Step 1: Online Research
Suss out your style and what sort of look you want to go for before you head to the shops. Write lists of everything you need, dimensions and also take the measurements of your lift so you know what items you can actually logistically buy.
Try Di-Mension Living as a first port of call. My advice is to figure out what items you like, then at step two check you like them in person in a more expensive shop, then finally, purchase said item at a fraction of the cost from Di-mensions’s website. They make everything in China and can offer a range of fabrics and colours. Perfect for finding those cool replica items at a fraction of the cost elsewhere. You could even visit their showroom in Tai Koo.
Di-Mension Living, Unit A6, 18/F, Wah Ha Factory Building, No.8 Shipyard Lane, Tai Koo Hong Kong, 2246 8382. Open Tuesday-Saturday 12-7pm, Sunday 12-6pm and Monday for appointments only. www.di-mension.com
Step 2: Horizon Plaza – The Big Items
Horizon Plaza is a furniture lover’s dream. 28 floors of stores dedicated almost exclusively to furniture. Armed with the Sassy guide on how to tackle Horizon plaza (see here!), I had the most successful day’s shopping ever! The shops may not be the cheapest but it’s perfect for buying all your main items in one place. Here are my top picks:
Tequila Kola – perfect for original-looking items that add a real sense of character to your home. Think vintage trunks, statement items and Chesterfield sofas. Visit the main showroom on the 1st floor where discounts are offered for bulk purchases or EPS payments… And don’t forget to make a visit to their 17th floor discount outlet where some incredible items of furniture can be bought for up to 30% off.
Tequila Kola, 1/F (discount outlet 17/F), Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, 2877 3295, Open Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday & Public Holidays 12pm – 7pm. www.tequilakola.com
Indigo Living – a good option for large, key items such as sofas and dining tables as well as smaller decorative pieces such as cushions. A little expensive but they do seasonal offers and promotions. They also have a fantastic collaboration range with famed British interior designer Kelly Hoppen. But a real bonus is the fact that they measure your lift before delivery to ensure the furniture will actually fit!
Indigo Living, 6/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, 2555 0530. Open daily 10am – 7pm. www.indigo-living.com
Marc James – a small store with more targeted items such as chairs and dining tables. They sell stylish, replica classics but at a cost much lower than many of their competitors. Sign up to their loyalty card for further discounts.
Marc James, 16/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, 2517 2000, Open daily 10am – 7pm. www.marcjamesdesign.com
Offspring – whilst one half of this store is dedicated to gorgeous children’s items, the other half stocks quirky but cosy furniture items and rustic themed decorative pieces. A favourite is their fantastic black location board, which they can personalise with your own choice of location names.
TREE – well worth a visit for its signature style of wood-heavy, family-friendly furniture. A real Sassy favourite for those larger items and also its fabulous children’s selection. A sassy secret is to start with Tree, as it’s at the very top and load up with cakes and coffee for energy before you set off down the stairs! Tree provides eco-chic, stylish furniture to suit every taste.
TREE, 28/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, 2870 1582. Open daily 10.30am-7pm. Also located in Soho, Cyberport and Sai Kung (see the website for full addresses). www.tree.com.hk
Inside – a real gem with Indian rustic-style furniture. They also stock clothes, accessories, bath ware, soft furnishings, lighting… the list goes on! For those who like soft colours, beautiful prints and delicate fabrics, we suggest you head here – whether you deck out your whole home or just go for certain signature items.
Inside, 12/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, 2873 1795. Open Monday-Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am – 7pm. Also located in The Prince’s Building, Central and The Repulse Bay (see the website for full addresses). www.inside.com.hk
Step 3: Quirkier, independent shops for statement items and unique pieces
Mirth – head over to Aberdeen and browse their collection of global and individually sourced items suitable for homes, children and much more. Many of the items are one-off but all have a really unique appeal to them. Our personal favourites are their industrial-feel dining chairs, which come in a range of colours.
Mirth Home, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, 2553 9811. Open daily 10am – 6pm. www.mirthhome.com
Attic Lifestyle – a diverse range of independent and unique items from around the world. Businesswoman Simone has created a homeware haven of handpicked items ranging from handmade throws, Fairtrade rugs and kitchen must-haves. Head here to really give your home a sense of heart and soul.
Attic Lifestyle, Unit 4, 12/F, Sungib Industrial Building, 53 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, 6901 6715. Open Wednesday–Saturday 10am-2pm or by appointment. www.attic-lifestyle.com
Step 4: The privileged few
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with outside space, a real secret is that most outdoor stores source their furniture from the same suppliers but charge outrageously varied prices. Wicka Designs has a fantastic range of furniture, which is stylish and durable, but at the lowest possible prices.
Wicka Designs, 1/F, BT Centre, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, 2422 0885. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm. www.wickadesigns.com
Step 5: For smaller furniture items and those final all-important home staples
Franc Franc – if your apartment is somewhat horizontally impaired making space tight, Japanese chain Franc Franc focuses on stylish yet practically-designed items that are ideal for smaller spaces. They have a range of sofas, dining tables and the such like that are perfect for studios or awkward spaces. They also stock fashion, interior, bath and kitchen products.
Franc Franc flagship store, 2nd Floor, Hang Lung Center, 2-20 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 3427 3366. Also located at Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong and k11, Tsim Sha Tsui (see website for full addresses). www.francfranc.com.hk
Ikea – you don’t need me to tell you why to go here. Unbeatable for certain items such as side tables, kitchen equipment and spare bedding. They even have a surprisingly good rug selection! But be warned, head there on the weekend at your peril. Many head here as a destination rather than to shop (and make themselves at home accordingly – we’ve spotted people literally putting their feet up!). Go once and make it epic, with a clear list of what you need.
Ikea, Upper Basement, Park Lane Hotel, Great George Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 3125 0888. Open daily 10.30am–10.30pm. Also located at Megabox, Kowloon Bay and Sha Tin (see website for full addresses). www.ikea.com/hk/en
Pricerite – think of this at as the Hong Kong version of Ikea! This should take care of most of your basic homeware needs (although it does also sell a decent range of sofas and beds) and is particularly good for storage solutions and other practical, functional items – watch them sell-out of fans and mobile air-conditioning units come summer!
Pricerite, practically everywhere! http://e-catalogue.pricerite.com.hk
Japan Home Centre – this should be the very last place you visit. Suitable for ironing boards, cleaning equipment and random kitchen appliances. Don’t expect to find stuff of the highest quality but bag some practical items at bargain prices.
Japan Home Centre, also everywhere! www.japanhome.com.hk
So there you have it, my 6-step apartment furnishing guide.