Tung Kin Factory Building, 196 Tsat Tsz Mui Road, Quarry Bay, tel: 2541 1230).
Making the cutA hair stylist searching for a venue for parties, shows and workshops – with a crash pad thrown in – downed his shears to take up a design challenge. Text Viv Jones / Photography John Butlin / Styling David Roden When Paul Gerrard took on a 4,000 sq ft warehouse space in Quarry Bay, it was his first foray into largescale interior design. “I wanted to create a multifunctional space,” he says. “And I designed it all myself so I made plenty of mistakes. It was a real case of trial and error.” Having made a success of his eponymous hair salon, in Central, the stylist was looking for a fresh challenge and saw the need for a venue that could host training workshops, seminars, fashion shows, art exhibitions and company events, as well as serving as an occasional crash pad. “I wanted to do something completely different in Hong Kong and I had a strong vision of what I wanted to achieve,” he says. “I could never find a suitable venue large enough to host my staff Christmas function, for 70 people, so I decided to do it myself – that is, create a funky, flexible spot that was different to the bland corporate boxes you find elsewhere in Hong Kong.” Finding the right space took him little more than six weeks because Gerrard knew the area and was familiar with the building, which also houses his gym. For work purposes, the fact that it was easy to get from there to Central was crucial. “It was a clean, basic shell when I got it,” says the Briton, who had help in the renovation from his father, Arthur Holmes, of Phoenix Hire and Sales. With just one electric socket, one light switch and basic plumbing to work with, there was plenty to be done. “Together, we worked out the allocation of space – where to put the bedroom and office, the storage, the bathrooms, the kitchen and so on,” Gerrard says. “Knowing that the space had to serve many functions meant the biggest challenge was how to break up the floor area so it could be set up for different events.” His inspiration came, not surprisingly, from the lofts of New York, with their open-plan layouts and raw industrial aesthetic. Sourcing bricks for the walls was an initial challenge. “Everything looked too new,” he says. “I wanted bricks that had character, that looked like they’d been used over and over again.” His father’s contacts came up with the goods, and cheaply, too. To break up the central area, Gerrard hit upon the idea of using iron girders set at an angle to create bookshelves. “I literally taped planks of wood where I wanted them to be – and then went away to Australia for two weeks. When I came back, it was done!” he says. “Fortunately, the girders just fitted in the lift, but they had to be mitred on site.” Throughout the apartment, the concrete floor and walls were kept raw, a look that complements the dramatic graffiti artwork by the entrance. A big kitchen was necessary to cater for and accommodate a crowd and Gerrard opted for stainless-steel units and subway tiles to keep the look urban and utilitarian. Most of the furniture is moveable and multifunctional, some of it created from Gerrard’s packing cases. A DJ station doubles as a reception desk and, because it is on castors, can be moved as required. A central “bar” can be converted to three hair-wash stations for salon events simply by removing the countertop. In the kitchen the island unit can be rolled away and plugged in to double as a bar. There is a panel inset into the countertop that can be removed to reveal a large compartment for ice and drinks. From the large bank of flickering vintage televisions Gerrard bought in Sham Shui Po to the pole-dancing podiums, lighting and 1970s-inspired seating area (created by nailing wallpapered boards to bare bricks), the stylist’s working/living space has all the elements of a stage set ready for action. Dining area The wood-and-steel table was designed by Gerrard and built by the contractor for HK$6,000. The reproduction Eames chairs cost HK$700 each at SofaSale (2/F, Tung Kin Factory Building, 196 Tsat Tsz Mui Road, Quarry Bay, tel: 2541 1230). Preparing for a Christmas meal with friends and family, Gerrard realised he needed a centrepiece light fixture. He sourced the bulbs from HE (Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2870 1400) for HK$100 each and the contractor built the industrial-style chandelier, using 150 feet of cable, for HK$6,000. The curtains were made with fabric bought from Sham Shui Po market, which was cut to length and doubled over steel poles.
SofaSale is taking furniture retailing to a new level
SofaSale is Hong Kong’s premiere online furniture retailer and it’s in the midst of shaking up the furniture retailing landscape. By taking charge of every aspect of production, the comprehensive manufacturer produces distinctive, modern and affordable furniture pieces and sells direct to consumers.
Motivated by the lack of affordable, quality furniture in the Hong Kong market, in 2009
SofaSale started to diversify its furniture export business and set up its own retailing branch in order to gain direct access to Asian consumers. Last year SofaSale served several thousand customers and, given its over
15,000 Facebook friends, it seems many of them are satisfied with their purchases. They want to be linked with the SofaSale brand and receive updates on future promotions.
What is SofaSale’s secret?
SofaSale’s designs are largely European in origin and they have their own manufacturing facilities in China, where the company has total control over quality and production.
From conception to delivery, everything is done in-house. As a result, each piece retains great character, the quality is secured and lead-times are the best in the market.
SofaSale is currently offering over 1,500 pieces at sale prices on its website and is operating a New York loft-style showroom, located in an old industrial building in Quarry Bay.
Being primarily an online store, SofaSale creates a unique “browsing” experience for customers, and once a decision has been made there is a showroom to see, touch and discuss specific furniture items and wishes with SofaSale Furniture consultants.
In this low cost set-up, the cost savings are not banked as profits, but for the most part handed back to consumers. These savings are reflected in spectacular SofaSale sales prices. Those price incentives have attracted many satisfied customers time and time again.
This might be the key to SofaSale’s success and of its unique business model.
Domestic blissA family of four prefers to stay in and invite friends over, a renovation having given them ample space in which to play
Fit for purposeA couple who put functionality at the top of their design agenda were rewarded with a modern, inviting home, safe for little hands. Text Catherine Shaw Pictures Dickson Lee Styling David Roden Maximising space and controlling clutter were at the top of Andrew and Christina Lee’s agenda when it came to planning their 2,300 sq ft Mid-Levels home. “We like design but functionality was the most important issue for us,” says Taiwanese-American Christina. “With a 2½-year-old child, we had to think very carefully about how the spaces would work, as well as balance what looks good with safety and practicality.” The couple, who met as law students in the United States, were keen to work with an interior designer who would collaborate in, not dictate, the process of creating a home. They turned to Britishtrained architect Mae Kwan, who had recently relocated to Hong Kong but whose design aesthetic – balancing modern living with warm, inviting interiors – matched their needs. “It was a bit like decorating with a good friend,” says Lee. “We would go back and forth with ideas but Mae was always happy to keep looking until we found exactly what we wanted styleand budget-wise. Mae was also great at sourcing items that we would never have found, such as the huge wooden and aluminium Coco Flip pendant lamp over the dining table.” The apartment, which had not been updated in years, proved a design challenge because of the very dark interior. Removing walls helped open the space. “Mae advised us to reconfigure the maid’s room and kitchen to create the dining and kitchen area,” says Lee. “We didn’t entertain at home very often but now we have the perfect environment to do so.” Illumination was also enhanced. “We made the most of the wonderful balcony with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors alongside the living room so the interiors are bathed in natural light, which is reflected in the kitchen’s mirrored cupboards and semi-glossy white lacquered finishes,” says Kwan. “It’s a modern but light look.” “Our old apartment, in The Belchers in Pok Fu Lam, had stuff everywhere,” says Lee. “It was important to us that we had enough space to clear things away, so we installed full-height cupboards that are finished the same way as the walls or covered in mirrors. The funny thing is, even though we have doubled our storage and haven’t bought anything new, it already seems quite full.” The storage comes in handy now that Lee has established Three Little Tigers, which sells personalised towels for children. “Hong Kong had nowhere to buy affordable, good-quality towels for kids and where you can add the special touch of including their names on the towels,” she says. “So I found a fantastic supplier who could work with my designs and the business has really taken off. At the moment, I need to store a lot of the products here.” Another practical touch is a series of full-height sliding doors that create two separate wings off the open-plan living room. On one side, the doors, when closed, disappear completely, creating a compact but well-equipped study and television room that doubles as a guest room, while on the other side are two spacious bedrooms with a walkin dressing-room. “The doors provide excellent sound insulation, which is great for when [daughter] Chloe is sleeping,” says Lee. “But when we want it open, so I can watch her, it is easy to change the configuration.” Other items that add flexibility and style include a fabric-covered bench seat with hidden storage near the entrance, and open shelving in Chloe’s room, in which boxes of toys can be put away easily. The entire flat features oak flooring that contrasts beautifully with cool white walls to create an inviting look, and uplighting has been used to make the most of the three-metre-high ceilings. “Older buildings in Hong Kong have wonderfully high ceilings,” says Lee. “We took full advantage, with tall bookcases, shelves and cabinets – and with so much natural light the apartment has a lovely spacious feel. Just like we wanted.” Dining area The Eco-Series dining table (HK$7,190) came from www.sofasale.com.hk in a “raw” finish and was sanded and stained by Chun Lok Engineering. The six dining chairs, bought years ago, were reupholstered for a total of HK$2,115 by Tin Shing Curtain (39 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, tel: 2817 4775). Kwan found the Coco Flip pendant lamp (HK$9,000) at a half-price sale at Lane Crawford (various locations; lanecrawford.com). The small iron statue was found by Kwan at a flea market in London. The kitchen cabinets, complete with stainless-steel drawers, Corian countertop, stainless-steel double sink, mirrored wall panels and cabinet lights, cost a total of HK$209,770 from Kitench Leader (58 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2836 0280). The bar stools (HK$960 each) were from Luen Sun Furniture (371 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2546 4274).
Winner of prestigious business award Respected international business award, Hong Kong Shooting Star 2012, held its ceremony recently in the Netherlands. Leading local furniture retailer SofaSale won the award for their performance and improvement across nine categories of the European Business Excellence Model. Mr Arno Nieuwland, founder of SofaSale.com.hk, received the celebrated award during the exclusive dinner presentation ceremony, hosted and organized by Cathay Pacific Airways and the Netherland Council for Trade Promotion. With the winner selected by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Shooting Star has been award every November since 2004 to raise the profile of Dutch linked business in Hong Kong to recognize outstanding performance of SME’s in order to encourage further growth.