Good interior design and renovation need not be expensive

Renovation 2.0

A builder’s wife was overheard saying to another, “I feel like I have been living among ruins. My husband builds something up, then tears it down the next day to re-model all over again.”

Yeah, that is exactly how my husband feels, with roles reversed. Yes, our apartment has officially completed its renovation a year ago, only I feel it is never done. Somehow, somewhere, something needs to be improved.

So here we are, one year into living in this space we call home, I am listing down all the “problem” areas that will be addressed in what I call, Renovation 2.0

Problem area 1:

The living room has no air conditioner and we get the afternoon sun from April – September, that’s a good half of the year. We were baked and roasted enough to now acknowledge we need an air conditioner. However, the condo management has strict rules about locating the compressor only on the compressor ledge, which sits just outside our study room window, a good 20 ft or more from our living room. I am not prepared to have air conditioner pipes running all over our low living room ceiling, so I have a dilemma here. Put up with the heat or risk bumping our heads against a low ceiling.


Watching sunset from our balcony gives me a sense of serendipity, except it comes with an oven-hot living room as well.

Problem area 2:

Our laundry area is adjoined to our kitchen. There is no partition between the cooking area and the laundry area so our clean laundry hung up to dry sometimes smell of smoked bacon when I am in a particular culinary mood. There is also a big grey electrical circuit box that is such an eye sore, I had to hide it before I gorge my eyes out one day.


The highly undesirable, uninspiring laundry area – BEFORE Renovation 2.0. See that ugly grey electrical box on the right? Gorge my eyes out please……

Problem area 3:

Since we knocked down pretty much every wall there was in our previously convoluted kitchen to make it into an airy, entertainment-friendly space, we effectively removed the only storage room there was in our apartment. And of course, junk and clutter naturally migrated to whatever room not frequently occupied – the study/guest room. Until one day, a very good friend from Beijing announced that she’s coming to stay with us for a few weeks and I panicked! Where am I going to put all those stuff? Then came the idea to carve some space out from our spacious living room for an in-built storage cupboard, and solve that problem once and for all.

Kitchen before completion

How do I even begin to describe this mess that needs to go somewhere else other than our guest room?

Problem area 4:

I have never lived with a closet that has anything less than 2 doors – for myself. And yet for the last 12 months, I had to put up with a two-door closet in our master bedroom that housed my husband’s clothes, my clothes, and a big stash of winter clothes we brought back from Beijing for that one-day-we-might-need-it-again winter holiday. And so I resorted to wearing any piece that is wrinkle free and limiting myself to a five-piece wardrobe rotated on a Monday-Friday schedule. It was dreadful and I am determined to regain control of my wardrobe again.


Why can’t my wardrobe ever look like that?

Having listed these “problem” area in my mind and plucked a figure from the sky (“$10,000 should be ’nuff”), I presented to my hubby, whose reaction is like that builder’s wife.


Please tell me this is not happening again!?!?!? 

But like that builder, I can’t resist it. So stick with me as I cover our Renovation 2.0 adventure in the next few posts.




2 comments on “Renovation 2.0

  1. Any updates on this renovation project? I can totally relate to your problem with regard to storage. It is a very common issue among homeowners. Addition is a good solution for that, but it is easier said than done. Having a suitable storage space should be addressed in the interim before doing any renovation project.


    • budgetreno
      November 16, 2016

      I agree. Unfortunately the renovation took much longer than we expected. It is just only getting completed now. I am putting together an update and will post it soon.


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This entry was posted on December 19, 2015 by in Bedroom, Kitchen, Living Room and tagged , , , .


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