23 Oct 2006
Furniture(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 01,2007)
The Right Stuff
|Sofas like this L-shaped model from Goodss Ltd create a comfortable and modern living environment|
Choosing the right furniture for a home or business is just as important as wearing the right clothes and creating a good impression. Fortunately, the high level of quality and design in Hong Kong-made furniture makes it a logical choice for a wide range of home and commercial needs.
The stunning designs from Goodss Ltd present apt examples. The two-year-old firm has made an art out of fusion furniture, combining modern designs and traditional Chinese feng shui elements said to promote balance, order and harmony in the environment.
The range was recognised with a bronze award at the Hong Kong Design Association awards in 2005. "Our furniture embraces very contemporary Chinese design," says design director Gary Tam. "We try to balance each of the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth."
An important aspect of feng shui, he says, is interpreting how the five elements interact in a physical environment to create a positive experience.
"Metal and water, for example, might be represented by a white leather sofa [water] set in a metal frame," he explains.
Goodss also puts a high priority on crafting furniture that is as comfortable as it is practical. "Everything is modular so that it can be changed to suit the environment," says Tam, noting that the range includes everything from sofas to tables and lighting fixtures to accessories.
"Materials include solid oak, wood veneer and acrylic, and metals such as stainless steel and aluminium," Tam says, adding that a three-piece modular sofa made of wood and PVC fabric is priced at HK$7,000-8,000 per set FOB Hong Kong. The minimum order is negotiable, with delivery 3-4 weeks after order confirmation.
Pieces, which can be downsized for smaller Asian homes or enlarged to meet Western standards, are exported mainly to France and Japan, while the firm also enjoys sales in Hong Kong and on the mainland.
Over at Wah Yat Furniture (Group) Ltd, the focus is on commercial furniture for restaurants, hotels, cafˆms and clubhouses. This OEM/ODM manufacturer also provides custom-made booths, tables, chairs, barstools and sofas.
The 20-year-old firm started out in 1986 making wooden furniture and still offers a large inventory of woods, such as oak, teak, beech, maple, ash, pine, rubber wood and cherry.
Many woods can be stained in at least 24 different finishes. "Most of our customers like a dark wood finish," notes account supervisor Ada Choy. "Some pieces are also left natural, while supporting materials include aluminium, stainless steel, laminate, leather, fabric and rattan."
A typical price for a beech tea table from Wah Yat is US$58.50 FOB Hong Kong. A beech dining chair might cost US$37.75. "Currently in vogue are European design styles from the 1950s and 1960s," Choy advises.
The minimum order is 50 pieces per model, with exports going to the UK, the US, Italy, Greece, Canada and the Chinese mainland. Delivery is usually three weeks after order confirmation.
Meanwhile, items of charming antique-style furniture in both Western and Chinese designs are the specialty of 1998-established United Meiho (HK) Ltd. This OEM/ODM firm sells medium-priced hand-painted tables, wardrobes, wine baskets, cabinets and beds utilising MDF or genuine oak.
"Our hand-painting is a real selling-point," says sales manager Julia Leung, adding that English-style period furniture from the Victorian era is a major seller with exports targeted primarily at Europe and the US.
The FOB Xiamen unit price for an MDF English-style cabinet with six drawers measuring 42x45x100cm ranges from US$50-80. An MDF English-style table measuring 55x55x55cm will cost between US$50-70. The minimum order is one full FEU, for delivery 70-90 days after order confirmation.
"At present, we are a trading company rather than a manufacturer and we do operate a joint-venture arrangement with a factory on the mainland," says Leung, adding that the firm expects to be able to double its production capacity when a new factory in Chaozhou opens next year.
For delicate flowers and leaves handcrafted into rosewood and blackwood dining room sets, bedroom suites, bookshelves and kitchen tables, Yue Fung Furniture Co Ltd has all that's required.
Established in 1982, the firm produces a range of medium- to high-end antique reproduction and modern Chinese and Western-style furniture at its 400-worker factory in Shenzhen on the mainland. Much of the production is hard furniture, but the company accepts orders for soft furniture on request.
Yue Fung offers a Western-style dining room set consisting of a table and six chairs for HK$7,000-15,000 per set FOB Hong Kong. The cost of a Ming or Qing Dynasty antique-style Chinese sofa that can seat three ranges from HK$6,000-12,000.
"About 70% of what we make is Chinese-style furniture, but we are focusing more on modern designs," says project supervisor Winnie Tsang, adding that the OEM/ODM company requires a minimum order value of HK$30,000 for delivery 45-60 days after confirmation of orders depending on the quantity.
Major export markets for Yue Fung include the US, France, Taiwan, Australia and the mainland. "We plan to introduce our own brand name on the mainland next year, and later overseas," Tsang advises.
With their skill in crafting fine furniture and value-for-money philosophy, Hong Kong companies are an obvious choice in the search for the best merchandise that money can buy.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA