By Mika Savela.

With the ever-present sensation of urbanity and clutter in the streets of Hong Kong, it is sometimes very comforting to spend the day at home. While often very small in size and reasonably full of people and things, Hong Kong homes are still cherished as personal sanctuaries and lairs of relaxed family life. Still, many are feeling the constraints of compact living in this dense city.

To live almost anywhere in Hong Kong is expensive. In an attempt to ease housing pressures, the government has offered numerous homes in high rise residential buildings through housing schemes. While succeeding in efficiently suburbanizing a massive number of people, the towering enclaves have also created highly standardized form of everyday life that can be uninspiring.

Walk-up building living on Queen’s Road

Older apartment buildings (often called “walk-ups” because of their lack of elevators) may not always be in the perfect paint, but they do have character and more easily connect to the traditional and ordinary life of Hong Kong. At the other end of the spectrum lie the fancy condominiums and luxury housing estates, with swimming pools, car parks, sky view terraces and indoor access to the adjacent shopping malls.

Kowloon Dairy milk bottles

Orderly displays of a noodle shop, Central

But whatever the current realities and trends of Hong Kong might be, some very beautiful scenes of everyday life continue to exist. These displays are built around utensils, tableware, local food supplies, fruits and vegetables, flowers, and even various brushes and mops for cleaning. They are made of everyday objects and reminders of mundane activities within the homes, houses and local shops. It feels delightful that in a city mostly concerned with financial dealings and luxury, that a simple yet beautiful life is somehow possible.