Monday 8 May 2017

Our First Home (8): Our Renovation Journey with NorthWest

We knew from the start that we needed an ID to manage our renovation project because this full-time working mum has no time to deal with more on her plate.

The hubby was in-charge of sourcing for one and after searching various websites and reading several reviews, we came to the conclusion that NorthWest Interior Design was the best in terms of value and quality.

We visited the branch at Trade Hub because it was nearer to our rented house in Clementi. We met an ID randomly and after giving him our house plan, he drew up some rough ideas on what we can do. When we were happy with it, he gave us a quote that we felt was very reasonable. Feeling like he understood what we had wanted, we paid the deposit and made an appointment for him to view the house.

He went through with us on what was feasible and what should be changed in our house. Of top most priority was re-wiring the whole house with new wires and hacking away all the old fixtures that we didn't like.

It started to become more exciting when we got to choose our tiles for the kitchen and balcony and the paint colours for our rooms. I highly enjoyed picking out what I liked although I was out-voted by the hubby and ID a few times on my choice of colourful tiles =(

The hacking was quick but that was about it. Things moved really slowly with this ID and we have had to chase him many times. To the point that the hubby and I jokingly nicknamed him "The Sloth". Having said that, he always delivered with quality workmanship and low price so we had to live with the pace. You know the venn diagram: you can only achieve 2 of 3 outcomes of fast, cheap and good; it's impossible to achieve all 3.

Our ID usually moved faster when we told him our furniture is getting installed on a particular date or that our blinds are coming in 2 weeks. This was because he had to ensure that the corresponding polishing of the floors and installation of windows must be completed before then.

I have to say, the uncle who did the polishing of our marble floors did an extraordinary job. He took two days but the result was a sparkling, almost new floor! The cracks in the marble were also filled and levelled so that our feet can glide easily on the floor. Don't ever make the mistake of covering up a marble floor like we saw in one of the houses we visited while house-hunting! The lack of effort to clean and maintain it is very much welcomed by this very busy full-time working and part-time blogger mum!

If you're crazy about organisation like I am, get a label maker. I label almost everything in the house, especially wires and boxes!

And last but definitely not least, a summary of the transformations that each room had undergone to become the home that we retreated to at the end of every long and tiring day =)

[Renovation Review Summary by Rooms]

[1] Entryway

Our entryway

The entryway was all me of course, with our ID's only contribution being painting the main door grey and the electrical box white.

Click here for my full post on the transformation of our Entryway

[2] Living Room

Our very well-used living room
The other side of my living room

Our ID was more involved in the living room as it had a built-in shoe cabinet and a mini false ceiling. The previous moldings on the wall and ceiling also had to be completely stripped and painted. The shoe cabinet was well done and, at $600+, very value for money.

Our ID didn't particularly fancy my art wall, hinting that it would have looked better if it was 'simple', but I didn't care for his opinion. There was nothing simple or plain-white-walls about me. I live in colour and would have painted my whole house in brighter colours, had I not been vetoed. The art wall was my way of injecting colour back into our house =)

Click here for my full post on the transformation of our Living Room

[3] Storeroom

Our storeroom

There wasn't much that needed to be done for this space except for painting the existing rack and changing the lights.

Click here for my full post on the transformation of our Storeroom

[4] Kitchen

Our Kitchen

More than half of our renovation budget went into our kitchen! Other than the ceiling, everything had to be hacked and built from scratch.

Everything was going well in the kitchen until our fridge was delivered and we realised that it could barely fit into the space that was allocated for it! The company tried to convince us to get a new and smaller fridge, and they'll even pay for it, because rectifying the mistake would cost them more money than a new fridge! However, we knew a small fridge would not be enough for a family of 5 so we had to put our foot down. In the end, they had to hack off part of the cabinets and granite top in order to accommodate our fridge. I think because of losing money from rectifying the mistake, till this day, we're still missing a shelf in the cabinet below our stove. No matter how we chased them, they never came to install it. We have had to live with it since *sigh*

Click here for my full post on the transformation of our Kitchen

[5] Dining Room

Dining room with small feature wall

Although we kept saying our ID wasn't as fast as we would have liked, to be fair he did help us with fixing up our square cabinets that we got from IKEA. It wasn't an easy task at all but our ID and his contractor did a really good job.

Click here for my full post on the transformation of our Dining Room

[6] Craft & Study Room

Our craft / study / multi-purpose room

We didn't do much in the multi-purpose room and kids room because the hubby and I did not like the inflexibility of built-in cabinets.

Click here for my full post on the transformation of our Craft & Study Room

[7] Kids Room

The Kids Room

Click here for my full post on the transformation of our Kids Room

[8] Master Bedroom & Bathroom

Our bedroom
My awesome mini walk-in wardrobe

Have to say, I absolutely love our custom built wardrobe! Costing approximately $1800, it was a good deal! It's definitely one of my favourite parts of the house where I spend every morning and night getting ready =)

Click here for my full post on the transformation of our Master Bedroom

[9] Balcony

Our balcony

Our ID got rid of our ugly sliding doors as we requested and installed new windows and grills. Our balcony has since become our garden, which has tripled in size since the above photo was taken! I'll talk about our garden in my upcoming blog series so watch this space!

Click here for my full post on the transformation of our Balcony

When we finally moved into our home, we heaved a sigh of relief. It was a long, almost 6 months process from the start to finish! Long as it was, or at least it felt long to me, it was worth it. The journey to owning our own home was a significant milestone for us and we praise our Lord Jesus for his blessings! =)

Overall, despite the long time it took and the frustration, we would still recommend NorthWest. The whole renovation only cost us approximately $41000, which is really reasonable. They also do not compromise on quality, which I can attest to. They also provide free installation of additional fixtures and accessories such as wall or ceiling fans, shelves, photo frames, etc. Hence, if you're looking for a reliable company, you can consider ours.

And with that, I conclude my series on our first home. I hope that you have enjoyed it as much as I had writing it =)

<< Back to Our First Home (7): Living Room


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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