Friday, August 29, 2008

Old meets New.

eclec·tic (adj)
1: selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles
2: composed of elements drawn from various sources; also : heterogeneous

The love for old meets new never ceases. Chanel tweed blazers, VW new Beatles, BMW Mini Coopers (love them to bits), Tivoli Audio's model one table radios, Leica Digilux 3s, etc. I am a big fan of such making it is so apt, that I should design our first home in the same manner. 

In the next two weeks as the carpenters put together all the details, you will recognise some new and old items, also new old items. I am a fond believer that old fashioned items have so much character compared to the modern, clean, minimalist looks of today but to be able to strike a balance is divine. 

Today the carpenter delivered the master bathroom's vanity console's skeleton. 

Our Master Bathroom's lamp from an antique shop.
The skeleton of our master bathroom's vanity console. 
Our first furniture that goes into our home. We will be waiting for delivery of items tomorrow, so we thought why not wait sitting instead of standing?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Let There Be Light, Water and a Toilet Bowl.

Today, there was a surprise awaiting our arrival. The lights were all working! We loved them. They looked really pretty. 

The bathrooms have also been fitted with the shower sets and vanity faucets. The common bathroom's toilet bowl is also working. 

Enjoy the pictures.

The common bathroom.
The rainshower in our master bathroom.
One of the lamps in the master bedroom.
The lamp that is to be mounted above our bed.
The lamp in the guest room.
The lamps in the corridor.
One of the dining room lamps.
The living room lamp.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Day's Mess.

This is rare. I hardly sleep on my way home while Sean drives but tonight, I did. I was super exhausted. He claimed that he spoke to me and I kept going hmm... 

However, I did cover much ground. I actually managed to meet up with Sally to get her to remeasure the windows with the actual flooring and go through the samples with the paint fan deck and the living room wall. I also suddenly decided to go to Living by Ziegler to check out the mirror which I was not terribly sure of the last time, when we went together. This time round, they had this huge white mirror which was perfect for our master bathroom and at a steal. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of it. I did find many other lovely things for home there too. Love the shop. So beautiful.

Our door knocker also arrived in the mail from US. It looks like a new old, which was what we wanted. It will look fantastic on our painted door with the letter slot.

Another mustard yellow fabric against the living room wall and floor.
I shan't say which is our master bedroom's colour. Look at how beautiful the lilac plays against the greys.
Our Georgian urn door knocker. We are sending the card back to get our engraved piece.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wood Flooring, Never Boring

Today when I stepped through the main door, to my surprise, the timber flooring is taking in the air, climatising (as what the flooring folks would say). Gorgeous! Breathtaking. The Amazonian Birch flooring against the grey walls, they make such a beautiful contrast. Such a vast difference in the living room before the renovation (orange walls and darker brown flooring). The new flooring makes the living room look instantly bigger.

The bedrooms are in White Oak which looks not as yellow as the living room.  I can't wait for the actual colour of the bedrooms to be up, so that we can select the bedroom curtains more accurately. I already know what I want, just want to make sure that the shade is right.

I loaned from Design Intervention one of their fabric sample books to match the living room curtains. I was after a mustard yellow and I think this is a good match. I shan't give away too much of the look. Stay tuned and watch this space!
Our living room with the Amazonian Birch flooring not sanded, skirted or varnished yet.
Another view of my living room
The bedroom flooring.
The mustard yellow fabric sample against the grey wall and birch flooring. Perfect.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Could You, Should You, Wood You?

Many environmentalists think that wood flooring is destructive for our eco system. Many of the trees that are logged, are old trees which do not help to conserve forests. Bamboo is the more green choice as they renew themselves at a much faster rate (it is a grass and it grows quickly; Bamboo can be harvested in 3 years compared to Oak, which takes 120 years to reach maturity). For those who don't like the grains or colour of bamboo, there is also eco-timber which comes from self-generating forest eco-systems. That would be the more ideal choice for timber flooring, especially if you are after oaks, walnuts, rosewood, etc.

I am ashamed to say and also sad that my wood flooring is not eco-timber. In Singapore, other than bamboo, eco-timber is not available here. Unfortunately, I don't like bamboo flooring. The closest I got to being green was by making sure that my sealant is green labeled. It is water based and doesn't pollute the air. 

White oak pieces for the bedrooms.
The stash.
Part of our master bedroom laid.
The white oak flooring with the ply wood underneath.
A little yellow because of the lighting but this is American Birch for our living room in contrast to the tiled curb under our main door.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Day of Rest.

Nothing was done in the flat today. There was site meeting with the contractor, the wood flooring folks, the carpenter, and the shower screen vendor. We went through the works that was to be done next week. We are on schedule and Sean is excited. The thought of having to wake up later, not having to pay $2.50 for ERP, and having a place of our own is going to be a reality in a month's time. We have confirmed our moving date as 19th Sept. Looking forward to then.

I have bought the switches and I have tried to install 1 of them to see how it looks. The switches are from Legrand. I know that this could be the ultimate betrayal to ABB (especially when I used to sell their switches and automation). However, the new Legrand Mallia is cheaper and nicer. I did buy the ABB ceiling rose, if it is any consolation. 

Legrand Mallia, One Gang, One Way Switch.
My favourite part of home at this point of time.

One of Two Louis Poulsen, PH 5 lamp by Poul Henningsen designed in 1958. By the 1970s, most homes in Denmark had a PH lamp (whether 3 or 4/3 or 5) in their homes. Classic and Iconic lamp.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Today, I rushed over just before lunch as the electricians wanted to install the lights and no one has gone through with them which lamp is to be installed where and at what height. Just then that Issa from Design Intervention called to let me know that the lamp shade which I have customised is ready. (A few weeks ago, I brought over a beautiful piece of linen for them to make into a big lampshade for our master bedroom.) I picked up the lamp shade and went over to my new place to run through the mounting of the fittings with the electricians.

The painters have put on a coat of primer on the master bedroom, guest room and main door. I hope they'll paint the rooms soon. Can't wait to see the rooms in the colours we have picked.

The lamp shade at Design Intervention.
The lampshade with the primed wall in the background.
The lamps in their boxes sitting on the floor.
Another view of the mess.
The white door frame against the living room wall colour. Beautiful!
The common bathroom's lamp
The two lampshades in the corridor.
The linen lampshade mounted in the master bedroom.
The pleated lampshade in the master bedroom.
The 3D cut out chandelier from urban outfitters.
Louis Poulsen AJ Royal lamp. Second hand from Italy. It was designed by Arne Jacobsen for the Royal SAS Hotel in Copenhagen in the 1950s.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

There Goes Retro!

For a few weeks now, I have been staring at the paint colour fan deck, deciding on which are the best colours for the living room, bedrooms, kitchen, doors, etc. Hated the colour choices for the entire apartment from day one. You cannot be serious when you say that sunshine yellow, bright pink or carrot orange is soothing and relaxing. It hardly adds to a cosy atmosphere. Friends have been curious about what my palette would be. I have been tight lipped. Don't want to give anything away, just as yet.

Had a meeting with my contractor and carpenter today despite my sore eye. We went through all the drawings, the details of construction, and picked out my laminates from lamitak. It was so interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing the pieces in flesh. Customising is great!

Today, the living room and corridor have been given its first coat of paint. I hear that because the walls are in bright colours, a few coats of paint is necessary. Anyway, presenting to you my living room in "a touch of grey".  

The white wall in  contrast with the glass tiles.
The plaster ceiling rose from UK, plastered onto the corridor ceiling, in place of the old down light.
The corridor and living in grey.
The living room in its first coat of paint.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Want To Be Amos' Neighbour.

A year ago, during National Day, our ex-colleague, Amos invited us to his place for steamboat. I loved his place; the location, the balcony and neighbourhood. Ever since then, I have been telling him that I want to be his neighbour. Subconsciously, we were looking out for new flats from HDB from his neighbourhood, Tanglin Halt and Bukit Merah. We saw the showflats at Tanglin Halt and Bukit Merah but it was not for us (we didn't get the flat and we didn't exactly liked them). 

Who would have thought that this year, one Saturday while waiting for Selynn and Cheryl to show up, I flipped the classifieds and saw the advertisement for this unit. I made the appointment for Sunday after church. We went to see the flat and within 5 mins of leaving the unit, we made an offer. They accepted. By the end of the day, we had given the cheque, signed the option to purchase and sealed the deal. Apparently the couple after us that saw the unit, loved it too but they were too late. They early bird does get the worm or rather a new nest. 

Today, the wet workers clad the hollow wall at the vanity and shower area with mosaic. By the end of today, grouting will be finished.
Check out the vanity wall/ledge, all finished.
This is the wall/ledge that the pipes for the shower mixer are hidden in. Grouting is halfway done.

Monday, August 18, 2008

To Have a False Ceiling Over Our Heads.

Watching the progress of the renovation is like watching the development of your child in a much faster pace. Every decision is vital to its growth. The importance to build in the looks (aesthetics), intelligence (functionality) and capability (storage) department is sometimes compromised. A good design should not only look good but be functional. It should fit our habits, lifestyle and intrigue our senses. Hopefully, my 15 years of architectural and design magazine reading will start to pay off (in this project). If only I could earn my honourary degree in design from this. That would be sweet.

Today the plaster works begin. The false ceiling and L-box for both bathrooms are up. Now the bathrooms look cleaner without the pipes in sight (except the common bathroom side pipes for now). I could live with the small electrical conduits in sight but with sewerage and water pipes, they tend to be more unsightly. No matter how beautifully you design your bathrooms, if the pipes are visible, all your efforts will go to waste (unless you are after the deconstructed, industrial look). 

The master bedroom's gypsum board is up. It is just to separate the bedroom from the dressing area. If you are wondering will there will be a walk in wardrobe? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because the wardrobes are contained in that space, and no, because there will be doors to the wardrobe. Why the doors? Ju-Lynn, my very close friend and design soul mate advised me that it is not wise not to have doors on the wardrobe, because our clothes usually don't look as neat or great as those in the boutiques and Singapore tends to be too dusty and humid (especially so when it is near the bathroom). Wise words from a wise woman.

The ledge and wall to mount the vanity tap in the Master Bathroom.
The tiled up area for the rain shower. Notice the missing pipes on the top.
The boxed up sewerage pipes.
The boxed up sewerage pipes in the common bathroom. Those at the end will also be hidden.
The gypsum board wall for the dressing area in the master bedroom.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bathrooms and (Writer's) Block

I'm tired. Today has been a long long day. Sitting in front writing this blog with my wet hair and influenced by the night's charm (to sleep), I was plagued with writer's block for a while. Did you know that the shortest letter was written by Victor Hugo when he was vacation and he wanted to find out how his book, Les Miserables was selling from his publisher. The only content of the letter was "?". His publisher who shared the record for shortest letter, replied "!". That made Victor Hugo very happy. By the way, Victor Hugo also holds the record for the longest sentence to be printed in a novel (which appeared in Les Miserables). It contained 823 words, 93 commas, 51 semicolons, and 4 dashes, and fills up almost 3 pages before a period appears!

So it turns out that the plumbers really did finish piping the whole flat in one day. On friday, the electricians were doing some wiring for the unit, The wet worker was covering up the pipes for the master and common bathrooms.  I can't wait for next week. So much has been scheduled to get done. I shan't give anything away. Look out for this space!

The electrical wires for the lights hanging from the trunking.
The curb and the pipes for the shower are concealed.
The concealed pipes in the master bath.
The shower area ready for the rainshower.

The master bathroom shower curb.