Monday 10 October 2016

Our First Home (4): Dining Room & Balcony

Our dining room and balcony are at the centre of the house and it's often the first thing that our visitors see when they walk into our house. Hence, we wanted to make sure that it is pretty =)



The ceiling and walls had old school colonial style accents which we didn't like so we had to get rid of them.

How the dining room looked when the previous owner still lived in it

I have always wanted to install boxes onto the wall to create a feature wall where I can store stuff (if you are observant, everything in my house serves a storage function =P).

Empty wall before renovation

I got wall box shelves from IKEA during their IKEA family sale and drew a simple sketch of what I wanted for our ID to install.

My simple sketch of what I wanted

My ID said that it was a headache installing this and I have to say, they did an awesome job!

Work in progress
(photo sent to me from my ID)


We loved the final outcome! =)

The decorations were mostly bought from overseas and our table and 4 chairs were from Nova while our bench was from Star Living. By luck we managed to find a bench that matches our chairs perfectly =)

Simple dining room with small feature wall

Part of our feature wall houses the hubby's mini bar: i.e. wine chiller, alcohol, glasses and various tools for making alcoholic drinks.

His wine chiller (left) and his cocktail-making ingredients and tools (right)

The husband has always been crazy about alcohol so having his own collection of red wine, white wine, volka, gin, beer, etc in our house has been his dream. If we lived in countries with land such as Australia or New Zealand, we would definitely have a wine cellar in our house. But since we don't, this will have to suffice for now.

We serve so many drinks in our house that we had to come up with a menu so that we don't have to repeat it to guests each time we host them!

Left: The actual printed menu (I will be making changes to how it looks so that it's easier to add/ make changes);
Right: Lee's House Special Cocktail created by the hubby

The dining room to me is a place where people gather to fellowship over food and drinks. Hence, it must look welcoming and be comfortable for people to sit and relax for a longer period of time. Hopefully we managed to achieve this =)



The hubby has always wanted a fully functioning balcony where he can chill, sip his wine and listen to the sound of waterfalls. It was one of the reasons why we chose to buy a 5-room flat.

The balcony and dining room before renovation
Completely open concept, with sliding doors and no windows
(the plants in the balcony was even home to some birds!)

The previous owner did not make any changes to the balcony and left it open with sliding doors to close off the balcony when needed.


We wanted the dining room to flow nicely into the balcony so we decided to remove the sliding doors and install full windows and grills. Due to the amount of work needed to make the balcony the way we liked it, it was the second biggest transformation of our house after the kitchen.

In the progress of renovation, with all the tiles and grills stripped bare
Left: After laying of the floor tile and installation of panels for the bottom grills;
Right: Installed this right cute light to give a more outdoor feel (even though it is going to be indoors)

As mentioned, the grills at the bottom near the floor cannot be removed due to HDB regulations hence, we had to install panels to close and hide it. You can choose to install sliding windows that can open but we thought it didn't make sense as we won't ever use it.

Close up of the bottom panels and floor tiles

The floor tiles are ceramic but made to look like wood, which was good because this FTWM will not have time to maintain things like "vulnerable" flooring.

You might be wondering why the windows and grills were not installed together with the panels and why the hand railing was not removed (even though HDB allows the removal of the hand railing). Well, it turns out that our ID forgot to apply for the license to remove the hand railing so by the time he did, it was almost 3-4 weeks before our windows and grills could finally be installed in our balcony. This meant that our house was open to birds and rain for the first half of our renovation period (which was 4 months long) since there were no windows to prevent them from entering. It irked me a lot but well, at least I didn't find birds nesting in our cabinets (>_<).

You can imagine how happy I was when our windows and grills were finally installed in the balcony.

The hubby and I have always wanted a mini urban garden in our home so making a trip to Far East Flora to get some plants for our balcony was a must for us.

Bought a bamboo plant shelf from Qoo10 to house our growing garden as well as raise the plants closer to the window for more sunlight

And if this was not enough, we also bought a 4-level shelf from IKEA. And with that, our urban garden was complete.

The final look of our balcony

With the water fountain running at side, it is a really nice and relaxing place to chill and read a book. Definitely a good corner for praying as well =)

Our home is finally coming together the way we want it =)


This post is part of my series on Our First Home where I'll share our renovation and home decoration ideas and review our renovation company and various vendors.

Join us on our journey as we make a house our home =)

You can also follow me on Instagram via the hashtag #houseofkmjj! =)
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