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Japandi 4-room for a soloist

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Hi Jason Wong I will be doing wooden carpentry for my kitchen cabinets, wardrobe, storage cabinets and settes.

Still work in progress so no updates for this t-blog yet!


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Week 6 progress update

Came by this week and what did I see?


Cracked toilet tiles! :~

But they're there for good reason because

1) Electrical wiring is done! and

2) Aircon trunking is done!


Notice the excessively bulky trunking on the right wall? It's unavoidable because that's where the aircon cables lead out into the aircon ledge. I'm glad my aircon ledge is not in my master bedroom like in some resale flats. :o


Since I want to minimise the need for any aircon troubles in the future, I opted for  Class 0 Armaflex 1/2 inch insulation,  G22 Copper Pipe  and 16mm Drainage Pipe. Not really sure what that all means but hope it makes a difference somehow considering it costs a little more :P


The water drainage from the aircon system is routed to my common bathroom at the show area. Glad my bathroom's wall tiles are mostly white  - the trunking would stick out a lot more otherwise!


I would have preferred the cables in my master bedroom to be run much closer to the ceiling, but seems like doing so would affect the efficiency of the aircon? Oh well..


Otherwise the aircon installers did a neat job with drilled holes properly patched up.


This gap is an invitation for creepy crawlies to nest though. :wacko: Have been informed that this will get boxed up. 

Now back to electrical wiring. 


Just because wiring is done doesn't mean that switches are installed yet though. Here the electrician has somehow routed the wires through the wall so that switches for the study room can be placed outside, by the entrance.


More wires "bursting" out of the wall. These will be for the service yard's lights and two items in the service yard: the automatic laundry system and electrical storage water heater.


While for the most part the wires have been concealed very nicely by trunking, a few are left "loose" like vines in a concrete jungle.  In this case, carpentry in the kitchen area needs to be finalised first.


The electrician has done a really nice job of laying the wires in an unobtrusive a manner as possible by keeping to the corners etc. In this case though it was placed so close to the window that there won't be room for installation of window grilles :o I don't blame him since he probably assumed I'm skipping window grilles. Anyway, it will be shifted a few centimetres to the right. :D





Edited by hdb4ever

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13 hours ago, hdb4ever said:

Week 6 progress update


Notice the excessively bulky trunking on the right wall? It's unavoidable because that's where the aircon cables lead out into the aircon ledge. I'm glad my aircon ledge is not in my master bedroom like in some resale flats. :o

actually your aircon installer could have run the trunking vertically up at the corner where the 2 walls meet and punching through the wall to go out of the flat instead of running across partially then up and out. this would have made the whole installation much neater. unless there is a huge column outside the flat which doesn't allow this then no choice.


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Hmm that might be the reason why? It could be because this is just below the service yard's window though - something that wasn't clear from my previous photo.



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Week 7 progress update

It's been a "very happening" week with different groups of workers coming in - sometimes even at the same time! :P


First, those big Baron boxes. 


Got myself the very sleek looking Baron W888 WCs for the bathrooms. I like how the back of the WC can be almost flush against the wall because there is a recessed area at the lower part for pipes to go through.


The storage water heater is a Joven 35l, which ought to be enough. I'm able to place this in the service yard (rather than a bathroom) because it's practically adjacent to both bathrooms! Which hopefully also means that hot water won't take more than a few milliseconds to reach me in the mornings. :P

The sliding windows in this flat are in good condition, so I kept almost all. But the grilles look like they will take some effort to clean, so they had to go. The service yard windows are also somehow of a different colour than all the other windows :blink: so they needed to be replaced too.  I engaged Home Aluminium Metal Works to install my new window grilles and service yard windows.


First came the window grille frames for my living room windows - the longest windows in this apartment. The workers carrying these had to take the stairs all the way up, which must have been exhausting because I am on the highest floor! 


Thankfully the rest could fit into the lift.


As this was the first time I could see windows being dismantled, I looked on closely (but from a safe distance) and came away impressed by how systematically and efficiently everything was done. While service yard windows/grilles were being removed and installed, the window grilles in the rest of the apartment were also being installed concurrently.


Before and After window grille installation. Just a few spaced out horizontal bars so that they (1) don't obscure the view, and (2) can be cleaned very quickly. The spacing between the bars might be too wide though to keep children or cats safe.

Since I have no children or cats, why bother installing window grilles? Simple: so that I don't accidentally fall out of the window while cleaning or after tripping.  I didn't need grilles to cover  the top mini windows because I don't expect to be able to fall out of it. :lol:

Works were done very efficiently and the Home Aluminium Metal Works guys even cleaned up after their installations (important if your place already has furniture and is being used). All in all, the installations took only about 90 minutes - and might have taken even less time if works had been uninterrupted. So why was it interrupted?


 Because I also scheduled the installation of my Varlux automatic laundry system in the same morning. Here's another very efficient and clean installation.  He uses some sort of cone attachment with the drill to minimise the amount of dust falling to the floor - much appreciated, even if my entire place is already exceedingly dusty and messy :D


This is what it looks like once fully mounted. Would have liked to go with a larger model, but the part of my service yard with  the windows is small. :~ Thanks to my high ceiling, I don't expect hung laundry to obscure the windows.

Total installation time (including  some waiting time for window installers to finish up, and demonstrating to clueless me how to use it) was less than 30 minutes.


Notice how white paint on the wall seems different from the white on the walls in the room? It's not a trick of the lighting - they are really different shades of white. Whispering White in all areas outside rooms because it contributes to the bright and airy feel that I am going for. Lilac White for all rooms for its soothing feel.


I was really tempted to box up this (one of two) annoyingly large pipes in my service yard. But with a fresh coat of paint, it really doesn't look too bad. In fact that small gap between the pipes and the wall will be good for hanging the broom and other cleaning tools. 


I'm also no longer so bothered by the aircon trunking running across this room. Amazing what painting can accomplish! Although it probably helps that the trunking is above my eye level 


This board covering the old (and no longer used) aircon ledge in the bedroom still sticks out despite being painted over. Needs to be completely covered!


Hmm I wonder what's going to happen next week?? ;)


Edited by hdb4ever

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Weeks 8 & 9 progress update

Progress a little slower than expected, largely because carpentry specs were finalised and are now being made in the factory. Here's an update on everything else that happened in the meantime!

You probably noticed that this apartment is full of "niches" under the windows. Ordinarily, I would build storage shelves or compartments like what I have at my current place. Unfortunately, the under window niches in this apartment are for the most part very very shallow making them largely useless for storage.

So what to do with such less-than-useful eyesores? Box them up of course!


But two pieces of board?? I wasn't really sure about this at first.


I am a lot more convinced that this will work after some plastering work was done though. I would expect the entire wall to look seamlessly flat with some matching paint work.


Boxing up also finally covered up the exposed water piping (I don't use gas) coming from outside the apartment.


One "special feature" I'd specifically requested for was for a small part of this corner of the living room to be boxed up. This is so that I have a TV wall that is perpendicular to the windows in the living room, and parallel to the kitchen's (upcoming) island.I find this arrangement makes it a lot more comfortable to watch the TV while in the kitchen or when seated at the dinner table (which will be perpendicular to the living room windows)


This is the newly created niche above which I would mount my TV and sounder. It has the routed fibre point, and electrical points for the TV, soundbar, router, media player and so on. Hopefully this is deep and wide enough!


The glass guy also came to install the only large pieces of glass in this entire flat! And so completes the look of my "opened up" study room.


The glass is affixed securely on the base that is this half wall. No chance of accidentally getting dislodged! :lol:


I asked for the glass door to swing only inwards to avoid accidents. But this is also why the light switch for the study room has to be located outside the room.


Recognise this box? Probably not,  seeing that most Renotalkers go with more well known brands like Starmex and such. This brand is Trentios and I just might be the first Renotalker to use their inverter air conditioners :) I read about them not too long ago and figured..why not? So far their sales staff and installers have been very responsive, polite and professional. Will post an update after several months of use.

One odd thing that happened with my order: I bought 3 x 9k units (one for each room) but I was upgraded to 3 x 12k units.Did they run out of stock of 9k units? Anyway, seeing that this upgrade was FOC I accepted it without hesitation.

The small box in the picture above is a promotional and free Trentios branded portable infrared cooker..which I suppose is a "hot plate" type of induction cooker?


This is what the aircon unit actually looks like.The installer guys left the plastic wrapping on seeing that the entire apartment is still in a mess and full of dust!  :unsure:


A view of the compressor unit from the window of my service yard. When I did my window grilles the previous week, I also replaced the service yard windows with 3-pane on 3-track sliding windows. The installer guys thanked me saying that putting a compressor though the previous casement windows would be that much more complex and challenging. :)

Unlike newer BTOs that have aircon ledges large enough for 2 men to stand on safely, mine has only a teeny aircon ledge. I don't even want to imagine how the guys lowered and installed this compressor. :~


The bathroom guys also came to install the sink cabinets and bathroom accessories. Because of the water pipes running across the bathroom walls, the guys had to saw off parts of the back of the cabinets - very time consuming work! Drilling each hole carefully (because no tile was cracked!) also took time.


The look of my bathroom coming together quite nicely. The mirror cabinet and sink cabinet and mixer I got at really good prices from Biene at Woodlands. The classy towel ring is from EZBuy.


This trio of wall mounted corner caddies are purportedly made of "space aluminium"  :huh:


As is this towel rack. I love how it can be flipped upwards (and stay there!) when not in use.

Both items are also cheap and good buys via EZBuy. :good:


The bathroom guys also helped me to fix up 3 wooden floating shelves I got off EZBuy - which somehow fit perfectly into this corner niche in the study room!

Encountered one boo boo though.


Somehow the pipe at the bottom of this service yard sink is too much in front of the sink cabinet!! I understand that some retiling will need to happen to address it....

Since renovation will be wrapping up in the next two weeks (only carpentry and lights installation left!), I also took the opportunity to do a little bit of DIY. :P


Three of the window handles are broken, so I ordered replacements from Lazada (at $3 each) and replaced them using a screwdriver and spanner.


Achievement unlocked! :lol:



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The bed frame is from Ideal Home Furnishing and I bought it waay back in June :P for $1200

Will post more photos when it has been delivered (which should be soon!)


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thanks so much! it seems like its made from real wood ? Also how much storage space is there? Also I can't seem to find a fb page or anything in Singapore about them. Any more info on the store like where they are located? :)

Edited by blueygirls

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Weeks 10 & 11 progress update

According to my schedule, my fully renovated apartment was to have been handed over to me by today. Unfortunately, it seems that the laminates that I had chosen for my carpentry are out of stock and will be here only slightly more than a week from now. Projecting a few more days after that for installation of carpentry and then fabrication of my kitchen's table top after carpentry installation, looks like it will be another 3 more weeks :(

Anyhow here're some updates since my last post.

First up, final tiling works!


All damaged tiles were replaced, including the one in the common bathroom here which was broken by aircon trunking. No trace of there ever being any damage!


Skirting was also done for the areas at the walls that were boxed up. Strictly speaking not necessary, but it does create a more uniform look for the walls all around.


The formerly protruding outlet pipe for the service yard basin has been moved - and it is now  right below it!

Lights and ceiling fan installation also took place!


One of these things is not like the other..because these are ceiling lights from two brands: Fanz and Rubine. Yes they look the same, but functionally (for equivalent models from both brands) here are the differences in a nutshell:

  • Rubine is cheaper than Fanz, but..
  • When you turn on the Rubine, it only turns on the fan function and you need to use the remote to turn on the light; the Fanz turns on the light and fan at the same time, without need for a remote
  • When you turn on the Fanz, it remembers the last light and fan setting; not so with the Rubine
  • The maximum light setting from the Rubine is noticeably dimmer than the Fanz
  • While both can be bought in Malaysia, only Fanz has a Singapore-based service centre

"Nuff said. Anyhow because the lighting on the Rubine was so dim,  I had to arrange to use a Fanz light module on the Rubine ceiling fan. It did require some DIY soldering though. :wacko: The blades look really good but are only faux wood though, unlike..


The ceiling lights like this one. Tri-colour and with a real woody frame!


The view of the entryway from my apartment entrance :wub:


At the end of a walkway, more wooden lights greet me at the entrance of my master bedroom.


Here's a close-up!


Lights certainly enhance rooms! And so do window dressings like blinds! Here we have the installer from TG Curtains & Blinds efficiently installing quality blinds at my apartment.


A close-up of the Venetian blinds for my living room windows. Faux wood (for easier maintenance :P) and fabulous looking!


Entryway lights looking even more amazing with blinds!


Dining area lights. No those aren't real birds perched on the branch. :D


Another view of the living room lights, ceiling fan and blinds.


See-through roller blinds for the kitchen because it just needs to cut down the glare without making everything darker.


"Zebra" blinds for the rooms. Walnut blinds for the master bedroom to match the queen-sized walnut bedframe!

Since I received a couple of PMs about the bed frame, here are some close ups!


Unlike most other wooden storage bed frames that I have seen, this bed frame is sturdily constructed all around.


Not only that, the headboard holds a generous amount of storage too!

Ok that's all for now. Looking forward to the end of my renovation!! 


Edited by hdb4ever
Removed duplicate pic

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Weeks 12 & 13 progress update

Whoa just a few more days before renovation is officially over and my apartment gets officially returned to me! Let's revisit what's happened these last few weeks! First, I want to talk about..


Yes, really because it is interesting! Hear me out.

When I started on this renovation, I made the decision to retain only 2 items in this apartment (everything else got hacked away..$$$), and they are 2 bedroom doors. Why? Because they looked like they are still in good condition and they fit into the Japandi look that I am going for.

The problem came about when I wanted to lock the door of a bedroom because I needed to store some delivered items (recall that the renovation was supposed to have ended 2 weeks ago). As it turns out:

  • I did not receive any keys to the bedroom doors! When I called the previous owner of the apartment, seems that he had the doors changed when he moved in a decade ago. But when he finally tried to use the keys given by his contractor several years later, those keys did not work! :lol:
  • I thought that changing the door knob and locks to the bedroom doors was a trivial matter. But the layout of these are so odd that after going to several places in search of a drop-in replacement, only a single shop had one and that cost over $200 for each door! :blink:

So after mulling over it, I decided to do away with these final 2 items that I had planned to keep from the previous owner :bangwall:


I went with a solid core bedroom door as opposed to a hollow core one. It is slightly more expensive than the latter, but is also feels heftier and blocks out sound much much better. Most importantly, uninvited guests won't be able to do this!


This is what happens when you use hollow core doors: absolutely no protection from the uninvited! :P


What my solid core door looks like immediately after staining and lacquering. Hopefully it gets brighter over the next few days?

Main door has also finally been changed to a fire-rated veneer door but..


Notice a problem?

No locks nor handles! ID thought that since I would be installing a digital lock, it would be better not to install manual locks in case the drilled holes don't quite match. Very thoughtful, but actually I am planning to use a digital lock that requires the standard manual locks and knobs to be installed first.:)


Issue rectified the very next day, but I did not sleep well that night worrying about the main door that could not be closed. :wacko:

Bathroom doors were also installed. These are of the Slide-and-Swing type, and often referred to by the name of the company that first produced such doors here i.e. PD Doors.


Compared to the standard bi-fold doors, these cost more. But two undeniable advantages are: (1) uses less space when folded and (2) has no bottom tracks to clean! They also feel sturdier than the bi-fold door that I got for the service yard. Now almost regretting the bi-fold door. :unsure:

That's all about doors. And now for the reason why my renovation has been delayed, ...


I must say that once the carpentry team came in, they worked like clockwork installing the woodworks and laminates piece by piece - even over a Saturday, and as late as 6pm!


Remember the awkward store room constricting the entrance that was hacked away as soon as I was able to? Here is a picture of the foundations of storage cabinets built at that spot.


Storage cabinets ready! It has about as much usable storage space as the store room that it replaced, but leaves a much more spacious and airy entrance to the apartment. :wub:


The master bedroom got an L-shaped wardrobe with a look that is lighter than the walnut of the bedframe, but nonetheless fits tonally with the colour scheme of the bathroom door, flooring and fan too. The L shape does pose an unanticipated issue however...which I will share in the near future :P


View of my kitchen's island peninsula and kitchen cabinets being pieced together. Yes, I have been corrected:rolleyes: : it is a peninsula and not an island, since you can only get past it via one route.


The almost-completed look. Still waiting for the solid surface tabletop to be fabricated and installed on the kitchen cabinets.


I did a double take on the countertop of the peninsula and realised what was wrong: the grains were installed vertically rather than horizontally! :o


View of the same tabletop from the side. Yes these grains are meant to be installed horizontally.

But I can accept it because (1) I did not specify how the laminates were to be installed (2) I can understand why the installers did it this way: so that there is no visual "clash" with the vertical grains on the kitchen cabinets. So vertical grains on countertop + vertical grains on kitchen cabinet = better flow. All is good :)

One tip: The edges of laminated carpentry will almost always be black because the base of laminate sheets are usually black. You only won't see this on cabinet doors and the like because these will have ABS trimmings.

Black edges stick out like a sore thumb when you use light coloured laminates on your carpentry...especially white! Thankfully there is a solution to this: carpentry paint.  Here's what the results are like...


The wooden shelves and wooden frame by my peninsula looking amazing because..no more black edges!



Not the best photo because it was taken at night, but the white laminates no longer have a visible black edge! Amazing!


Kitchen cabinet looking great now that...there are no more black edges!

So the tip here is..if not done automatically for you, ask for carpentry paint to be applied to the edges of your light-coloured laminated carpentry!

Since we are at the kitchen cabinet, I wanted to share the height of my top-floor ceiling..


I am considered quite tall and have never had difficulties reaching for the top shelves. But it looks like I have to start relying on a step stool from now on. :~


Also installed storage settees for the study room and living room. The settee seat/cover at the living room is only a single piece unlike the one at the study room; the latter's is longer and would have been harder to lift if it were a single piece too.

I could have simply gone for more by-the-window storage cabinets, but this way I can also have more seats for guests or (most of the time) for myself to laze on. Fewer chairs/stools contribute to a more airy and spacious feeling apartment!


The apartment was last painted several weeks ago, so some additional areas need paintwork desperately.


Remember how the shallow niche below these windows were boxed up? The box up now looks  like it is a seamless part of the wall thanks to quality paint work.


Similarly for the boxed up corner of my living room. All ready to hold my TV, soundbar and host of devices!


Whew that was a long update. My next update will probably be post-renovation, showing what it looks like with (almost) all my furniture in place.


In place as in out of the boxes and actually placed where they ought to be :P Till then!




Edited by hdb4ever

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Yay to your home finally coming together after delays! Can't wait to see the final look.
I was also a little apprehensive with all the exposed trunking until they got plastered and painted the same colour as the wall so it doesn't look that gross anymore.

May I know why you didn't choose to install invisible grilles instead so your view will be least affected?
And my husband also chose that pendant lamp with birds previously from Taobao! We didn't get to order it because we found another modern lamp that's of the right size for our dining room. :3


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