(Mega long #dayrehomes post ahead!! Hehe thank you for camping, but I'll update slowly! Let me know if there's anything you'd like me to elaborate on! 🙂)
Woohoo! I'm happy to announce that our house finally looks livable!!! ✨✨
And we've also hosted I think 2 tiny groups over last week for short periods of time.
Last night, we went to IKEA to grab a coffee table (flimsy looking yellow thing) because I really just wanted to complete the living room and the yellow is actually quite cute!
Aiya if we don't like it, we'll replace it haha. Only $30 😂😂
All it needs now is the carpet sitting in the store room; #dayrehomes
This was our original floor plan and the house was left in DEVASTATING conditions. 😂
By devastating, I mean devastating 😂😂 Like the old owners took zero care of the house and they were hoarders.
When we went for the first viewing, we were told to leave our shoes on and just wear them into the house. The owners didn't have any proper furniture and there were burnt marks on the ceiling from the altar and cigerette burns on the parquet 😂
Thank you Google Photos for keeping these photos 😂
There was also a crazy strong stench in the house which, after we bought over, realized that it came from the years of grime and oil accumulated on the window grills and windows.
We initially wanted to keep and refurbish the windows cos they were still in working condition but omg.
The smell wouldn't go away. Even today I hallucinate that I smell it when my neighbour washes their laundry.
The master bedroom with hamster cages 😂😂
If you refer to the floor plan, you'll notice that the MBR is quite small, even though it's deep and long.
Problem is because the living room cuts into the MBR a little and makes it really narrow.
Plus the location of the store room is super queer 😂 like right in the middle of house and between 2 rooms 😂
The house was also filled with old fashioned cornices and weird walls.
The walls all had this popcorn texture to it, which added significantly to our renovation costs cos the entire house had to be plastered.
Plus points were that because the house was SO OLD FASHIONED,
it had plenty of space and 4 bedrooms + 1 storeroom instead of just 3+1 in today's 5 room flat situations.
Ok so let's start from the kitchen 😂😂
We demolished the weird walls that hid the kitchen from the main entrance and opened it up ✨
My FIL was initially concerned that it would be quite weird since the first thing you'll see when you walk into my house is the kitchen.
It would have been worse if we didn't build the walls (in blue) because you'd have seen straight into my toilet 😂😂
Lucky for us, we decided to partition out a service yard for laundry and the washing machine.
So the newly built walls (in blue) actually helped block out the toilet. And you'll see my little carpentry cupboard that houses my oven-microwave 😂
So yes! We made our kitchen shallower by making a service yard for ourselves! I know alot of BTO owners don't like their service yard, but I think it's really really practical. Can hide your laundry and give you a space for the washing machine.
Carpentry is barely done here, but after the blue walls were built, we had our kitchen counter made to fit the area!
Actually, in this photo I just wanted to show the kitchen island, which isn't complete in this photo, but the island is movable!
I.e. there are wheels underneath.
It's a perfect solution for smaller kitchens and owners who cannot let go of the kitchen island dream.
Because of the island, we didn't have top cabinets built on the opposite side.
The movable island is a god sent and made cleaning so much easier.
It's also heavy (of course la quartz top) and really solid feeling so you don't have to worry about it falling apart when you move it.
We also added an extended sitting area to the other side of the island that folds down, so we can have breakfast or accompany the person cooking.
Will put up a picture later!
Ok to continue…😂
The yellow box around the refuse chute is actually a store room!
We cornered out that area and got the carpenter to built some doors there to convert it into a store room.
We didn't include any shelving because you don't wanna predecide to cut your store room up into pieces until you already know what you're going to keep in there.
I really like the height cos I can keep ridiculously long stuff inside. Will buy industrial racks from Taobao for organization 😂
Here's how the store room looks like on the left side! Hehe they basically built a panel on the top and two push to open doors.
Oh while I'm at this. You see the two narrow cabinets at the corner? They hide pipes, but are also dang useful for storing long stuff like your brooms!
Haha. Unfortunately for HDBs, all piping and wiring cannot be hidden so your dream Pinterest kitchen and toilets are not possible unless you box everything up.
Some people heck care the rules and hide their electrical cables under their tiles which is how their kitchen island has powerpoints 😂 but
It's not legal ah ok bye-bye.
Haha I don't know how people without store rooms do it. Our store room is already filled with so much junk. Like spare tiles and paint.
The white box on the right side houses the refuse chute! We had the carpenter box it up so there won't be a smell 😂
Here's what's hiding behind the box haha.
Our little cabinet that houses the oven!
We didn't get a build in cos I don't like the idea of building in electrical appliances and it's gonna be a chore to replace
And the island extension!
We didn't have enough space to leave the extension open permanently so having it folded down is the best!
I don't know why we picked a contrasting colour, but 😂😂 on hindsight should have picked the same colour as the rest of the carpentry.
And when it opens!
Remember to make the extension at least the depth of one plate or your laptop so it's not too shallow!
My service yard haha.
Ok bad photo but it's still quite messy cos we're still doing some touchups 😂
Why we are doing some touch ups on our own is a story for another day 😂
But yeah! Your washing machine is hidden from sight!
We're also installing a clothes hanging thingy that I got off Taobao hehe.
And the access balcony!
I thought I'd cover this since it was in the floor plan.
The previous owner bought over the access balcony as well, which gave us quite a bit more space.
We chose hexagonal tiles for this area and its intended to be stepped on with shoes.
It's missing a shoe rack and a bench. And we are thinking of putting a mirror facing inside the house!
Also super exciting but we are custom making a neon light to put on the wall 🙈🙈🙈 will show you guys when that's done!
The Living Room
Ok moving on to the living area!
We pretty much left everything intact, except for the floor tiles which we chose a tile with woodgrain.
Which turned out to be awesome I like it! Except that when we mopped it with a normal mop, it kinda caught all the little cotton fibres and we had a layer of cotton wool on the floor 😂😂
Cannot use normal mop.
Didn't build in anything (no TV console) cos we try not to build in too many things. In case we wanna change it in future. 😂
The living room is pseudo divided into the dining area and the lounging area!
We're particularly pleased with our dining table purchase. I got it off ezbuy back when I was playing with their prime feature, then separately contacted the seller on #taobao to get them to custom make a matching bench for me. 😂
I don't particularly like to use ezbuy to make big purchases cos you can't chat with the seller. Which I love doing to make sure my purchases turn out ok.
Both the bench and table are made of solid wood and are really really sturdy.
The bench costs about $150 which is super affordable considering how a dining chair alone can set us back by $100!
The bench fits 4 snugly and 3 spaciously!
We're super lucky to have a huge area to place a table that can fit 8. But…I didn't buy dining chairs yet cos so ex!!!
Hence one side of the table is bare 😂😂😂
After so much discussion and compromising and logical thinking, we finally decided to get these plastic chairs for the dining table.
At first we really wanted wooden ones, but haha we've had some trouble with our wooden chairs at home. And also because we expect big groups to come over often and having plastic chairs makes it lighter to move around.
These are also stackable so I can buy more and stash them in the store room for bigger gatherings.
Plus the blue adds colour without being too wild!! So ok la! I'm excited for these to come tho!
I've always been a supporter of having comfy plastic chairs. I have a huge issue with the IKEA ones cos they are not very stable and plastic seats on an aluminium skeleton is always a bad idea.
The boys lounging today. 😂
So the lounge area is damn simple la just a sofa and a TV console plus my IKEA coffee table. ✨
Our sofa is a 6-7 seater from Taobao with a removable cloth covering. It costs about…$500SGD? And I shipped it over by sea! It doesn't feel CRAZY stable cos I think it's supported by ply wood at the bottom, but the legs are pretty sturdy.
It's horrifyingly affordable and crazy pretty. The seats are also a good depth for lazing. 🙈
The sofa from another angle 🙂
Here you can see my little pouf on the floor 😂 it's from Spotlight but we bought it during a clearance sale so very cheap. It's a terribly good foot stool 🙈 And we bought it super long ago when we were still dating haha.
You can also see my little acorn lights from here! Terribly cute but terribly useless as well 🙈🙈🙈
The TV console we have was also from #ezbuy (😂 I had a phase whereby I just bought all the cheap furniture from ezbuy😂) and it's only $150 😂
But assembling it was quite a pain in the ass. The quality tho is pretty awesome for compressed wood and this is seriously HEAVY. 1.8m long and I bought 2 at a go cos I thought we wanted one in the MBR too.
Now that Reno is done, I'm having second thoughts about the second console 😂 might just…leave it at my in laws place 🙈🙈🙈🙈
Half blurry picture of the balcony 😂
We initially had plans to box up part of the balcony to make a home gym for Daniel but received advise not to cos it'll make the house seem small 🙈
So I couldn't think of anything else to do with it and decided to leave it empty for now! Next time if we have kids or a pet, space will be great!
We also have 3 huge beanbags so I guess putting them there for more lounging space is good as well!
(Acorn lamps are from Taobao!)
I put the original and the new floorplan side by side so it's easier to see what we did.
So…we did something uh my mum hated. Which is to demolish alot of walls and combined 2+1 rooms into 1.
Let me explain…
Basically we didn't have a use for the storeroom that was right smack in the middle so we demolished the walls and by demolishing it, we combined Bedroom 3 and the MBR!
This effectively gave us a crazy long master bedroom.
The initial plan was to have the bed near the toilet so it's easier to go to the loo at night but then I preferred it to be on the far end of the other side.
As I wanted to build our wardrobe right outside the area of the toilet.
It was near impossible at first cos there were comments like it wasn't really a walk in or that the cupboards would block the windows etc.
But eventually we made it work! The yellow boxes are all built in carpentry wardrobes. 😂
And this is what it looks like!
The wardrobes do block out the window slightly but it's a compromise I'm willing to make. The dresser is also half height and sits right under the window.
We were thinking of making a cushioned seat so uh idk Daniel can sit there while he ponders about life's greatest problems 😂
And yes the olive coloured square in the floor plan is a small 2 seater sofa. Great for when you come home and want to nua somewhere and haven't bathed
Btw, we kept all the parquet flooring from the previous owner and it was salvaged by sanding down and getting some work done.
The store room flooring was also cemented so we had to hack and lay parquet on those as well.
I would have preferred the flooring to be slightly lighter but for the feel of parquet, I think this is pretty worth it!
My favourite part of the wardrobe tho, is this full length mirror.
Not only because it's next to the window and ~natural light~ for photos
But also because….
It opens up into my MBR toilet!!!
If you see from the floorplan you'll notice that the toilet entrance was covered by carpentry. So why not make a concealed entrance lor!!!
Btw check out that hideous looking HDB pipe 😂😂 I wanted to paint it to look like a cactus but uh. I'm not sure if Husband Ng will approve 😂
I crazy love the concealed entrance. It makes me wildly happy.
What's missing from the MBR now is the two navy blue boxes in the floor plan, which is our study tables.
I haven't had the time to pick one that we really like. I am happy that the space is actually big enough for 2 study tables so we can work side by side (even tho I usually do work on my bed instead 😂)
The dotted grey line is a divider which were thinking of installing a sliding door or a curtain cos curtains are easier 😂
The divider will help keep the cold air on one side so we don't have to turn on 2 units every night!
It'll also block light so if one of us has late nights, the snoozing person isn't affected ✨
Both our toilets don't have built in carpentry and I bought the vanity sets from #ezbuy!
Uh I had to look back at my post @braintango:021116 to recall the price for these haha. Apparently it was about $230 for the guest toilet and $300 for the MBR one.
I was ranting about how it was cheap back then but to the now me….it's not very cheap leh??? Is it I've grown even more kiamsiap since then 😂😂😂
I loved the vanity tho! Cos the wide basin means we can put stuff at the side of the taps and there is SO MUCH storage space.
The mirror opens up to more storage space as well and under the sink is also…more storage 😂
I'm crazy practical so storage = awesome for me. Plus, I think the wood matches the whole scandi theme quite well.
So ok la…$300….🙈🙈
Here's what the shower area looks like!
We built a shower kerb and used a different tiling for the shower area but didn't get a shower screen installed.
My mum's place has a shower screen in my current bedroom and I don't like it cos after awhile the sillicone gets mouldy and the glass always has water stains.
So I'm gonna install shower curtains instead! They have linen types now that are not so obiang 😂
Haha and look at the spider web of pipes at the top. So ugly but no choice.
The shower area wood looking tiles are actually the same as the ones we used in the living room. It looks alot like wood but it's actually tiles.
No need to worry about water marks and scratches.
I highly recommend them! I still don't trust laminates cos…I've heard horror stories of them popping up or not being done well. We also didn't overlay any of our floor tiles, choosing to hack them instead!
If you're wondering why my ceiling fan gets a special mention like a room, it's because.
I love my ceiling fans.
We have 6 units of the same model at home (just in 2 different sizes) and I SUPER DUPER love them.
I've mentioned this countless times during my home reno posts, but these ceiling fans are a mix of utility and gorgeousness.
The fan blades keep behind the light when not in use so it looks just like a light.
I swear. If anyone else in SG are using these. Is copy me 🙈🙈🙈🙈
Here's what they look like in action!
It's literally the best invention ever. I want to install one more in my kitchen 😂😂😂😂
Here's an old video of it in aaaaction 😂
You can choose a remote controlled fan or wall controlled. I chose wall for all cos…I have a tendency to lose remotes 😂
The lights can also be set to 3 different modes (warm, natural or white) so it's pretty awesome. It's also super bright. 2 are enough to light up my whole living room 😂
But the fan speed can't compare with KDK la. I'm happy to have it on the highest speed all the time tho! And it's strong enough too!
If you're planning to coordinate your own renovation…
Do alot alot of research.
Pinterest is your best friend and talk to your friends and family more! Even if their advice is outdated, (my mum wanted window grilles and my parent in laws didn't)
Also, use all the apps available online to do 3D floor plans and blow up your own floor plan to draw on.
And uh, talk to your contractor. Usually they have alot of advice from experience. 🙂
I'm not going to recommend my contractor cos he took 1 year plus to finish my renovation works.
So even tho he was really affordable, it can be a nightmare to work with him. 🙈🙈
Haha but they are usually most enthusiastic during the planning phase cos they wanna talk to you then so it's best to seek their advise then!
You'll also need to come up with ALOT of such drawings to send to your contractor.
Here's the mapping of paint colours for our flat 😂 I always like everything in black and white instead of meeting up and pointing out like which wall what colour.
I also did one for all the lighting points and another for the powerpoints.
Blew those up to like A3 size to stick on the wall so the electrician could refer to it.
Talking about electrician, ours is GOOD if you need a contact, comment!
Our detailed PowerPoint map 😂
Cannot indicate the height and idk how to indicate so I just left alot alot alot of notes 😂
I think my contractor hates me.
He mentioned to me that there are no limits to the number of PowerPoints in the house so we went all out. In the end the distribution box had to be upgraded and he wanted to charge me. But I refused 😂
Told him he said UNLIMITED 😂
One more of my lighting point and switch map 😂😂
I am beginning to think that I will never be done with this post 😂
Be as detailed as you can in your maps so even if you've mapped something wrongly, the electrician can try to improvise and achieve your desired effect.
For example some of the switches we placed too high, some too low and our electrician helped us to adjust the height!
List of must buys from Taobao
Excluding furniture (like sofa, beds etc) here are a useful list of things I feel you should be getting from Taobao to save some money.
I'll also include a list of stuff you uh…shouldn't get 😂😂
1. Down lights / Simple round lights
I know there's a lot of posts sharing statement lighting pieces from Taobao, like the acorn lights or the pendant lamps I used in my access balcony.
But truth is, you should first get your standard lights from Taobao.
My kitchen was dotted with these simple round lights (not down cos we didn't have a false ceiling) and they were really really bright.
I also put one in my storeroom, one in each of my toilets and one in the service yard. It really brightens up the area without too much distraction.
In SG, one light alone can cost you $50 (wtf) and I got mine for $3 to $5! The link is here >> 复制这条信息￥hagx0XSLrXE￥后打开👉手机淘宝👈 <<
2. Kitchen Jet
There are a lot of sellers for these kind of sink jets (the Starbucks kind) on Taobao, but don't just get from any one.
We got ours from an industrial supplier for Starbucks and kitchens so it was slightly more expensive at $80.
I know a lot of couples who compromise and get those that function both as a tap and a jet, but uh. It never fits the bill of being a jet.
My in laws and my brother have those tap convertible ones that don't really have enough water pressure.
We are really happy with how much water pressure we get with this one.
It's sometimes so strong that our deep sink isn't even deep enough 😂😂 but it proves to be damn useful when you need to rinse plates or pots.
Also, get one that comes with a separate tap attachment so you can use it normally without having to jet your hands 😂
The seller has a lot of cool stuff like those jets you install into the counter top and you can wash your glasses just by inverting them and pushing down on the jet. 😂😂
But do note that some of their jet sprays are made for hot and cold water so chat with the seller to get the one with only one temperature setting. 🙂
My contractor installed this for me!
3. Ceiling Fan
My mum insisted I buy KDK ones but I refused 😂 Cos bloody expensive. And also, I heard there are even more branded fans now that are even more expensive?
Link is in this post >> @braintango:011216
Btw if you're wondering if I've posted about something before, just Google "braintango dayre" + thing you're looking for.
That's how I find my old posts for reference 😂😂😂😂
4. Bathroom accessories
All your bidet sprays, toilet roll holders, towel racks, toilet brushes and even your shower heads and mixers.
Getting them from Taobao can save you a lot of money! I got them in 太空铝 which translates into space aluminium 😂😂 But you can always get stainless steel too.
I know there's a lot of emphasis on grohe toilet accessories but if you're looking for something more affordable, go search on Taobao!
I also have a list of stuff I wouldn't recommend getting from Taobao, which means this ridiculously long post is getting even longer.
If you guys don't need the list let me know and I'll forgo it. It will contain stuff like tiles (which I seriously considered buying), toilet bowls and sinks! And I'll explain why 😂😂
My cart is also full of home stuff now that we are ready to move in soon and I can see all the missing pieces. So I'm excited to share too!
Things not worth getting from Taobao
Wah, this post is seriousllyy long 😂
Anyway, so here are some things I don't recommend getting from Taobao based on my experience 😂 it might vary from person to person!
I initially wanted to procure all my tiles from China directly then have contractor lay it for me. I even got to getting samples from there and almost decided to purchase when it turned out to be more costly.
Why? Cos usually the contractor will include tiles in their costing and budgeting for you and usually the tiles will cost $3/sqm
This price will get you almost all the China made tiles from hafary.
If you don't get your tiles from your contractor, it's fine also, just that they will advise you to purchase up to almost 40% extra tiles than actually needed.
Why? Cos during shipping confirm some of your tiles will be damaged or chipped.
40% seems like a lot but usually contractors will only be willing to help you if you order a lot of excess. Cos if they mess up during the tiling and need more tiles….
And there isn't enough, they need to pause for a long time to wait for the tiles to be shipped over again. 😂 Then later you scold them.
Plus, most of the tiles available on Taobao are available at Hafary for affordable prices la. So quite a hassle to ship them over too!
2. Toilet bowls
Haha so weird for me to say this even tho I did purchase my toilet bowls from Taobao initially!
If you're living in a HDB, the distance between the wall and your sewage pipe is fixed and cannot be shifted.
Which means you need to buy a toilet bowl with that specific distance between the wall and the drainage.
Thing is. China toilets usually have a wider distance between the wall and the sewage drain so it's quite hard to find a toilet bowl that has that distance.
I only found a few that specific distance and in the end I selected the toilet bowl simply cos it would fit the distance and not because of the design of shape 😂😂
But it's cheap la! Confirm cheap, but you'll also have to risk shipping it over. And for the price difference between the cheapest SG toilet bowl and the normal Taobao priced toilet bowl, I don't think the price difference is worth the risk too!
3. Kitchen Sink
If you're not using stainless steel then you can purchase from Taobao!
My main gripe was that it's really difficult to determine quality of the metal used when purchasing from TB and the worst thing you want is undermounting your sink and then realising after a few months that….
It's beginning to rust??? ☹️
Usually the sellers try to tout their quality by giving customers acid they can use to test on their sinks. But………the comments are always debatable leh.
Anyway, I bought my sink, toilet bowl, hood and hob all from this place called
BEST HARDWARE STORE
😂 I must sound damn hilarious cos I always list down my requirements and be like "I want the cheapest one" 😂😂😂
My toilet bowl was literally ordered in a phone call 😂 And I just got the cheapest one. And now abit regret cos…my butt is slightly too big for it 😂😂😂
To Taobao or not to Taobao
Ending off this post with a general guide when you're thinking what to Taobao and what not to Taobao.
If an item is difficult to replace (aka will be wall mounted, or super heavy, need someone else to install) think more carefully before you save a few bucks.
Also, compare the price difference. For stuff like cabinet trays and study tables, even if you can shave off $10-50 I think it's worth it to take the risk.
For bigger and stuff that need a lot of assembling like bed frames, TV consoles and sofa, I'll need to save $150 and above to want to ship from Taobao.
Cos besides the cost alone, there's also a long waiting time and the risk that your stuff comes slightly scratched or damaged. Gotta make sure your savings > the damage caused.
Some useful links…
✨ Sea shipping guide can be found here: @braintango:031116
✨ Choosing sofas: @braintango:041116
✨ Kitchen organisation post: @braintango:101116
✨ Bed frames // EZBUY VS TAOBAO DIRECT: @braintango: 021116
✨ $150 TV Console: @braintango:061116
✨ TAOBAO/EZBUY home loots (vanity/toilet bowl): @braintango:201116
✨ Laser measuring tape/Ceiling fan: @braintango:241116
Ok I think that's all Liao!!!
Btw, if you're going to buy a lot of stuff from Taobao, measuring the right dimensions are damn important and I really love my laser measuring tape.
If you get one, please @ me to let me know. In fact IF YOU USE ANY OF MY RECOMMENDATIONS PLEASE @ ME SO I CAN SEE THEM ALSO!!!
I am super kpo so if you don't invite me to your house warming. At least I can see it virtually 😂😂😂😂😂
Will be posting up what's left in my Taobao cart and what's otw for #chowdanhome!!!
P.S top priority is curtains 😂😂 Cos I like to sleep in my underwear 😂😂😂😂