First farmers crafted ancient water wells without metal tools

One of the ancient wooden water wells in eastern Germany, built by farmers from hollowed-out tree trunks. Photo: SCMP

The people who lived in eastern Germany around 7,000 years ago are thought to have been some of the first farmers.

Monday, 31 December, 2012, 6:00am

Ideal finishing touches

Just as perfect accessories can turn an outfit into something extraordinary, the right fittings and trims can add something extra to the home.

The intrinsic style lies with the moulding and interior hardware, such as doorknobs and light switches. Stripped of furniture, window dressings and floor coverings, these often-ignored decorative elements shape the entire look.

29 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Good wood

It has been found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, the Chinese were using it 1,000 years ago and tsarist Russia made ample use of it. Despite that illustrious pedigree, in recent generations, plywood has acquired a somewhat commonplace reputation.

19 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Marque of Excellence

In an age of instant gratification, David Linley is a craftsman to whom time means little.

9 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Right products key to success of DIY

Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to do-it-yourself jobs. Though almost everything you will need is available in Hong Kong, it is sometimes hard to differentiate between similar-sounding products in stores.

1 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Thinking big

For Anthony Lei, the excitement of designing his own home was professional as well as personal. As a young architect at a leading Hong Kong firm, his days are typically spent working on large commercial projects, so he was eager to experience freedom of expression without having to answer to clients or bosses.

'That's a dream for architects,' he says with a smile.

13 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

The home tool kit

Emergency repair work

You never know when you might have to do some emergency DIY (do-it-yourself) so every home should have a basic tool kit. Does one of your drawer handles look as if it might fall off? Let's take out the tool kit and make some repairs.

What tools should you have in your toolbox?

Can you match the tool with its description?

5 May 2010 - 12:00am

Restaurant cleared over screw in soup

A businessman chipped a tooth from biting on a screw that came with his shark's fin soup, costing him HK$60,000 in dental fees, a court heard yesterday.

Robert Law Chi-fai, 65, was testifying in Kowloon City Court in a case brought by the Food, Environmental Hygiene Department against Maxim's Group.

26 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Patrons, parasites and plonk: 10 years of art for charity's sake

ArtWalk celebrates its tenth year tonight. That's a decade of art supporters roaming about Central and SoHo (thanks to a shuttle bus, now Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Aberdeen too) on one night looking at art, enjoying nibbles and drinks with their ArtWalk badge and supporting charity.

17 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Central Market's cover-up decried

Even before the historic Central Market is transformed into an 'urban oasis', hundreds of screws have been driven into its walls as part of a plan to make it look better.

13 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Anglo-Indian style

Fancy lying back on a beautiful chaise longue in a white-washed bungalow while a wallah fans you with a palm frond and brings you cups of sweet chai? This may be a politically incorrect colonialist image but it does sound like a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

7 Sep 2008 - 12:00am

Shady business

There's a fair chance that few churches will be ordering lamps from Sandro Tothill. His lighting company, Luzifer, with its devilish little logo, isn't popular with those of a religious disposition. 'We've had a few negative comments from some Christians,' says Tothill, an Australian now based in Valencia, Spain. 'But most people actually like the name.'

22 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

Faking it

Cutting down a tree because you think it would look good as your floor is about as palatable these days as killing an animal to wear its skin or forgetting to take your reusable bags to the supermarket.

Just as fashion mavens have discovered that fake materials can take the place of the real thing, so have interior designers embraced the faux movement.

7 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Office ours

An ability to think outside the box has resulted in the transformation of a grotty commercial space into a strikingly cool abode.

Christian and Kristyna Banck's home is undeniably striking, but one compliment from a lift occupant peeping in when the front door is open confirms this apartment is special for another reason.

14 May 2006 - 12:00am

Faux stoppers

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL home. What a magnificent studded-copper front door with a gentle patina of age-whispering green. And what a glorious foyer, its floor an expanse of pearly travertine. Beyond that, in what's clearly the family room, the floor is a perfect whitewashed oak, the very picture of casual European chic. And is that the sound of cicadas coming from the balcony?

24 Mar 2006 - 12:00am