Archive for March, 2011

Tying Up Loose Ends

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Main
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We’re scheduled for handover in three days time. Going by the photos, it looks like we’ll need a miracle to make that deadline. Having said that, our contractor is stepping up the pace, her sub-cons are in every day and there’s always something being done.

The house is being painted again. On the right you can see a partial installation of the Ikea Stolmen pole system, which will fill the bulk of our wardrobe space.

Balcony window sill re-plastered and re-painted, looks as good as new now.

The bookshelf has been painted the same grey paint as the walls, which helps to disguise the unevenness in the ceiling at the top right hand corner.

It’s amazing what a big difference a little bit of paint can make. Everything looks new again.

Door receiving its first coat of primer. Glad to see that the lockset has been properly masked up.

This is what I’m most pleased about. The new electrician pulled off the impossible and fixed the previous mess. We got him to shift everything to the left, and we’ll cover the hole in the stainless steel with a blank switch plate.

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I Spy With My Little Eye(s)

Posted: March 30, 2011 in Living room
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Inspired by the palace door eye droid in Jabba’s pad, 4-Lom and a whole bunch of spiders, I decided that the entrance to our home had to have a similarly imposing ocular look. The cheapest way to achieve this? Multiple peepholes. Thankfully Stiletto had no objections.

We started with marking out the peephole locations, trying not to be too rigid with the placement.

Contractor obliged and helped us to drill the holes in the door.

Peep holes not installed in yet, they’ll go in after the door has been painted. With the lights on at night, it sure looks like we live in a bullet ridden ghetto…

So what do grey cotton sheets and the evil Empire’s giant mechanical beasts have in common? Well, nothing besides the fact that we bought them both today…

Gorgeous grey cotton pillow cases in a T-shirt material. Sorry, no 1,000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets here. We’re not so high class. Anyway I prefer the feel of grubby cotton PJs.

The general colour palette is grey and olive drab, but we’re softening it up with organic textures. We also managed to find the puffiest duvet we could find (side note: I had no idea feathers cost that much!), so that’s going to contribute to the comfy, cloud-like vibe.

And here’s the mother of all AT-ATs. IMHO all guys should have at least one, if not ten of these. I’d been eyeing this for the last 3-4 months, but held back due to the high price. Saw it by chance at OG on discount, and wasted no time in swiping one. This is going to look awesome wherever we place it. A Star Wars toy the size of a dog…how can you beat that???

Well Hung…

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Kitchen
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Carpenters came in today to finish up the top row of kitchen cabinets, which turned out quite nicely.

Cabinets closed:

Cabinets opened:

They gave us the wrong cabinet fittings though. We asked for an “up-and-over” style hinge, but they provided a straightforward “flip up” type. The difference, as can be seen from the photo of the open cabinets, is that to reach the cabinets doors when they are wide open, one has to be really tall. I.e. I will be only one closing the cabinets in this house…

A hole has been cut into the top of the cabinets to fit the kitchen sink in as well. This is an under-the-counter sink with 90-degree corners. Probably a pain in the butt to clean, but we had to have it. Chalk up yet another win for aesthetics over practical functionality.

The stainless steel splashback (backsplash?) has been glued on. This we’re not too happy with. The metal sheet was cut by hand with a power tool, and the edges are not straight. We’ve requested that this be replaced with a proper machine cut piece.

And finally, this monstrosity. We’ve been having problems with the electrician and his alignment disability, and he didn’t fail to disappoint. Pretty much the only thing consistent about him is that he’ll install something crooked.

We’ve kicked up a fuss and the contractor has brought in another electrician to try and fix this mess. It doesn’t look like much can be done to save this, but we’re still crossing our fingers.

***Access Denied***

Posted: March 24, 2011 in Living room
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Every kid wants cool gadgets growing up, Stiletto and I included. Who in our generation has not lusted after Data’s oil squirting Nikes in The Goonies, and Matt Tracker’s entire M.A.S.K arsenal buried under Boulder Hill.

Now, thanks to advances in modern science, mass production, and a little bit of money, we can all relive those fond childhood memories, and so can you too! Here’s how you can have your very own biometric door…

Step 1: Identify one old, weathered lockset

Step 2: Find a highly skilled Malaysian door specialist

Step 3: Get rid of the ugly bronze stuff

Step 4: Procure new lockset, preferably a high tech looking one (love the cheesy slogan on the box btw. Now I feel like I have my very own HAL 9000)

Step 5: Enjoy the feeling of one less key in the pocket…

In all seriousness, we got this so that we can nip down to the coffee shop or mail box without bringing our keys.

This is a Samsung SHS5230, which is one of the few models with a manual override key. I believe Yale/Gateman has one as well, but that costs about 60% more. We got ours from Interlock, a parallel importer, so the pricing was pretty competitive.

Deck The Halls

Posted: March 16, 2011 in Bedroom
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Goodbye ugly balcony tiles (the last vestige of the old flooring) and Hello timber decking.

We’re mighty pleased with the colour of this wood. The initial plan was to use chengai wood, which is a more chocolaty brown. Stiletto wanted something lighter, and we were struggling to describe what we wanted to our contractor.

By chance, we visited a friend whose garden had a bunch of timber decking in the exact shade we wanted. The secret? Balau wood, instead of chengai. To sweeten things even more, balau costs less than chengai.

Close up of the decking. The lighter shade of brown shows off the wood grain nicely.

Not Bad For A Day’s Work

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Main
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So the carpenters managed to get everything up pretty quick. Photos here were taken about 24 hrs after those in the previous post.

Kitchen cabinets have all been installed. I think it was a right move suspending the bottom cabinets, seems to make for a more modern look. The shorter top cabinets help too, though as seen from the photo, the cost of vanity is the loss of a significant amount of storage space.

Electrical DB in its new hiding place.

Side view of the internal drawers. We don’t have a clue what is going to be stored here still.

Top view of the same. I really like how the metal drawer bits in grey echo the grey of everything else in the house. And the drawer bottom in birch is a nice contrast. Too bad that this is largely going to be obscured by the stuff we put inside.

The bookshelf. Our only storage area for books and other media, so we went full height. The internals are plywood, with a layer of gypsum board over it. This is going to be painted the same grey as the walls.

Bathroom cabinet, also suspended, but this time for practical reasons as much as aesthetic ones. It’s probably easier to wash the bathroom floor with the cabinets raised. In any case, the cabinets shouldn’t be storing anything heavier than toilet paper so it should be safe.

The full length mirror, which makes the bathroom look bigger already. Not sure if extending the mirror all the way down to the counter would have been better though.