Friday, January 21, 2022

The Abode: Before and After

It’s been slightly more than a year since I updated my blog about the house. I ended off in October 2020 saying I will update the before and after but i have been procrastinating for the longest time. Just like any other house, the longer you stay in it, the more things you are gonna have and it has come to one point whereby i realised i have to dedicate a couple of days just to shift things around just to get a clean nice interior shots of the house. Damn! I should have done it at the very beginning when the house was clean and neat (not that it is now not clean but still. There is so much more things in the house now, lol) 

I have always wanted to keep a set of nice tasteful interior shots like those we frequently see on FB nowadays and maybe one day the photos will come in handy when I decide to sell this place away. Over the half year I have been staying here, I got REALLY comfortable. I don’t really go out (then again better not with this Covid pandemic ongoing), I offered to host dinners and gatherings at my place so I don't have to head out. The only downside is that I have to clear up after each session. My favourite thing to do is nua-ing on my couch and catching up on shows in front of my 55” TV with a pint of B&J in hand. I stopped spending money on unnecessary stuff like branded bags and shoes, instead I buy things for the house, furniture, necessities and groceries. (and i gave up trying to keep track of my expenses, lol) 

#Adulting really kicks in when you have your own place. When I get the electricity/ water bills and see that it’s more than usual, I'll start thinking like why - Is it the aircon, is the tap leaking, is it because I always leave the heater on etc. You’ll be asking yourself questions like, how frequently should you do your laundry, should you get a part time maid to clean the house, is it time to buy more shampoo and the list of questions goes on and on. Meals are another problem, especially for someone like me who doesn’t cook and even if i cook, it’s not quantifiable to cook for one. Increase in monthly expenses is another thing. The water bill, the electricity bill, the monthly maintenance fee for the condo, property tax, the internet, groceries, not forgetting the occasional aircon cleaning and part time cleaner etc. With all that said, I'm happy, and that’s the most important thing. I can go on talking about my experience over the past 6 months forever but that’s not the point of this post. So without further ado, it’s time to see the final product of my humble abode. Drum rolls please.

 ----------------------  BALCONY  ----------------------

The Balcony (before)

Firstly, I've got to say the balcony is HUGE. The pros is that it’s spacious which is why i use it as my dining space (since the interior can’t afford to have one), the sliding doors are sound-proof, (probably due to the proximity of the highway just beside the condo) and the balcony has these shutter grill which blocks out the sun and maintain privacy since the blocks are pretty near. The only con is that despite those grills, the rain still comes in and wet part of the balcony, why they never think of that. Oh wells.

One side is where my plants are and the other is the dining table and benches which are flushed to one corner so that they don’t get wet during heavy rain. It’s ideally for 4 pax but for bigger groups, I usually will shift the table to the middle and add chairs on both ends (tried up to 8 pax before!) There is also a power switch at the side, ideal for a steamboat. The balcony is actually one of my fav part of the house! 

The Balcony. (after)

Overview of the balcony! There’s also a small ceiling fan installed so the balcony is really conducive for breakfast and dinner gatherings. You also get the view of the pool and the huge ficus trees right beside. Very resort feel. Oh! I also painted one side of the wall dark grey to match the overall theme of the house.

 ----------------------  BEDROOM  ----------------------

Before and After.

The bedroom was pretty spacious and it has this wooden "parquet" flooring (which my parents adore cos apparently the "best grade") but little did they know i intended to vinyl the whole house over, lol. Floor to ceiling windows which gives you the same view as the balcony. Revamped the room by giving the room a grey tone paint job. Took up the suggestion to paint the main wall different tones of grey to "elongate" the room, installed a black ceiling fan (ceiling fans are the best), "lego" lights, got a queen size "floating" bed and side tables from Castlery, installed black venetian blinds to complete the overall look of the room.
Before and After.

The room originally came with a frosted glass door (super eww, like a work meeting room) and a fully functional wardrobe which looks pretty decent. Transparent door and even has a built in lighting system but... i chose to demolish it to make space for a simple work station plus i already had the intention to use the additional room as a walk in wardrobe. Bought an iMac but didn't arrive in time so i refunded it,  got a  a monitor, a good keyboard and connected my Macbook to it instead. Saved quite a bit with this setup :)
Some visuals of the room. Aseop showcase thanks to housewarming gifts. hahaha

 ----------------------  KITCHEN  ----------------------
The original kitchen was fully functional with ample storage space but the colour did not suit the theme of the house so i did some research and consulted a few companies. some suggested to re-fabricate and replacing the doors to the colour i want, some suggested re-doing the entire kitchen (super costly) but at the end i found a company that does "vinyl wrapping" and they took 2 whole days to "wrap" every part of kitchen to this black wood colour which i absolutely love and it matches the overall theme of the house. A job well done.
Some visuals of the kitchen. So glad that the interior is of a wood colour.

 ----------------------  BATHROOM  ----------------------
The before.
The After.

Not sure if you spotted the difference but i re-tiled the wall which was originally brown but i wanted it to be grey so i chose this stone textured tile for the wall. Originally i wanted to revamp the whole toilet but it was pretty costly to redo so i gave up the idea and made minor changes. The original colour of the basin area was the same colour as the kitchen but the company quoted me like another $300-ish to change it to the black wood so i said no, and got a similar vinyl wrap from Lazada at like 10 bucks and DIY myself, lol.
My bathroom is not connected to my bedroom like most condos because i have this pet peeve of not wanting my guest to go through my bedroom in order to use the bathroom. The configuration would either to have 2 point of entry (meaning one from the living and one from bedroom) or have the bathroom separated from the bathroom, which is what i got in the end. Thank you to all those friends for getting tonnes of Aseop products as house warming gifts to make my place insta-worthy and 'showroom' quality. hahaha

 ----------------------  WALK-IN WARDROBE  ----------------------
When i was house hunting, i knew i had to get a 1+1 unit because a 1 bedder would be too small (and i always imagined having a walk in wardrobe to house all my clothes, bags and shoes, lol) so i was pleasantly surprised to find this unit with a decent spaced +1. The room already has an air con, and could honestly be used as a children room with properly planning.  I know of some neighbours who use the room as a dining space and some chose to seal their +1 entrance and created an opening to connect their bedroom and "walk in wardrobe" which sounded nice but i feel that it will difficult to sell it as 1+1 in the future... 

Anyway i wanted an open concept walk in wardrobe so i did some research and found a company which does modular pole system wardrobe and when i visited their showroom, i was immediately drawn to their most premium system which was in black metal and wood colour. Spent some time deciding on the components of the system based on my needs and budget. The wardrobe system is no doubt the most expensive installation of the entire house. My ID suggested the vinyl flooring to be place in the herringbone pattern so it looks and feels different compared to the living and bedroom. Got a full length mirror (in wood and black again) from Castlery and a couple of poufs from FortyTwo for guests to sit on when they visit.
I love the open concept look and i get to display some of my fancy shoes and bags :D

 ----------------------  LIVING ROOM  ----------------------

Last but not least, the main area of the house. I'm not sure if i mentioned this in the earlier part of the post (this post was drafted throughout 6 months, lol) but i kinda knew the theme i was going for when i bought the house and i knew exactly how i want to design it. (anyway if you haven't figure by now, i was going for the industrial theme) So let me go through each part of the living room now:
The living room initially came with this inbuilt feature TV wall (left) that i would say, practical because it was quite well designed with areas for display and the unique and smart thing about it is that the TV could be rotated to cater for both the bedroom and living room. The door to the bedroom was this frosted door which i felt was too office/ toilet-like so i knew immediately i would have to get rid of it. 

When my parents first visited the pre-reno house, they were lamenting and nagging on why i would want to remove the feature wall or dismantle a fully functional wardrobe and even vinyl/ tile over the expensive looking marble flooring. I had a hard time trying to convey my ideas to them and i gave up explaining, lol.

I demolished the TV feature wall and build a new wall to divide the living room and bedroom. With that new wall, i hung a 55" inch TV and got an industrial looking TV console to fit the whole theme. (I actually bought a 43" TV initially but when it was delivered, i felt that it was too small and decided to sell it immediately and got a bigger one. So glad i did cos i now spend a lot of time in front of the TV. Phew)  
Removed the obiang looking chandelier fixture (which my parents brought it home and immediately installed it in the dining room, lol) and installed a matt black ceiling fan. Ceiling fans are so underrated tho, i mean it save space and provides such a good flow of wind in the area. The designs for ceiling fans nowadays are so modern and would definitely fit into most themes.

Anyway, for the other side of the wall, i wanted to do this concrete panel thing (exactly the same design as what you see in the right photo) but it was so costly to install it. Each panel cost $400 and i would need 15 panels, meaning it would cost me $6000. In the end i did some research and went for the wallpaper option for just a few hundred bucks. Same outlook at a faction of the price, objective accomplished. *flicks hair*
I wanted my place to have the cement screed effect and my ID managed to source for these unique huge pieces of concrete vinyl which i'm absolutely satisfied with. Vinyl tiles are usually long rectangular pieces of which the joint lines would be pretty obvious, but with these huge square pieces, there are lesser joint lines and made the concrete flooring looks realistic in both real life and in photos. 

As for the walls, i had it cement screed for the entire place. The thing about cement screed is that you never know what the final effect will be like until it dries and over time, it will have little cracks here and there (which i honestly don't mind since it adds 'flavour' to the place) The cement screed was additional cost on top of the painting of the unit. On second thoughts, i should have considered textured paint instead since it's probably cheaper and better lasting. There was supposed to be a sealant to coat it the walls but the ID and i discussed and decided not to do it in order to maintain a matte and smooth finish on the wall.
Very curated furnitures and pieces to fit the whole theme. Only brown, black and grey for consistency.

As for the doors to the 2 rooms (walk-in wardrobe and bedroom), i chose to install these tall black tinted glass doors instead of going for the conventional door. Lesser privacy but doesn't matter since i'm staying alone but i like that it turns almost transparent when i turn on the lights and reveal the insides. In fact, there were a few times i banged into them and had to stuff my head into the pillows cos it was so painful.
As for lighting wise, i opted for track lights with exposed conduit pipes, which was apt for the theme. Also got a standing lamp from Castlery, which i knew immediately i had to get it even before renovation commence. My furnitures were mostly from Castlery or IKEA, with a few pieces from HipVan and FortyTwo. There is this set from IKEA (Fjällbo) which i bought almost every single piece in the collection as it look very industrial and affordable. I've got to say online shopping really changed the way we shop.
1000% matte black bear brick as house warming gift and monstera plant i got from the nursery downstairs.

Oh! I just want to add that the house is smart home integrated and i learned so much through research and realised with the right devices and apps, it's actually quite easy to setup and you probably only need to setup once at the very beginning (unless you add new items) So my lights, air cons, fans, robot vacuum, air purifier etc are all connected to my google home which i can control via voice or through the home app.

With that said, i'm finally done with this blog post which was delayed for a really long time but i'm so glad i completed it and i managed to journey down the process of owning my very first abode.

Signing off,