House Renovation Update #5 – Bathroom tiles are done and kitchen dilemma.

All 3 bathrooms in the new house have been tiled. The last time I saw them, only the walls were on but now with the floors completed too, we can confirm that our choice of tiles are spot-on.

It’s quite scary at first because without a 3D-render (we’re operating on shoe-string budget here), the design may look good in our heads but might turn out bad in real life. So we’re really relieved that the bathrooms are looking exactly how we want them to be and better :D

Some pictures of our master bathroom:

# – ST is happy because he won’t hit the ceiling washing his head anymore.

# – I’m just happy that I don’t need to shower over a damn toilet bowl now.

Next thing to choose will be the sanitary-ware. We went to Houz Depot last week and was shocked at the sheer amount of things selling there. From tiles to various kinds of floorings to lightings to paint to furnitures and down to the smallest knick-knacks. The stuff sold there are mid-range to high-end brands at considerably lower prices.

Have heard comments that Houz Depot is considered a poor man’s Ikea, but I beg to differ as that place stocks items from various brands, many which definitely have better quality than Ikea’s overpriced proprietary stuff. I suspect they’re able to sell them at such prices due to bulk purchasing but then again I haven’t found out the costs of installation and delivery yet, so it may not be that cheap when all are added up. That said, it’s a great place to see everything all at once and to compare prices. We’ll probably be choosing something from their range of toilet cabinets and sanitary-wares.

Now that the bathrooms are almost done, the next thing to worry about now is the kitchen. For the life of me, I can’t decide on what to do! Even the wiring is not done yet because I can’t decide on where to put the built-in oven and whether to make space for a dishwasher machine. A good friend who is a kitchen designer is helping us but being the fickle minded monster that is me, I still can’t decide. And it’s all because I can’t decide what tiles to put in yet. I love a cosy with a tinge of industrial look to my kitchen but I’m afraid of turning the house into looking like a factory.

And then there’s this issue about the hob that’s been bothering me to no end. We’ve been visiting countless kitchen and electrical shops and all I’ve been seeing so far only have a maximum of 3 burners. But I want 4 or more!!! I know I’m not cooking for a party of 16 everyday but there’s just something about being able to boil, warm, steam and stir-fried all at the same time that really turns me on.

I mean, just check this monster out…..

# – 5 burners with cast iron grids. I’m creaming my pants!!!!!!111

But guess what, they don’t sell it in Malaysia :(

So what to do…I have to continue seeking for my one true hob. Wish me luck!

Great Free Kitchen Design Planning Software

I find myself at a dead-end whenever I try to figure out what I want to do with my new kitchen. I mean, I have a general feeling and idea of what I want: industrial, heavy duty and still cosy but for the life of me, I’m not able to find any remotely close inspirational pictures on Google images. I guess it’s not easy…how the heck do you combine industrial and “still cosy” together aye? I know -_-

So I searched around the Internet for a software that allows me to design a kitchen without needing to know any 3D rendering skill. The most popular one seems to be the one from Ikea, but I found the kitchen planning tool limited and the 3D render not so impressive. I’ve also tried Google SketchUp before. Well, it’s not for the fainthearted as you’d end up with a gigantic fridge and a oven fit for the use of an ant. Crazy ratios -_-

After searching around more, I landed on a website called Free Kitchen Design Software. To be honest, I was very skeptical because of how the website looks like. It’s dated and looks more like a spam site then a genuine website. The URL alone screams spam central. I don’t know what possessed me but I thought I’d give it a try and I’m glad I did.

What I found far exceeded my expectations!!!

#1 – You can customise the size of your space, number of windows, doors and their positions.

#2 – Then you can drag all the wall cabinets, floor cabinets, appliances and other things onto the 2D plan of your kitchen.

#3 – You can also customise the colours of almost everything including cabinet handles, floor finishes, wall finish, cabinet material, worktop material etc. It’s awesomesauce to the max!

#4 – You can only drag the objects onto the 2D plan but you can view the results in 3D. This is my favourite part of the software :)

Think the colours are a bit depressing eh? No problem! Just click the Design button and fix it there.

#5 – Wooden cabinets for a fresher look. You can also rotate the 3D render to view it from a different perspective.

You see what I mean by how versatile this software is? It is also very stable, unlike the Ikea kitchen planning tool which have a tendency to hang on my computer. That said, there are still several things that I feel are lacking on it, primarily the objects. I want wall cabinets that suspend from ceilings as well as aluminum shelves, which they don’t have. I don’t like the gap between ceiling and cabinets cause it’s gateway to dusty-ville.

So, while I can kind of visualise more accurately how my kitchen will look like with this application, it’s still not 100%. I’m leaving that to a good friend who is a kitchen designer. Happy kitchen planning!