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Nikoi Reloaded!

The month of June has been pretty busy and exciting us, with a visit to a lovely island for our pre-wedding photo-shoot! At the moment, our photos are being worked on and hopefully, we’ll be able to get a glimpse of them real soon!

Nikoi – a little slice of paradise not far away from Singapore.

Of course, we could not forget about our well-travelled soft-toys! Even when our luggage are packed with our clothes and props, there will still be space for them!

The morning after we were done with our photo-shoot, we actually woke up at 5am to catch the sunrise again.  Absolutely breathtaking.

Lightings Purchased

Adding on to Shan’s post, the lighting we purchased from Lightings.Com.Sg are as follows :

Foyer + Passageway : Philips Downlight

 

Kitchen + Rooms

 

Service Yard + Household Shelter

 

Bathrooms

In addition to the above, we have also purchased additional hanging/pendant lights!
Will get to posting the pictures in future =)

Notable Lighting Shops

  1. Lightcraft
    Nice designs at affordable pricing, with a large showroom!
  2. Lightings.Com.Sg
    Price wise, definitely recommended. Some shops were quoting double of theirs.

 

Renovation Schedule Update

Just a brief update :

7th May 2011

Tiles selection at Hafary, Balestier Road.
Dropped by lighting and sanitary ware stores, but found the price a little too steep for our liking.

13th May 2011

Met up with the electrician and tiler to confirm some details at our new place.
Electrician will quote based on what was discussed.
Still awaiting HDB’s wall hacking approval and 3D drawings.

15th May 2011

3D drawings version 1.0 received! Fabulous!

18th May 2011 to 28th May 2011

Our ID would be overseas on business trip. Hopefully, the hacking would have been approved, and tiling would take place during this period as minimal ID involvement is required.

Renovation Journey : In The Beginning

We have confirmed the Interior Designer (ID) for our new place! At this moment, I don’t think it would be the right time to reveal the firm or the ID yet. We shall let our renovation experience do the talking.

A brief outline of events prior to signing up with him :

2nd April 2011

First meet-up with him. A pretty short session just to indicate the type of renovation we intend to do, and our budget. We deliberately gave him only the bare minimum requirements so as not to restrict his creativity.

12th April 2011

Received the first quotation and layout design via email. Seemed pretty alright to us, with competitive pricing. More importantly, we were receptive to his layout design. Meanwhile, we collected the keys to our BTO flat.

18th April 2011

Second meet-up to go through the quotation and proposed layout design. A long session as we had a lot of details to go through, but it pays to be careful when it comes to this! Changed some things here and there, and before we knew it, we were starting to be won over by his ideas

23rd April 2011

Show-flat visit! Another round of questions and answers.

26th April 2011

Final meet-up to tie up the details, and we confirmed him as our ID.

 

First Visits to our New Apartment!

Been almost ten days since we collected keys to our apartment at Punggol =)

Since we have collected our keys, we’ve been busy with quite a number of things. Felt kind of hectic running all over Singapore, but I guess it is all worth it to build our dream home.

Key Collection Day

On keys collection day, we went through the standard stuff – brought along a pineapple and rolled it into the house as we shouted – “HUAT AH!”. It ended up right in the middle of the living room!

  1. Sprinkled a salt/rice mixture on all corners of the flat.
  2. Sprinkled “holy water”.
  3. Planted some green bean sprouts.
  4. Rolled a couple of oranges into the flat as we left.

Our geomancy met us at our place to conduct the Feng Shui audit. Lucky for us, there wasn’t any major problems with our apartment. Overall, it was like pretty alright, and required just a simple Salt Water Cure to remedy it.

Defects Checking

We went back to our place on a weekend to perform a more thorough defects check. As we did not opt-in for the tiles and doors for our new HDB flat, it was relatively simpler when it came to checking for defects.

Just an idea of some of the stuff we did :

  1. Opened our letter box.
  2. Checked our gate and main door.
  3. Looked through the peep hole.
  4. Tested the water supply for taps/showers.
  5. Tested all power sockets with a simple LED light.
  6. Flipped all the light/power switches.
  7. Tried attaching the TV cable on all TV points.
  8. Knocked a few tiles here and there but didn’t seem to detect hollow tiles.
  9. Opened and closed all windows, and check for cracks.
    - found sliding windows that didn’t close smoothly.
    - flimsy lock found on sliding window.
  10. Opened and closed bomb-shelter door.
  11. Checked for toilet bowl leaks/cracks.
  12. Checked bathroom tiles.
  13. Checked bathroom basins and taps.

Some of the stuff we brought, for convenience :

  1. Bottled water.
  2. Tissue paper.
  3. Hand soap.
  4. Measuring tape.
  5. Foldable table and two chairs.
  6. Pen and paper.
  7. Wall-powered fluorescent light.

Things you need to bring :

  1. Padlock
    - give only the key to your padlock to the Building Service Centre when reporting defects
    - use the padlock, and keep the gate and main door unlocked
    - this prevents strangers from getting hold of the keys to your home

Defect Rectification

As luck would have it, we were in the house when the technician/worker came by, so I could supervise and check again after the work was done. The windows works in two rooms and living area were completed in about 15 minutes.

Consultation with Interior Designers

Found the time to meet up with another of our shortlisted ID.

We were not expecting much, but were pleasantly surprised by his proposed design and floor-plan, which showed creativity and originality in its simplicity.

In particular, we felt that he did not insist on his designs and took the time to listen and assess our suggestions. This was very important to us. After all, we are paying for his expertise in designing and coordinating our project. As customers, it is important our preference are taken into consideration.

Contrary to popular beliefs, he did not try to squeeze every cent out of us! To quote an example, he suggested we do away with one of our built-in cabinet and leave it as an option to purchase one according to our needs in future.

Having performed our due diligence in searching through forums – namely Renotalk – for reviews on this particular design firm and this interior designer, we requested a visit to a showflat. As a final safeguard, for whatever it is worth, I was able to take a quick look at the workmanship and ask a few more questions.

At this point in time, let’s just say there is a high chance we’d be engaging him as our ID. For now, I’ll be waiting patiently for his revised quotation.

Couch Potatoes!

The annual IT show in March has come and gone, and we’re happy to have bought a pair of Sony EX520 Series Bravia Full HD LCD TVs!

Intending to wall-mount both of these – the 40-inch in the living room, and the 32-inch in the study room!

Appliance Shopping : Part I

After numerous days of researching online, doing price comparison, and visiting stores, we’ve finally purchased our first few pieces of household appliances.

The lucky store? Mega Discount Store.

For a long time, Shan and myself thought that everyone bought their household appliances from mega stores like Harvey Norman, Best Denki, Gain City or Courts.

Well, we thought wrong.

Just a little advice – do check out some of the recommended stores, such as Goh Ah Bee @ Kovan, Everjoint @ Ang Mo Kio and Mega Discount Store @ United Square. You will be pleasantly surprised at the prices they can offer you. All you have to do is to provide them with the model number of the appliance you intend to purchase.

During our three weeks of appliance hunting, we’re lucky to have come across many helpful sales personnel. Feel free to approach any of them for advice.

(1) Sam from Goh Ah Bee
(2) Angie from Best Denki, Takashimaya
(3) Henry from Mega Discount Store, United Square
(4) Lady from Rina Electrical, Shaw Centre

If you are going to purchase multiple items together, you may be able to bargain for a better price! Below are our purchases for today!

[1] Fujioh FG792GL : 2-burner inner-flame gas hob

[2] Brandt FC842XS1 : catalytic cleaning oven

[3] Samsung RT54EBPN : 2-door 410-litre fridge

[4] Bosch Maxx 7 VarioPerfect WAE24360SG : 7kg front-loading washer

[5] Bosch Maxx 6 WTA74100ZA : 6kg sensor dryer

The Firm, The Plush, and The Weird

We went on a mattress-buying mission.

From knowing absolutely nothing at all at first, to making our purchase eventually – it was definitely a fun experience!

Our first trip brought us to Furniture Mall, where we spent some time trying on mattress from brands like Simmons and Sealy. As we spoke to the boutique assistants and tried on the mattresses, we slowly formed our opinions as to what we liked.

Luckily, both Shan and myself preferred the plushier (softer) type of mattress, as opposed to the firmer ones, so we could easily narrow down our choices. It may be daunting at first, but the more we tried on the mattresses, the more we knew what the different brands had to offer.

Three common brands we shortlisted :
Serta – We felt that they had firmer mattresses which didn’t really suit our preference.
Simmons – Great isolation of movement which means your partner would not be disturbed.
Sealy – The most comfortable in our opinion, despite having transference of motion.

Apart from the “normal” mattresses, there were these “weird” foam mattresses on offer by Omazz and Tempur, which gave a very unique sensation. Not for us! We visited a host of retailers to try out the different mattresses, including Sealy Sleep Palace at Tanglin Place – the only outlet that has Sealy’s exclusive Hotel Collection mattresses.

After some consideration, we finally decided on Sealy Posturepedic Palatial Crest. This was without doubt the most comfortable mattress we have tried! Made our way to Furniture Mall to try on the mattress for the final time (on Christmas Day), and bought it!

Our queen-size mattress is longer and thicker than the standard ones, so do take note of the dimension of the mattress you’re buying!
Palatial Crest Mattress Dimension : 1520mm x 1980mm x 380mm

Don’t forget to ask for your mattress protector and pillows! We got extras!
Happened to have a Christmas Lucky draw going. Look at our coupons!

The grand prize we’re gonna win!

All About The Face

It has been some time since Shan raised the idea of going for facial treatments, in preparation for our big day. After all, if we could look our very best, why not?

The ever-diligent Shan did plenty of research, and eventually decided on Leonard Drake (LD), having come across some good reviews on it. Being the ever-supportive hubby, of course I didn’t mind accompanying her for a facial! I know of some guys who frown upon such un-manly stuff! Can anyone spell metrosexual?

And so, we booked our appointments and had our facials done. The overall experience was great. Upon reaching the venue, LD’s consultants got us to take a seat and fill up a simple questionnaire to get to know us more and what type of treatment we felt we needed.

Once we were done, it was followed by a simple consultation where our main problem was pinpointed, and a facial treatment was recommended. Shan got herself an Ultra Sensitive Skin Treatment, while I got an Advance Ultrasonic Skin Radiance. As first-time customers, we can enjoy a 40% discount.

No worries if you’re lugging along shopping bags, large lockers are provided to store all your belongings. We were then ushered into the treatment room – we got ourselves a couple treatment room, Yay!

During each step of the treatment, Nana (my skincare consultant for the day) would explain what exactly was happening – great for a noob like myself. Well, I couldn’t really keep up with all the stuff that was going on (cleansing I assumed, followed by steam treatment and extraction, finishing with the ultrasonic and mask thing), but I was happy to just lie there and have a good rest with soothing music playing in the background. I might have dozed off for a minute or two?

The entire treatment process took about 1 to 1.5 hours. Both Shan and myself were impressed enough to sign on for a basic package with Leonard Drake, which according to LD’s consultants should have sufficient credits for about 5 treatments. More info here. Also, because we sign on for the package as first-time customers, we would be entitled to $150 off our first treatment.

More updates when we go for subsequent treatments at Leonard Drake!

Up To Something Again

One fine day, we find ourselves at a remote part of Singapore – Bukit Batok Industrial Park. We were on a mission to check something out! I guessed there are endless things to settle for our upcoming wedding.

Had a little hiccup with the scheduled appointment time, but everything went well after that. The corridor looked old and dirty! Snapped a couple of photos while we were waiting, might give you a clue or two on why we were there!