2015 Trends

Luxury Re-defined

The 2015 Trend of Luxury Defined will continue to be redefined how we view luxury and elegance.  Thistrend will be embellished while at the same time giving it an almost carefree look and feel.  Also, there will be some added new looks and icons that we have not seen in a while.

For this trend we consider:

  1. Flourishes and Damasks are large and almost modern looking.  These tray that we are showing for this 2015 Luxury Defined Trend is an intricately inlayed mother of pearl flourish design on a fresh new 2015 Trend color. This is an example of how the Mother of Pearl technique can be used to give a piece almost a bit of a modern, yet laidback elegance.
  2. Other motifs and designs that will return are things like Jacobean floral, tulips, paisleys, butterflies, crocodile and lattice. 
  3. The Luxury Redefined Trend will be a decidedly feminine look with graceful lines, circles and silhouettes. 
  4. Complex metallic and other warm gold finishes will continue to be important with l use some silvers, copper and bronze accents. 
  5. Think pearl and pearl likefinishes, as this will be an important look for on a variety of materials. 
  6. The fabrics will also be a feminine with the use of velvets and linens and also leathers that will have somepearl or metallic hint to them.   Grass cloth, with some unique finishes may also be usedas an accent.

 

This 2015 Luxury Defined Trend is not a completely new look or trend, but thechange is in the direction of how this new easy-going luxury trend is defined.  

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Product Update

Crafting Tradition – Pottery Making in Vietnam

The other day we sat before a young man who is the son of the owner of a pottery factory we work with in Bat Trang Vietnam.  This young man has been educated in the United Kingdom and so he speaks excellent English.  As we were talking he started to discusshis family’s history of pottery making, and proudly stated that his ancestors have been Bat Trang pottery makers for over 600 years; in fact they use to make pottery for the King of Vietnam.  As he was obviously bright and foreign educated, I asked him how he felt about working in the family business.  He proudly told me that he loved the idea that he was helping to keep his ancestor’s dream of the potterycraft alive and he hoped that one day his son would want to do the same.

This Vietnamese pottery handcraft has survived through 1,000 years of Chinese occupation, 100 years of French rule, countless wars with the French and the Americans and also the Japanese occupation during World War II.  Included in this is the fact that the pottery village of Bat Trang was bombed many times during the Vietnamese and American War.  Yet through all this turmoil the Vietnamese pottery handicraft has remained intact and continues to survive today.

The long tradition of crafting the Vietnamese pottery production is very unique in that fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers are mentoring and passing down their life long trade secrets to the next generation.  It is because of this, in Bat Trang, you find certain small factories producing one item that others are not able to easily copy.  The skills this young man have learned are an accumulation of his family’s 600 years of trade secrets and pottery making. He no doubt grew up working in the pottery factory so he is very familiar with every aspect of it.  I believe it is this long tradition that is wrapped into the willingness of the next generation to keep alive the skills, crafts and dreams of the past generation that makes the Vietnamese pottery handicraft unique.  

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Blog

Vietnamese Food

If you think Vietnamese Cuisine begins and ends with Pho, you are sadly mistaken.  I’ve eaten out at street stalls and restaurants nearly every night of the three months I’ve been here interning and I’ve had Pho less than five times.  Most of the time I didn’t know exactly what I was ordering until it arrived at the table and many times even then I had no idea what I was putting in my stomach.  One meal in particular though has won my heart and should be on everyone’s culinary bucket list:  Pho Cuon with Pho Chien Phong. 

         To get the authentic Pho Cuon and Pho Chien Phong you have to go to the restaurants that circle the scenic Truc Bac Lake, just north of the Old Quarter.  Literally every restaurant around this circle carries the unique faire and each is a little different from the other so go ahead and try a few different ones if you’re here for a while. 

         Pho Cuon is a special type of spring roll.  The rice paper is much more substantial than normal rice paper and its prepared in such a way that it will only stay fresh for a day or so.  Inside the roll you’ll find beef along with mint, cilantro and rice noodles.  Dip each bite in the sweet and sour fish sauce that accompanies Pho Cuon and enjoy the freshness of the light rolls before moving onto the more substantial Pho Chien Phong. In Pho Chien Phong you’ll also find the fresh rice paper, this time by itself though and rolled into tight little deep fried bundles. It also comes with garlic seasoned beef and vegetables but the real star is the fried rice paper.

         If you’re in Hanoi do NOT miss out on the Pho Cuon and Pho Chien Phong, you won’t regret it.  Maybe they’ll even be enough to make an excuse for a return trip.  

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Mondoro News

Trend Book

Stay up with the fast moving world of home furnishings and décor trends with our new Trend Book.  This online publication provides brief introductions to the home furnishing world’s hottest styles and directions.  On each page you’ll find a trend overview, examples of ways the trend works and pictures showing pieces representing the trend.  Whether your job requires you to keep up with these trends or your just interested in making your home as hip as you can, our Trend Book has you covered.  Visit the trend book here.

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Project Sprout

What Is A Buddy Backpack?  

The Buddy Backpack is a program is an initiative to implement a child-to-child exchange from students at the International Schools in Hanoi and the Muong Khoa School in North Vietnam.  An International Student will fill out a brief questionnaire to answer questions such as what their favorite sport is, what is their favorite subject in school and other questions.  They then upload their photo on to the form.  This information is then translated into Vietnamese and is used to generate a profile of the International Student that is given to a Muong Khoa student that is receiving their backpack.  The Muong Khoa student will then also answer the same questions and have a photo taken, a profile will be generated, that in turn will be given to the International Students, along with a Buddy Backpack certificate to thank the International Student for their generous gift. 

The Buddy Backpack program is based upon the days when having a penpal in a foreign land was very popular.  Anita Hummel, of Project Sprouts says that she remembers when she was young and she use to have a penpal in Sweden.   As she recollected “At the time it was always very exciting to get a letter from her and to find out about her life and what she was doing – it almost seemed magically that someone in another part of the world could have some of the same interests and likes that I had.” 

The Buddy Backpack program’s initiative is set up in such a way as to help foster an understanding between thetwo students.  It is this fostering of an understanding between the two children, who come from different socio-economic backgrounds, that is at the heart of the Buddy Backpack program.  As Anita Hummel of Project Sprouts continued to say “we desire that both the International Student and the Muong Khoa student can come out of this with a greater understanding that even if people live very different lives, and come from very different socio-economic backgrounds, they can usually always find a common ground of understanding.”

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Mondoro Trend 2015

 Hit the Road!

 

Get ready, set, and GO!  Be ready to hit the road, as street scenes, punk and almost anything to do with the city becomes an important design trend.

 Some key elements for the Hit the Road trend are:

 

1.   Think rubber!!  The road is not the road without some form of rubber.  This bench we are featuring is woven from old recycled bicycle tires – tires that have been tested on the road.  It is a wonderful recycled story as well as being truly road worthy.

2.   Mesh, wire, pyramids, studs, chain links, and materials as old bicycle chains will be used in interesting ways. 

3.   Gradients will come back into play as well as the layering affect will also be an important design element

4.   Leather will be important, especially in black.  Hides will continue to play an important role with crocodile, hair-on-hide accents, and laser cut leathers.  This trend with cut-out leather has been in the clothing and shoe industry for quite sometime now.

5.   Some important forms will be faces, lips, eyes, brick walls, torn edges, spray-painted words including street inspired words and layouts. 

6.   Ceramics and glass will have prong or metal and nail like textures. 

7.   Uneven or broken forms will also be important.  Almost like they were broken and cracked. 

 This trend is an example of how a look that was once outside the main stream is now coming to Main Street.  Expect to see this trend continue to be built upon for the 2016 trends.

 If you are interested to see more designs or finishes for this trend please contact Anita at sales@mondoro.com.  

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Product Update 2014

Veneer Lighting

Nothing shows off the natural beauty of wood grain better than veneer. Although traditionally used in home décor as a way to cover other materials, Mondoro is reimagining the purpose of veneer to expand to a role as both the surface and structural star of a new line of lamps and lampshades.  

One of the great benefits of veneer is the variety of unique colors and patterns readily available.  The veneer does not need to be treated with any additional surface treatment—you can start working with material right from the start. To make the complex interweaving forms that we use in our lamps we start with a mold and cut the strips of veneer to match it.  These cut pieces are then glued, pressed and fitted to the mold.  Thanks to the material’s flexibility and versatility the form that the final product takes is only limited by the designer’s imagination in mold making.  The entire process is done by hand by artisans in southern China. 

Our lamp veneer products literally illuminate the organic textures of veneer that add their special kind of comfort and elegance. The soft glow of light passing through the woodgrain will transform any space into a warm and inviting environment. 

For veneer lamp designs or more information please contact us at sales@mondoro.com

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Blog

 Vietnam First Impressions

 

After being in Vietnam for less than twelve hours I had seen motorbikes complacently zoom through red lights, French architecture amid tropical flowers, women hunched over rice fields, lovers sightseeing on lakeshores, trains passing through neighborhoods, wood factories churning out oriental headboards, badminton being taken seriously, sweaty and red-faced westerners posing for pictures, buses driving on the wrong side of the road, Hanoi smog blocking the stars, and too much more to recall.

This was my deepest first impression of Vietnam—its density.  Every inch of this place is packed with something; something natural, something unexpected, something troubling, and something confusing, something impressive. This is not just a visual phenomenon here; it engages all of the senses. Take a five minute walk around any part of the city and at first you’ll hear the soothing rhythm of small waves on the West Lake shore, then moments later you’ll be assaulted by the honks and mechanic grumblings of scooters, buses and bicycles plodding along the highway.  One minute you’re enjoying the undeniable aroma of coffee drifting from the doors of a café and the next your stifling your reaction to the reek of sewage sifting up from the pavement. 

With all of this sensory overload it’s easy to get lost in Hanoi when you first arrive.  I found myself lost in some way nearly every day here.  I literally did not know where I was (thanks to the infinite alleys) or I had no idea what I was eating or I couldn’t quite tell what I was looking at.  And that’s my second deepest impression of Hanoi and Vietnam—that it’s a great place to get lost, to forget my college-grad induced over-confidence and relearn how to navigate the world’s most basic channels. Each time I’ve been lost here, I’ve come out with lessons and with experiences. The density of the city and the country continually provide new chances to get lost and I hope I keep getting lost a little bit each day until my short stay in Vietnam ends. 

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Mondoro News

Mondoro Website

Our trilogy of websites has now reached its exciting climax with the Mondoro Company Ltd website now live at www.mondoro.com!  This website is your main source for getting to know and then staying up to date on all of our design and production in China, Vietnam and Cambodia.  View our products by collection or by category to get a taste of our work and then request to see the full collection or product line right on the website.  We’ve improved our navigation and layout to make the website easier for you, our customers and fans to navigate and find the best of Mondoro.

We’re always looking to improve so let us know what you think, especially if you have any recommendations on how it could be better!   

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Project Sprout
Muong Khoa Hill Tribe Area School
 Muong Khoa is a small community 160 kilometers west of Hanoi in North Vietnam.  This area is filled with Thai, Hmong (Mong and Muong) and Kinh (Vietnamese) people.  Though the area is just outside Hanoi it is still a very poor area where many of the local hill tribes continue to hold on to their heritage of basket weaving, textile weaving, embroidery and farming.  For the Hill tribe people their culture and traditions are very important to them.  In fact the young school children can often be seen with a traditional basket woven backpack or a native dress or skirt. 
 The Muong Khoa School is the small under-funded school in this community.  Until very recently the school did not even have a toilet on its premises, so the children would need to go to the toilet out in the nearby woods or field. An Australian nickel mine that is located nearby has agreed to build the school a toilet.  This should greatly help with the overall sanitation, living and study conditions of these vulnerable children. 
 These children generally come from very poor families whose parents are still making their livelihood while continuing to live the way their forefathers did hundreds of years ago. For these children getting an education is essential.  It is for this reason that Project Sprouts has joined with Michele Spencer and some Hanoi International Schools to start a program called Buddy Backpacks. The purpose of the Buddy Backpack program is to match up an International Student with a student at the Muong Khoa School. The International Student will give a backpack filled with school supplies to the Muong Khoa Student. 
 Besides the Backpacks, Project Sprouts is also collecting donations or goods in kind to help these deprived students.  Many of the students homes are far from the school so they must live in ill-equipped dorms. For this reason we are also collecting basic living supplies and items. 

Project Sprout

Muong Khoa Hill Tribe Area School

 Muong Khoa is a small community 160 kilometers west of Hanoi in North Vietnam.  This area is filled with Thai, Hmong (Mong and Muong) and Kinh (Vietnamese) people.  Though the area is just outside Hanoi it is still a very poor area where many of the local hill tribes continue to hold on to their heritage of basket weaving, textile weaving, embroidery and farming.  For the Hill tribe people their culture and traditions are very important to them.  In fact the young school children can often be seen with a traditional basket woven backpack or a native dress or skirt. 

 The Muong Khoa School is the small under-funded school in this community.  Until very recently the school did not even have a toilet on its premises, so the children would need to go to the toilet out in the nearby woods or field. An Australian nickel mine that is located nearby has agreed to build the school a toilet.  This should greatly help with the overall sanitation, living and study conditions of these vulnerable children. 

 These children generally come from very poor families whose parents are still making their livelihood while continuing to live the way their forefathers did hundreds of years ago. For these children getting an education is essential.  It is for this reason that Project Sprouts has joined with Michele Spencer and some Hanoi International Schools to start a program called Buddy Backpacks. The purpose of the Buddy Backpack program is to match up an International Student with a student at the Muong Khoa School. The International Student will give a backpack filled with school supplies to the Muong Khoa Student. 

 Besides the Backpacks, Project Sprouts is also collecting donations or goods in kind to help these deprived students.  Many of the students homes are far from the school so they must live in ill-equipped dorms. For this reason we are also collecting basic living supplies and items. 

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About

Mondoro's Blog

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Views from living and working in Asia, (mainly China, Vietnam and Cambodia).
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