Good interior design and renovation need not be expensive
This month, we celebrate exactly 15 months of living in our renovated, third-hand condo unit in northwest end of Singapore. It has been overall pleasant living experience with minimal maintenance needed. Here’s how our renovation has been holding up so far:
We wrote about our Korean faux wood flooring a year ago. Maintenance was as easy as promised – water and mop is best. when we first moved in I added a bit of Dettol in our mop water to clean up the renovation dirt, only to realise a few weeks later that the Dettol is probably too strong and caused some discolouration. How did I know? Our mop water turned yellowish, and our floor colour did not appear as dark as before. But it could be my own eyes playing tricks. Anyway, I stopped using Dettol or any other detergents altogether for a more eco-friendly solution: recycled water from the dryer. The discolouration did not get any worse, so I am assuming it works. However, there are some visible gaps developing from where the air con draft is blowing at. I am not certain if this is due to the hot-and-cold air alternating in the area, or simply because it is at a high traffic location (it is near our dining table). It does not bother us so far, and a powerful vacuum cleaner will suck out any dirt stuck in there. If the gap develops further I may decide to cover it up with clear silicon or wood putty.
Paper Kitchen Countertop
Our composite paper countertop from KompacPlus is still working and looking like new. Maintenance was minimal – a soap and water wipe down every evening is all that is needed. In fact I am not so diligent, so sometimes there are small puddles around the sink area that I let stand overnight and no harm’s done. There are no water marks and no seepage, not even around the sink area. Occasionally, I will place a hot pot or bowl from the stove on the countertop for a few seconds to change my hand position for a better grip and there has been no burnt marks or cracking. I couldn’t be any happier with it. In fact, we are so satisfied that we are going to include KompacPlus in our extended laundry area too! More about that in Renovation 2.0.
Green Grass Feature Wall
It is still one of the best decisions we have ever made – to cover two large walls with artificial grass. Never fails to amaze any guests walking in, and definitely a conversation starter. The glue and nails are still holding the heavy turf well, no signs of wear or tear, despite much abuse from my kids. There is some very slight peeling away from the wall at the sides where there is heavy human traffic but it can be fixed easily with some glue.
Other than our grass wall, our Artemis fan is the next most talked about item in our apartment. It remains a beauty to every beholder. It works just as well as when it was first installed. It is a silent workhorse. We will turn it on sometimes up to 10 hours a day (on very hot and humid days) and it still remains as silent as a grand dame. No whooshing or squeaking sounds. It just works!
We wrote about changing the positions of our toilet bowls and what a challenge that was. One year on and it has not given us any problems so far. There is the occasional toilet smell on very muggy days when the air is stale and the afternoon sun shines into our bedroom. On those days, I just keep a fan blowing directly into the toilet and the smells dissipate immediately.
We were happy enough with the end results and decided it is about time to start our next renovation project! What, another renovation????? Yes, we decided we need more storage space to hide the clutter (although there isn’t much now) and make use of the laundry area that we created from knocking down the maid’s room. There is also that pipe rack that I always wanted in our bedroom but just couldn’t find a suitable size. We decided to get our semi-retired carpenter friend to build one for us. So watch out for our next few posts on how we are getting along with the new project.