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Hi all! I've been a grateful reader of renotalk for quite a few months now and have learnt so many things from here! I am hoping that by starting a T-blog, the discussions in it could also somehow help other people as well. My husband and I are "newlyweds" (when does one disqualify from being newlyweds? 1 year? 2 years? before kids?) and were lucky enough to spend a year away in London straight after getting married, where he studied for his Masters and I worked and also kept our tiny student dorm room clean and full of food. Since coming back in July this year, we searched around for our own place whilst living with his parents in his room, and in October, managed to exercise our option to purchase on a nice 30-year-old first-gen executive maisonette in Jurong West, which is also near to his parents' house. We've nicknamed our new place "Emma" (because it's an EM?), but actually it's not really our place yet till our second HDB appointment in end Jan 2016, and even then the owners have asked to extend their stay for another two months, so in reality we will only get our keys sometime in March 2016. Even so, we've basically been looking at renovations and furniture and tiles and light fixtures and appliances since October, so you can say we are preparing quite early. The layout! I've actually modified this from the version we received from HDB, since the current owners had done some modifications to knock down the wall between the utility room and the kitchen. The layout is very similar to twinklecloud's EM otherwise, a typical first-gen EM with the long balcony at the living room and much of the unit still in original condition or at least 15-year-old decorations. We don't intend to do that much modification to the existing structure, though we wanted to reinstate the utility room (and make it slightly longer to accommodate storage shelves and a bed if possible) and as a result, make the kitchen slightly smaller. After seeing twinklecloud's desired layout, we've also become a bit more daring and are hoping to change the kitchen toilet to an L-shaped toilet so that it wouldn't feel so cramped and potentially be wheelchair-accessible(??). There's also the usual hacking of tiles on the first floor (the existing ones are pastel, matt, 30x30cm and super retro) and thinking of overlaying HERF on the second floor to save some money. We are keeping the balcony open and maybe just installing a retractable awning. We are also not intending to have too much built-ins as we intend to start a family soon and want to keep the house quite flexible in terms of layout. Despite that, we've been looking at relatively expensive quotes, guess that it comes with the EM territory...