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About Gingereve

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  1. Dear Bendy! Thanks and hope you learn a thing or two
  2. IKEA Loot! (Con't) [http://jumbobnb.wordpress.com/] 7. TROFAST Storage We use this as a shoe storage rack. Also useful for stuff spare plastic bags etc. Do note the height of your window grilles to ensure that your shoe rack can fit under it. 8. INGO Dining Table with ADDE Chair Combination Value for money combi. Used for our secondary dining room. 9. TARENDO Table ($49) Can google online for images. Sturdy and Cheap! If you prefer white, go for MELLTORP Series ($69)! 10. And lastly.. lots and lots and lots of RUSCH Clocks ($1.50) A panel of clocks showing local time in major cities of various time zones is a must-have in all hostels! So we got the clocks (mostly because of the price!) and made the sign boards (taobao). But alas, it was not to be as ALL our friends commented that it would make our wall too cluttered =(. So now we have many many random clocks lying around the house…
  3. IKEA Loot! [http://jumbobnb.wordpress.com/] For all new home owners, IKEA is a must visit place (an undying love we cultivated with cheap furnishing & hotdog buns since our poor hostelite days). There has been much debate over the pros and cons of IKEA furnishing quality, the most recent been the Kitchen Cabinet Incident which was eventually made good by IKEA. Below are our (a proud member since 2000) thoughts on IKEA : 1. Service: IKEA has great service staff & return policy! I haven’t had a bad experience there in in 15 years; whenever I have a problem, service recovery was prompt and great! 2. Quality: Hmm… here’s where we must be discerning. You get what you pay for – nothing more nothing less. I generally avoid the big wooden items (i.e. wardrobes/beds/sofas) as compressed wood degenerates quite quickly over time compared to solid wood. I find that IKEA’s metal furnishing are generally great. If you assemble them yourself, you will marvel at the design and engineering involved – how assembly have to be made easy and how the pieces must be flat-packed. A strange but true observation is that items assemble by IKEA Staff seems more sturdy and last longer… 3. Pricing: Generally good. However if your pieces need transport and/or assembly (I find these services are overpriced by the 3rd party that IKEA engages) then places like Forty Two, Lazada, vHive and Novena probably can give IKEA a run for the money. Also remember to drop by AS-IS to treasure hunt for cheapo deals! So here’s our list of IKEA Loot with their corresponding stories: 1. HELMER Drawer Unit ($39 – IKEA 2014 Christmas Daily Sales) – now $69 though Fun to assemble! Comes with wheels and can double up as Bed side table. We use it to store various trinkets and random documents. Comes with sticker for labeling each drawer. BEDROOM FURNISHING 2. SELJE Bedside Table ($19.90 -IKEA Family Member Special Offer) – now $39.90 though Left side of photo: Useful for putting your before-sleeping story book. Your handphone charging cable can be pulled through the small hole in the drawer 3. Micke Desk ($99.90) Right side of photo: Due to it’s skinny profile, we managed to squeeze it into our tiny bedroom. drawers come in useful. 4. MOLGER Shelving Unit ($79) Right corner photo: Found a small place to squeeze it in. Useful for towels etc. 5. MOLGER Bench ($49) One of the most versatile piece of furnishing. Can be a shoe rack/sitting bench/coffee table/TV Rack! 6. NITTORP TV Bench ($99) Simple and easy to assemble. The alternative was a wooden console by Jotter Goods which cost $1300+. Glad that we got this piece!
  4. Dear Vanleoleo, All the best with your new home, and dont get too addicted to Taobao! Glad you like our posts. Apologies for the late reply. Q1 2015 has been busy! We just came back from JB. Achievement unlocked - we lugged back a ceiling fan and a Panasonic heater (bought from nice uncle from YES electric) on the bus across the causeway.
  5. My Space - The Kitchen! [http://jumbobnb.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/my-space-the-kitchen/] I thought decisions revolving around the kitchen was going to be simple since only one person was going to be making them (me). Designing the kitchen involved reading reno-tips, reflection on my work processes, discussions with ID and asking a lot of friends. Below is a sampling of the questions that I grappled with. Good luck. Do you need an built-in oven?If you dont bake often, this is a luxury item, as it takes up valuable space in a kitchen (now kitchens all so tiny) and it isn’t cheap!! So why did I get an oven? I was a fond baker before, and in case I get back to my spirited days, I gotta have that built-in oven. If not what will happen to all my trays that I bought before. Instead of going for a high-end model e.g., Borsch/Ariston (that cost over $1000), I went for a simple one, the Fujioh FBO-9 http://fujioh.sg/oven_products.php (made in China). Borsch had a lower-end model HBN331E2J, but it only had 5 heating methods that DIDNT have the one I wanted for baking – top and bottom heat WITH Fan (better distribution of heat). Anyway, my friend bought an Elba oven also made in China that was functioning fine and she is an avid baker. The Fujioh design also black tempered glass – looks modern too. My Fujioh is working fine so far. I have baked more than 5 times using the oven. Plus I got a deal for the oven cos I bought a Fujioh gas stove and hob too. What kind of stove?As we decided to use Citygas, it was natural that I got a gas stove (as opposed to an induction stove, although some ppl do prefer induction for its quick-heating and safety features). I chose Fujioh due to their inner flame technology. I know that Rinnai has the inner flame tech too and is supposed to be made in Japan, but I read raving reviews about the FX900 hood. So, the inner flame is really good. The pan heats up very very quickly! I still havent gotten use to how hot the flame can get, so I end up over-cooking my food. ;( I am a bit apprehensive about the hood, it doesnt seem to be as good as the reviews say, not sure if it is installed correctly… Double or Single Sink?I liked a double sink because when washing the dishes, I can put the dirty ones on one side, and then soap one by one and put in the clean side and wash the soapped dishes at one go in the clean side. Neat right? Esp if I dont really have the table top space to put all the dirty dishes beside the sink. The side that is supposed to be bigger cannot fit very big woks/frying pan. Some people say that after a while the smaller side just becomes useless or at the most functions as a dustbin. ;((( For me, I dont use a big wok, just frying pan, so still can fit. And I am determined that the small side wont become a dustbin. Kitchen Table TopWhile you have figured that I was obsessed with white, i was clear that I did not want white for the kitchen table top. I read reviews that white (even quartz or the china version quartz) is still susceptible to stains esp tumeric and curry. And I didnt want the grey/blackish granite cos I felt that it would be too dark. Our ID introduced us to Kompacplus top that is supposedly scratch-proof and dent-proof. I immediately liked the wooden colours. Bf was very skeptical cos Kompacplus is relatively new in the market and is very thin – how could something so thin be better than granite (his fav). But that is where unilateral decision making is useful and I got the Kompacplus. Kompaccplus comes in different wood colours. I initially wanted 10.30, which I think goes very well with white and is the brightest. BUT i think it is the most popular as well. When ID wanted to buy it, it was out of stock and would only come in 3 weeks! Cant wait that LONG. So we settled for 10.40. [Pls order in advance if you getting 10.30 pls] Final Product: I think that it is quite nice.I must admit that it DOES look rather thin compared to other kitchen tops. Goes nicely with white laminate for one kitchen and beige laminate for another, Till today, Bf is still waiting for a dent or scratch. Height of Kitchen Table TopMost carpenters put the height as a default ranging from 84 – 86cm. If you have any preferences, or you are shorter/taller than the average Singaporean, pls go and measure the ht of the kitchen table top you are used to let your ID know. This one cannot change after they manufacture the cupboards etc. Kitchen Backing – Subway tiles/glass/tiles?EVERYONE, i mean everyone is laying subway tiles – all cafes have it. So pretty and very cafe style! But can you image the dirt and grim that get stuck in between the tiles? Very soon the white tiles will start turning yellow at the edges.. and black in between. If I haven’t mentioned, Bf also said that as I can make all decisions regarding the kitchen, it also means I am the only one cleaning it. Pls scold him for me. Pic taken fromhttps://www.facebook.com/Kompacplus I was considering aluminium/metal backing (indestructible as my friend said) or just plain tiles, but I went with glass instead because I like the tinted greenish tiffany-blue like colour (although I read bad reviews that glass can possibly crack due to high heat etc etc). And there wont be the issue of grim getting trapped in between tiles. Tip: if you are installing any rods into the kitchen wall with the glass backing, pls purchase them before hand and get your contractor to measure and drill the holes into the glass before sticking the glass on the wall Just so much to consider for one small kitchen…
  6. Hi Doris, haha that's a good idea! And just keep on reminding them about it.. All the best with your reno journey Hope we can remember all these things so that if we ever have another reno, we can avoid this....
  7. Thanks Vanleoleo! Sorry to hear about your sis's citygas, hot and cold is not pleasant We got the toilet sign from Taobao!
  8. The World's Smallest Toilet [http://jumbobnb.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/the-worlds-smallest-toilet/] When we introduce the toilets to our visitors, we often have various ways of describing it: The World’s Smallest Toilet, Where one can Bathe/****/Pee & Brush Teeth at the same time, and my favourite – the Self-Cleaning Toilet. In old HDB 3-Room flats, there is a bathroom for shower and a separate bathroom for the WC (see post to see what it looked like). But we were very determined that we wanted to create to have 2 separate toilets – one common toilet and one ensuite toilet to the Master Bedroom. Our discussions with potential IDs often revolved around this and the IDs who vehemently opposed to the idea were naturally eliminated from our shortlist. We knew that it was possible as another flat in the same block did it, so we knew we had to do it. Our main barrier was: Is it physically possible? Taking into consideration the current arrangement with the wastepipes, pipes for toiletbowls etc etc. How we overcame it would be too technical and non-relevant to the most of you out there. BUT considering the the endless discussions with the ID/plumber and the tiring scouring for a suitable WC with a L-shaped pipe and toilet bowl with a tap at the cistern plus rust-resistant toilet fittings and how to place them in the toilet, we feel that our world’s smallest toilet well deserves a post on its own. Our ONLY regret: We didn’t know that the default waste traps in the contract are the white plastic type [which doesnt really go nicely with the industrial look]. However, it is installed very early when the tiler laid the floor tiles. And the only way to reverse it is to hack away the floor tiles and re-tile everything again. So please please check with your ID what waste traps he is giving you before tiling starts.
  9. Th Sad Ironman Story [http://jumbobnb.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/the-sad-ironman-story/] One of the highlights of Jumbo was my Ironman wall lights. After getting purchase and installation approval (from Mrs Always Right), we managed to buy it online and were so looking forward to installing it. Being OCD (me), we measured the wall multiple times, did various marking to ensure that the wall crack sticker and the Ironman Mask is right @ the center of the wall and straight. We were so **** proud of ourselves when the mask was up…. … then to our HORROR….we realised that there was no space left for the HAND!! -.-. Arrrrgggghhhhh! Yes yes, a few of our friends said that we can squeeze in the hand at the edge.. but then it would not be PERFECT. It was one of the saddest night of the renovation process (feeling stupid and frustrated)….BUT, luckily there is always the Internet, the solutions provider to almost all of mankind’s problems. We ordered an extra set of wall crack stickers from a Canadian Company and waited… hoping that they don’t swindle our money… 3 Weeks later….. Finally, life is good again. Lessons learnt: 1. When mounting/sticking things on the wall, mark out position for EVERY PART first before drilling the first hole. 2. When removing stickers from the wall, use a hair-drying to melt the glue first to avoid peeling the paint off. 3. To order Ironman Wall Lights you can try sms.ing: +65-91175993. However I think it is currently out of stock.
  10. One JUMBO xls to Rule Them All! [http://jumbobnb.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/one-jumbo-xls-to-rule-them-all/] We have consolidated all our contacts for the various purchases and work done. This is a consolidation of our adventures along Jalan Besar/Balestier Road/Ubi Industrial Estate, various online stores (including Taobao/FortyTwo/q100), EXPO Electronic Fairs, EXPO Home Fairs, various furniture show rooms. A few things to note: 1. We have removed all pricing details as we feel it is best and fair that you guys contact them directly. Please do not PM us as the pricing would have changed due to the time lapse. Also we were given some discounts due to bulk purchases. 2. Heh the contacts are available for use at your own risk. We are sharing them on a bona fide basis. The good news is that our stuff are still standing and have not fallen apart. Yet. Touch wood. 3. Hope you guys find it useful. Here’s the link: http://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IV4NdYiN9f41DHo6wXCPIbwY4oiJ-l8EJ5gG8YUQW_8/edit#gid=1461080212
  11. Hello looneygas! Yah... it makes it even worse when "Mrs Always Right" is of a very different height than me. My wall mounting story is an eventful one. I was perfectly happy with it being on the stand on the TV console, however I got it wall mounted for the screen to be closer to the wall to accommodate a projector screen (projector idea was eventually junked). Wall mounting for me was a biiigggg mistake as it was mounted too high. =(. But we were lucky as the wall mount design is one that can be adjusted by taking down the screen and unscrewing the adjustable bracket behind the TV (Maybe you can try this? But be careful not to crack your tv screen. Minimum 2 man/woman job!).
  12. TAOBAO & ME! [http://jumbobnb.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/taobao-and-me/] We embarked on Taobao after reading various renotalk T-blogs/blogs that it was possible and cost-saving. I had in total 3 shipments, all through the forwarder company Amcon Express (http://www.amconexpress.com/). So I will share my experience here. All the items I bought can be found via the xls. How does Amcon Express work? It is a forwarding company. You purchase the items from Taobao by yourself and provide the seller the address details of Amcon’s warehouse in Guangdong. Then you provide Amcon the list of items bought, price and the tracking number (运单号码). Amcon will collate your items and freight them over via sea, and deliver them to your house. Costs: Ocean freight is RMB550.00/CBM + $35.00/SET for Documentation + GST. As compared to other Taobao agents, Amcon does not provide additional services e.g.,insurance, additional wrapping, checking of goods etc etc. Navigating the Taobao website: This was pretty simple, and extremely addictive. While Google Translate was my life-saver, it wasn’t always helpful. For industrial stuff, try the terms 工业. I downloaded the AliWangWang app (阿里旺旺) that allows you to chat with the sellers. It was especially helpful to ask the seller about the item e.g., what kind of light bulbs came with the lights (e.g., warm, white, how many watt), and in one case, I asked the seller to waive the shipping costs. Be mindful of the shipping costs. Set the Country as 广东 and the 运费 will adjust accordingly. Therefore in addition to the price of the goods, do take into account the shipping that can be quite substantial for some shops. Experience with Amcon I mostly liaised with May (amconexpress@hotmail.com) who was generally prompt and reliable. I would buy the items from Taobao over a span of a week. Once the sellers deliver the item, the Taobao website would provide updates of the tracking number and I would fill up the form to send to Amcon. May would email me every day to update me which items have arrived at the 广东 warehouse (takes around 3 – 4 days). Once all have arrived, Amcon ships it to Singapore and this takes around 7-8 days, after which you can arrange for delivery time and date. It was frustrating that they were unable to give me an exact time, mostly a time period (e.g., 2 to 6pm) but it was good that they delivered on Sat mornings. In total, factoring the shipping within China, and Ocean freight etc etc – the waiting time was around 2-3 weeks. Our take: Taobao through Amcon is only worth it if you buy MANY (and) BULKY items. Do note that Amcon charges a minimum of 1 cubic metre per shipment. After accounting for the Amcon shipping costs, the items costs around 30% more than the price on the Taobao website. Do check out other Singapore furniture websites (e.g., fortytwo.sg) as they do offer similar items. E.g., the de-stressed chairs were cheaper in http://www.fortytwo.sg/ (though with less options for colour and design). We had the most cost-savings on our lights. For those of you worried about the light bulbs being compatible – we asked the sellers what type of light bulb they used (e.g., E27) which are easily found in Singapore. If not, we bought additional bulbs. If you are buying table lamps, you need an adaptor. Taobao Army of Chairs Be prepared for the additional hassle. Buying things yourself on Taobao is fun, but the documentation was time-consuming, and it was even worse when I received defective items once. The seller was kind enough to offer free shipping BUT only within China, so I had to wait for my second shipment with Amcon to get it. Also, for furniture items – you have to assemble them yourself. We took quite a while to assemble the birdie chair – I asked the seller for manual, instead the seller offered to give me a call, but that wasnt helpful for us – in the end, we did it by analysing the photos on the Taobao website. See the screws for the birdie chair! Final word: Taobao is addictive. Beware. And I love my lights. The lights before the table came in
  13. Hihi! Yes Citygas powers up my cooking hob, water-heater and clothes dryer. And we love it! =). For Rain Shower the only options are (1) City Gas or (2) Storage Heater. With City Gas, you enjoy almost instant warm water, whereas for the storage tank you need to wait awhile for the water to heat up. On a side note - the dryer is great too! Hahah
  14. 10 Random Things We Learnt - Part 2 of 2 [http://jumbobnb.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/10-random-things-we-learnt/] 6. Money Saving Tip – Get paint contractors to paint the door. Check your renovation contract. If it includes the painting of doors, you can get your painters to paint the door instead of the door guys, this will save you about $30-$70 per door. White Frame painted by Painter and White Door painted by Door Guys. -.- could have saved a few hundred dollars here. 7. We Love Citygas! We love Citygas for its Efficiency & Cost effectiveness. Citygas powers our Hob (no need for gas cylinders, freeing up valuable cabinet space), Heater (no need storage tank for rain-shower) & Dryer (best appliance to have for rainy monsoon seasons). 8. A Happy ID is critical to a happy renovation process! Some IDs are quite flexible in the sense that they allow their customers to engage outside contractors for some of the work. However we do recommend that you keep the following core contractors under your ID: Painters, Plumbers, Tilers, Electrician and Carpenter. This is because these works require the greatest amount of coordination. In fact they usually are required to come back multiple trips in different sequence (sometimes together) to get the things done. Also we need to be fair to our ID as the project needs to be monetarily worthwhile to them. 9. Air-con Trunking Aircon position and trunking requires great care and planning because (a) insulation trunking is the biggest one you need to deal with (b) water pipe routing is important. An efficient route minimise risks of leakage. In general, Aircon Insulation Trunking should run by the top of the wall so as not to disrupt the placement of furnitures (we had to re-run our trunking at extra cost). The water pipes can be run separately at the bottom of the wall for better waste water flow. For new BTOs, you may want to consider having a separate compressor to power the hall coil unit. 10. Craft Stone Wall – Thick vs Thin Grouting Not all Craft Stone Walls are created equal. We spend a large part of our time and effort choosing the colour, but many of us neglect the most important aspect: the grouting size we want. Different grouting size gives different feel. Decide on the one you like and TELL your ID/Tiler. See below for examples Thin Grouting Thick Grouting
  15. 10 Random Things We Learnt - Part 1 of 2 [http://jumbobnb.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/10-random-things-we-learnt/] Below is the list of 10 Random but Important things we learnt along our Reno journey. 1. Mounting the TV. Lesson learnt: If possible, DO NOT mount the TV. The advantages of having a free standing TV include: (a) Flexibility to relocate your TV. (b) No dangling wires. All wires can be hidden behind the TV stand, whereas once you mount the TV, you need to plan on how to conceal/route the wires from the TV to the cable box etc. © Easier to plug/unplug wires to the terminals behind the screen. More importantly due to the very small distance between the mounted TV and the wall, many cables will get squashed and some cables with large connector heads cannot fit in. If you really have to mount the TV, note the following: DISTANCE: There are a lot of articles online about the recommended distance (see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimum_HDTV_viewing_distance) HEIGHT: This detail is frequently neglected. Some leave it to the wall mounting guys, however to avoid stiff necks, we recommend the following: (A) Sit on the sofa that you will be watching the TV from. (B) Sit in your regular body position (if you know you will slouch then slouch). © For the correct mounting height: Your EYE LEVEL should be at the top 1/3 of the screen. This height will also vary due to individual preferences. A good gauge is this – when choosing cinema seats, where do you like to sit: (i) At DEAD CENTER row (mount TV with eye level close to slightly above the center of screen) or (ii) at TOP row (mount TV with eye level close to top 1/3 of screen) In general, when in doubt, mount the screen slightly lower, unless you watch it lying down. 2. Buying things on Taobao – See dedicated Post. 3. Going to EXPO and Furniture Fairs vs Online Shopping In general there are only so many EXPO Fairs you can go before you start going crazy (a good indicator would be if all the road show presenters know you by name…). It is true that there is indeed some savings to be had from Road Shows, this is especially true compared to normal walk-ins. However you need to also consider the time/effort spent, transport costs as well as meal expenses when going on such hunting trips. There are indeed a lot of bargains online and time spent online might be more productive than moving around. At a minimum, always do your basic research online first and you would realise that a lot of your answers can be found and recommendations given by people who have been there and done that. Many people are also selling brand new items at bargain prices (many unwanted gifts). For example we spent a few weeks wondering around Singapore trying to find those toilet bowls with a tap on the cistern, only to realise later that some BTO owners are selling their brand new unwanted ones at $50 a piece -.-. The Importance of measuring everything and recording it down before going out to shop. Make sure your measurements are accurate, taking into consideration door opening/closing allowance, power sockets positions, aircon trunking etc. Bring along a measuring tape where ever you go. You can be cheapskate by keeping two of those IKEA 1m paper measuring tape handy. 5 Install ceiling fan if ceiling height allows. Standing fans and wall fans are no match for the ceiling fan. Ceiling fans circulates wind around the room much more efficiently than standing fans and do not take up valuable floor space. They are also easier to clean. Get 3-blade ones – greater efficiency and easier to clean. We have a ceiling fan in our living rooms as well as all the bed rooms. Our utility rooms and dining area is cover by wall fans. As you can see, we don’t like to sweat. Master Bedroom - Panasonic Common Room - Relite Living Room Fan – Relite