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About OurLittleSmarties

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    Rezt & Relax
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  1. I changed my gas hobs to induction hobs recently. Been toying with the idea for a year already, finally took the courage to change it... Love the sleek design and most importantly, very easy to clean after using. It's also very safe since I have a young boy at home. I've been using it for 1+ month already, didn't see any significant increase in my electricity bills (I cook lightly on weekends, not daily). I checked many brands and decided to choose a mid-range one, and selected Brandt because they have a model that fits perfectly into my existing cooktop cut-out dimensions. So far so good, I love it! Read my review here: https://ourlittlesmarties.com/2018/04/brandt-induction-hob-review/
  2. Sorry for not updating for so long. I have moved in and here's a long post on my new home tour that I've painstakingly recorded on my blog. Read the full post here: http://ourlittlesmarties.com/2016/04/bartley-residences-home-tour/
  3. Here’s sharing with you some important pointers that I’ve learnt from my own experience thus far on balcony renovation. 1. Outdoor flooring options In general, there are 7 types of outdoor flooring options – ceramic tiles, pebble wash, cement screed, natural wood, wood-plastic composite (WPC), artificial turf and outdoor rugs. The original tiles in my balcony still look acceptable to me, albeit plain-looking. But I don’t think I’ll ever get down to my knees to scrub the tiles. My worst fear is when moulds started to grow in the grouts, and I’m so OCD, I’ll be very annoyed looking at it. Thus, laying wood decking is a must to me. WPC is timber made of 100% recycled plastic and wood materials. It’s widely used in outdoor decking nowadays because it’s more environmentally-friendly and requires less maintenance than solid wood. As this is a processed wood, it does not have the natural weakness of solid timber (i.e. warping, splitting and cracks), making it a durable product that is sure to last. I also love to have a lot of “greens” in my house, which is why I choose artificial turf. Contrary to misconception that artificial turf is difficult to clean, it’s actually pretty easy to maintain. Just vacuum it using a vacuum cleaner or spray it with a hose to remove dust and other small debris that have accumulated between the grass fibres. Beneath the artificial turf, there’s a layer of high-quality fibres (white layer) that acts as a backing system and an AirDrain System (the black plastic pockets that you see in the picture) that provides rapid water drainage to prevent surface ponding. 2. Design and space planning To design your outdoor space, take into considerations: 1) usage and function of your outdoor areas, 2) colour options, 3) size, 4) safety and child-friendliness, 5) amount of sunlight and rain you’ll be getting, 6) outdoor furniture, and 7) lighting. The first and most important question to ask is – What do you intend to use your outdoor space for? An after-work chill corner, reading, kid’s play area, gardening, alfresco dining, relaxation, exercising, storage, or simply hanging your laundries (I gotta be honest!). From there, take into considerations the other factors I’ve listed above. 3. Maintenance fees to upkeep Be realistic, nothing is completely maintenance-free. For WPC, it’s recommended to do a protective coat re-varnishing every 2 years to maintain its glossy look. Do check on the maintenance fees and procedures with your vendor before deciding on your decking options. 4. Installation process, warranty period from vendor, and guidelines from developers Every developer has their own rules and regulations for outdoor space renovation. Be sure to check your resident’s handbook before you start renovating your outdoor spaces. I can’t emphasize the importance of engaging a reliable and experienced vendor to carry-out your outdoor renovation works. Be sure to check on their warranty period as well as installation process. I understand that there are various decking installation processes – they can be a permanent fixture, semi-permanent or removable. 5. Budget Lastly, setting a budget is the most important part of your renovation. Price everything out first, stay within your means, and maximize the most out of your budget. Bear in mind that most interior design companies outsource the “non-core” works like wood decking and painting to other vendors. You may be able to save some costs by engaging a vendor directly to carry-out your outdoor decking, rather than paying a mark-up price to your ID. Read my detailed blog here if you're interested: Outdoor Wood Decking
  4. Outdoor Wood Decking: We’re going to have an after-work husband-and-wife chillax corner, a kid’s outdoor play area (mini putting green), and a small garden (with hanging plants) in our front balcony with the size of 5m x 2m. A combination of artificial green turf and wood-decking is very beautiful, so I certainly recommend it. Combining the chillax corner with kid’s play area, this idea is practical and low maintenance too. We love putting live plants to enhance the beauty of our balcony. A beautiful wall with hanging planters instantly brings us the ‘fresh garden vibes’ without wasting our precious floor space.
  5. Shopping for Furniture, Electrical and Kitchen Appliances: While waiting for our defects to be rectified, we spent a great deal of our weekends shopping for furniture, electrical and kitchen appliances. Now, we’ve purchased most of them – except for our mattresses. 1. Philips Avance Collection Airfryer | 2. Happy Call Pan | 3. Nescafe Alegria Coffee Machine | 4. Hyflux Water Purifier | 5. Dyson Pure Cool Purifier Fan | 6. WMF Diadem Plus 6pc Cookware | 7. Dyson Cordless Vacuum Cleaner | 8. Samsung 50″ SUHD 4K Flat Smart TV | 9. Samsung 320 W 4.1 Ch Soundbar More details HERE.
  6. Designing Our Perfect Balcony: Balconies are often left drab and under-utilized, but the right decor can turn this space into a fabulous and functional outdoor living space. Way before we collect our keys, we already have interesting ideas on how to renovate our balconies. We want to have an after-work husband-and-wife chillax corner, a kid’s outdoor play area, and a small garden (a water feature would be a bonus!) at our front balcony. Our front balcony has the size of 5m x 2m. Our living hall is quite small, thus transforming our front balcony into an exterior extension of our living hall is very crucial. Our very first idea was to make a mini putting green. A combination of artificial green turf and wood-decking is visually pleasing, and we can also incorporate both adult chillax corner and kid’s play area in one place. Below are some balcony reno ideas that we have:
  7. Hi ZzzMonster, Yeah, I like the bathrooms too. Care to share a picture of your laminate flooring? Looking at the badly done parquet flooring now, I regretted choosing it. Should have chosen the laminate instead. Happy to hear that your units have lesser defects.
  8. Defect Inspection: The joy of collecting our keys doesn’t last very long. We’re now plunged into the dreaded defect inspection process. As I’ve expected, our defects are quite overwhelming. Thus, we’ve decided to engage a professional defect finder to help in our defect inspection. We engaged Ark Interior for their professional service. Some of the defects in our unit - scratches, chips, dents, hollow tiles, warped doors in cabinet and wardrobe. Read my blog post HERE for detailed information on our defect inspection process and main defects in our unit.