Done celebrating the new year? Don’t put your party hat away just yet, especially if it’s red or gold. Round Two is less than a month away.
Before the yearly madness of insane visiting schedules and unnecessarily kaypoh relatives, though, comes the pre-madness that is spring cleaning.
Having cleared our homes of old things (way ahead of you tbh Kondo-sensei) and spending way too much energy on a thorough wipe-down, we often finish off our spring cleaning efforts by introducing new and often brightly-coloured items into our environment, in the spirit of welcoming the new year with new things.
So before your insufferable aunts and unbelievably spoiled cousins descend on your freshly sanitised home, here are a few items that we think will spruce up your living space without going, you know… 600% dong qiang.
Ultrasonic aroma diffusers
Ultrasonic humidifiers have been around for awhile now, but Muji’s iconic cylindrical designs have given new life to the fad. Get yourself an OEM unit as a subtle yet functional ornament to your living room or coffee table. A wide variety of aromatic essential oils are also available to purchase along with the diffuser – a sure-fire way of classing up the vibe.
Just maybe keep it out of reach of itchy-fingered children.
The manekineko – Asia’s most adorable patron saint of good fortune. With all the symbolism that’s been built around them, fortune cats can all too easily become fortune Hulks. Given a choice, anyone would wish for wealth, love, peace, a good career, and luck, all at once.
This Lunar New Year, give some thought to which one of these factors matter the most to you. Like Marie Kondo’s acid test for your belongings, which one sparks the most joy in your body? Find the fortune cat with the one symbol that resonates most with your heart’s desires, and watch as it becomes an elegant, tangible reminder of your priorities for 2019.
Throw pillows and couch cushions are one of the most convenient ways to change up the colours in your living area. These particular cushion covers, made to look like 3D oil paintings, ooze life and vibrance without going over-the-top.
If you don’t already have the actual cushions, you can also get them from Qoo10, or physical stores like IKEA if you can’t wait for shipping.
Compact wireless speakers
Size isn’t everything, and that rings especially true in the world of portable speakers. As technology constantly improves, palm-sized speakers are pumping out room-sized audio, with virtually no distortion even at high output levels.
A prime example of this is the Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 (Singapore represent!). Measuring just a little larger than the average paperback novel, this speaker churns out pristine, accurate audio in any environment, whether it’s quietly accompanying an intimate conversation around a table of four, or ringing out jubilant CNY tunes at top volume in the middle of a crowded function hall.
Smart RGB light strips
Lastly, RGB light strips. These smart gadgets make recessed lighting a convenient breeze, with all the flexibility in the world to control brightness, colours, and advanced automatic settings via your smartphone, or voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Mount these behind your TV console, under your couches or tables, or behind cupboards and shelves to transform your living area into a chic party space at the touch of a button, or a single voice command.
If that won’t impress your friends and relatives, we don’t know what will.