Good interior design and renovation need not be expensive
The usual refrain goes like this from concerned, well-meaning friends.
“How did you survive without a television set at home?”
“How do you entertain your kids and keep them quiet?”
“How are you going to catch the latest Game of whatever episode?”
“What else can you possibly do at home if you can’t stone in front of a TV?”
It evolved from our years of staying in China. TV programmes back then were just plain boring – it’s either stone-faced newscasters glorifying Party members from dawn to dusk, or some war stories demonising the Japanese. There were plenty of pirated DVDs though, so we kept ourselves sufficiently entertained. Then came our first baby in 2008 and there wasn’t enough time to sleep, let alone watch DVDs. By this time, technology has advanced enough such that YouKu (not YouTube – that’s banned in China) were showing everything from Gossip Girl to The Voice on their sites – in English and all legitimate, so I don’t even have to buy pirated DVDs anymore. Our TV set (we did have one then) was gathering thick layers of dust by the day, while my MacBook became my new entertainment provider. Before we knew it, we have lived without turning on our TV set for more than six years, and still counting.
But watching anything from a 17″ laptop screen isn’t communal at all, so we bought a portable projector in place of a TV set when we moved into our newly renovated apartment last year. The Wifi-enabled Philips PicoPix gives us the equivalent of a 52″ wide image when beamed on a white wall about 2-4 metres away. The further we go the bigger the image, without any drop in image quality and clarity.
To get better sound quality, we plugged a portable Yamaha PDX-11 speaker into it. It’s surreal. It feels like watching YouTube in the cinemas.
Sometimes when we feel like watching something from our bed, we just plug in the PicoPix and speaker and we’re ready to chill. When not in use, the PicoPix is tucked snugly back into its protective case that takes up less space than a Harry Potter book in our book case.
Without a TV set taking centre stage in our living room (or any rooms), we freed up plenty of space for children to run and tumble as much as they like.
Our seven-year-old has grown up without TV as a time filler. She has never been bored to tears. Hubby has built up a cache of bookmarks with best soccer and basketball games shown real time. I am reading and writing a lot more now. There is of course the Internet if I ever need to binge watch some series.
So life goes on without a TV set pretty well. You may well be surprised, as I am, how much more time we actually have at hand to do the things we really enjoy, other than watching TV.