I’m so happy. It’s been a year since we renovated the house and finally, the kitchen is complete. Truly complete! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE!
We have a mustard yellow wall in the kitchen. The plan was to hang up some pictures and shelves with an aluminium table underneath for dry working space.
For more than a year, all that materialised was only the aluminium table. The shelves and pictures lied around collecting dusts. We never found time.
# – The aluminium table.
Actually I have a lot of storage space in the kitchen thanks to the cabinets, but I refrained from storing my baking supplies behind the closed cabinet doors because:
1. I will actually forget where things are and will get frustrated searching for them. /scatterbrained
2. Out of sight, out of mind…baking supplies will expire before I bake anything!
So, I just arranged them on the table (see picture above). The downside, working on the table became very inconvenient as flours & sugars etc get trapped behind the containers.
As time passed, I’d also started to put more and more things on the table, such as the knives & kitchen scale which I want stored away from moisture yet still accessible. My work space shrunk even more.
Just few days ago I totally burnt my arm trying to maneuver a massive freshly baked chocolate salted caramel tart because I didn’t have sufficient space bla bla bla long story. I realised I could take no more.
Mission: to install shelves and hang the pictures!
# – Hubs screwing in the final screw to the first shelf.
# – Then the second shelf.
# – Install some hooks on the lower shelf too for hanging bananas or drying out a Peking Duck :D
# – I slowly moved all my recipe books from upstairs to the kitchen.
# – The pictures, which we bought from Cambodia and did not see the light of day since 2006 finally hung, framing the shelves. My recipe books are now home and my baking supplies are still accessible without eating up my workspace!
We’re in the midst of shopping for furniture these few weeks. I don’t know if it’s just me, but do you find you find the space of your home much bigger than it really is?? Probably because an empty house can play tricks with your eyes. For instance, I almost bought a kitchen sink that was too big but thankfully my contractor managed to talk me out of it by measuring the actual allocated space right before my eyes.
Since the kitchen sink incident, I’ve been very cautious about the size of each furniture. I might find myself liking a certain design but the size may not fit. Or, the size may fit but I don’t like the design. I suppose all these problems could be solved by buying customised furniture but they also cost A BOMB, so naturally that’s out of the consideration.
Buying a sofa in particular, has been quite stressful. The BF is 6’5″ so it’s not easy to find a sofa that fits His Royal Burliness. After searching for a few weeks, we finally found The One. It’s perfect in terms of design, comfort and size (for BF) but at the back of my head, I was worried it might be a bit too big for our living room.
So, instead of paying for the sofa (which we very wanted to do so), we decided to measure the living room our new place first. I guess I could have made real size cutouts with papers for the sofas (like what I did with my toilet bowls and toilet sinks) but it’s too tedious for objects of such size.
I’ve also seen some interior design blogs that used masking tape to trace the outline of their soft furnishing. I really think that’s brilliant but our house is too messy now for that kind of work though.
# – Using masking tape to trace outline of furniture/decorations.
I gave up trying to draw a scaled down plan of the living room because calculating all the measurements was more tedious than I had imagined. In the end, I turned to Google SketchUp. I used to play with SketchUp at my previous job as it allowed me to design the setup of roadshows or launches.
The best part about SketchUp is the MASSIVE library of components at your disposal. As long as you’re not anal about having an object looking a specific way, SketchUp is perfect. You can use a component in its original state or you can resize, rotate or even change its colours. There’s a user friendly component search function integrated in SketchUp. If you can use Google Search, you can definitely find the component you want.
By the way, you can read about my adventures in kitchen designing in this post. Funnily, I wasn’t such a big fan of SketchUp because I was too lazy to learn how to use the measuring tape :P
I recommend watching some tutorial videos of Google SketchUp before embarking on any project, because it can be very time consuming trying to figure out the correct workflow and which button is for which function. Once you’ve grasped some basic knowledge of the tools though, it will become very easy. I mean, I am not a design student but I find it quite easy to use SketchUp.
# – A video on Google SketchUp for beginner.
So anyway, I drew my living room space, found a sofa component that look closest to the sofa we like, resized it to the measurements we got from the sofa seller, positioned the sofas in the virtual living room, added a TV on the wall and threw in a TV cabinet for good measure.
Thanks to SketchUp, me and the BF have mutually agreed to ditch the 2 seater and just buy one 3 seater. I mean look at this:
# – With 2+3 Seaters. Space is cramped and possibility of having to jump over the sofa everytime I need to sit is high. And don’t forget about tables!
By the way, notice the dimensions in the pictures? It’s so cool! You can easily draw the dimensions and for me it’s a wonderful assurance that I haven’t screwed up the measurements.
# – With only the 3 seater. Much more space. Sorry guests, you have to sit on the floor, wu wu wu.
Well, you may wonder what was I thinking by putting carpet print on a TV cabinet. Well it’s just for fun la! These pictures do not really show the design or colours of my living room. I’m being a little mysterious until everything’s done.
Will put the actual 3D plan next to pictures of the actual room for comparison once it’s all done ;)
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!