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On 02/08/2016 at 11:20 PM, kingandbin said:

Hihi @pipsqueak! Love your writing style and your home looks like it's coming together really nicely! I approached Nick too but was abit scared of his frankness and sarcasm. 

The dark laminates are a good choice! Very gorgeous :wub:  your toilets are looking great too - what did you decide to do with the aircon trunking in the end? 

Excited for your reno and hope to see more pictures! :)

thank you @kingandbin ! we were supposed to paint the aircon trunking in the toilet grey as the trunking is supposedly unable to support the tiles if we tiled over. Actually we kinda forgot about it and now it is still white. We are probably going to remind Nick to paint it grey because he still has some minor touch ups to do. :) I love the progress of your reno too it looks wonderful! congrats on your new home!

On 13/08/2016 at 4:05 PM, Starrain said:

Hey! Saw Nick update your home at his Fb =))

@Starrain hahaha you are very fast! he was very quick to upload pictures of our home even before it was completed :rolleyes:

On 14/08/2016 at 0:58 PM, mwerkz said:

Can share D of urban design contact with me? I would have like nick to do up my place. Sadly he doesn't do condo according to what he told me. Would like to see if I have chemistry with d considering how u describe him. Thanks n advance!

sure i i will pm you in abit!! so sorry for the delayed reply it's been a hectic few mths for me! i hope my reply doesn't come in too late!

 

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Lived in photos (part 1)

This post comes very late because it has been a very hectic 2 months of wedding planning and settling the final bits of our home reno. Undertaking this home renovation and coming out of it mostly unscathed (i will explain on this later on) has been a very fulfilling one for my husband and i, in which both of us really learnt alot. I wouldn't say we are fully settled in yet but I would like to share some photos of our completed renovation. :) Do let me know if you have any questions and I will try my best to get back to you as soon as possible! Here are some visuals of our humble abode for your viewing pleasure. I will be sharing about the living room, dining area, kitchen and toilets in this entry and more on the rest of the house in the next.

Living room

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Our almost completed living room, save for an ikea hanging shelf we have yet to mount and curtains. We took a huge risk going with Ezbuy/taobao for our furniture and i am relieved to say that it has been mostly hits and very few misses. The TV console, carpet, storage wired coffee table, light blue pouf, sofa and ottoman are from ezbuy with a flat shipping rate of $2.99 and one time delivery fee of $8 for unlimited number of home deliveries (depending on the size/arrivals of your individual items). We saved quite a significant sum of money which we are thankful for it. Review of the items - tv console was as expected with a few tiny scratches, took awhile to set up but it's perfect for us for the price of $300 (saw something at castlery for $600 - $800), sofa is comfy and we love sinking into it at the end of the day and pouf though too light-weight, serves its purpose well.

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Assorted cushions from taobao, kmart and ikea.

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Went to perth for a mini moon and we spent a large amount of time in Kmart hoarding stuff like this standing fan and marble based copper standing lamp. If only Kmart would ship to SG or why not just open an outlet here! I am sure it will be a major success here.

Dining area

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Here's where the worst of our renovation journey comes in. In one of my first entries, I wrote about happily purchasing a dining set from a furniture expo sale at $1.5k. Unfortunately this company we bought from (Rome House Gallery) later went into some problems (we heard the owner ran into some financial difficulties from gambling etc) and so the dining set we paid in full for never arrived. We reported this to the police and CASE, both of which weren't very helpful in this matter until more cases were reported and then even publicized in the newspapers - hence we were glad to learn that the police started investigating more into this matter. We are not hopeful about getting back our money but I hope that this painful lesson for us will help you guys have a few takeaways from this;

1) Always research more on the company before purchasing anything - check when the company was registered, reviews of the company etc.

2) If possible, never ever pay in full amount. Always try to ask if you can pay a deposit first and then the rest upon delivery.

We chanced upon crate and barrel one day and found that this beautiful marble table was on 50% off and since it was within budget, we decided to get it and paired it with dining chairs found on ezbuy. Seems like even china sellers are even more reliable than our very own local sellers! :dunno:

Kitchen

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Basically what you see when you step into our kitchen. Fujioh hood and bosch hob are both working great although i am still having trouble controlling the fire of the hob but so far so good, easy to clean and maintain. Ariston basic oven has been working well for us too, no complains there!

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Not too sure if you can see here but on either side of the oven, we asked Nick to do a roll out basket for our sauces and condiments which is both convenient for us to reach for when we need to cook, and storage saving so that it does not take up too much clutter on the counter top. Closest we could get to a marble looking top was a quartz from Colourquartz!

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Located beside our huge Hitachi fridge is our sink area.

Common toilet

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No regrets going for a concrete sink as we do not have to worry about waterproofing and durability issues. My only regret is that we should have probably specified the height of the ledge below the sink so that we can allow for more things to be stored and stacked but we are content with this for now.

Master toilet

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Same concrete sink for the master toilet. Our sink area is smaller due to the layout of the toilet unfortunately. Nick did up a customized mirror for us using the same laminate (mostly used throughout the house haha) and we love it! It makes the tiny toilet look bigger.

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Requested for a shampoo ledge at the back of the shower area. We would have loved to go for a niche area for the toiletries but that was not allowed for BTOs.

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We did a aluminium bifold louvre door for both toilets. On hindsight, we should have probably gone for a frosted glass door as opening and closing the doors can be noisy and loud, especially in the morning when i am preparing for work while my husband is still sleeping. It is a pretty door though - so we will just enjoy using these two doors until next time. :)

Our thoughts on Nick

I must say that working with Nick can both be an enjoyable and exasperating experience because both of us tend to be quite strong-headed in our own opinions and it took awhile before we could reach an agreement or a compromise on any issue. He has the tendency to take awhile to get back to you on certain items and he also tends to forget certain items but we knew that upon reminding him, he would always get the job done even if that took awhile. Coming out of the furniture scam, we realized how lucky we were to have Nick as our contractor because he never failed to come back to us if anything required rectifications. He also mentioned that he would still rectify for customers' houses even after 5 years (we can't vouch for that yet hahaha but we do know that even after moving in, he will be coming back to fix certain things for us).

One of the important things we liked about Nick was that if he was wrong or if he made a boo-boo, he was not afraid to say that he was wrong and rectify it for us - like the cutlery tray which hopefully we expect to receive some time this week! We have had no issues with his workmanship thus far. His carpentry is great and we especially liked that he provided a concrete sink support for our kitchen, while we understand that a wooden sink support may be sufficient for other homeowners.

In conclusion, if you choose Nick as your contractor, you must understand his patterns and he does require close following up on outstanding issues. However, Nick is reliable and trustworthy and through our renovation journey with him, we also learned that he is also a person with a big heart for people around him (I will let him share his personal stories with you :) ).

 

 

 

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Edited by pipsqueak
 

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ooooooooooooooohh what a beautiful home :) 

kmart actually had an outlet here, in Tampines where Tampines 1 used to be. it wasn't very cheap tho (like everything else in Singapore zz)

do u hv the link for ur carpet? how shaggy is it? I need to buy carpets for my place too..

 

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13 hours ago, gumbokins said:

ooooooooooooooohh what a beautiful home :) 

kmart actually had an outlet here, in Tampines where Tampines 1 used to be. it wasn't very cheap tho (like everything else in Singapore zz)

do u hv the link for ur carpet? how shaggy is it? I need to buy carpets for my place too..

thanks! still work in progress but it is a cozy place for us to return to after work :D

oh i didn't know kmart had an outlet here! items not that cheap but ikea priced or like a lot more expensive?

link for carpet: https://world.taobao.com/item/527170829240.htm?fromSite=main

hmm in my opinion not very shaggy..not the fluffy fluffy kind but not super rough either..i actually didn't really like the texture when it first arrived but it kinda grew on me. Oh dear i am not very helpful huh. :\ It is very worth it for 75 dollars though! I purchased the 1.6m x 2.3m one. 

12 hours ago, bykaraanne said:

Bifold is rly the loudest and worst.

shouldve gone for swing and slide door myself :( 

 

Yes totally feel you! The noise can really give my hubby a rude shock in the morning sometimes.

Btw, i am totally loving the gas heater you recommended - it really heats up fast and water pressure is good and temperature hot enough. Yet to check my bills for this month but I am certain the savings are also significant as well. Thank you so very much for your advice Kara! :) 

 

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You're back! I actually squealed out loud upon seeing the pics of your furnished home. #soembarrasing 

Anyway, love how cozy the place looks! And I like how the cabbage cushion just nonchalantly sits on the couch amongst the other cushions haha. Where's the pretty pink/marble cushion cover from? 

Sorry to hear about your experience with the furniture company :( hope you'll be able to recover the sum, somehow! 

And thanks! My reno has been taking a long time to progress. It'll be done hopefully end of this month so the excitement is building up again :)

 

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On 10/31/2016 at 1:29 PM, minuteme said:

there used to be a Kmart at Lucky plaza, open with much fan fare.....but closed down......

great so much fan fare and i didn't even know! haha oh well i guess they tried! @minuteme

On 11/1/2016 at 7:57 PM, kingandbin said:

You're back! I actually squealed out loud upon seeing the pics of your furnished home. #soembarrasing 

Anyway, love how cozy the place looks! And I like how the cabbage cushion just nonchalantly sits on the couch amongst the other cushions haha. Where's the pretty pink/marble cushion cover from? 

Sorry to hear about your experience with the furniture company :( hope you'll be able to recover the sum, somehow! 

And thanks! My reno has been taking a long time to progress. It'll be done hopefully end of this month so the excitement is building up again :)

@kingandbin

awww thank you for your kind words it really made my day! :D the pink/marble cushion is from kmart aus (perth) when i went there recently! they got loads of pretty cushions for $5-$10.. i really urge u to plan a holiday in australia just to get all these cheap and pretty home decor :)

i'm looking forward to seeing more of your home progress! the end is near, so enjoy the process while u can!

 

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@pipsqueak absolutely love how everything has come together! Really nice and cosy home! Where did you buy those baskets that are under the sink? Been looking for those!

Also, what is your experience having your sink and stove separate? My home is set up that way and sometimes I find it quite inconvenient because I prepare my food near the sink and end up having to bring condiments from the stove area to the sink area because I need those same condiments for marinating and cooking!

 

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On 11/12/2016 at 1:10 PM, fi5hbone said:

@pipsqueak absolutely love how everything has come together! Really nice and cosy home! Where did you buy those baskets that are under the sink? Been looking for those!

Also, what is your experience having your sink and stove separate? My home is set up that way and sometimes I find it quite inconvenient because I prepare my food near the sink and end up having to bring condiments from the stove area to the sink area because I need those same condiments for marinating and cooking!

@fi5hbone thanks for the kind words! :) my hubby bought the knitted baskets in the common bathroom from Habitat at Big Box when it was on 50% off, and the seagrass baskets from the MBR toilet are from ikea. I hope they are still available for you!

So far i am not really having issues with separating my stove and sink as they are directly placed opposite each other so i only need to rotate myself (bto hdb kitchens are that small!) if i need to move from the sink to the stove. My condiments are stored in a pull out rack in the cabinet directly below my hob so i do my marination beside the stove :D I think my regret for the kitchen layout only stems from not having a floor to ceiling storage where i can place my oven at a standing height, which would have made using the oven both safer and more ergonomic.  

On 11/12/2016 at 9:15 PM, pankponk said:

Nice and cozy home :) Love your kmart haul especially the marble light stand :wub:

@pankponk thank you! i highly recommend everyone to visit kmart at least once to stock up on homewares. :D

 

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:) Long time no see!!! Happy that u are back!! 

May I ask is the gas heater really good? As in the pressure, does it decrease or anything? Coz I have not decided on what water heater I should be using.

 

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On 11/19/2016 at 8:42 AM, fi5hbone said:

I also regret not having a dedicated space for my oven! Haha. I should have maximised the counter space layout in my kitchen when I had the chance!

@fi5hbone your kitchen already looks great to me IMO! it's ok - we can always upgrade next time! :P 

4 minutes ago, Starrain said:

:) Long time no see!!! Happy that u are back!! 

May I ask is the gas heater really good? As in the pressure, does it decrease or anything? Coz I have not decided on what water heater I should be using.

hey @Starrain yes the heater is working great so far. i have no issue with the water pressure and this is using the hdb-given shower heads but i heard that water pressure differs in different estates and blocks though so i am not too sure if the heater has any contributory factor to this. Water heats up fast (pretty instantly i might add as i can switch on the heater and bathe immediately without any waiting time). I purchased the digital one which allows me to adjust the temperature hence water is also adjustable to be hot enough for me who likes to bathe in extremely hot water. :D The heater is only a tad noisier when someone is showering but really otherwise i think it is great. I haven't seen my bills yet but i am certain it should not be too costly and probably even more cost-saving compared to storage heaters etc.  I would say go for it if you have not decided! 

 

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i love your bathroom, your kitchen, your living room, eveyrthing really! the design compliments each other! congrats on your lovely cozy home!

 

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