Jump to content
Find Professionals    Deals    Get Quotations   Portfolios
Norman Ng

My Mancave - 2Rm Type 1 (35sqm) HDB BTO post renovation musings

Recommended Posts

On 7/26/2019 at 4:47 AM, Norman Ng said:

The Little Things

Many times you will see showrooms or pictures of post renovation flats that are very beautiful, clean and minimalist. Initially, I aspired to have that kind of space too, but over time I find such spaces to be cold and lacking personality. So I began to fill the space with little things that spark joy haha - as Marie Kondo puts it. She advocates decluttering, but not to the point of throwing away your favorite things. Bear in mind that there is often a fine line between a place looking ‘lived in’ and cluttered. So everything must be curated and have a place in your home. It’s often the little things that makes a space your very own, so let me show you my little things :)


A little helper to hang on to my bathroom hand towel.


My flat came with an eco tap for the toilet. The idea is for you to wash your hands with the water that is used to fill your cistern after every flush. But I find that it’s a bit awkward to use and I normally wash my hands with soap at the sink anyways. So I turned the eco sink into a little diorama of the bus stop scene from Totoro.


Every man cave needs a mini foosball and gumball machine 😄


My WW2 plane model collection.


Photo wall of my favorite places and people.


This is actually a headboard for the discontinued IKEA Mandal bed that I repurposed for a shelf.


Tanks a lot!


Metal plates from AliExpress. The car plates are from my time in the US.


Shelf above kitchen sink.


Kitchen sink area.


Some plants have a resident spirit. This one will help me ’huat’ 😂



Tool rack in closet. DIY culture is sorely lacking in Singapore. You can save quite a bit of money by customizing your own little furniture.


Mini garden corner and improvised bay window with seating. The shelf is from Muji and can help with seating people during larger gatherings. They have to be pretty slim though haha.

That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed the tour :)


How much did you save on DIY furniture? It seems like you need to spend some money to get the equipment first too... is it still worth? how hard was it to build your furniture?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/22/2019 at 3:53 AM, dounts said:

How much did you save on DIY furniture? It seems like you need to spend some money to get the equipment first too... is it still worth? how hard was it to build your furniture?

Hi dounts, yes there is an initial cost to get all the hardware tools, work bench and accessories associated with doing DIY. I cannot put a dollar value on the exact amount of money saved but what i found most useful was the ability to customize furniture to the exact specifications of the various nook and crannies around my flat. 

And yes it does take quite a lot of time, especially since I was such a novice when I started out. Sourcing for materials can be a pain too, so I used quite a few ready made IKEA furniture and just modded them. The DIY culture is definitely a lot more lively in other countries, where they have space to have a mini workshop in their garage or something. 

So definitely depends on your interest, I have modded some furniture to fit exactly my flat that are not available anywhere :)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/13/2019 at 7:50 AM, Norman Ng said:

My woodworking experience is close to zero besides what I learnt in secondary school. I learnt most of what I know from YouTube :D 

All I got were some basic tools like a jigsaw, orbital sander and a power drill. Honestly most of my DIY stuff are simple mods and customizations to fit certain spaces in the flat.

Like my kitchen pantry is basically an IKEA hack of the IVAR system.


I combined the shallower 30cm IVAR shelves with the deeper 50cm shelves to make the pantry. I then painted the frame black and recolored the shelves with a waterproof almond varnish. 50cm is a little too deep for the upper shelves as you cannot reach deep inside, and I find 30cm is a too shallow and unstable. My customized pantry will also allow it to follow the shape of the kitchen windows as you can see.

The arcade table is also customized, so that I can store the foldable dining table underneath.



I have since also made a little planter ledge by the window frame for some greens :) Easy project, just have to cut a plank of pine and lay across the top of the kitchen counter and the pantry. It's also treated with the waterproof almond matte varnish since it's likely to get wet around there. A small fence along the length to finish the project.



Another mod of the IKEA Elvarli system in the bomb shelter. Actually ryanyth, I wanted to get the vendor for your wardrobe setup - Smart Home I belive it was. But they response and communication is quite atrocious, to the point that I gave up and just found my own solution. I like the Elvarli system  as you can adjust the shelves as needed. I found a way to install the corner shelves too, as the original Elvarli does not have the option for corner shelves (you can see from the photo). The left part of the system (the tools section) is customized with a length that fit that side of the room. The shelves are Ivar shelves cut to size. The right side where my clothes are are original Elvarli. The Elvarli bamboo shelves are expensive ($40 a shelf!), so I save quite a bit of money by using the pine shelves on the left side also.



Some simple DIY allows you to accomplish little projects around the house without calling in the handyman. You also understand your home a little bit more, and most importantly it can be fun! :)



Woah you did an awesome job with the DIY! They do not look simple at all, at least not to me haha. Especially love the corner shelves on the Elvari system, thought it came with those initially. It will be great if you could share your diy projects so it can shed some light for novices like me on how to go about doing it  :) 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.