Thursday, September 13, 2012

the Kitchen

source unknown 

So inspired by these that I'm thinking of using black laminates for my kitchen cabinet.

And the layout is so similar to my place. Except that this doesn't have a stupid beam across the kitchen.

Am keeping the original stove cum sink black tiled tops. That sort of restricted my choice for materials. Here's my thought of what would likely look like a good choice.

Laminates from EDL

Are these too strong? I showed this to my contractor and he said, better clear with your mum. Surprisingly, my mum didn't raise any objection. I think she's sick of seeing me staring at the laminate catalogue every night.

Here's one of my kitchen sketches.  

Before I saw the black kitchen, I was thinking of using glossy off white laminates for the doors and frame, while the top will be still be black.


This is probably a safter choice?

Monday, August 27, 2012

More (messy) photos updates

To make something pretty, I guess you have to go through many ugly stages and processes.

After the floor hacking and removal of wires, its the erection of walls.


This is the greatest embarrassment. During the tiles selection stage, contractor recommended these for toilet and bathroom. I double confirmed with him that 30cm by 80cm tiles will look fine for a small space and he assured that they will look good. Two color choices also recommended by him.


When I first saw these, that night, I lost sleep and the following morning I called the contractor for an estimate to remove the tiles and change to smaller tiles. He went down to take a look and said they looked fine and especially easy to clean. In case lighting was bad when I went in the evening, I asked my mum to go down in day time to take a second look, and in the end I decided to just leave it. I showed a colleague who asked about house warming this picture and he suggested to lock up the toilet when guests visit!

Personally, I feel the following tiles look better. I found these at Rice Fields only after I have selected most of the tiles. After the earlier post on tiles selection, I had second thoughts of my living room floor tiles choice and couldn't resist going to Rice Fields.

Would take more photos when I manage to go down during day time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What grout color should I use?

white? light grey? or dark grey for something dramatic?

on a side note, I like this look, dark grout with subway tiles.

image from Apartment Therapy

Unfortunately, my bathroom will look nothing near to this. Will post more photos of my house soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Sofa

Its been 3 weeks since the reno started but progress is really slow. The house is still in an ugly state, raw cement, sand piled up, dust and dirt every where...

Hence, I rather talk about something nicer. Some time ago, I posted here a selection of sofa seats I like. When it comes to really hunting for one to put in my own house, strangely I sought for something rather different. Not that I couldn't find a replica chesterfield with a suitable depth, some how, this design has lost its appeal. Too much leather, and too heavy a look.

The Poeten sofa remains my top favourite, but price wise, its just way out and I believe not available in Singapore. How did something originally designed by Finn Juhl for his personal use became such an expensive item?

The closest style I could find and of reasonable pricing, are the sofas from Room of Woods. But some of the seats aren't quite comfortable for me.

Talking about Room of Woods, I'm going to slowly save some money for an armchair from them. These look so retro and cute!

 photos from Room of Woods

Back to the topic on sofa, you might have guessed by now that mid century post modern is my latest favourite theme. I like the piece below, found in a cafe in Taiwan. 

photo from here

I saw a similar piece at Second Charm and instantly fall in love with it.

photo from Second Charm

Again budget is an issue. Though second hand, its quite pricey (at least to me). But I guess its paying for the tedious restoration work and also getting something vintage...

Then I found this at Oddyssey for only $400 original condition! Doesn't this look familiar? Its almost like the sofa we grew up with. My mum's place still has something similar, but with a bit more frills and carvings. This piece just need a change of cover and some restoration work to cover up some scratches. Not sure if it could look as good as new for a reasonable restoration cost or I could live with some blemishes though. But the simple curves of the frame, matt black finishing... So lovely. (Try to imagine it in a different fabric.) 

photo from Oddyssey

After much consideration and popping by various shops, in the end, I chose a piece I saw earlier at Air. Surprised? Guess I took the easy way out as I do have a few more pieces to restore and not quite sure if I could cope.

picture from Air Furniture

This is quite different, but also a style I like and the depth is just right. Hope I don't regret on the choice of fabric. Took quite some time to decide between dark grey and cherry brown. In the end I settled for cherry brown...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

House update - 31st July 2012

I think the pattern on the right would look nice on cabinet doors, while something equivalent but less colorful would make nice floor tiles for kitchen.

I think these are more peranakan?

I'm inclined to a mix of post modern mid century style, scandinavia and retro style, but when it comes to materials selection, I couldn't really find something along that line and fit my budget at the same time.

What've I actually selected.

I've focused on neutral tones, to the extend of risking being conservative and boring. But I think my greatest nightmare would be to end up with a contemporary style.

If I do not have a budget issue, I would love to get my tiles from Rice. Click here for some nostagic materials.

House update- 1 August 2012

After an amazingly long search, which lasted for 3 years, I settled for an old 3 room flat, which was rather different from what I initially was looking for. Its very old, almost 40 years old, on low floor but a corner unit and is a bit more spacious than units of that age. Hope I don't regret.

Some shots of before renovation.

 from living room

I actually liked the terrazo retro flooring, except that its in rather bad condition.

one of the bedrooms

the ultimate color combination

The kitchen walls are half covered with these blue tiles. Although I like retro stuff, this is really too much.

Now that the search is over, its a series of headache, thinking of layout, selecting contractor, what renovation to be done within limited budget... The thought that things will be simpler if I get a new unit kept crossing my mind.

The renovation officially started 2 days ago, and this is how it looks like on day 3 morning.

War zone

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Light wood

Generally, I prefer dark, rich colored wood furnishings over lighter coloured wood. But this lighter colour tone has been catching my attention recently.

 the Maruni chair. Such simple lines!

Seems like the Japanese minimalist style is also spreading to Europe. Or are these more of Scandinavian style?

 I like the TV console set but will probably stick to white for the background wall.
Bed and TV console from Smootree, a distributor of European furnishings, which by the way, also carries amazing cool space saving designs.

Another beige coloured bed, image from Foundry.

The theme could even be extended to the bathroom.

Something I posted much earlier here, the Axor Bouroullec bathroom.

I think this colour tone looks great with a lot space. Not sure if it would turn out as good in a smaller space. But it seems like the simpler it looks, the higher the price tag.

Here's something more affordable, from Ikea. In fact, I bought a similar table a few years ago and decided not to stain it to retain the very natural look. 

image from Ikea

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Retro kitchen appliances

One of the fridge designs that I like most. Unfortunately, beyond my budget again.

I thought this looks cute too. 

To complete the look, you need Bertazonni's hood and oven. 

Did a google search, yes, the hood and oven are carried by a company in Singapore. Click here for the distributor.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Coffee or tea: 26 May 2012, Starbucks at Rochester

In Hong Kong, there is a Starbucks with interiors modelled after a Hong Kong cafe (click here for the branch); in Singapore, we have one that is housed in colonial black and white house.

I especially like the corridor seats at the second floor.

The next time I come, I will come with a book and of course, a camera.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dining 'set'

Tulip table; Knoll Bertoia Side Chairs; Kartell- Prince AHA Stools

The tulip table has been my 'dream' dining table. With its clean lines and sleek look, its hard to believe that the design date back to 1950s. For Star Trek fans, do you recall the tulip chairs?

The tulip chairs, to go with the tulip table would of course be a more cordinated look, but I thought the wired chairs would create a more interesting look, together with some cute retro looking stools.

Coincidentally, I saw these 2 pics only after I did the board above. These combinations must have registered in my sub-consious mind while browsing through photos of nice interiors.

Some other chairs which I thought should look nice with the Tulip table.

Magis Vanity Chair; Mademoiselle by Kartell

My only issue... is of course, the cost.

Snow white blossoms at Taipei

My latest trip to Taipei, which happens to be the season of Tung blossom. Click here for full post.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Remembering Tokyo Tower

I happened to read online that 22nd May 2012, i.e., today is the last day of operations of Tokyo Tower. The news came as a surprise to me. A few years ago in my visit to Japan, I made a trip to Tokyo Tower, perhaps because of its resemblance to the Eiffel Tower. I have always wanted to go to the Eiffel Tower, but have yet to make it to that part of the world.

Since its opening in 1958, the Tokyo Tower, standing at 333m, has been the world's tallest self-supporting steel tower. The Eiffel Tower in Paris is 320 m high.

I'm still not sure if Tokyo Tower is really closing, since I did a search online, and did not see other news of its closure.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

At Suguo (舒果), a vegetarian chain in Taiwan

On the last night in Taipei, I made my way to Suguo, a vegetarian chain restaurant. Dinner time was packed but fortunately, I could get a table after about 15 minutes wait.

A waitress came with a menu and left me alone for a few minutes to look through. The restuarant only provides an eight course meal and for most of the courses, you get a few dishes to select from. Although I made up my mind of what to have pretty fast, the waitress learning that it was my first time here, went through the menu and selection for different courses in rather great details. Click here for the menu. 

Food was served promptly despite it being a busy night for the restaurant.

 A very refreshing and creative appetiser

It really looked as pretty as the photos in the menu!

 Rosemary bread with a dip
 fruit salad with yogurt dressing

Burdock with cashew nut clear soup, with a natural, sweet taste
By now, I'm actually starting to feel full, although the salad and soup I chose are supposed to be the lighter choices.
main course: mushroom with potato

Even the main course is displayed with such exquisity. Of special mention by the waitress is the little purple pear (on the right), infused with roselle.
These looked too cute to be eaten.

The waitress 'pre-warned' me that as the mushroom was cooked in an Italian floral sauce, it may be too flowery for some. Perhaps this being my favourite type of mushroom, I find the texture and flavour just right. 

Beneath the baked cheese is a mixture of mushroom, tomato and a special type of potato which I can't quite translate (佐洋芋盅). I found this to be very tasty, though I could barely squeeze in more food by now.
 Five-grained fried rice 

Sesame paste, walnuts and pudding

Finally, the last course, Camomile Citron tea

Each course may looked like a small portion, but in totality, it was too much for me, or perhaps I had my lunch too late that day. The very attentive waitresses, who after every few courses, would ask how is the food, shared that generally Taiwanese find the portion, especially the items I chose, to be too small. I thought, Taiwanese must have great appetite. Nevertheless, from appetiser to drink and dessert, the food was generally good in terms of quality, taste, display and often, creativity, and I would say that this is an almost perfect meal. And inexpensively priced at TWD 398 (less than SGD 20), I don't think I can find something similar in Singapore.
Click here for the branches of Suguo.

2014 Update: As mentioned by one of the commenters, Suguo has opened in Singapore, at Raffles City. I've tried almost all the items that are vegan. Will update with another post.