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Our Tiny Smart Scandinavian Home (Without ID)

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Hello everyone ~

After years of waiting, finally I got my keys to our new home. We have chosen a 3 room BTO,  it's small I know... but with 2 years of info gathering in this forums and other platforms, we believe we can make it into a comfy abode! :yamseng:

Contents (To be updated soon)

  1. Shopping list
    a) TV
    b) Oven
    c) Cooker and Hoods
    d) Fridge
    e) Air-Con
    f) Bathroom accessories
    g) Laundry system
    h) Wifi remote controller
    i) Ergonomic furniture
    j) Other interesting stuff
  2. Completed Looks
    a) Living room
    b) Kitchen
    c) Bedroom 1
    d) Master Bedroom
    e) Common bathroom
    f) Master bathroom

As part of my job needs, I travelled quite abit and get in contact to many interesting home living concept that really helps make full use of space. I believe it is possible to enjoy comfortable living even with small area. Let's begin with the floor plan.





Edited by PinkMonkey
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Theme: Scandinavian, Minimalist, Contemporary

Colors: Natural wood color, White, Grey, Black

We love the warm woody feel, and the hubby wants some powerful speakers at home. But I was thinking... so little space, how to squeeze in those big floor stander and yet doesn't feel cramp... :blink:



Main idea for the kitchen is sleek black/stainless steel combination. 




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The search for ID and contractor started ever since we got the dates on our key collections. Been to Expo, IMM and other reputable ID showroom... countless session and it was "interesting" and disappointing. In the past years, we were preparing for our new home, and I had many talks with my german and uk colleagues who have experience doing their own home improvement project. Learnt many things on renovation, and after talking to those ID, most were rather pushy for sale without much knowledge on renovation. They just try to smoke us through things.

In the end, my parents introduce the contractor Y who previously did their home 15 years ago. Meet up with him and show him our ideas. Was impressed with his frank approach of telling us directly what can be done and whats not. Proposed realistic and yet does not sacrifice aesthetic ways of doing renovation, price was reasonable. 
And that's how our renovation journey starts. :D


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Some of the wishlist we have.

- No TV console in living room. 

- Home shelter serve as media rack + storage

- Wardrobe to block toilet door in Master bedroom. The lights when someone enter toilet at night sure interrupt other partner sleeping.



Hubby wants to do a 5.1 speaker setup.


Edited by PinkMonkey

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Tiles selection

Intend to use wood tiles for the whole house, except toilet. We chose wood tiles over real wood is because we don't really trust HDB quality these days, if water seep through our walls, our wooden floor will be gone, and this seems to be a common case these days. So wood tiles have the benefit of wood looking, and that water durability. 

Cons will be you cannot get that same soft wood feel when walking on it. 

We went to SBH @ Jurong, didn't find much we like. And later on, went to Hafary. They have more wood tiles selection, and their selection looks more natural (and more expensive :rolleyes:)

Tips & Tricks

  1. Italian woods tiles vs china woods tiles: Italian one are more random, which gives an overall more natural look. maybe after every 5-6 tiles in a China tiles box, you will see repeat. In showroom, you always see they put up only 2-3 rows for display for china tiles, but italian tiles, they display in bigger surface to "hide" this fact.
  2. The longer the tiles the nicer it will be. Example 30 x 120 looks very nice, but not suitable for HDB where space is smaller. As it increases chances for tiles to warp on both ends = uneven floor. Always bring floorplan for them to advise the best suitable length you can go. 
  3. Depends on your lighting selection, bring selected tiles under warm light and white light to see the variation under different lighting. Due to the color of tiles you choose, the color may turn out really different. Bring those sample tiles to your actual home for same comparison as well, due to facing of your home the effect will varies
  4. Google the tiles and manufacturer. In our case, we like what we saw on the sample pictures from the manufacturer site.
  5. Not all shiny surface tiles is slippery. For most tiles from good manufacturer, they produce both non-slippery one and normal one. In case, you seen some nice looking one you want for toilet, but not sure if suitable.
  6. Avoid dark plain color tiles for toilet, they are hard to maintain due to the water stain.


A quick googling, this color tone of the wood tiles also fits well with the all black kitchen cabinet we have in mind.



During our tiles hunt, we encounter this very large tiles (120 x 60) and it is glazed tiles! So suitable to be used for kitchen top. It has a near marble like look, and will match our cabinet well. Most importantly, it is large ! Main reason for this selection:
- less joint for the long kitchen top. because it is long enough. Our kitchen is 2metre long, 1.2m means only 1 joint!
- significantly cheaper!! as compared to counter top and granite.... not forgetting the expensive marble top.


We also saw this display wall. And feel the great potential it will be in using in the toilet. 


Edited by PinkMonkey

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Laminate selection

After buying lots of Home&Decor mag, I kept seeing Lamitek laminate, and really like them. After asking contractor to show us other brands for comparison, the decision was clear. Off we went to the showroom they have at Jurong. 

We really like the clothe like laminate, and thought that it will be good to use in the bedroom, to bring out the softness of the room.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Plain matte finish laminate are often finger print magnet. Consider this before choosing.
  2. Visit their warehouse if possible to see the full sized laminate. This is very important if you select laminate with wood-like or stone-like design. Because it is often hard to visualise the end product by just looking at sample.
  3. Stack laminate together, and if you also bring your tiles sample, place them together and see if they compliment each other. 
  4. Pay attention the thickness of the laminate. Thin one are prone to chip off.



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False Ceiling and L-Box

Well, 1 of the key element of theme is Minimalist. So less is more! Some good gesture from contractor without prompt, he helps to cover all up all air-con blower and and cupboard is used to cover the main door, to help protect these items without extra charges. I am glad that he pays attention to details, and even placing protective cover for electrical wires that run through the ceiling, saying it helps to ensure wire inside false ceiling does not easily wear off overtime and creates potential fire hazard. 

False ceiling & L-Box is used to hide these things

  1. Air-con piping
  2. Wires, especially all those speaker wires you can see below

Tips & Tricks

  1. You do not necessary have to do very low false ceiling to hide those piping, using L-box does the trick as well.
  2. Hanging things on ceiling affects perception of a home's height. Making it feels smaller, so avoid hanging many big bulky lights or ceiling fan.
  3. Use CL2-rated speaker wires, they are meant for in-ceiling installation. And they are 3 times cheaper to get it from amazon or monoprice.com

L-Box used to hide piping that run through the passageway



All these wires into the home shelter which serve as media centre.


Edited by PinkMonkey

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On 3/31/2016 at 10:17 PM, PinkMonkey said:


can i check how many cm is the dbox protuding out from the wall? could u open the dbox and take top and bottom pic?

Edited by rxgn

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On 4/2/2016 at 9:03 AM, rxgn said:

can i check how many cm is the dbox protuding out from the wall? could u open the dbox and take top and bottom pic?

That whole dbox "cabinet" or wall is about 20cm in dept.

Picture of top and bottom.

My LAN cables are done as well, requested the contractor to help me do it.



Edited by PinkMonkey

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On 4/2/2016 at 3:09 PM, Ahyong81 said:

Enjoy the renovation process.. it will be fun and tiring :) Kara can give u a lot of advice for 3rm BTO, the space and layout is like similar :) 

Thanks, will keep a look out for her post. :good:

On 4/1/2016 at 0:17 AM, bykaraanne said:

Excited to see your tile as countertop!! What a great idea although I cannot imagine how it is done. :D 

Me too, can't wait to see the end results. :D


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