Light my fire

Basic flat design has changed little in the past 100 years, with today's high-rise concrete boxes barely different from the beam-and-pillar walk-ups of the early 1900s.

Friday, 14 December, 2007, 12:00am

Shenzhen to build more low-cost homes

Government officials in Shenzhen - the hottest property market on the mainland - have been stung into action by warnings from Premier Wen Jiabao that the country's poor need more low-cost housing.

28 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

Relaxation of rules for minor home repairs

The government plans to amend the Buildings Ordinance to allow people to do minor repairs on their homes.

Deputy secretary for development (planning and lands) Olivia Nip Sai-lan said regulations in the current ordinance were too stringent regarding minor repairs, which had a lower scale of risk.

22 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

coffee table

The back cover of Asian Furniture (HK$580, FormAsia) should whet the appetites of design buffs and quiz fans. Eight pictures of chairs and chests - plus an odd-looking stepped piece containing an assortment of drawers - beg to be matched with the countries featured in the book: India, Indonesia, Thailand, China (including Tibet), Philippines, Korea and Japan.

28 Oct 2007 - 12:00am

Everyday miracles

A lamp that turns into a day bed, a refrigerator that doubles as a work of art and an electricity outlet that can hold your toothbrush - these are just part of a trend sweeping the design world as items once considered mundane now hold newfound fascination.

14 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

How a housewife cleaned up by starting launderette

Imagine being a 40-year-old housewife with no formal qualification and just HK$50,000 to set up a business. What would you choose?

Faced with that challenge, Yeung Lai-kuen opted for setting up a launderette in Wan Chai with a fellow housewife.

2 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Working miracles

Modern offices tend to have a window on one or more sides. Regardless of how attractive the view is, it is not recommended to sit facing a window, as this may result in distraction and a decreasing appreciation of the view. If you sit with your back to the entrance, you will be vulnerable to rumours and backstabbing from your associates.

2 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Shaky foundations

For the past half century, Zhao Gengjun and his family have had to share their Beijing courtyard house with strangers. The family occupies six rooms, but the remaining 10 have been forcibly leased to the government since 1958. A laid-off worker, Zhao is among 6,000 owners of jingzu or leased properties in Beijing.

31 May 2007 - 12:00am

Home design and decor leave a lot to be desired, survey finds

Less than a fifth of Hong Kong residents are satisfied with the design and decoration of their homes, a survey has found.

The poll also found that almost half of the respondents spend only three to five of their waking hours at home, while some spend as little as one.

26 May 2007 - 12:00am

Leadership a must for club's chef

People skills, as well as culinary finesse, are essential for this executive chef opening in one of Hong Kong's oldest clubs.

The American Club, established in 1925, is a prestigious private members club with an affluent international clientele who expect the highest standards of quality, says the club's general manager, James DiRenzo.

12 May 2007 - 12:00am

Haier bounces into black with HK$262m profit

Haier Electronics Group, a leading manufacturer of washing machines and water heaters in the mainland, has rebounded to a net profit of HK$262.3 million for last year from a HK$363.7 million loss a year earlier after it sold its loss-making mobile handset unit.

24 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Bosses to go back to building homes

Move is part of initiative to provide affordable housing

Guangzhou is poised to become the first mainland city to reintroduce a controversial housing scheme that allows employers to build affordable homes for their workers.

The municipal government has yet to set a timeframe for the reintroduction of the scheme, scrapped nearly a decade ago.

27 Jan 2007 - 12:00am

Hamper index confirms Hong Kong's robust economic performance

To add a bit of festive taste to this financial column, White Collar has chosen a subject that fuses Christmas hamper sales and the economic cycle.

According to Michael Tsui, co-founder of Cova in Hong Kong and the guest of our Boxing Day podcast, there is definitely a link between sales of the overflowing food parcels and our economic figures.

26 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Westlife even get dads and boyfriends tapping along


Asia World Expo

One night only

Why do pop bands always demand the audience scream about how much fun they are having?

In Westlife's case it must be because they can see all the boyfriends, husbands and fathers sitting, arms folded, wishing they were on the couch at home, beer in hand, watching the football.

10 Sep 2006 - 12:00am

From shadowy obscurity to five minutes of dubious fame

So what is the world to make of John Mark Karr? The 41-year-old school teacher lurched out of a Bangkok back alley on August 16 with a confession, saying he was involved in the death 10 years ago in Boulder, Colorado, of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey.

2 Sep 2006 - 12:00am