2015 Trends

Casual Stylishness

The Casual StylishnessTrend is about elegance continuing to take on a decidedly casual flair. This will be a dressed up look, but along with a bit of a modern twist.

Some design pointers for this Casual Stylishness Trend:

1. It will have a feminine kind of look and feel. For example this chair that we are featuring for this Casual Stylishness Trend is decidedly feminine in its look and feel.
2. Graceful lines are important. Circles will be key as well as some drum shapes.
3. Designs associated with this Casual Stylishness trend will almost have a playful or modernized touch to them. Damasks and flourishes may be enlarged along with other designs as butterflies, crocodile and even flowers.
4. Pearl finishes will be important and can be seen on everything from fabrics to leathers.
5. Complex metallic finishes will continue to be important. Many of Mondoro’s lacquer finishes have layer upon layers of gold or silver leafing, and are some very complex finishes. If you are interested to see any of these finishes please contact Anita at sales@mondoro.com.
6. Porcelains will have some additional features as quilted textures and metal studs. Expect to see some porcelain not just flat but with some dimensions.

This not a new look but is a trend that is builds upon other previous trends. It is also a look and style that will continue to play an important roles in our industry.

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Product Update

Hanoi’s Handicraft Villages

Outside Hanoi are many handicraft villages. I have always found it fascinating that compared to a country like China where it is very difficult to find many of these traditional handicraft villages, the handicraft villages outside Hanoi are not only surviving but in many cases continue to thrive.

I recently paid a visit to the Embroidery Village, one of the traditional handicraft villages outside Hanoi. We went there to look for a specific project we were working on. What I found in the village was much more than we ever imagined. It has been about a year since we had last paid them a visit and while we were there, we discovered that during that time the village had modernized their production. Where they use to embroider mainly by hand now they had several large embroidery machines. They also had computer generated cutting machines and a printing machine. All of these machines were scattered around the village but each were working together as one group or unit.

This kind of village cooperation is also common in other handicraftvillages around Hanoi. The villages willwork as a group to upgrading theirproduction and then as a group they will cooperate so they can afford the more expensive machines. To accomplish this several household units may get together to purchase the machines and then the entire village or association will benefit from the new equipment.

For an industry like ours that is design oriented and where we want to have that extra touch or edge that others do not have, this kind of production I believe is the key to success. First of all it means for others to copy what you have done is quite difficult and second as these are smaller households their minimums are usually smaller than a factory that may have the same equipment but will also require large scale production to justify running the machines.

If you are interested to find out more about the Handicraft production-taking place outside Hanoi, please feel free to contact Anita at sales@mondoro.com.

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Blog

How to Survive Hanoi Traffic


Much digital ink has been spilt on travel blogs and online reviews about the insanity of traffic in Hanoi. Some see it as beautiful while others see it as terrifying and still others see it as alluring. None of these however give much guidance as to how you can actually make your way in and out of the traffic alive. After traversing a good part of the city nearly everyday on foot, bicycle and motorbike I feel capable of giving a few tips on how to come out of Hanoi traffic alive.
First: Calm down. Do you see the other scooter or bike riders freaking out? Of course not! And many of them are carrying multiple people, a refrigerator or panes of glass on their scooter. They can do this so you can too.
Second: Look forward. Westerners are used to the principles of “defensive driving” where you constantly check multiple mirrors and blind spots to try and always be aware of what’s ahead, to the side and behind you. Forget all those rules and tricks you learned in driver’s ed, in Hanoi the key is to simply know what is directly in front of you and to not hit it.
Third: Evade, don’t brake. You’re on a motorbike not a car and its biggest advantage over the car is its agility. You may want to find yourself braking at every little thing that starts to come close to your path. Not only will you end up with whiplash from constantly doing this, you’ll also get everywhere slower (not to mention make everyone else around you get there slower). Try to evade first and then brake second. You’ll be surprised at how little you actually have to stop once you get used to this, at first scary, idea.
Lastly, enjoy it! Where else in the world is driving to the local market or commuting to work comparable with a rally car or motocross race. You’ve always dreamed of racing down your local streets like Jason Bourne or Jeff Gordon and now is your chance. While traffic rules elsewhere in the world just get stricter and stricter and driving becomes more and more boring, get out there and embrace the excitement of the Hanoi raceway!

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Mondoro News

Our Flickr Collection

You want more photos of our home décor and furnishings products? You got ‘em! Mondoro now uses flickr to deliver a fast and beautiful way for you to see photos of hundreds of our home décor and furnishings products. No need to mess with large files that you’ll have to download or sort through countless folders, when granted access we’ll send you a link that will immediately allow you to access exactly what you are looking for. You can request to see all of our photos or just individual collections or categories. Email us today at sales@mondoro.com with your information and which photos you would like to see and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Project Sprout

Catching Rats

Imagine that as a child you need to catch the field rats so that you have a little bit of protein to eat. Until recently this was the fate of many of the Hill Tribe school children in MuangKhoa, a town about 5 hours drive outside Hanoi. Anita, the President of Mondoro is working with a group in Hanoi to help the children of MuangKhoa. Presently we are raising funds for 300 backpacks and 100 blankets for the children in the school. Attached you can find the letter about the project and also you can go to www.project-sprouts.com to make an online donation.

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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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About

Mondoro's Blog

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