Good interior design and renovation need not be expensive

To market to market to buy some beige tiles?

When we first walked into tile market, Soon Bee Huat at 3A Toh Guan Road East, my eyes were met by rows and rows of ceramic and stone tiles of all colours and shades. To an untrained eye, it’s like a shock to the body system – a nice shock for me. I was like a little girl walking into Charlie’s chocolate factory – dazzled, blinded, and yes, definitely overwhelmed.

Besides the wide selection, what’s most interesting are the conversations I’ve been accidentally eavesdropping on. You see, we were probably the only ones without an interior designer or contractor alongside. Most common exchange went like this:

Middle-aged couple customer: Eh… this is not bad leh, very bright and nice, can we have it for the bathroom wall?

Contractor: Er… no, I think this colour not suitable for you, too bright. I recommend this one (picks up a bland, beige tile). Tis one, sure suit you one, and easy to clean.

A few young couples were viewing tiles there with their contractors/IDs too. And their conversations went like this:

Young couple customer (wife to husband):  I like the mosaic, so colourful. Can we have it for the bathroom?

Husband to wife: Sure sure, anything you like, I’ll do it for you (gives a tight hug).

Contractor: Er… no, I think this colour not suitable for you, too bright. I recommend this one (picks up a bland, beige tile). Tis one, sure suit you one, and easy to clean.

It was puzzling, to say the least. Singaporeth IDs and contractors seem to think their customers should only have beige tiles. My conclusion is, the IDs/contractors are in some cahoots to make sure Singaporeans only buy beige tiles – some big honchos must be controlling the supply of beige tiles and need this constant demand.

My resolution – I will not have a single, beige tile in my apartment.

Am glad I don’t have an ID/contractor with me when I was choosing tiles, or I’ll have to fend off their cajoling to contribute to Singapore’s consistently high demand for beige tiles. Seeing all the beautiful assortment of tiles set me thinking about the kind of look I want to achieve for the three most important areas in our new apartment – the kitchen and the two bathrooms. I’ll start with the bathrooms:

Kids bathroom

It will be a Lego wonderland in here! Base colour of white tiles for the wall and anti-slip black tiles for the floor, will be juxtaposed with neon yellow, blue and red, 30×60 cm tiles, simulating our children’s Lego set. They will have a wall-mounted white ceramic basin sitting on a stainless steel cabinet as a vanity set, but to continue the theme of Lego Wonderland I will stick real, Lego bricks to the cabinet doors.  The door leading into the kids bathroom will be set to sit at flushed levels with the wall. On the side of the door facing the hallway, I will stick synthetic grass tiles (I found these at one of those landscaping companies). There will not be any door knob from the outside – so you will have to look in the “grass” to find where the hidden door is. Push it, and you’ll enter into a brightly coloured Lego Wonderland. I thought a life size Lego shower faucet and a Lego toilet bowl will be so fun, but I don’t think I can buy these from anywhere. Nonetheless, if I get this done, Lego should pay me millions for my ingenious engineering idea!

Not quite the same, but this Lego themed bedroom is quite close to what I will do for the bathroom.

Master bathroom

Our master bathroom will be the complete opposite to the kids bathroom. It will carry a black and gold theme, oozing with lots of character offering quick snaps of solitude for yours truly when the kids have finally gone to bed. Black floor tiles will be met with polished, grey tiles with patterned markings like those of washed leather. Spot lights at the shower area and hidden fluorescent lamps behind a 1.5 meter long mirror with thick, gold wooden frames, will provide lighting for the dark overtones. Two bronze sinks with vintage brass shower heads and taps will complement the gold-framed mirror. The toilet bowl will be black, to go with the floor colour. To avoid falling into the hole when I stumble into the toilet at night, a wall mount storage cabinet above the toilet bowl will be flanked with two hidden fluorescent lights, so there’s no mistaking the floor for the hole. (Big hint to hubby – keep your pee in the hole!) If this is not enough to illuminate the room, I will move the existing chandelier from the dining room (it was left over by the previous owner) to our toilet. It’s a pretty heavy piece but it will go so well with the brass and gold. One of the bathroom walls adjourning our bedroom will be knocked down and replaced with a frosted glass wall to let in some natural daylight. If we still have any spare budget, I will tear down the existing wooden door and replace it with sliding glass door. Otherwise, an “open” bathroom without any doors will be nice too. When this bathroom is done, I will want to stay in there forever and forever.

My concept for this bathroom is probably too radical – I haven’t found one on Houzz or any of those websites with nicely done up bathrooms to show you how it may look like. So you’ll just have to wait for me to get this done and post pictures of it later!

2 comments on “To market to market to buy some beige tiles?

  1. aileen
    December 6, 2014

    Will you be sharing a picture of how the lego bathroom turned out?


    • budgetreno
      December 10, 2014

      Hi Aileen, yes we will be posting something on the bathroom. In the US now for holiday and getting a tad too slow in updating the blog. Stay posted!


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This entry was posted on February 19, 2014 by in Bathroom and tagged , , .
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