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On 12/9/2018 at 10:31 PM, pitterpat said:

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

I seriously considered Invisible Grills, but I was worried that it would not be easy to get to my windows for cleaning.

Hehe I was really besotted with this pendant lamp because I wanted to bring in nature and animals into my apartment..without actually having to worry about the pets :P


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On 12/12/2018 at 7:41 PM, Hanna said:

Welcome to yew tee :D I didnt know this block have different floor layout...

Thank you! I take it your block isn't too far away from Yew Tee MRT either :P

Yes I did a lot of viewings of apartments in this area before settling on this one..and from what I can tell, only 2 other blocks have 4-room flats with similar layouts!


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12 hours ago, Gaddy said:

Wow similar to my place where i also knocked down my storeroom to build storage cabinets as the storeroom was at the entrance. Nice lights!

Thank you! I did wish I did not have to though since the cost of hacking and carpentry bumped up the renovation costs by quite a bit.

Then again, when I look at the results - it has been absolutely worth it!


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12 hours ago, hdb4ever said:

Thank you! I did wish I did not have to though since the cost of hacking and carpentry bumped up the renovation costs by quite a bit.

Then again, when I look at the results - it has been absolutely worth it!

It wasn't too bad for me. i was hacking lots of walls anyway so the increase was not much. This is how mine is supposed to look. We shall see. lol.



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On 11/18/2018 at 10:50 PM, hdb4ever said:

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!! 


Nice blinds! Who did you get them from?


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It's been 2 weeks since the apartment was handed over to me. A few minor rectifications to be made, but that hasn't stopped me from moving in. Moving house is back breaking work, especially for a soloist!! One tip: Get a steam mop - it gets rid of all the fine dust in no time, allowing one to focus on unpacking and moving in!

Anyhow, here's a look at the current state of my Japandi-styled home!

But before that, let's take a look at the configuration of the apartment pre-renovation!

Pre-renovation photos


The protruding store room limited what would otherwise have been a spacious entryway.


A view of the kitchen and service yard from the living/dining area.


Viewing out from the kitchen. Yes the size of the kitchen is small.


The hallway to the various rooms and common bathroom.

Post-renovation photos!

If you have read this far, you would have seen the journey of structural changes this apartment has gone through over the course of the last few months. This is what is looks like now, 2 weeks after renovation!


I work long hours, so when I reach home I need to relax and  be greeted by the sights and sounds of nature.The water feature (from Fukai) and the lights here turn themselves on as soon as I step through the door. 😍


Water feature all lit up!


Storage cabinets that have taken the place of the store room.


A view of the living room area! The "cubby" below the soundbar looked messy 😅no thanks to all the devices placed there, so I covered them up with a few (inverted) baskets from Ikea!


My open concept kitchen, the peninsula and dining area.


A closer look at the dining area and peninsula. I am glad that I went with laminated countertop for the peninsula as it is more sturdy (scratch resistant, stain resistant and easier maintenance all around) compared to my cultured marble dining tabletop or my kitchen's solid surface countertop!


A lot of people like to lament how kitchens in older (pre-2000)  HDB apartments had very large kitchens compared to the HDB apartments of today. If that is true, then my apartment must have a truly "exceptional" layout with its relatively diminutive kitchen!


Managed to squeeze a slim pull slide out cabinet baskets for condiments etc from Excel Hardware between the induction cooker hob and the fridge. No gas because I watched the Towering Inferno as a child and it left a deep impression on me. 😨


2 more pull out cabinet baskets from Excel Hardware, this time for plates, utensils and cutlery. On the countertop are what I consider absolute essentials for soloists - a Zojirushi rice cooker and a compact multifunctional steam oven i.e.. Panasonic Cubie.


Not going to show my service yard/laundry room since I have not done much work on it yet, but just wanted to say that I really love how my Varlux ceiling mounted automatic laundry rack gets my laundry out of the way! Particularly useful when I was drying my bedsheets and mattress protector! Can't imagine having to hoist those on bamboo poles or pulling them up via a pulley system!


What I now have a great appreciation for - a dehumidifier for laundry! Sucks all the moisture from laundry, and ensures no smells or mildew! Really essential if you have no choice but to dry all your laundry indoors because there is nobody at home to hoist them out into the sun (and take them back in when it starts to rain!) I use a combo washer-dryer machine, but I intend to use it only for washing to save on electricity bills and minimise wear and tear on my clothes!



A number of relatives walked into the glass door of my study room when they came visiting!😵 I think I need to paste a suitable decal on it for safety. Makes me glad that I went with a 1m concrete wall for the glass wall next to it - any lower and there might have been more accidents!


Managed to get my hands on a Gerton tabletop from Ikea for the computer table! Learnt how to apply polyurethane coats on it so that it looks better and is more stain resistant.


These are Ikea's versatile Ekets with their optional wooden legs. I customised a woodtop order and applied polyurethane to complete the look!


Cosy/reading corner in the study. A frameless and comfortable sofa bed next to my display shelf from Castlery..pardon my mish mash of anime and non-anime figurines😁


A view of the hallway to the master bedroom. It's also a great place for me to put up some art pieces!


Opted to place art works on picture ledges from Ikea to minimise nailing of picture frames to the wall. This way, I can also easily swap out art pieces over time.


The common bathroom. Those are Ikea Ostana lights above the mirror cabinet. Going with shower curtains instead of a glass wall for the shower area means that I can swap out different shower curtains over time to refresh the look of the bathroom! Not going to show the master bathroom because it is similar in layout and just has a different art piece and shower curtain design.


And finally..the master bedroom.


Not many changes since my last photos since I intend to keep the look of the entire room as basic and clutter free as possible so that I can fall asleep sooner!


And that concludes a tour of my post-renovation apartment! Hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing about the process! 🤩

Edited by hdb4ever
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Wow. Great and inspiring transformation. My Kitchen is similar in size too. I guess its because we have service yards that's why the kitchen seems smaller. Thanks for sharing and there's lots of tips picked up also as i near the end of my own renovation.

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It's been a month since my last post, and in that time I've made a few tweaks post-renovation. But first here are some photographs a nice photographer took for me!


The full view of the entrance to my place. Made possible only by serious camera gear!



A fuller picture of living area, dining area and where these are in relation to the entrance!


Added a nice walnut bedside table on the other side of the bed even though the bed is presently still only for one! :P


Ok now for some post-renovation additions and "hacks"!

When I selected the colours of my service yard door, I thought that a dash of blue (panel) would add something to the look of the kitchen.But all my friends and relatives point out how out of place the blue panel is in my kitchen :~ So I went ahead to change the colours on the service yard door!


No, I didn't swap the panels - I simply DIYed some contact paper I got from Amazon. Since I don't have the steadiest of hands, a close look will reveal non-expert workmanship :P But when one does not scrutinise closely, the door now looks like it actually belongs and makes the kitchen feel more Japandi!


This being the first time I am using a storage water heater, I was unprepared for the need to 

1. turn it on AND wait a bit while the water gets heated before I can shower

2. turn it off after showering or else it keeps reheating the water over the course of the day, resulting in higher electricity bills

The solution?


This nifty timer switch! I am able to set different "on" and "off" timings for my water heater on different days of the week. Got it via EZBuy.


Another "hack" that I have done affects my L-shaped wardrobe.


I really love my wardrobe but what I did not anticipate was just how dark that corner space in the L would be. Rather than go through the hassle of adding another light switch for inside wardrobe lighting, I did this instead


Now don't be distracted by the many (as yet) unused hangers, but instead focus on the reason why you can even see those hangers in the first place. Yes, it is a battery operated LED light strip! And since it is motion sensing too, it automatically turns on when I need to peer into the once-dark corner of my L-shaped wardrobe. I got mine via Lazada for just a few dollars.


Coming up in my next update - Review of my ID and everyone else I engaged over the course of this renovation!


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Hi Msblack

The total cost for my renovations is about $55- 60k. Some of the works that probably contributed more towards this sum would be

- Hack and redo all all tiles, and entire kitchen, bathrooms etc

- Hack store room to replace with storage cabinets

- Hack study room wall to replace with half glass wall

- Hack kitchen wall to replace with peninsula 

- Carpentry at Master Bedroom,  storage cabinet in place of store room, kitchen with peninsula and storage settees

- Replace all electrical wiring and points, and water pipes

Hope that helps!






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On 9/2/2018 at 7:32 AM, hdb4ever said:

About the theme...

As a soloist, it's important that my home is bright (without inducing headaches) and uncluttered (no need to spend too much time cleaning). So whitish walls are a must and wood-like flooring too. I started by looking at Muji and Scaninavian themes, but I quickly found these to be a little too light for my taste. Which then led me to Japandi.

So what is Japandi? As the name suggests, Japandi is a theme incorporating both Scandinavian and Japanese elements. Elements present in Japandi include:

  • A lot of natural light
  • A lot of natural material especially wood
  • Contrasts of light and darker pastel shades
  • Functional decorations
  • Clean lines and little clutter
  • Greenery

Some examples of what a mix of these could look like below:



In short, it has elements of Muji and Scandinavian that I like, while offering more options in terms of color palette.

So excited was I about this theme that I'd even bought 3 pieces of furniture long before renovation started :P


The sofa


Dark charcoal sofa would make it a standout against the whitish walls. Frame is elegant bended wood. Best of all, the sofa seats and sofa covers are removable and there is some clearance below the sofa - which means easy to clean!!

The dining table and chairs


Pale wooden frames for charcoal seats and a whitish marble table top! I hope I won't curse when I need to maintain this marble table top though lol

The bed frame



A dark walnut bedframe with plenty of storage: below the bed and even in the headboard. Again a great contrast against whitish walls, wood-like tiles and the lighter bedroom wardrobe laminate that I have in mind.

Hi there, may I know where did you get your sofa from and how much is it? Thanks!


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