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About dreambeast

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  1. Not really. We scoured the Internet and also went to IKEA to look at their wardrobe layouts and sketched a similar design for our contractor. Here's a guide picture we got from the Internet: Hope this helps !
  2. Curtains from J&B Curtain Designs. After comparing with a few other curtain makers, they stand out for their reasonable quality and prices. Living Room: Master Bedroom:
  3. Some of the things we did for the house, we simply got from the respective contractors recommended in Renotalk without much research. Saved us a lot of time .These include curtains (J&B), aircon (Hong Huat Electrical) and racks (Yee Sin) in the bomb shelter. Bomb shelter racks from Yee Sin: So far so good. Thanks for the recommendations, fellow forummers!
  4. Aside from the dining light, we have three types of lights in our house. There is the simple 38W energy saving round type of light that we used in all our bedrooms, living room, kitchen, service yard and bomb shelter. We changed the ballast from the default magnetic one to an electronic one so that the lights come on without flickering. In hindsight, I feel that 38W is not bright enough for my living room, and will be looking to change to a 50W in the future. For all the other rooms, 38W is good enough. We have 2 6W LEDs in our bathrooms. They are super bright! We like LEDs and would have outfitted our whole house with LEDs if not for the price. Branded LEDs e.g. Philips are pretty expensive and would have cost us near $2000 for the entire house! Next, we have the small halogen lights that illuminate our bedroom entrance, corridor and main door entrance. We seldom turn on these halogen lights, although they give out quite a nice effect when they are on . As you can see, most of our lights are cool in color except for the halogen lights which are warm in color. Colors can greatly affect the ambience of the room. If you are doing serious stuff e.g. cooking in the kitchen or studying in the study room, you probably want cool color lighting. Warm colors give a very cosy ambience and can be good for the bedroom or living room. Our lights were bought from a shop called Choon Ying in Kaki Bukit. Aaron brought us there and assured us that they are one of the cheapest in the East. We thought their prices were reasonable but the range of lights they sell are rather limited. Also, we had two of our 38W lights changed after they stopped working within two months, so I think the quality of their products is also suspect. Nonetheless, they do have free 1-for-1 exchange within 6 months, so it is not that bad, just a bit of hassle. You will need to budget in the cost and installation of the lights when doing your renovation, as they are additional items usually not included in your contractor's quotation. Cheers!
  5. We had thought that room colors will be relatively easy to choose, since we only wanted white walls. However, we didn't expect there will be so many different variants of white! Also, we were deciding between Nippon and Dulux, since these two are the more popular and trusted brands. Price-wise, Nippon seems to be more expensive than Dulux. Of course, it also depends on which product range of the selected brand you go for. It is VERY important to specify the range of paint in your quotation. If you just specify Nippon, the contractor may just use a cheaper range of Nippon paint e.g. Vinilex 5000. You also need to check how many colors they are limiting you to for your entire flat (sometimes only 3 and you have to top up for more paint), and how many coats of paint you are paying for (minimum should be 2, some contractors do 3). If you are hacking walls, consider getting your contractor to put a layer of wall sealer over the affected walls before painting over them. Eventually, we settled for Nippon Odour-less EasyWash. Nippon has 10 different variants of white. We picked Sail White for our living room and study room, Orchid White for our wardrobe room and Lily White for our master bedroom. Sail White looks good, just like the white we imagined . However, Orchid White and Lily White do not look like what we see in the catalog ! The differences are more dramatic in real life when you are looking at an entire room painted with the color compared to just a small box in a catalog. Orchid White in wardrobe room looks more pinkish than expected: All in all, we were fine with how the painting turned out. But if you think you are very particular about the colors in your rooms and want them to be as perfectly as you imagined, it would be good to drop by on actual flats with the same color you are planning to use. Ask around on your project Facebook page if there is one, or consult your contractor . You could also check out your neighbour's flats when they are doing their renovation. However, do be polite and ask first before going in uninvited!
  6. Hi Frederick84, 16K excludes the flooring and aircon. Aaron is our main contractor. He has stated upfront that he does not do air-con so we were told to find our own aircon contractor. We did our own coordination with the aircon contractor. And our flooring salesman, Kenny, is his friend so it was easy for him to coordinate. The rest of the work was done by Aaron's team of sub-contractors. I think it is not advisable to have too many sub-contractors working directly under the house owner, especially if something goes wrong and they start blaming one another and refusing to rectify their own defects. At least, if you have a main contractor, you can just tell the main contractor to sort the problem out with his own people. It will be less of a hassle for the house owner.
  7. One of the things you have to decide for your bathrooms is the type of water heater you will need. The two popular choices are instant heater and storage heater. Depending on your floor level, most HDB flats have only average water pressure. If you are planning on using rainshower, which needs higher water pressure, you will need a storage heater. Storage heater also provides hotter water than instant heater because the water is stored in a tank and heated before you shower, whereas instant heater heats the water as you are showering. For instant heaters, you may choose to install a heater for each bathroom, or a central one that services both your bathrooms. The advantage of a heater for each bathroom is that you get hot water faster because the heater resides in the same bathroom. In the case of a central heater, you will need to wait for the water to be transported to your shower if the central heater is not in the same bathroom as your shower. If you get a gas central heater, you have to install it in the service yard because gas leakage can be dangerous in confined spaces ! If you get an electrical heater, then there are no such restraints. We went for a gas instant heater (Ferroli) and installed it in our service yard: Because of the distance between the service yard and our bathrooms, it does take a while to get hot water after we turn on the shower (~30s). If you are looking to get a gas heater, you can visit the Citygas showroom at Triple One Somerset, or look out for their roadshows. They are constantly having promotions (e.g. vouchers, discounts, waiver of gas pipe installation etc.). However, do take note that they do NOT do installation of water pipes from the heater to your bathrooms, so you will have to get your contractor or plumber to do that. Also in our service yard is our washing machine (Samsung): Washing machines come in two types: front-loading and top-loading. The advantages of front-loading is that they usually use less water, are gentler on the clothes (resulting in slower wash cycle), and can be stacked together with a dryer. The advantages of top-loading is that you can add in clothes to wash while the washing machine is working, and have a faster wash cycle. We bought our washing machine from Mega DIscount Store and quite like it because it "sings" a funny tune when it is done with the washing !
  8. Bathroom wash area: We switched out the default HDB basin as it was too small and bought a new one from Wasser Bath Pte Ltd (Geylang Rd). There are a few roads in Singapore where bathroom/kitchen stores cluster at, namely Geylang Road and Jalan Besar. Wasser Bath, on first glance, may seem expensive, but they have deep discounts, and after comparing prices and quality with other stores at Geylang Road and Jalan Besar, we decided to get our basins and bathroom accessories (caddy baskets, robe hooks, towel racks, toilet roll holders) from them. For bathroom accessories, they usually come in matt or chrome. Matt is generally more expensive and has a duller look, but water stains do not show up on them. Chrome is shinier and more attractive, but they also keep water stains on them easily. Poh Seng (Jalan Besar), on first glance, also seemed slightly expensive and the lady boss wasn't very friendly (in my opinion), but their listed prices were inclusive of GST, which they actually waived during purchase. We got our bathroom mixers from them. I feel the most important thing is to get one that is heavy. Try weighing the mixers that you like in your hand and go for the heavier ones. GR Link Marketing (Jalan Besar) had friendly service and OK prices so we got our Crizto kitchen sink and kitchen tap from them. Initially, we shortlisted the Blanco sink from Hoe Kee, but it seemed to be very popular and was out of stock. We had thought that the sink might be too big for our kitchen (it's 850mm long) , but it turned out fine and I was glad we did not go for a smaller sink . The huge washing space is really useful! Also, you need to decide if you want hot water for your kitchen. If you do, you need to get a kitchen mixer. If not, you can go for 8a normal kitchen tap. For the bathroom cabinets, it was done by our contractor. We chose the same color as our kitchen cabinets, with soft-closing doors. One important thing to note is you can get your contractor to adjust the height when they install the basin for you. I find the default height of the wash basin too low. The bathroom mirrors were purchased from Song Cho at a sale price. We got our kitchen rail and basket from them too. Usually, the stuff in Song Cho are rather expensive, so we did not want to buy much stuff from them. But they are known for their quality stainless steel products. There are other oft-mentioned stores that we visited but did not buy anything from e.g. Sim Siang Choon (wide range of products in their Changi showroom) and Hoe Kee (quite popular too) so you can also check them out when you go shopping for bathroom/kitchen stuff. Remember to ask for discounts!
  9. This was the hacking modification we made to our flat: We hacked away an L-shaped part of the original wall and replaced it with glass. Then we customised a wall-mounted study table from our contractor, made to specifications. I was rather anxious about the result, because I have not really considered the practicality of this design. Would it work? We were relieved that the result was as we envisioned, and no major problems arose during the process. There were so many things that could go wrong e.g. hacking not done well, cracked walls, fragility of glass, quality of the study table etc. The hacked wall and the glass had to be perfectly aligned but we understood that it would be very difficult to do so. Naturally, there were some gaps between them, but our contractor used silicone to seal them so they still looked fine. I liked this design, because it makes the living room space look larger. In addition, I like to be able to look at the TV when I am using the computer in the study room. It is also easy to watch the main door from the study room if you are expecting guests. As I mentioned, the tricky part is really conveying your idea to your contractor, and work closely with your contractor during the whole process.
  10. Hi Danmify, see post #9. I have posted his contact.
  11. You can see there is a hob in my kitchen. No hood though. We don't do heavy cooking.
  12. The sofa area: Our sofa is from Air Division, during a 30% sale. They only accept full payment upfront as the sofa color will be customised for you. They have a rather nice collection of furniture so you may want to drop by their flagship store at Wilkie Road to take a look. Another of my favourite stores will be Grafunkt, which has a store at Park Mall and the (less accessible) flagship store at Playfair Road. We got our coffee table from there, during their 20% sale. Cushions are from MUJI, which are admittedly slightly expensive, but they have a real nice feel when squeezed , so we just went ahead and bought them without much consideration. I believe you may be able to find similar ones at Spotlight. The TV area: You will notice that we do not have any feature wall or console table. That was because we did not want to have too many built-in cabinets and walls that will reduce the size of the living room. Instead, we opted for smaller and moveable pieces of furniture that can function as the console. The two pieces of "consoles" (Kartell) were bought from Space Furniture at Bencoolen Street, which is simply a HUGE, amazing and exciting showroom with lots of nice designer pieces! We fell in love with many of the pieces there, but could only afford to bring these two back . We were lucky to get them at their end-of-year sale period! We bought our TV (Samsung) from Mega Discount Store, which has generally cheaper prices than the usual mega-stores in neighbourhood shopping centres. I especially liked the glass frame around the TV which makes it seem like a picture hanging on the wall, especially after wall-mounting it. Since we have no feature wall, we had to hide the cables somehow. We bought a cable pipe from IKEA, painted it white and voila! Cables not so ugly now . Other than the places I mentioned above, you may also like to check out Lifestorey and OM (both at Tai Seng). They had some nice pieces, but unfortunately, we did not see anything that could fit both our budget and taste. Of course, remember to try to get your furniture during sales periods, which usually have the biggest discount at mid-year and year-end!
  13. Most people like to hack the wall between the master bedroom and the adjoining bedroom, so they can have a walk-in wardrobe in the adjoining bedroom. We initially had the same idea too, but decided against it, in case we have guests staying over. Saves on the renovation cost too. We designated that room as our wardrobe room. We got our contractor to build a 10ft long full-height wardrobe with soft-closing doors and drawers. Pretty pleased how it turned out : This room is also where we do our ironing and laundry stuff. One thing to take note when doing full height wardrobe with casement doors is to make sure that when the doors are fully open, they do not hit your ceiling fan or lights! We do not have any ceiling fans in our home, but some of you might. If you have sliding doors, then you will be fine but generally, sliding doors cost more than casement doors. Also, you will be unable to see all your stuff in the wardrobe at any one time if you are using sliding doors, because one portion of the wardrobe will always be blocked by one of the sliding doors.