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About Lala86

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    Electronics, Interior Design / Architecture, Home Furnitures, Soft Furnishing / Home Accessories, Home Appliances, Home Maintenance

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  1. Flooring Below is a view of the color combination of our final choice =) There are a few things you need to take note when it comes to flooring: 1) Material You will need to decide what flooring material you want. Timber flooring looks nice, and you don't get cold feet when you step on them... but they get scratched easily, etc. Then there's marble, concrete screed, Vinyl, etc.. do a research on them and decide on one. For us we went for good ol' trusty tiles. 2) Color Scheme & Pattern Now that you have chosen your material, you will need to decide what color scheme you want. For us, we wanted wood flooring but didn't want the high maintenance & cost of timber flooring, so we opted for wood-looking tiles for the bedroom. We also wanted concrete screed for the living room, but was worried that it may crack too much overtime, so we aimed to choose a grey-looking tile that would mimic the cement/concrete look. And because the default kitchen tiles by HDB (cream/beige color) wouldn't match/contrast our living room tiles, we decide to overlay it (inclusive of the yard area) with darker grey color tiles so there could be some contrast. 3) Skirting (uses certain materials only, e.g. tiles, timber, etc) Do you want to do skirting? Usually people do floor skirting coz they find it nice, and it also serves to "protect" the wall from getting dirty at the bottom (eg. accidental knocks upon cleaning the floor, etc). However, we opted out of that as in both our parents' houses, some of the skirting had kinda fallen out... (after several years, of course..). It is also harder for the tiler to do non-skirting as he has to cut the edge of the tile (that is facing against the wall) nice nice... as compared to a not-so-precise cut then cover it (the widened gap) with a skirting on top. So it's like "additional" labour but decrease in material usage (since you use lesser tiles). Depending on the id, he/she may decrease the price slightly if you opt for no skirting, but the more experienced ids/contractors will probably tell you it will be same price, no further discount (becoz even though lesser material are used, it's considered "harder" to do as it requires more precision). Anyway, we prefer the cleaner look of no skirting... though there are some rumours that tiles could popped up easier with non-skirting (as the gap/grout at the wall edges is smaller)... but I observed my parents kitchen tiles (no skirting)... didn't popped... yet my grandma's living room tiles popped (with skirting).... so I conclude it's mainly based on the workmanship rather than whether or not there is skirting. 4) Other considerations a) Grout color (ideally to match your tiles color) b) Tiles sizes (e.g. bigger tiles in living room so lesser grout, long/plank wood tiles looks more like wood as compared to a square wood tile, etc) c) Does the Tile label say "No acid wash"? If so, you can't wash it with acidic cleaning chemicals. d) Origin of tiles e) Texture -- Smooth or matte surface, etc. f) Cost of tiles (psf). If you see a 60cmx60cm tile saying it is $4psf, it does not mean that tile costs $4 a piece. Note: 1feet (ft) is roughly 30cm. So 60cmx60cm is 2ft x 2ft=4sqft (or sf). So $4psf x 4sf = $16 for that tile. Usually your contractor/id will let you choose around $3psf to $3.50psf tiles.... do bargain on this so you can choose pricier tiles, or take out the tiles price altogether and just ask him to quote you the labour cost of the flooring... so you wouldn't be limited by what tiles you need to choose to meet the price range, etc.. g) Go to Tiles stores like Hafary, Soon Bee Huat & Lian Seng Hin for inspiration. Collect samples (it's free) on the tiles you like so you can further shortlist them at home. Do note the color of the tiles may vary in different lighting conditions, and the angle of its placement (e.g. whether you look at it when the tile is lying flat on the floor, or standing up against a wall). 5) Ordering Lesson #1: Once you have chosen the tiles you want, leave the ordering to your contractor/id. Tell him the company name & item code. Don't be like me kiasu go and call the company yourself. I had a very BAD experience with Hafary, where I called and a salesgirl said the item is Out of Stock, shipment will arrive on 19th June 2016 (roughly 3 weeks or 1mth+ ... I forgot). I said I actually knew that, I just wanted to ask if I need to reserve them now, she say no need, there will be enough... I asked how many they ordering, she then said is 7000-9000pcs enough for you? And I'm like -__-" err.. ok.. then she said called again when the stocks come, maybe 20th or 21st like that (she said no stock she can't place the reservation also). I said ok. So I called exactly on 19th or 20th.. which is when the stocks is expected to arrive... and guess what, the salesgirl (another 1) said no stock again, the newly-arrived stocks all reserved for commercial use. I said how come you all tell me no need to reserve last time...ask me to call only on the day the stocks arrived, and she then said she's not sure who spoke to me last time... but actually they can reserve if I had wanted/insisted to (so become like my fault...). So I was like quite pissed coz I waited like 3weeks or so for that tile... then no stock. After that I told her nvm about it then and then hung up. After some time, I called their service line again to enquire the same thing... hoping that another salesperson could help me out and guessed what, it's the same salesgirl and she said "Miss, no matter how many times you call, no stock means no stock", and then told me the next shipment is like 3 months later or something. Ask if I wanna place order now. That time I was quite upset already then I told her nvm about it I ask my contractor to settle for me. I complained/ranted to Uncle S about the horrid service I received, then I told him to order the tiles for me, my heart can't take it anymore. I told him the bedroom tiles need to wait 3months later then can do coz that's the next shipment. Uncle S understands and said ok. And then 3 or 4 days later I found the tiles miraculously at my house. So much for "no stock means no stock" -.- That said, their in-store salespersons are more helpful & friendly... the same can't be said about the customer phone line though. (Left: Axis Nut, said to be restocked in June 2016) (Right: Horizon Brown, my another favourite but Hubby says it's too dark..) The same happened for Soon Bee Huat where I enquired Tanum Sombra (they said out of stock) & Tanum Ceniza (in stock). I asked if they will be restocking Sombra and they said they will not, that we can only order the Ceniza, but even Ceniza is running low on stocks. Thus, even though Hubby like Tanum Sombra better, we asked Uncle S to order Ceniza since Sombra is supposedly out of stock. Somehow there seemed to be some miscommunication and Tanum Sombra arrived at our house instead (weird? didn't they claimed it was Out of Stock?)... Uncle S asked if we wanna proceed or to return back the Sombra and get Ceniza instead. We chose to go ahead with Sombra as it looks kind of nice actually. SBH in-store salespersons are also helpful & very friendly... I'm just not very sure why they would said something is OOS and don't let me reserve/place order on the spot when they actually do have stocks for it.. (Left: Tanum Sombra, slightly darker, more grey) (Right: Tanum Ceniza, slightly paler/brighter, more white) As for Lian Seng Hin, I actually went there in search for the brick tile that I want for the brick wall. Their in-store salespersons are super friendly & helpful as well. Saw a living room tile & kitchen tile I like... but too late we already chose & ordered ours from SBH... If you are on a budget & would like to get cheaper non-China tiles... you can consider visiting LSH first... (Left: LOFT GRIGIO when lie flat on the floor, and Right: when against a wall, the lighting is different. I find this tile not bad but already bought mine from SBH...) (find this tile similar and pattern nicer than Axis Nut (Italy).. but it is more expensive and made in China... so never get this in the end) Conclusion: Just leave the ordering to your contractor/id and spare yourself from the roller coaster rides. Their contacts will somehow get the tiles you want, probably even "out of stock" ones. Do also remember to ask for the salesperson's name whenever you are calling in so you can hold the person responsible or clarify matters with that person again if something goes wrong (This applies to all other customer service hotlines.. not just on Tiles Companies).
  2. Taobao Purchases Will update this corner with a few selections of the many many things we bought from Taobao. - Dustbin https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=43962114018 - Standing Lamp https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=38110110385&toSite=main - Sofa (3 seater, this one has a wooden frame as backing, not like most models whereby the behind has no wooden frame) The 3-seater sofa costs me roughly $450sgd+ and shipping is about $2.99 using EZBUY's Prime Promotion. https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=538903156600&toSite=main - Wooden Chair https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=522942133574&toSite=main - White Chair https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=522591577748&toSite=main - Track Lights (They have "Sunlight" color but you need to specify. Sunlight is White light + Yellow light.. so the color is like in between..) For Living room, you can try getting 4 pieces of 5W or 4 pieces of 7W track lights. For Kitchen, I recommend 4 pieces of 5W as I'm using 4 pieces of 3W but it doesn't seem to illuminate the kitchen well.. https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=37830406502&toSite=main - Tracks for Track Lights https://world.taobao.com/item/22889992136.htm?fromSite=main - Stool https://world.taobao.com/item/533830790123.htm?fromSite=main - Cool Industrial Corridor Light They have clear lamp cover or milky white cover. I recommend the milky white cover because the clear cover has a more prominent logo.. https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=520895248387&toSite=main - Portable/Removable LED Light Bar (Chargeable by USB, or with Battery) I bought the one that can be charged by USB instead of Battery version. It's very useful to temporary light places like inside the wardrobe or some shelves without switching on the main room light. https://world.taobao.com/item/533112792525.htm?fromSite=main - Household Tool Kit It was around $15++ when I bought this (12 piece set). https://world.taobao.com/item/45110274672.htm?fromSite=main - Scandinavian Clock https://world.taobao.com/item/540649528821.htm?fromSite=main - Pull-Out Tray (installable on kitchen cabinet too, not just wardrobe) https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=42563898333 - Broom https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=530843341810 - Dust Pan https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=45618890512 - Computer Chair https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=521716586197&sku_properties=13746047:44332117;13746149:43772405 - Simple Mini Table https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?id=527256812059
  3. What we installed Will update this corner with what we have to install (e.g. doors, window grilles, aircons, etc), or the services we need to engage. 1) Sliding door arm. Works as a door stopper. Push to close door. Hold Position & Speed of Closing are adjustable. (Installed on June 18) This is probably one of the first things you must get for your new house. Having to keep the main door in a stay-open position (e.g. with a chair) every time you visit your house can be quite annoying. We engaged Smart-Home to install this at $50. Chosen color is black. Comes with 2 years warranty. Installation takes about 20 minutes. However, they seemed to be VERY VERY busy folks, may have wait like 2 to 3 weeks for a Saturday appointment. Weekdays may be a shorter wait. Do call them again to remind them of your appointment in case they forget. And remind them to email you an invoice if they forget too (so you can keep track of the warranty). Overall, they give me the impression that they are extremely busy... but quality of the sliding arm seems okay.. and it is working fine (as per photo).
  4. Hi Edger03 and syahirahs... actually we only just started our reno journey... so I think it's a bit too soon for me to give any reviews on my contractor.. Perhaps I can only comment on these with certainty after hand over stage... or at least after carpentry stage T_T which is still a long way to go... hope you guys understand! Hi d3n, really? Thanks. Are you renovating soon? Hi andytkh2004, it's at Yishun. As mentioned with Edger03 and syahirahs, we only just started our reno journey... I can only update my views on him and the workmanship next time after we have experienced / gone through our renovation. Hi JohnJohn, yes, I did that too. Need to leave a carton of packet drinks & snacks in bomb shelter. Hopefully they will also feel appreciated and do nice nice for us... haha =X
  5. (Disclaimer: Photo Credits to their respective owners and I do not own the following photos). The Design process is like a fickle-minded affair Now that we are in the midst of our renovation journey (just the beginning actually..), I've learnt that the things & design solutions you had initially wanted could change due to several reasons. Here are some things that we have to keep in mind: 1) Budget - Is it within our budget? Overlaying the wall tiles for all walls of a toilet could cost about $2000! If overlay just the shower area, could be about $800 - $1200. If overlay just 1 flank of wall within the shower area (enough to cover the HDB mosaic tiles in my case..), would be about $400+. I've chose to overlay a tiny part of the Master Bedroom toilet (will provide pics next time...). 2) Practicality & Convenience (Subjective) - One of the hardest thing is choosing between a closed or open concept kitchen. Alternatively, you may consider having windows like the ones below, but that would usually cost above $2000 for them in black power coated aluminium. We initially wanted that but the thought of having to wipe the windows after heavy cooking irks me, so we eventually dropped the idea (can further save some $$ also >_<). We also thought of window blinds in the kitchen but not sure if it will look good or not... The same goes for shower screen in toilets, are you prepare to clean the glass often? Or the grime that will accumulate underneath at the tracks? For us we reckon that shower curtains will be adequate. Bomb shelter also, if you intend to conceal the bomb shelter door with feature doors/walls, are you okay with opening 2 sets of doors each time you wanna access the bomb shelter (1st time is the false door concealing the bomb shelter door, 2nd time is the actual bomb shelter door itself)? Decisions can be difficult, and even now, I'm still really torn on whether to have a feature wall to cover the bomb shelter door or not.. 3) Want vs. Need - I used to want a tea/chill-out corner near the windows, like the kind in the photo below. It's like one of my "MUST-HAVES" back then. I was even planning to hack the Bedroom 3 wall (kindly refer to this post here) to make that area the living room instead (which will result in a longer sized living room). However, as time passed by, I began to question myself if we really need one. The reason being, a tea corner is usually purposeful or nice if you can sit there and enjoy the scenery outside. However, for us our windows are facing a another flat... So creating one may seem quite redundant or probably waste of money in our case... so we dropped the idea too. 4) Others (e.g. Design Flaws) Sometimes you have to change to achieve a better design solution (e.g. ironing out any possible design flaws). You may need to draw out the layout (digitally or on paper, roughly draw to scale if possible) in order to better visualise and look out for design flaws (this may not be applicable if you have an ID that gives you unlimited 3D drawings though). For example, we intend to have an open kitchen concept, but I have a problem placing my fridge around (70cm x 70cm). I'm also inspired to have a tiles countertop (with storage underneath) somewhere in the Kitchen, but I wasn't sure how I should place it. In the end I drew more than 15 possible layouts... but I will just discuss only a few of them in here... (pardon the rough mock-ups, measurements may not be accurate. Purple is the main countertop, green is loose furniture): a) Version 1 - Fridge will be blocking if I want to access the contents underneath the tiles countertop (the opening of the tiles countertop will face the kitchen). b) Version 2 - Fridge is still the problem here, causing a narrow entry to the kitchen. c) Version 3 - Better than version 2, but my tiles countertop is like shortened and tucked away in a corner... d) Version 4 - Seems okay but then this will make our kitchen look really big, which is not what we want. Width of tiles countertop also reduced to a mere 40cm only. e) Version 5 - Not practical because fridge is outside of kitchen and quite far to access if you need something to cook/store. f) Version 6 - Our Final chosen layout. Some areas for us to put loose furniture too. g) Version 7 - This could probably look nice if you put windows above the tiles countertop, and then a barn door at the kitchen entrance. But we did not choose this design coz it is more expensive & harder to put loose furniture too. h) Version 8 - It looks kind of cool, combining dining and kitchen into 1 big space. But then it defeats my purpose of having tiles countertop as a secondary kitchen countertop that will be involved in kitchen-related activities, as it is too far away from the main countertop. i) Version 9 - This seems ok, but my table have to be really really small/short.... chair might be blocking entrance too. On a side note, I'm doing all these on my own initiative becoz I'm quite a fussy person... Uncle S do have a designer that will provide me with 3D drawings at a later stage.... after I have decided on the laminates to use, that is. (which I still have not yet) Inspirational Designs Anyways, enough of the pointers, now to share a few photos that I really like: - Sleek Brick Walls (Straight-edge & Regular sized Brick Tiles) *URGENT* Anybody knows where I can find such brick tiles? Any help will be GREATLY appreciated! - Rough Brick Walls (Rough-edge & Irregular sized Brick Tiles) *URGENT* I'm also finding something like this... in the case that I can't find the straight cut ones above... Basically something orangey-red. Or perhaps orangey-brown like below also can.. Anyone has any clue please pm me or comment below... many thanks in advance!! - Some Lovely Kitchens - Cool toilets (the last 2 are more for the geeks/retro games fans)