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Well it has been a crazy weekend of shopping…and can i just say… I am definitely feeling the pain of swipping my credit card so much.  well…i keep telling myself…”yes it is a hassle checking the statement at the end of the month and writing the cheque…but it does mean that I have gotten some Robinsons points which hopefully converts to a decent saving”.  I am sure there will be stuff that can be purchased for the new home from Robinsons…maybe like King size bed linen when we do save up for a nice king bed.  (The King bed will have to wait due to budget…probably till the end of the year!)

I digress….what did I shop for?  LIGHTS!  Granted a lot of the feature lights I have purchased from Taobao.  And can I just say i am so grateful of all the help I got from forumers when it comes to that.  I saved a bundle!!!  Walking around and seeing the mark up of prices here in Singapore for the exact same light…it is shocking!!  Actually…even Malaysia marked up prices heaps! We explored the option of purchasing lights from Malaysia at one stage cos we read that it is cheaper than Singapore…it is cheaper….but not even close to Taobao prices.  I think i saved about S$1000 on feature lights alone!

So with feature lights sorted for the house, we just needed some simple ceiling lights (for the kitchen), some LED downlights for bathroom, simple lights for the yard, storeroom and walk in pantry.  Oh and of course…T5 lights.  I spent a lot of time going through the forum to glean ideas of where to find lights…and came across some real great gems.  And there’s a story to share…(yes this post is long).

Friday:

Saw these lights at tiong bahru v reasonably priced…if i remember correctly they were under $30…but we didn’t get them in the end.

Straight after work…I dropped by a hardware shop in Tiong Bahru with the intension of just getting the cage lights for the pantry and storeroom.  Thanks to OldSkool for the great contact!  While I was there, I casually enquired the cost of T5 lights seeing as I needed them.  The initial quote was quite high…but I managed to bargain it down to the cheapest market rate i have gleaned from the forum….so I placed an order and we are collecting them this evening!  Woohoo!!  That is a few ticks off our to do list for lights!  We got 30 pieces of the T5 lights at a great price.  ($15 each!)

Saturday:

This was a crazy packed day.  We had no idea what we should purchase for the kitchen.  We requirements were:  Something white and simple so that it will blend into the ceiling…that way…the feature in the kitchen will still be the campbells lights hanging at the kitchen island.  The light also had to be BRIGHT…cos we cook a lot and it is essential that we can see what we are cooking, and we can tell done-ness.

We are not white light people…we actually like warm lights…so only the kitchen will have white light, and they will only be turned on when we cook.  We plan to have T5 lights below our uppper kitchen cabinets.  That is what will use when we are not cooking.

Our first stop was LightCraft.  Our IDers shared that LightCraft isn’t the cheapest but it is the best place to go for some advice when we are light shopping.  Armed with our floor plan, the guy that served us was most helpful.  One of the choices that our IDers suggested from LightCraft (as a suggestion so that we know what to look for when we go somewhere else to purchase) was super expensive…it was $400+ each…that would have made the cost of lights over $1,200…which our IDers screamed “too expensive!  NO”  Love it!  They are totally mindful of our budget.  So after a long consult with the LightCraft guy, we trooped down to Jln Besar to have a browse.

We needed not just simple kitchen lights, we also needed tracklights, LED downlights and ceiling fans…all these needed to be sorted on that day itself.  Or else we would have a crazy Sunday!

From the forum, I gleaned that the cheapest place to purchase LED downlights was Kim Siah Electric at Jln Besar.  So that was our first destination.  We got our 12w concealed LED downlights from there at $46 per piece.  I am not sure if it is the cheapest…but I just wanna share so it is easy for others to compare prices.

Then we trooped down to i-light to purchase our relite petite ceiling fans.  Again, this was gleaned from the forums, and I knew roughly how much they should cost.   In the end, we got the four petites for about $149 (and a couple of cents) each with GST included.  This involved some bargaining.  Initially it was $149 before GST.  FYI…relite petite fans are supposedly out of stock islandwide.  The expected shipment is second week of September.  Fingers crossed the date doesn’t get pushed back further.

While we were at i-lite, we decided to have a snoop around at the track lights they had available.  Can I say after pounding the streets of Jln Besar, they seem to have the most variety of tracklights available for shoppers to choose from.  For Jln Besar that is.  The tracklights that caught our eye were the ones with the built in driver (i think that is what are called).  They just don’t look as clunky.  But the sleek look came with a very “pretty” price…so we had to forgo purchasing them.  And continue searching for tracklights.

We walked further down and found lighting.com.sg.  They didn’t have that many options of tracklights.  And if you need 1.5m (which is what we needed for some areas)…we had to purchase 2m track (that is normal) BUT they don’t cut it to 1.5m for us…so goodbye…not going to work.  We did chance upon some REALLY simple ceiling lights for the kitchen!  They are just simple Philips ceiling lights.

The lights turned off

The lights turned on

Side view of the lights

They are really plain and simple.  Made of acrylic…we plan to plant two of the bigger ones (16.5inches in diameter, 40W) for the main galley portion of the kitchen, then one of the smaller ones (32W) for behind the island.  That will definitely make the kitchen bright enough…I think i might have overdone it…and maybe just two of the smaller 32W will be enough for the main galley area.  Will see…worse come to worse…go back and do an exchange.

We also purchased a simple Philips acrylic light for the yard area.  We decided to save on purchasing something fancy…and just something functional will do.  Again this is gonna be white light cos we need to check that our clothes are clean after it has been washed…so it is just sensible.  Function over form :).

Purchased done…we trooped on down Jln Besar and came across Megaman lighting shop!  Sarah purchased her tracklights from there, so I kinda knew what to look out for.  Bingo!  They had small tracklights with the driver built in!  And it was cheaper than i-lite and LightCraft.  They also have a clearance sale going on for some of their bulbs…so that is worth a consider if you are shopping for tracklights.  In total, for 5m track, 8 lights with housing…it cost us $571.

Lights all sorted!  Off to Hoo Kee to check out options for condiments rack.  Now, this wasn’t a good experience.  We found the condiments rack…and it came with three racks which isn’t very practical, cos the height won’t allow the bottom shelves enough space to house tall bottles like soya sauce.  When I asked if they have an option for a two tier rack so that it would solve that problem, they said “Can…you just take it out…and you will have two.  You can give us back the spare shelf but we will still charge you the same price”.  Maybe i was tired, but i didn’t like that tone.  Never mind…then i asked if they could measure the rack for me (they said they don’t have a brochure for me), so that I can ask my IDers if the rack will fit our cabinet space.  He said he would go get a measuring tape…waited a while…then realised that he was on the phone…after he hung up the phone…he decided to go serve another customer!!!  :curse: Sorry our small business isn’t good enough…so we left the store.  We decided to call it a day for shopping.

Sunday:

First on the agenda was to go collect the vintage singer sewing machine table and machine from Clementi.  What a bargain!  We got the machine and legs for $90!!  Can’t wait to convert it to a small table and lamp!  Thankful it fitted into our SUV :).

Seeing we were so close, we trooped down to IMM to purchase our dish rack from Song Cho.  Thanks to Drunkenchivas that was another saving of about $60 because the store doesn’t tell you that you can choose to have just two trays at the bottom and skip the top two trays to save $60.  Great saving.  We found a great condiments rack…the track was smooth…it comes with a lifetime warranty for the stainless steel rack…and the quality was just wonderful.  Of course the price was also wonderful at over $350 after GST.  Not fun!  So thankful we had $160 capital land vouchers so that was a nice subsidy for our purchase.

We chanced upon some great pull out wire drawers at song choo too…but at $250 a pop…think this will have to wait a while.  The plan is to ask friends to give us Capital Land vouchers if they insist on getting us something.  Then the money can go into subsidizing our drawers cost.  We will need four of these…so fingers crossed :).  Song Cho has a great deal when it comes to installation.  They charge $30 for one trip, and they will do the installation of the drawers!!  if your cupboard space isn’t a perfect fit…it is too big…they have a way of filling that space so the drawer system will fit!  How cool is that!  So this will be for 2nd stage of our renovation I guess.  Gotta be practical and sort out the important stuff first.

Armed with our purchases, we dropped by the house to check on progress and to drop off the purchases.  Took the opportunity to take some pictures of what we have already purchased and left in the house:

Our 30 inch Kraus sink and sink faucet from Amazon, our TOTO sinks for the two toilets upstairs.

Our Ariston Chimney hood and induction hob (hob for the island).

Our Ariston gas cooker hob for the galley area…this will be used for the heavy duty daily cooking.

Our Ariston oven.

All the Ariston items above was purchased at the warehouse sale…total cost including one month of storage was $2,000.  Happy :).  This included a super heavy duty chimney hood…with a high powered suction.  🙂

Here we have our feature lights from Taobao….our campbells lights and our lights from Jln Besar.  Oh!  The Mr Mouse toilet roll holder series is also in this stash.

So we are all sorted for lights for the new house.  After the lights are installed…we will decide on the wattage needed for the feature lights.  We have decided not to buy them first…gonna wait till the T5 lights are all in, and that will give us a better idea of how bright we need the feature lights to be.  Not gonna jump the gun.

Looking forward to our contractors tiling up the staircase (which is the last bit of tiling work left), followed by painting of the house, we have already chosen our colours…most of the walls will be plain white.  Carpentry fabrication should start this week…and installation next week.

We have asked two different curtain guys to come by the house this Saturday so that we can get a quote for curtains…hopefully the pocket wont be too burnt!  fingers crossed.  My buffer is growing smaller and smaller!!!  :deal:

We did heaps this weekend!  Oh btw…did I share that we are EXHAUSTED!  Shopping is tiring!! LOL  We decided to unwind after such a hectic weekend with a simple dinner.  We made a delicious trio of mushroom risotto topped with french brie cheese, crispy bacon and mushroom.  Ah….everything felt better after that.

(sorry for the long post…i just wanted to share and also chronicle the home renovation journey)

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