So, I received the soft copies of the photographs a few weeks ago but just could not get myself to sit in front of my laptop, transfer the photos and do a proper entry. (The past entries were all typed up using our handy iPad.) Now, finally, I have energy, and am psyche to do this.
Here is a little background about our new place:
We bought a HDB Executive Maisonette in the same heartland of where we used to stay. The reason why we did not move out of the same heartland was because we did not think the in-laws (whom we used to stay in the same HDB block) could bear the distance. Why maisonette? We love the idea of duplex living but did not want to inject astronomical amount of funds and borrowings for our matrimonial home. Hence, landed and private properties were ruled out.
Between the Husband and I, we have already set our hearts on the design theme of our next home. Our first matrimonial home was pop retro style (well, at least for the living room and kitchen..) which was bright, colorful and cheerful. This time round, possibly has to do with mellowing with age, we decided that we are done with burst of colors. Instead, we wanted a black and white colonial theme with hints of greens, think our heritage black and white houses?
So, for this flat, we engaged our old interior designer again. We have worked with him on many occasions (most of them pleasant). Okay, I'll be forthright here. They were all pleasant until the Husband used him for one of his office's renovation a couple of years ago and he somehow became a totally different person. In the midst of the project, he was often un-contactable, to the point the Husband actually chided him for his lack of professionalism. This was a far cry from what we had established over the years. He was always patient, professional, hands-on, observant, and very easy to talk to. My only complaint about him in the past was he could be a little forgetful occasionally. Morever, his rates had always been very reasonable, and we have actually lost count of the number of contacts we referred to him along the way.
Anyway, when we were embarking on the road of searching for a new ID for our new place, the Husband suggested including him at giving us a quote. Reason being: I was going to be the one mainly in charge of the renovation work this time round and the Husband knew I had an enjoyable working relationship with him during our last house. However, we voiced our apprehension to him and our ID acknowledged our misgivings and promised us that during the course of giving us a quote, he would do his best in terms of his responsiveness, and hopefully, would win our trust again.
And boy he did. Of course, not to also mention the other quotes almost gave me heart attacks on the spot. I was glad we went back to him for many reasons. One: we could bury finally bury the hatchet. It is always good to gain back another friend right? Two: our dear ID outdone himself in terms of his service. I felt that he was as patient as ever, responsive, and may i also add, less forgetful than before. Three: As always, he gave me wonderful sound advice and suggestions along the way. One of which was to use black cement grouting instead of usual white ones for some of our kitchen and toilets tile works. Four: his team of workers have improved tremendously over the years. I will rate the tiling and carpentry works as 'okay' for our first house. This time round, they were superb! Especially the tile works which involved the workers cutting up some of the tiles into pretend subway tiles as I could not find suitable subway tiles.
Despite having a designer, I am really quite hands-on. I actually spent many nights drawing up pictures of cabinets (exact number of doors, exact compartments, where they should be, measurements etc), wardrobes and even layouts of the rooms. The ID was actually suitably impressed by some of my drawings. Okay, did I say I was hands-on? Maybe more like anal.. So you see, the ID was really more of a value-adding contractor but I am not complaining as his rates are comparable to most contractors.
Right, enough of my blah-blah-ing. I shall let the pictures do the talking. Though may I explain that there are only pictures of our lower floor. Given that the upper floor which consisted of three bedrooms that were the playing, reading, changing, storage and sleeping quarters for five of us (soon to be six), they are really cramped and not quite picture-worthy . The photographer did not bother to venture upstairs, neither will I with my camera.
|Actually we house our dining table next to the island but the photographer moved it away as it was not part of our ID's work.|
|The original kitchen was half of its current size. We knocked down the only room in the lower floor to make room for this open kitchen cum dining area.|
|Okay. Bad lighting. Toys all over. This was taken by me. This cabinet at the entrance house our footwear, jackets, bags and brollies.|
|Taken by me too. Guest washroom downstairs.|