Finding the Perfect Bathroom Wall Sconce

I don’t know how many of you share the same woes as I do, trying to find the perfect bathroom wall sconce. After visiting the light shops in Balestier, Jalan Besar, and some one off lighting shops, I was still gravely disappointed at the options available.

I have come to the conclusion that because it’s just not the trend now, none of these shops are going to risk bringing in stock of something people are not likely to get. The current home lighting trend is concealed lighting, industrial, Scandinavian-style, minimalist, vintage old school…people don’t usually want wall sconces in their bathrooms.

To me, the choice of furniture and lighting speaks volumes, not just reflecting the style of the home, but also the owner’s taste. Warmth and coziness is created through these subtle additions. If everything is so concealed, it will be too cold for my lighting.

Looking at these pictures, you will see what I mean. For me, they drive home the fact that with the right light sconce, it adds to the style and ambience.

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《唐山到南洋》:i-周刊的拍摄

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我们在福建永定拍了i-周刊的封面,给我留下难得的回忆。很少可以那么自在地拍封面,是因为这次是以自己已经非常熟悉的造型出现呢,还是因为现在的我对于拍照已有不一样的见解 -- 或许两者都有吧!

记得拍摄那天我们准备了2套衣服,当天没有拍戏通告,只是得录个制作花絮的访问。因为地点的关系,我们大家就一同行。花絮的团队和i-周刊的团队都很体谅彼此需要完成的任务。我喜欢这样的工作安排,不用从一个地点赶到另一个地点,没有时间的压力就可以专心的完成工作。这也是对于工作,还有涉及完成这份工作的伙伴们的一种尊重。

i-周刊的团队就只有摄影师和记者两个人,我们就跟着摄影师,一边看风景,一边拍照,整个过程很随意,很轻松。有时候我们拍照要穿一些高档服装,带一些首饰,或是做某一个特别时尚的造型,这些其实都成了无形的负担。这次我没有这样的装扮,很自在,很开心,所以很多时候都不感觉镜头的存在,纯粹就是感受这个异乡给我的感觉。还有,身边的一切成为了我们拍照的布景和道具,没有特别设计,只是最真诚地对待。

在拍我的个人照时,来了个“伴儿”。。。

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这只狗很亲切,很喜欢咬我,也不是真正的咬,就是在跟我玩吧。。。本来我很担心会感染什么细菌,但是它无邪打动了我。它就是想要人疼,想要人爱 --

其实我们大家不都想要人疼,想要人爱吗?

有时候我们会因为某个人或某样东西的外表,有了先入为主,但是真正接触了之后才发现,原来我们对于别人的判断,正反映了自己缺乏了宽阔的心胸。

My Kitchen+Bathroom Therapy

Kitchen and bathrooms in any home has got to be the most heavily used areas and sometime the worst maintained. That is why I was a little anal when I took over my apartment. I may not cook often, but I still find myself spending quite a lot of time in the kitchen, doing dishes, preparing food, so it was important that the kitchen was a clean slate.

Now I wanted to give the kitchen a fresh look without spending too much money. The space didn’t allow for very innovative layout so it didn’t make sense for me to tear down the kitchen, and besides the existing structure wasn’t too bad. It just wasn’t new.

I turned to Apartment Therapy to see Before & After projects of kitchen remodelling and felt so inspired by some of their projects.

Here’s one that I really like:

AT1This went from dark and cramped to light and cozy.

This other one went from traditional and a little dated to something more inviting and modern:

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Overseas remodelling projects can be so inspiring because of the resources they have. When I was in the US, I spent hours in Home Depot and Lowes just trying to see what sort of home improvement materials they have. It is so cheap to do so too!

Here in Singapore, building materials are expensive and resources limited, anyone who has attempted renovation would know it is more often than not a tedious and cost-intensive process.

For my kitchen, I didn’t want to wreck my brains at coming up with a brand new design. I didn’t have the time to commit to choosing new tiles, counter top, cabinet finish, kitchen layout and system because I was filming non-stop and spent a good amount of time overseas. Even if I did have the time, I didn’t want the kitchens and bathrooms to look drastically different from the rest of the apartment.

So when I found out from a friend  that there was a spray-paint technique of giving old tiles a new look, I jumped at it.

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I went with a darker floor for a more elegant look. There were a few colours and finishes to choose from, but I eventually decided to go with a minimalist look — white & grey.

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cabinetsOther than my kitchen, I also cleaned up my bathrooms.

There was a bit of work done to my utility bathroom even though it looks like a simple job. Everything was refurbished without having to be replaced.

My toilet bowl, sink, walls and tiles were resprayed. The best part was there was no hacking or drilling done.

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The people from Chiaki Worldwide were very helpful as they advised me to use a rough paint finish for the walls of my utility bathroom because there were cracks and the rough finish would cover the cracks better. They did warn me that it may not hide the cracks completely.

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sinkThere were also hairline cracks in the sink before, but they were fully concealed after the job.

bathtubThe technique could also hide the chip in my bathtub and I was pleasantly surprised. If I had to replace the bathtub, it would have been so costly and troublesome!

I find that a little goes a long way and makes a huge difference to how it looks. It isn’t a major transformation, but this technique has allowed me to have a new kitchen and bathrooms without the headache of a major renovation.

A Voyage: The Zhang Siblings Part 1

Behind every cover shoot, are the pictures that never made it to press…
每个封面故事背后,都有不为人知的幕后花絮。。。
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Things usually start out quite peaceful between the siblings…

两个人一开始都乖乖的。。。
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The older brother who thinks he can get away by acting cute…

到底谁是哥哥呀???

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The sun was merciless…

是热到。。。

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And the siblings start to go at each other…

哥哥的庐山真面目。。。

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No letting up…

还不罢休。。。

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And the ending is…

最后结局。。。

 

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Goodbye Christmas

This year is moving along so quickly. I just had to find time to take down my Christmas decorations and get ready for the Year of the Horse.

Have you taken down your Christmas tree yet?

I love the whimsical nature of my Hallmark vintage ornaments, but till the next Christmas, they shall all go into hibernation now.

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The Strawberry Judgement

I’m a huge advocate of having fruit before meal, so I make sure my fridge is always stocked up with strawberries, blueberries and salad leaves. As a result I am quite experienced when it comes to choosing strawberries.

The other day I was at the supermarket picking out fresh cherries when I overheard two ladies passing judgement on the Korean strawberries that is next to the pile of cherries.

One of them claims that because of the lighter colour of the Korean strawberries, they must be very sour and not so sweet. The other confirms it by saying that the Australian strawberries are of a deeper red and will be more sweet.

I have purchased both types of strawberries myself and here is my experience.

Australia and NZ strawberries are indeed of a deeper red colour and more expensive. But they are not necessarily sweeter. In fact, some of them are quite tasteless. Their shelf life is also shorter.

The Korean strawberries, have a sweet smell, can sometimes look pink and cost less. But they taste sweeter and last longer in the fridge.

I am not advocating strawberries from a particular country, I just realised that when people judge a book by its cover, fruits by their colour, it is not always the most accurate indicator of what they really are inside.

If you are willing to give anything a chance, you might just overcome your prejudices and learn something new in the process.

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The 2014 Resolution

On the first day of 2014, I’ve made some changes to my blog to start afresh and kickstart my new year resolution, which is to read and write more. Sounds like something so easy, yet I have found no time for it in 2013. The last book I read was 2 months ago — “The Glass Castle”; my last blog entry was 12 months ago. It’s been too long.

As I try to pen the first entry for the new year, a lot of words are no longer coming to mind. It worries me that I have gotten so used to expressing myself with pictures that my mind has become lazy. I hope to change that in 2014.

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