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After the success of my bathroom reno, I decided I should start another thread about Phase 2 of my reno to share ideas and experiences with other Renotalk kakis.

This time, Phase 2 involves the overhaul of a 15yr old bedroom. The bedroom, that has not been lived in (except occasional visits on some weekends) for the last 6yrs, seemed to have been stuck in a time warp just like the bathroom previously was.

It was a mishmash of nonsensical concepts that the room's original occupant neither liked nor wanted:

- Parquet flooring

- Purple/ psychadelic walls (omg)

- Heavy solid wood European Da Vinci furniture

- Peeling paint from roof leakage or something

- Heavy solid wood wardrobe

The decision to overhaul was conceived many years ago, but there had been simply no time nor resources before. Now that the opportunity has presented itself, the room is going to be turned into a chill out room for hanging out with friends over a movie or for working in.

It will be designed with an underlying industrial concept, mixed with a bit of highbrow pop art concept (whatever that means LOL) :good:

The interior designer (me) is still in the process of making the furniture and buying whatever things that we are not making ourselves... so please bear with the slowness of the process.

If you have any ideas or advice, please feel free to post them here! :) Kam sia..


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Join 46,923 satisfied homeowners who used renotalk quotation service to find interior designers. Get an estimated quotation

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not actually an ID... lol. I've just been blessed with good taste, aesthetic sense and labourer's skills! :jammin:


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The main challenges I had in overhauling the room were that, firstly, I was (again) on a very tight budget and second, the room is very big (about 300sq ft). So, inevitably, things took a lot longer than most renovations would... and here I still am, working on the room as and when.

Thankfully, the worst (hacking all the parquet, and getting rid of all the wood stuff in the room) is over. Now, as I write this, I'm at the stage where I am doing the main painting of the walls and that's only about 50% of all the stuff done.

OK here's a sneak preview of how the room used to look like... Please pardon the lack of 'before' pics, as I loathed the very sight of the room and did not take many pictures of it.



Edited by X6GT

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Hacking the horrid

So basically, I was quoted a ridiculous $2500 and above to hack just the parquet and 1 built-in wardrobe (including disposal). Being the prudent penny-pincher who doesn't believe in paying more than the value I see, I decided to look for an alternative means of doing that.

One method I had wanted to employ was the hiring of this guy who's pretty much all over Gumtree advertising his services from hacking wardrobes to flooring works. His prices are really cheap ($600+) compared to the chop carrot $2500+ I was being quoted by contractors. However, I am given to understand that although this guy has a registered company, it is NOT a renovation contractor/ ID company with proper licenses and permits. Now, as my place is landed, it's perfectly fine for me to engage him. I would think HDB and condo owners would have your regulations to comply with, so I think this guy is out for you. As for me, I had wanted to arrange for him to come and take a look and give me a final quotation and commence work, but he was forever too busy so I had to strike him off the list.

The other method was to do it all myself. Hmm, thanks to Keppel's quality fittings, this was not possible. I tried prying off the parquet with a chisel and it was firmly stuck to the concrete (later on in the renovation, I saw how strong the glue was and everything). So this option of doing it cheaply myself was not possible.

Which left me no other choice but to hire Ah Song again... Now, if you've read my previous T-blog on my tiler, you would know that he was full of grumbles but was a good guy and delivered my bathroom up to my standards. After much haggling, Ah Song agreed to hack and make good the room floor for $X which was jaw droppingly low compared to the above 2 other options. However, the downside was that he could only do it as and when he was free (and he was to have done it alone), so I had to patiently wait for his schedule to free up, with all the contents of the room stored elsewhere for weeks in uncertainty :dunno:


P.S. I would rather not say at this moment how much I am paying total. This is also because I'm not sure what the additional charges are, as the reno is still ongoing and every time there's some new thing for me to buy or top up :no: Haizzz...

Edited by X6GT

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Finally done with the cement floor and the rectification works...! Watch this space for more info!

For now, I am desperately trying to find someone to do the epoxy coating by Monday... At no more than $250.

Anyone...? Help? :(


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Hi people...! I've been MIA for a few months! Sorry... Been back to work, and then also was busy with GE!

For now, let me just assault your visual senses with a few more pics of the room I renovated. Am very, very happy with the transformation and I think if you look at the journey of the pics from then until now, you would be happy for me too LOL.





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The Challenges of Doing a Cement Screed Flooring - Part 1

Here, I'm going to upload some pictures of the very first incarnation of the floor. As you may recall, I had so very badly wanted a cement screed floor for the industrial, grungy look. But I was loath to pay much for it so decided to get my tiler Ah Song to do it as well.

There was good and bad to this, as I will explain later in another post (with pictures).

For now, here are some pictures of the v.1 of the floor:






Edited by X6GT

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As you can probably tell from the pictures, a lot of work went into hacking the floor, and then 'smoothing' it. The day Ah Song finished it, I was not actually around to approve of it-- and this is something I must warn you about. Always, always, always have someone responsible to check on and approve of the work that your contractors are doing. And when they are done, my advice to you is to go with them to every single corner and check it before you let them leave/ before you pay them the money. And this is especially true of subcons that you are hiring yourself. Believe me, whatever can go wrong will go wrong, so best to be prepared.

So... why, you ask, is it a challenge to be doing cement screed flooring?

Firstly, your contractor needs to know how and how much to use the right cement. There are a few different kinds of cement (Portland, white, quickset, thinset, readymix etc), according to the research I have done, and many contractors (I won't even talk about the IDs who don't know two ****s about the manual/technical part of the labour) have actually told me different conflicting things. And you know, even the people in the factories I bought the cement from could not come to a definitive conclusion of what cement and in what proportions should be used for the cement screed flooring that I wanted.

So if you are leaving this up to your contractor, just make sure that if anything happens after the completion/ handover WILL be rectified.

In my case, here were the rectification works I needed done:





These defects had nothing to do with me being a perfectionist (although yes, 28 circled spots in red kind of screams it). The fact of the matter was, these spots turned out to be hollow, which meant Ah Song either scrimped on either sand or cement, OR he was just doing a chin chai job and wanted to leave early. So I went about the whole entire floor space on my hands and knees, knocking around to find hollow spots... and then circling them with the red chalk, and made Ah Song come back to rectify these spots. He had to hack them back, and then fill them in. Suffice to say, there were a lot of other complications that entailed this exercise (like having to wait for him to be free and having to buy more sand when he had previously thrown away excess sand I had bought!) and this made the floor look less congruous and rather patchy, which honestly pissed me off to no end but.. now I have to console myself that it adds to the 'industrial look' of the room.

Now, bear in mind this was done back when I was on sabbatical. I had all the time in the world to attend to these silly small inconveniences, but I cannot for the life of me imagine now how I would manage something like this on the weekends from all the way across the island (I do not live in this house) and working 100hours a week like I normally do.


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So anyway, the other thing you need to be mindful of when you opt for cement screed flooring is that you need to be aware that such flooring is very 'sensitive'. They are very vulnerable to damage, either from heavy things dropping on the floor, furniture leaving scratches across the floor, or water/liquids/paint spilling on the floor (and being absorbed).

Initially I had wanted to do the epoxy finish, to have a glossy sheen over it. But after calling up more than 20 contractors/suppliers, I found that it did not make sense. I was not prepared to pay so much for something that was essentially a paint-over job for a low-traffic area, nor was I prepared to deal with the long-term consequences of the higher end epoxy (supposedly, it would turn yellowish over time and also may peel). So eventually I just decided to leave the floor as it is.

For me, it's perfectly fine because I do not have any annoying little brats who might scratch the **** out of it (although the other day the kiddos came, it caused me much anxiety as they were playing in a rough manner) or spill stuff on it (although I myself am quite capable of spilling water and food onto it-- and I have). But I would not recommend it to families and people who have kids over a lot.

Now? Despite the fact that I didn't go for the epoxy, I'm happy with my floor. I can safely say that it has made the room MUCH cooler than when it used to have parquet! I even slept on the bare floor several nights when it was too warm (in spite of fans blasting away), and was so happy I had gotten rid of the icky parquet. Then again, I can sleep on anything and have slept out in the mountains and jungles and by the lakes in many countries so... don't take my standards into consideration if you are mulling over having a cement screed floor :jammin:


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Continuing the Nightmare

So I mentioned there were other things horribly wrong with the room that needed (my) fixing... They are as follows:

1. Damp wall (singular) and mould trapped under layers of paint;

2. Levelling the parts of the walls where the baseboards had been torn off

3. The mysterious corner of the room where the cement wouldn't dry

The Wallflowers





OK so these were pictures of the wall that had some sort of a giant crack, that my dad had cleverly painted over throughout the years... causing a massive buildup of mould and dampness from the leakage. As a result, you can see this very depressing state of affairs that was previously hidden behind a book case. It was pretty depressing to scrape off the paint (because I had wanted to get to the root of the problem rather tan simply just slather more paint over it)... and it took me a few weeks. Because working on it was honestly, depressing; I have no other way of describing. I mean, it's not particularly laborious or physically challenging but...quite dreary, staring at the grey wall for hours and inhaling/ingesting mould spores and flecks of paint. I also have ADHD, so am unable to actually focus on this long enough to complete it in one sitting (standing, rather). It was just horrid. However, thankfully certain parts of the paint literally peeled off in 1 big chunky strip (this is proof incontrovertible that the wall has been ravaged by leakage) which sped up my work a bit.

After I was done with getting the paint off, the next step was to cover up the crack(s) with the joint compound. Now, guys, I believe my dad bought this for like $70 per gallon...which is atrociously expensive, considering you can make your own with cement for patching-up works. But you know what? At that point, I could no longer be bothered...least of all, to mix up several batches of my own joint compound! Plus, buying it in the big tub like this was easier in that you just need to close the lid and it would keep nicely for a couple of months. Because if you made your own, you would have to make small batches because otherwise they would dry up before you were done. Anyway, so I then took a few hours to cover up the cracks and to try and smooth the wall as much as I could (though with this wall, it was not possible due to the years of buildup of joint compound and other gunk that had been used on it).

I had to wait for a few days (given the weather and humidity also) before I actually could paint over the wall. But that, I shall discuss under the general painting part of my experiences...

Hit the Bass

Nothing much to say about this, other than that it was literally back breaking work. First, I had to manually get all the nails out of the wall. Then, I felt like an artisanal baker-chef in a Michelin restaurant, using my silly little set of differently shaped scrapers to perfectly butter the base of the walls all around the perimeter of the room, sometimes lying on the floor my side, and trying to make the walls as straight as they could. I also had to take care not to get them onto the floor, considering they would stain forever. Considering the walls post-Ah Song were more jagged than Mick Jagger's face, I think I did a pretty good job. This again took a few days to a week total, after the psychological barrier had been removed.

Then again, I had to wait a few more days before I could actually paint this part of the walls so I painted the top parts first.

Damp You!

So, basically, there was this corner of the room where I felt that the cement floor was darker than the parts. And this was even a week after the floor had completely dried, so the Sherlock in me guessed that it was a leakage problem. At first, my dad denied it when I told him about it.

So I set about to try and prove my theory right. I joint compounded (and later painted over) the part where the wall column (basically, the wall) met that part of the floor. Since the joint compound was white, I expected it to stay white just like the rest of the room.


After a week, I realised that while the rest of the baseboards-area of the room had already dried up and remained white, this part was actually BUBBLING. It looked like a pancake bubbling at the pores or something. I touched, and it was kinda mushy and as though there were air bubbles trapped beneath that surface (took pictures of it but can't find it now). So, it was essentially a gone case and we will have to rectify the leakage at some point.

Having said that, though, I don't actually see any structural or massive water damage there. It has been some months now, and the only thing I need to do to adapt to this newfound knowledge is I put a Dehumidifier there at that spot. Initially I bought this fancy American one that cost like $10 per refill-- it was supposed to last for 6mths before the moisture level reached 'throwaway point'. However, mine was completely full of water within 1month, so I simply decided to switch to the Daiso charcoal kind, which makes so much more economic sense!

Edited by X6GT

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Rule #1 when painting with/for me: DO IT WELL OR DON'T EVEN BOTHER.

Painting is one of my pet peeves. Well, in that I don't particularly enjoy painting, but find that I am relatively good at it. Plus, my exacting standards and perfectionist OCD tendencies always result in me rendering high-standard painting work. And so... it is a pet peeve that grates on my eyes and soul, to see shoddy paintwork. Especially in a house. Especially in a private house.

Now, before this episode, I was not even aware that there were people who lived life accepting imperfection (in fact, condoning it).

I am going to sound like a downright tyrant and ungrateful bas3rd of some sort when I convey the frustrations of my trying to get the room painted, but I assure you I had every good reason to be/do so...!

I take pride in my work, in everything I do in life. I do not do things half-assed, I do not ever do anything 'chin chai', and I most certainly am very careful and meticulous. If I make mistakes, which is rare, because I have the right attitude towards my work, right... then I would do it over again. I would not say "Ah... never mind la. Small thing." Heil, NO.

So this was the before:




P.S. Tip of the day: If you are going to be painting, do NOT leave your laptop, phone or other precious electronics lying around. As big as the room was, I learnt this the hard way when I found out that I had spatters all over my laptop that was like 6 feet away from where I was painting. I mean, this is not my first time painting, but... well! Always a first time for silly things happening!


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OK so here's some pictures of how the room looked after a fresh coat of paint:




Marginally better, eh, after the painting?

OK then the other thing... As you may have noticed, my theme is pretty much black/white/grey. So I had decided to paint the ghastly aircon black, as well as the cornice of the entire room. Initially, this was decided on because both the aircon and cornice had yellowed with time. After painting the aircon, it looked good but then I embarked on the cornice and really wished that I hadn't...after just 5mins. Those of you who have never had to endure the torture of painting intricate, flowery cornices with deep grooves will totally not understand the utter frustration and abject despair I faced in painting the dratted cornice. It took almost 2weeks, on and off :dunno:

At the time, I had been rushing the reno to fit the production schedule of a film that I was producing-- the film was to have been shot in the room (a few of the scenes). So, as it was almost humanly impossible to run both projects simultaneously, I found myself having to ask a guy (not really a friend, I would say...just someone I had worked with on some music before) help out. Well, he volunteered. No, not really.

While we were communicating on the film stuff, I always kept saying "Oh I can't meet you, I need to do my painting." and things like that. So this chav kept saying haolian things like "Huh? Simple thing like that also you haven't finished?" and "You need to have 'skills' to finish painting la... Just look at me, if I did this with my 'skills', it would be finished in the blink of an eye." "I even helped my sister to paint her whole house when she bought and moved into her new BTO flat" bla bla bla. As you may very well guess, I then got sick of all his big talk and challenged him, out of being p*ssed off, if nothing else, to help me with the painting.

Now, there were 2 simple things to take into consideration here.

1: I mentioned I don't do anything 'chin chai'. I am a PERFECTIONIST. Perfectionist means not a single thing should be out of line, not a single line should be out of place, not a single smidgen of paint, or anything should be in any form of disorder or disarray. And my eyes are BIONIC, to put it mildly. I can see even the tiniest of aberrations from a mile away, and would have a right fit.

2: My ceiling is very high, much higher than standard HDB ceilings of course, and this makes everything a lot more difficult, especially the cornice painting. It's about 3m, if I recall correctly. I do have very high step ladders (what tool don't I have in the house? :notti:) that are way taller than my normal sized ones but. Imagine painting the Sistine Chapel, except I did not have the luxury of some kind of a scaffolding to be laying on my back painting the cornice. Just a mere 15mins of painting with the dratted small watercolour brush (15mins = only about 3cm down the length of the cornice), with my neck almost a 90degree angle left me in considerable pain for days after... This was also ostensibly why I kept resting and holding off finishing the whole job, as it was near impossible to do the cornice all at one shot without going insane.

And so. When that lazy bas3rd came by to 'help', he took something like 30 smoke breaks (what a mind-numbingly wasteful endeavour these people of this 'type' engage in), then he just like sat around watching me paint (and laughed at me for being meticulous and bothering with every single detail... as if that was a joke :furious:) and finally when he did lift his fat Mat arse to do the painting, oh my god.

It was a most horrid thing!!! I had never seen such scheisser in my life, and was truly really upset that he had completely ruined my walls. For instance, he had just carelessly stuck on the masking tape without bothering to press it down all along the whole stretch, and just anyhow painted like he had Parkinson's. This resulted in the paint bleeding onto areas it was not supposed to be, which then required more time to rectify. By ME. Then he dripped and splattered a lot of paint on the walls (black paint on light walls!!!) and the floor, and DID NOT IMMEDIATELY WIPE THEM UP. Seeing that happen, I had to stop my own work every like 10mins to literally fcking wipe up all the mess he was making!!! And he had the cheek to ask me why I was 'so slow'...





I mean, look! Why would you even tape the masking tape over the line where the twain meet!?? Just speaks of utter shoddiness and a can't-be-arsed-in-life attitude.

After I got so fed up, I told him to bl00dy stop. I got into a real rage and told him off. And I asked him how come previously he claimed to be "skilled" but was making my walls look as ugly as his pockmarked oily face. I straight up asked him "Were you lying to me?!? Have you NEVER actually painted any wall before in your life?!?!!!!" [Just a bit of background, this guy has a habit of outright lying about anything and everything, thus my using such a strong term as 'lying'. But I had no choice but work with him, though, under the circumstances.] At which point, I think he could tell that I was seriously angry and he became more serious and a bit more pacifist, saying "Oh, maybe the one I did was not as perfect as yours la.."

Then he showed me the pictures of his room that he had painted himself. It looked like capital S-H-I-T. It looked like a septic rat had died in his throat amongst orange peels, and he had thrown up all of it onto his room walls. It WAS SIMPLY AWFUL. JUST AWFUL. I sent him off on his way, and had to spend the rest of the next 4 days repainting a lot of the areas he had utterly ruined. I wholly regretted asking him to even step into my house. Such a wastrel, a totally good for nothing piece of dung that caused me to be not only slowed down but have to do more work than I had.

So here's another tip of the day: If you have someone who is 'kind' enough to offer to help you with painting, please for your own sanity ensure that you ask them to give you the pictorial evidence of their competence based on recent past projects, otherwise be prepared to deal with the consequences and the brain aneurysm that results from utterly incompetent nincompoops who only know how to talk from their anuses. :curse:


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I am Bob the Builder

After the painting was done, it was time to put up the other stuff which was:

1. The new venetian blinds

2. The loft bed

3. The walk-in closet

4. The daybed

5. The IKEA furniture

1. Venetian Blinds


Well, I didn't build this from scratch la haha... But I took out the existing curtain rod (I hate curtains, actually!) and affixed new brackets (a lot of drilling and measuring involved) that I then installed the blinds on. Thankfully, Dad was around to help with the installation because it's not a 1-man job.

I love the blinds, they were cheap (from Jalan Besar) and I think metal ones look classier (and are easier to clean) than wooden ones. They also give a nice contrast to my colour scheme.

2. DIY Loft bed

First I must say that despite my best of intentions in making my own loft bed from shelving racks, it was a mistake. Now, for those of you who might have seen my earlier posts or other posts in others' threads, you would have known that I had earlier been looking around at all the various industrial parks and factories to buy 4x4s out of mild steel to be erected and fixed(by me) with brackets and simple bolts. Calculating the raw costs ($60 per piece of 9m), I would have only spent around $240 on raw materials and perhaps another $50 max on the bolts and additional plates. But when I got round to trying to order and getting pricing, the metal people jacked up the pricing when I told them I wouldn't require their services to erect the structures. And some tried to scare me by saying such structures would require PE and other certification, especially when I reluctantly admitted I was doing it in landed housing. Which, from an actual engineer friend...turned out to be not true lol. Why are these people so annoying!

Anyway, in my frustration I went to this shop at AMK industrial park, and got talked into an 'alternative'.





So apparently, the ah pek who sold me these shelving steel (custom-made, mind you!) bars had cheated me. I mean, I had told him specifically that they were to be made into a bed and had to be able to withstand at least 60kg (with a thin mattress). When I had already put it up (on my own), it was easily bent and was sort of not sturdy at all. So my dad scolded me and said it would just collapse or bend even if we bolted it to the wall. In the end, even though my ego was bruised and I wanted to argue with him, I had to dejectedly put the shelving steel somewhere else instead, and re-think my layout/design :(


As you can see, had the bed been actually sound structurally, it would have been perfect over my walk-in wardrobe (you can see here in this picture I've already put up the black bar across, hanging from massive L-brackets)... Alas, it was not to be :wacko:


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3. My DIY walk-in closet

Now, the end product of what I'm going to show you might look really nice and very tempting, for you to do it on your own. I wouldn't recommend it, unless you were jobless and/or very handy with tools and carpentry.

Let me show you my awesome (to me la) walk-in wardrobe/storage.




As you can see:

- A lot of shelving is going on 'behind the scenes'. I found that with having a walk-in wardrobe, you will need to prepare other storage alternatives (like shelves) compared to conventional wardrobes.

- The point of a walk-in wardrobe like this is not only to keep your clothes but also other things in storage away from plain sight.

- Depending on your room layout, better to have a wider kind rather than a 'longer' kind. I am slim so can fit in and out easily, but if I wanted to lug out the big storage boxes to look for something, jialat. Must move 1 wall of the pallet out of the way.

Anyway. I actually have videos that I made of the whole process, which starts from sanding the pallets (takes 1 whole day per pallet so easily 2weeks for ALL the pallets I used!), then the termite treatment with chemicals (takes about 2-3days per pallet, until the drying process), then drilling and bolting together the different panels with the right brackets, then drilling on other brackets to ensure the angle between the pallets and floor is just right so it doesn't topple over, then the decorating with the pictures/posters etc to give it a more eclectic and personalised feel. But haha...I won't post here la. Shy. :wub:

Unless I get 100 votes bumping up this thread, voting that I post all the vids from my reno journey here! :rolleyes:

Edited by X6GT

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4. The A-W-E-S-O-M-E Pallet Daybed

When it was still WIP, the first level:


Mix and match:


With a newly-delivered goose down mattress topper from Korea... heaven!


End product

To be honest, all that sanding and painting was a right biotch. But in the end, it was all worth it... The mattress was customised to the right dimensions so that my grandma (and little kiddos) can easily get on it and sit comfortably while watching the TV. And the blue cushions are all the IKEA goosedown ones (if you have never experienced how soft and fluffy goosedown bedding is, TRY!) so it's like lying on a bed of clouds. And as you can see, I outfitted the daybed and other furniture in the room with bright colours, so as to give a lively and modern contrast to the main walls colour scheme of black, grey and white.

And seriously, the daybed has actually turned out to be the best value for money. It's soooo comfortable, and so cool at the same time! Love it! :sport-smiley-018:

Edited by X6GT

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