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janyen

Our Humble Home..

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Hi Everyone :sport-smiley-018:

After checking out all your wonderful Reno Blogs (and helpful tips on TaoBao purchases etc), I'd like to share a bit of our reno progress as well :)

In September last year, after lots and lots of searching for the right unit, we decided to plonk some of our hard earned money down on a 2 bedroom condominium. Well.. as they say these days, condos aren't getting any bigger or cheaper – so I shall theme our reno blog as 'renovating a condo on a budget but hopefully it doesn't look cheap' haha. I think the HTB and I are two people who feel that a nice home is important, but we shouldn't go overboard to pay overboard for fancy fixtures where possible. That's why when I discovered how to 'Tao Bao' shop, I was quite excited! (But more on the TB stuff later)

I am seriously quite a shy person (to outsiders, the HTB will beg to differ ;p), so I'm not too used to sharing stuff online, this would be one of the first times actually!

So, we got our keys (finally) after T.O.P on the first week of October, here are some pictures of the bare unit (after we excitedly went up to check it out!):

Master bedroom

jkar.jpg

The unit has a large balcony.. which is quite a headache to furnish and landscape actually! Cos there's very little coverage/ceiling, and a VERY big planter box. But I love the view and despite the noise from the traffic below, I think we can still bear being out in the Balcony next time for a bit..

fszs.jpg

 

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Welome to Reno, is your house at Telok Blangah.

Can see the special building shape from your photo.

Haha, yes it is - I guess can't really hide the building's shape cos it's jutting out all over the place .

 

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Must be interlace.

Congrats on starting a blog!

Thanks Greg! Your place is starting to shape up and looks great. Just waiting for some more TB stuff to come in right? By the way, anybody used 65daigou.com to ship their stuff over before?

We got an sms note from Maybank that there's some discount/tie up with 65daigou.. and we used Peeka for the first batch of stuff (lights) we bought.. So just wanted to see if there's any major differences between the 2.

 

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Our ID/Contractor selection process started a few months back – it was quite a hassle as honestly, sad to say this but we found that most of the firms we contacted couldn't really come up with anything more creative than the standard 'looks' that are 'in' at the moment. We do like the Industrial look that's all the rage now, but due to my fault.. I wanted ideas on how to blend HTB's fave (Industrial) with my fave (more modern/classic/luxe). And they seemed to just have a standard portfolio of feature walls, walk in wardrobes, false ceilings, cove lightings and the like.

I think Walk in Wardrobes are nice to have but expensive to make, HTB was kinda excited at this idea to blend in a walk in wardrobe with the wardrobe given already but quotation was too high for us to hang a bit more clothes in an additional cupboard.

Best part was, honestly – once most saw that it's a condo, the prices seemed to magically go up and suddenly cos they know a new place like ours doesn't need tiling, parquet flooring, kitchen cabinets, full toilet works – during the meetings we can actually hear their brains ticking with the dollar signs.. then suddenly quite a lot of carpentry work and WIW suggestions start popping up all over the place!

Through this forum, first ID we met up with was from T.R.G. (initials only) – the two guys that met us seemed sincere and had some good suggestions (like the WIW concept whilst using the existing given wardrobe), but the quote came up to more than 20k for shoe cabinets, lots of false ceilings, feature walls. Ok I admit, since back when I renovated my previous HDB flat, I still like the idea of mounting my TV on a feature wall. I guess it just makes the TV console area look more like a feature of the living room and neater for all the cables to be run behind the wall.

Anyway, after paying a deposit (silly me!) to get the 3D drawings (we were told that the deposit was required and that it could be netted off the contract cost), we were told by the ID that due to some management issues at their previous firm, they'd moved to another firm. We considered following them to the new firm, but kinda lost confidence in them by then and we couldn't agree on the quotation.. so decided to ditch them *poor pocket*

Eventually, after emailing a few contractors from friend's referrals and online searching, we decided to go with K.I. (initials only) as the consultant I contacted, the quotes were reasonable, she could understand pictures of what we wanted (or seemed to at least) and we'd already lowered our expectations by then. Alas, she quit the firm to go back to studying after we confirmed. So, we have a replacement ID. Quote isn't as cheap as a contractor for sure, but it's nice I guess to not have to co-ordinate everything ourselves, like we haven't had the time to go down during weekdays and I think most things are moving along. But we basically gave them pictures of things we liked and most of the look/designing is still done by ourselves.

After defects rectification, electrical works finally started on Tuesday and latest update by the ID is that the false ceiling is up! Excited to see what's been done this weekend.

 

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Bought our speakers yesterday! I know the right term is wireless sound bar hi-fi system, but I like to go back to old skool or noob (i.e. not hi fi geek) terms and just call them speakers or TV speakers.

After checking out JBL's sound bar at Courts over the weekend, I'd heard and read about the Sonos play Bar quite a fair bit from friends and the papers – so we decided to head down to the distributor's shop yesterday evening. Glad that we did, even though I was quite keen on the JBL deal (came with a sub woofer) – the Sonos design was sleeker and I think the main selling point is that it allows the user to play wirelessly from different sources, not just the TV. Like from your iphone/android, you can use their dedicated app and play songs directly to the sound bar.

I wanted to just get the Bar but the sales guy made us hear the sound differences with the sub woofer (sold out for now and we're on waiting list apparently) and surround speakers, and ****.. this always happen to us.. cos suddenly without the sub woofer, the sounds just sound..kinda flat. Wanted to save money and see if we could live with the sound bar first, which the sales guy said yes it's good enough on it's own, but a lot of customers come back and tell us they want the sub woofer cos.. it's just.. better with it.

jtah.jpg

…And that's how we walked out of the place ordering the Sound bar and the sub woofer. To be delivered at a later date when house fixtures are ready.

 

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Bought our speakers yesterday! I know the right term is wireless sound bar hi-fi system, but I like to go back to old skool or noob (i.e. not hi fi geek) terms and just call them speakers or TV speakers.

After checking out JBL's sound bar at Courts over the weekend, I'd heard and read about the Sonos play Bar quite a fair bit from friends and the papers – so we decided to head down to the distributor's shop yesterday evening. Glad that we did, even though I was quite keen on the JBL deal (came with a sub woofer) – the Sonos design was sleeker and I think the main selling point is that it allows the user to play wirelessly from different sources, not just the TV. Like from your iphone/android, you can use their dedicated app and play songs directly to the sound bar.

I wanted to just get the Bar but the sales guy made us hear the sound differences with the sub woofer (sold out for now and we're on waiting list apparently) and surround speakers, and ****.. this always happen to us.. cos suddenly without the sub woofer, the sounds just sound..kinda flat. Wanted to save money and see if we could live with the sound bar first, which the sales guy said yes it's good enough on it's own, but a lot of customers come back and tell us they want the sub woofer cos.. it's just.. better with it.

jtah.jpg

…And that's how we walked out of the place ordering the Sound bar and the sub woofer. To be delivered at a later date when house fixtures are ready.

Congrats on the soundbar! :thumbs up: ..was considering this as well but price is above budget so gotten myself a LG nb4530a ;)

 

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Thanks desatans! Although when we were at the Sonos shop, overheard some other customer saying 'Should I go all out for a Bose or settle for a Sonos? Whoa..

Your LG sound bar sounds like a good buy also. We bought an LG TV, so we were also looking at LG sound bars as they can connect wirelessly I heard. :)

 

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To each his own - As long as you are happy with what you purchase.

Having said that, I always felt that Bose does a good job of marketing but frankly you are paying a lot more for the brand than anything else!

For me I am happy with my floor standers, surround speakers,etc which I have bought a few years back.

 

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Bought our speakers yesterday! I know the right term is wireless sound bar hi-fi system, but I like to go back to old skool or noob (i.e. not hi fi geek) terms and just call them speakers or TV speakers.

After checking out JBL's sound bar at Courts over the weekend, I'd heard and read about the Sonos play Bar quite a fair bit from friends and the papers – so we decided to head down to the distributor's shop yesterday evening. Glad that we did, even though I was quite keen on the JBL deal (came with a sub woofer) – the Sonos design was sleeker and I think the main selling point is that it allows the user to play wirelessly from different sources, not just the TV. Like from your iphone/android, you can use their dedicated app and play songs directly to the sound bar.

I wanted to just get the Bar but the sales guy made us hear the sound differences with the sub woofer (sold out for now and we're on waiting list apparently) and surround speakers, and ****.. this always happen to us.. cos suddenly without the sub woofer, the sounds just sound..kinda flat. Wanted to save money and see if we could live with the sound bar first, which the sales guy said yes it's good enough on it's own, but a lot of customers come back and tell us they want the sub woofer cos.. it's just.. better with it.

jtah.jpg

…And that's how we walked out of the place ordering the Sound bar and the sub woofer. To be delivered at a later date when house fixtures are ready.

congrats on ur new place.

good choice on the sonos! we've got one up in our place and loving it. currently planning to add 2 more play3 to the playbar. :)

 

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@Alpc - Yup, we do like the Bose and B&W's of this world. But I think given that we're not sound connoisseurs, thought the Sonos range was cool as well.

Yes, to each his own ;)

@Old Skool - High five! Great to know you're loving the Sonos, the play3's are the surround speakers? I got confused with what the Play 1,2 and 3's are - just noted that they are speakers of all different sizes. Are you putting the Play 3s to the same room as the playbar or another room?

 

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@Alpc - Yup, we do like the Bose and B&W's of this world. But I think given that we're not sound connoisseurs, thought the Sonos range was cool as well.

Yes, to each his own ;)

@Old Skool - High five! Great to know you're loving the Sonos, the play3's are the surround speakers? I got confused with what the Play 1,2 and 3's are - just noted that they are speakers of all different sizes. Are you putting the Play 3s to the same room as the playbar or another room?

hey janyen, they have play3, play5 and soundbar from what i know. and i udnerstand they just launch play1 recently.

i plan to put play3s in the living to compliment the soundbar while watching movies, but will be moving them around the house, esp in the bedrooms to use more.

:)

 

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Didn't update for some time (even though quite a bit was going on) as the house was in a mess with all the work going on and nothing much (in terms of nice pictures) to update except to say that work is ongoing anyway.

Our lights (10 parcels and 26kg in weight) via peeka have arrived. As a beginner to the TB buying experience, I would say we are 50-50 in terms of the experience. Why?

Well – we unfortunately had some breakages in our order. It seemed to have all come from one particular shop – Jianya – hence we're still undecided if it's due to the shop's quality of glass/light bulbs or the handling during the shipping process. Granted, I realized we might have been a little too ambitious (on hindsight) in ordering this dining light that has 2 glass domes:

kvkj.jpg

Unfortunately, one of the domes totally shattered when our electrician/ID opened the box up to install the lights. Even though they were individually packed in Styrofoam and in a box marked as fragile.. We could see that the material of the glass was not the thick and hardy type.

vvq5.jpg

Also, 2 of the E27 tungsten bulbs that came with the light (that caused our whole peeka order to be delayed btw, cos only one bulb came only to the peeka receiving centre and they had to get the shop to resend the other) – one was totally shattered, and the other was intact but totally not working.

Another thing is that the estimation of the size of the lights can be a little difficult. If you're buying from TB, probably best to check and double check on the size of the stuff you're buying. We got an LED ceiling light, those square paneled ones that I'd thought would be like the size of a normal ceiling light.. when we opened the box.. it was er kinda LARGE. Luckily, when our electrician installed it in our kitchen, it's actually not that bad. It's really bright with a strong white light in the kitchen now though! Haha.

Kinda regret getting the white light, but I guess it's functional.. I usually much prefer the warm lights effect.

If anybody is looking for 12W LED track lights, I have 2 with a 1 metre long white track available. Just PM me. This was another case where we'd wanted those smaller LED track lights and silly me didn't realize that 12W lights literally means 12 little bulbs in one LED light.. which is too big for us! I think these lights would be good for those with larger houses or staircases that need larger lights to illuminate it?

1ztm.jpg

However, our other LED lights from other TB shops and the total cost of the Philips stainless steel LED downlights (which we couldn't find in the light shops over here – when we went hunting for a replacement dining light on Saturday) made the whole purchase quite worthwhile still. Even after paying for 7 days express delivery, which came up to 800+, cos we couldn't afford to wait any longer due to the delays L

 

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