As winter’s chill rolls into our native Vancouver, our hearts are warmed by the thought of the celebrations to come. We’re casting our eyes to cadeaux in rich crimson hues while dreaming up ways to surprise and treat our loved ones with Lunar New Year Gifts for 2021.
The LIV Design team has come together to curate gifts made for welcoming the Year of the Ox. The Ox is the second of twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac, following the Rat. According to one legend, all twelve animals were in a race to determine the order of this zodiac. While the Ox gave the Rat a ride on his back across the final river, the Rat ungraciously jumps off his back at the last moment to become first in line. The Ox, dependable and good-natured, settled into second place, thus becoming the second in the zodiac.
Among our diverse team, we have many ways to celebrate this auspicious day. Without question, the holiday festivities are centred around food and family. We’ve created a selection of festive foods and functional object d’arts that will look quite at home adorning a kitchen counter or Lunar New Year spread.
And while we may not be gathering with all of our families this year due to the unique circumstances we find ourselves in, we can still decide to stay together and perhaps even grow in intimacy. Special offerings to our family that nod to the Year of the Ox glitter and catch the light, reflecting our hope for the joy and happiness ahead for us all.
“Giving is nice, I believe the more you give, the more happiness comes back to you. So, in a way, it’s a good thing to give,”Tiffany Lam, LIV Design Senior Interior Designer
For the LIV Design team, many memories of Lunar New Year take place inside their family home — the kitchens of our childhood and dining rooms of our present are full of the fragrance of dishes that inspire luck and prosperity.
As tradition dictates, preparing the home for the New Year is a must. “Having that huge clean up will clean up any bad luck that they’re carrying with them for the year. Now is the time for refresh rejuvenation and a restart in the New Year,” said Dickson Chu, Senior Interior Designer at LIV Design. These gifts for the home are the final refreshing touch.
“Before Chinese New Year, we always make sure we clean our house,” said LIV Design’s Senior Interior Designer Tiffany Lam. “It kind of gives you a sense of ease since it’s much cleaner. It’s kind of like spring cleaning.” This tradition is also to remove bad luck before the coming year. A Complete Home Care Set from Secret Location is a trio of natural cleaners that make preparing your home for the New Year all the more luxurious.
Be still, our hearts, which are aflutter for this designer cushion from Dior. The red chinoiserie pattern serves as an enchanting backdrop for the Christian Dior label, effortlessly adding opulence to living rooms, parlours, or bedrooms. Gift this to your family member or friend who lives for all things from the House of Dior.
At this time of year, offerings of fresh fruit are plentiful and this Georg Jensen tray is an elegant way to display your bounty or as a futuristic spin on your Tray of Togetherness. The Tray of Togetherness typically has six to eight compartments: six is a number associated with luck, while eight symbolizes fortune. Instead of compartments, opt for six or eight mandarin oranges, which represent luck and gold.
Hardworking and honest friends born in the Year of the Ox want this reminder of their Zodiac sign in their home all year. The artist took inspiration from an old folk painting: a boy, who represents her father as a child who will turn 60 years old this year, is playing the flute on an ox — a revered animal in Chinese culture.
This particular artist, Emily B. Yang, is an Asian-American artist based in the US who shares her memories of growing up in Chinatown through her printmaking and ceramic work. Aiming to highlight the human experience and community spaces, 25% of her proceeds go towards the Longevity Fund, a small business relief fund by Welcome to Chinatown.
“Thinking back at Chinese New Year, the main thing that comes to mind is family dinners and family gatherings says David Chiang, The HR Guy at LIV. “New year is a treat, I get to eat all the Chinese food I want.” Set the table for Lunar New Year feasts with these Nomade Chopsticks & Rests from the MoMA design store.
Cadine’s fine leather vases continue to inspire and they’re an exquisite home for botanicals to complement your New Year. Understated custom vegetable tan leather highlights and honours the true nature of the material and offers a unique organic texture to enhance and echo any flowers or branches you pair together. Whether you have the Cadine floral arrangement or create one of your own to gift or keep, fresh flowers symbolize the arrival of Spring and new beginnings.
Further Reading: 2021 Colours of the Year – Gray & Yellow
Giving gifts to those you care about, the ones you love…if you give them a red pocket — it’s like, ‘Here’s good luck to you in your new year.’Dickson Chu, Senior Interior Designer LIV Design
It doesn’t have to be a big amount of money, it’s more about the culture, giving a red pocket is like giving people a blessing.
“Lunar New Year is the one time of year where everyone gathers around to enjoy a big meal,” says LIV Design’s Talent Acquisition Specialist, Joyce Lam.
“There are lots of traditional dishes that hold a special meaning in Chinese culture. For example, the word ‘fish’ sounds like the word for ‘surplus’ so we always eat fish to symbolize a year of blessings and abundance.”
This year, treat yourself to an abundance of Lunar New Year-inspired treats and goodies. Or, if you’re cooking at home this year, then fill your kitchen with bold red hues of peppery crimson and cherry to allow the warmth of the holiday to carry through all your days to come.
Fill your home with heavenly baked treats without turning on your oven. Vancouver’s favourite bakery is offering a Lucky 88 Grand Pack for the season that comes with an 18-piece cookie tin, a Chinatown BBQ Peking Duck Croissant, and a Pandan Mochi Croissant so you can taste old familiar flavours in new and unexpected ways.
When these local chocolatiers aren’t busy making cream puffs that consistently sell out, they’re crafting chocolates that are almost too beautiful to eat. This year, Beta5 created a 66% dark chocolate bar with their signature faceted look studded with freeze-dried mandarin segments and caramelized puffed rice for an indulgence the size of a red envelope.
To toast the New Year, bring retro-futurism drenched in the colour of Lunar New Year to your breakfast table with a SMEG toaster. If you love your bread sliced thick, then this will be a perfect fit.
Elevate your next cup with this set of Le Creuset’s cerise-hued teapot and cappuccino cups.
Add the cult-favourite Always Pan from Our Place in “Heat” to your cart and bring the colour of Lunar New Year from your stovetop to your table. The eco-friendly eight-in-one design will fast become a staple in your kitchen and will inspire you to learn your favourite recipes from your family traditions.
Further Reading: LIV at Home – Interior DIYs by the LIV Design Team
While food is an integral part of Lunar New Year celebrations, LIV Design’s Senior Interior Designer Tiffany Lam reminds us of the importance of refreshing your wardrobe at this time of year. “We always buy a new set of clothing,” she said. If you and your dear ones are the same, then we have curated visions of gold and crimson for you to dress for the Year of the Ox.
“In our generation, we don’t do a lot of the traditions and it feels like it’s dying down, so it’s nice to keep up with them,” said Lam. Begin a new tradition by gifting narrative finery that tells a story. This Redline string bracelet centres around a white gold ball that glitters with diamonds. Evocative of a full moon on a starry night, the red string instantly recalls the holidays.
LIV Design’s Joyce Lam encourages you to wear red for good luck on Lunar New Year, and what better way to do so than to flaunt it on your hand. The Canadian jeweller Mejuri is loved by millennials who covet their simple yet elegant designs. The Heirloom Ring in 14 karat gold hugs a deep-hued garnet gemstone. Through this piece, you may style the gold and red of Lunar New Year for modern times.
“My Mom would make sure we had brand new clothes and new underwear going into the new year,” said LIV Design’s David Chiang. A crisp, classic, t-shirt is an ideal wardrobe addition ahead of the Lunar New Year. Emblazoned with a minimalist ox design scripted in red neon, the printed graphic on the chest is evocative of traditional Chinese lettering. You can get Rag & Bone’s Year of the Ox Pima cotton shirt from Holt Renfrew for a subtle sartorial salute to Lunar New Year.
Further Reading: Small Space Design: Kitchen
“Hopefully, the New Year is going to be much better than last year…all we want is good health and to be safe,” said LIV Design’s Dickson Chu.
From everyone at LIV Design Studio, best wishes for health, wealth, and happiness this Lunar New Year.