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Hi everyone. I have been more or less lurking here for awhile now. I have greatly benefited from the postings of all the T-bloggers and have enjoyed looking at their designs to gain inspiration for my own design. Decided to start a T-blog and hopefully it will benefit someone.

Apartment hunting

I know that this is a reno forum, but I thought that I would chronicle my whole journey from start to finish.

I took a long time to find an apartment – about 7-8 months. I was very lucky to have an agent who was willing to stick with me all that time, patiently advising me. In fact, I think he was even more ngeow than me – he would reject apts which I thought was generally ok. There were a few things I was looking for in an apartment – I wanted it to be in a somewhat central location, have some sort of a view (if no view, must at least face some sort of greenery, and it must be quiet. The last requirement was non-compromisable. I am relatively light sleeper and road noise (especially from loud exhausts) will wake me up.

So I went with my agent and saw close to 60 properties. Every weekend, he would come and pick me up and we would just go and view apartments. I really give a thumbs-up to him. Patient, willing to be frank with me and was very determined to meet all of my requirements.

 

And with his help, I found the perfect apt. It is in the central area, but yet is not next to any roads (so it is quiet) and while it is on a low floor, the windows faces the top of the trees, so I got my greenery. When I went in there, I felt a sense of calm and peace. It was not too large a place, just nice for me coz I don’t really like housework. So, while it was a bit more than I budgeted for, I decided to bite the bullet and get the place.

Edit - Since photobucket will not allow me to share my pictures without paying. This is what I will upload for now.

LRM_EXPORT_20160906_230037_zpsv4vfmkbs.JPG

LRM_EXPORT_20160902_214519_zps6kjpro6l.JPG

LRM_EXPORT_20160902_214804_zps5nhawf9q.JPG

Edited by JohnJohn
Since photobucket will not allow me to share my pictures without paying. This is what I will upload for now.
 

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

Design of the apt

I have read the sharings in this forum of getting an ID vs a contractor. But it was clear to me right from the start that I wanted an ID. I know my limitations and I know that I suck at design and creativity. Give me an empty room and I will probably paint it some horrible colour with badly mismatched furniture. I can’t even tell the difference between the warmness or coolness of a colour.

Furthermore, I really didn’t know what sort of design I wanted. And I really mean it – I was completely clueless. All I knew was that I wanted to keep the floor of the living, dining and bedrooms, I wanted to redo the toilets and I wanted to redo the kitchen. And because it is a smallish apt, I wanted to have more storage space.

 

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The hunt for an ID

Unlike my journey to get my apartment, I took much less time to look for an ID. This could be because I was tired already from looking at all the apts and also because I wanted to get started on the reno as soon as possible.

Of the five they sent me, only 2 called me up. One was a lady whom I met, but the experience was so bad that I did not even bother to save her number. When we met, she didn’t say very much, took down what I wanted, and left. Never called me back or anything. I then decided to just go and look through all the IDs in the app and Google to see their reviews. Eventually, I met with three more –

*D ***********e – I actually got along with the ID. Looking at the floor plan, he suggested ways which I could create space and make the apartment look bigger. He also brought me to walk around his office and showed me different apts in various magazines to get a sense of what I found nice or not nice. I walked out feeling very positive and set him as the benchmark against all the other IDs that I would meet. If they were as professional as this guy or even more, and if I could build this sort of rapport, then and only then, would I consider them. BUT….this guy didn’t get back to me at all. So obviously, he didn’t feel the same way about me as I did about him. So that was that….

F*** C****** - The ID was also quite professional, showing me different concepts that they had done and also trying to get a sense of what I liked or didn’t like. Very earnest but somehow, I didn’t build any rapport with him. Don’t get me wrong, he was polite, had good ideas and came prepared for the meeting, but somehow, we just didn’t click and so that was that.

H*** I******** - This ID was good. His training is in Design Architecture. Could come up with many ideas and was very willing to listen to what I want or did not want (since he was the last one I met, I sort of knew what I wanted or did not want). He was also quite bold in proposing new ideas and colour schemes  which I never thought about. For instance, I told him I wanted something cozy and suggested a bright apartment. He proposed dark colours to make it cozier. What really blew me away was when he sketched out free hand the concepts he was thinking about upside down! And this wasn’t the sort of drawings that looked like some primary school kid would do, these sketches I wouldn’t mind framing. I was thoroughly impressed. By the second meeting, he had come up with 3D drawings to show me (attached below) and I was hooked. I signed up with him.

Now, there may be some who will ask me for his contact, etc. I will give it at the end of my reno as I don’t want to recommend someone who may be a strong starter but poor finisher. Also, pls be aware that he is not cheap. He went over my budget by about 15k. But because I liked his ideas so much, and the fact that we built a very good rapport, I decided that I will engage him and try tpo save money in other aspects of the reno.

My reno journey is about 20% done and so far, he has been very good. He responds promptly to me, is very willing to accept changes in ideas (and finds ways to improve on the ideas) and is there at the site to help oversee the work. He will also send me phots to show me the progress of the reno. And, because I am quite clueless about design, he has accompanied me to go look for furniture to ensure that they match. (In case you are wondering about whether he gets a cut, I don’t know, but he does not bring me to his furniture shops but just goes to where I think I can find certain pieces. These shops range from big names like Ikea and Harvey Norman to small boutique shops all over Singapore.) I would also send him links of furniture which I find online to see if they match and he will give me his opinion.

 

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3D drawings

As you can see from the 3D drawings, I am not doing everything in my apt. I am most focused on my living room, bedroom and bathroom. Living room coz I am quite a couch potato. I like to watch movies a lot and spend a lot of my non-work hours in front of the TV. My bedroom is my sanctuary and therefore, I want it done up very well, coz if I am not in my living room, then I am in my bedroom. And finally, my bathroom, that is the third place I spend time in. I want it to feel nice and comfortable. I don’t cook, so the kitchen is not a big priority. But I needed to do it up as the old kitchen was very dated and did not fit into what I want.

http://FB_IMG_1459474513110_zpss7dahpq2.jpg

The wall will be much darker, almost black. And I will do away with the floor to ceiling cupbaords. Instead, I will do half height cupboards and create a storage platform in my living room.

http://FB_IMG_1459474508953_zpskdoc4zew.jpg

No real changes here, although rather than a wooden veneer counter top, My ID is looking for a white marble veneer.

http://FB_IMG_1459474523328_zpsmtovncis.jpg

My bed will be on a platform (with storage). Also the walls will be a darker grey, not so light. The door to my MBR bathroom will be built to look like the rest of the cabinet doors.

http://FB_IMG_1459474516107_zpsnharqa3q.jpg

Not much changes to this. I quite like the design and colours.

 
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Quite early on, my ID brought me to Hafary at Balestier to choose tiles. For both toilets, I chose non-slip tiles. But I was not as diligent when choosing my kitchen tiles and I realized belatedly that I chose pretty slippery tiles for the kitchen and utility area.

Just wondering if I can treat the tiles now to make them non-slip? Here are the tiles.

http://20160425_080603_zpszy4je3oa.jpg

http://20160425_080628_zpslgzdw8dy.jpg

http://20160425_080655_zpslnwrqu2k.jpg

Edited by JohnJohn
 
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Hacking has started and currently it is the tail end of the waterproofing process. They have started laying some tiles already, notably that of the Mbr and common bathroom.

Hacking

http://IMG-20160322-WA0004_zpsegc3ydfp.jpg

Wall tiles up in Mbr bathroom. This is the vanity area.

http://IMG-20160421-WA0004_zpsfxzyjqg0.jpg

This is the shower area in the Mbr bathroom.

http://IMG-20160421-WA0001_zps11uya4qf.jpg

Common bathroom wall tiles.

http://20160420_170501_zpsoov8aepk.jpg

 

 

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I'm stuck at home as I'm not feeling well. So, in between naps, I can update my blog. 

I have bought quite a few things already, all with the help of my ID. Actually, I only have my washing machine and TV left. Things like kitchen hob, fridge, shower stuff, all bought. I will update with the purchases soon. 

But today, got a decision to make - the top for my dining table. I went to etch & bolts yesterday to look for my coffee table and my dining table. The below is the coffee table I chose. I initially felt that the colour of the legs was a little shiny. But my ID said that since my place is mainly matte and a bit dark, this would be fine. What do you all think? 

http://Screenshot_2016-04-25-08-11-48-01_zpsrbl

Today my ID msged me as he wanted to know what table top I wanted for my dining room. This is the standard file photo for my dining table. But I can choose what type of wood I want. 

http://Screenshot_2016-04-25-08-11-19-01_zpsqgx

So these are the two choice. The first is American walnut and the second is ebony. What do you guys think? 

http://IMG-20160425-WA0000_zpsr0grzmg2.jpg

http://IMG-20160425-WA0004_zpsicjwjdbi.jpg

 
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omgggg i love all your furniture choices too! yes i agree with your ID on your coffee table, the gold will be lovely against the setting of your house :)

your ID is going to customize a dining table for you? i personally like the american walnut grain more! Gorgeous wood grains! The ebony one is a little too complicated-looking/messy to me haha. 

i wanted a suar wood dining table at first, but eventually went for a marble-top dining table with wooden legs..you are starting to me make me regret my decision LOL. and you got me really really excited about your journey! can't wait to see how it all looks together!

 

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Nice coffee table! Something I would love to put in my living room.

Very curious on the unique shower screen the previous owner use, the white frame seem to me like sliding door frame, but has a cut off a foot above the bath tub...how does this work?

 

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@pipsqueak Thanks for your kind words. I'm leaning towards the American walnut, but I think my ID is leaning towards the ebony. But I agree, the ebony grain seems quite complicated. 

Actually, etch&bolts will do the customisation. Just choose the top and the legs. 

Edited by JohnJohn
 

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@bipps Thank you. I actually don't know. I think the frame was there as a shower screen because originally, the shower was only in the tub. I did away with the tub coz I'm not used to using one. So opted for full shower instead. 

 

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