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.
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:
This 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:
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.
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.
Other 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.
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.
There were also hairline cracks in the sink before, but they were fully concealed after the job.
The 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.
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.
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.