My ‘Go with the flow’ progress for the new home

I think this year has to be the year where I can attest to God’s goodness for my family. I never expected that I would be able to have a place that Hb and I can own, what more have this opportunity to incorporate what we hope our home to look like.

IMG 9490K looking into the Master Bedroom

 

The home renovation has been a rather organic process for me. Hb and I had some requirements of what I hope to have in the new home, but I was not very specific about what I wanted it to exactly look like.

In fact Hb and I had a short disagreement on this.

It started when he didn’t like the look of the stone tiles on the feature wall, despite my efforts of letting him look at it and getting his ‘approval’ before implementation. For him, these stone tiles on the feature wall was looking ‘pasty’ and he considered having this wall removed when it was 70% done.

I had to convince him that any feature in a home cannot be isolated as a single element, as it needs to interact with the fixtures around it. At that point, the black-frame doors weren’t even up.

IMG 9950This stone wall almost got torn down after hb changed his mind after thinking that it looked ‘pasty’ 

 

Then he brought up this concern he had with me not being specific enough to let the ID know exactly what I wanted for the home. There I was trying to incorporate what he hope to have, as well as my preferences for the home. As the home was a combination of ‘us’ and not just a single person’s preference.

In my frustration, I told him that if this home was just all about me, I would have preferred a white-based coloured kitchen and lighter tiles in the bathrooms. However I took all his preferences in and adjusted it according to what I felt would look best aesthetically.

That ended the disagreement.

Fundamentally the issue was really this; It was a difference in our personalities. Hb knows what he wants for the home, but there were limitations locally to the kind of materials that were available in the market. So our ID had to find alternatives and I provided my inputs on how I felt things can come together aesthetically.

Hb is not able to visualise how the material would look like in a space, while I could imagine how things would look like in a space. I just needed to see the tile’s design, and I would visualise how it would come together with the other elements in the home. So his peeve became, “Not the specific material I want to have, vs how this alternative could be congruent with the look we wanted in the home’.

So I learnt that from this process, that having different taste can create disagreements between a couple when it comes to renovating a home.

Besides, I was really caught off guard having this opportunity to create a home from a ‘blank palette’, and I did not have a long list of expectations for any new home from the beginning, except for a few specifics. I didn’t spend time in recent years dreaming about what my house could look like, or looked through interior design styles on Pinterest, until the planning for the renovation started. Since I was rather caught by surprise this year that we were ready to get our new home

So that’s how the look of the home ended up evolving rather organically.

I didn’t pay any visit to the tile shops to choose what I wanted for the walls or the flooring. All I did was to tell my ID, I wanted hexagonal tiles in certain shades for the balconies, as well as some areas of the home. Added with some marble and some wood in the other fixtures. Even the tiles to my kitchen was somewhat organic, as the contractors hacked a little too much of the marble from my living room leading to my kitchen, so I said “Why not have a combination of tiles leading to the kitchen?’

IMG 9882

Even the craft room floor tiling was a result of ‘Why not do this since we needed some form of congruency across the flooring of the home?’

Jack, our ID from Three D Conceptwerke got used to my free-flowing aesthetic style, when his ideas for tiling (which was more retro style) for the type of tiles got thrown out by me mostly, after a number of times 😬.

There are many details in the foundation elements of the home that reflect my quirky preferences.

IMG 0166

Case in point; Hb don’t like this wall in the kitchen, calling the tiles ‘toilet-looking’ tiles’. This was my choice, as I felt it added a quirky personality (which is so ‘me’) to the rest of the kitchen, which will be in marble and darker wood. I feel that a variation in the type of materials used in a same area will bring some layers and textures, while the shade chosen has to be congruent with the rest of the shades selected for the kitchen.

So how is the house looking after ‘adding this and that which we like’?

I think it is looking exactly what I hope for in our home, a combination of hb’s and my preferences. If hb had it his way with the home, it will be all marble and wood, and natural stone everywhere. He likes the ‘Lux’ look for the home, while I think can be nice, but lacks warmth, as it’s too ‘glamourous’ for my liking, with little personality. So that’s where my geometric shape tiles and texture come in!

Having engage an ID worked with us on our new home, the look of the home is a good representation of hb’s and my personality and preferences, rather than what the ID planned for us.

Jack from Three-D-Conceptwerke has been fundamental in maximising our space and layout in the home, giving us invaluable advise when it came to whether ‘this or that’ will work, and proposing ideas to allow more light and making the movement in the home more intuitive. What more his project management skills. positive attitude, patience and efficiency was most commendable.

The Interior Nazi in me rose up to the occasion when it comes to lighting and tapestries in the home. As long as I can get a neutral palette for the home that will age well, it is really more about layering in this home for me.

In slightly more than 1 month, we are moving into this new home, I am still considering if I should reveal more of what we are doing for this space on the blog in the coming months.

But if you are keen to see the real time progress, do check in to my Instagram posts and stories for updates!

Share it:

Related posts:

Travelling to a Resort Atoll in Maldives

Our recent trip to Maldives was not a fulfilment to a bucket list, since I am not one who loves to travel, but more of a result of an impulse decision. Right after our Japan trip, hb suggested that we should take a trip to Maldives during K’s 1 week Sept school holidays, since some of his air-miles were going to expire at the end of the year.

7 days seemed like a perfect number of days to spend on a ‘remote’ island without getting bored.

A flight from Singapore to Maldives Velana airport is only about a 4 hours flight away, as SQ have two flights into Maldives daily, either a late morning arrival or a late night arrival. We opted for the latter and stayed one night at the Maldives Airport Hotel as the seaplane flights to Thaa Atoll did not operate at night.

Having done that, I think it will be a better choice to to take an early morning flight from Singapore and then try to get seaplane transfers in the same day, without the hassle of finding accommodation in Male or at near the airport.

Maldivecomb1Snaps taken while waiting for the Como Maalifushi Counter to open to arrange for our seaplane transfer the next morning.

 

Once our luggage was checked into the counter, we were driven to the Maldivian Seaplane building, about 10 minutes drive away, and ushered into a comfortable Como (the name of the resort we travelled to) Lounge to wait for our boarding.

Maldives 3Watching the seaplane from the Como lounge while waiting to board our Seaplane to the resort

 

When hb and I were planning for our trip to Maldives, we wanted to experience a fairly new resort in a remote (untouched Atoll) as the quality of the coral reefs were one of our considerations. So we didn’t really considered the time we needed to travel on the seaplane. There are many other options of resorts in Maldives that can be reached by seaplane under 30 minutes of travel time. The other consideration we took into account was comfortable rooms with direct access to the sea, i.e., water villas. The photos on Como Maalifushi website seemed to show that they have beautiful water villas with a good house reef, while being family friendly at the same time.

Most resorts with water villas have an age restriction for children, as families with children under the age of 8 years old are not allowed to stay in the water villas but have the option of beach villas or rooms to stay in.

When in Maldives, the whole family needs to love the sea  (ie. have no fear of the water or the swimming in the sea) to be able to fully experience what most of the resorts can offer. Especially since it is not the most budget-friendly or convenient place to travel to with children. When travelling with young children who are still on diapers, or milk or just started solids, be prepared to lug everything along with you, as it will be almost impossible to get any baby suppliers when stranded on an remote island.

It’s still more worthwhile to go to the mid to high end family resorts in Phuket or Krabi when one has young children below 8 years old, taking into account less hassle for travel.

Some resorts even have ‘adult only’ restrictions. I have read on the TripAdvisor that some resorts have restrictions that kids are not allowed in any of the restaurants or common areas after 630pm.

I think travelling to Maldives with children who are at least 10 years of age will be the most optimum, since 10 years old is also the age that PADI allows children to take their first Discover Scuba lesson or Open Water course, which will be directly converted to a Open Water License when the child turn 16 years old.

 

On the Maldivian Seaplane

The journey itself to Thaa Atoll where Como Maalifushi is an experience on its own, since its my first time travelling on the seaplane. As more than 95% of the seaplane journey was very scenic (can be disconcerting for some who have a fear of heights) as the seaplane it took another 1 hour on the seaplane to reach Thaa Atoll where Como Maalfushi is located.

 

The seaplanes are not allowed within the shallow areas of the Atoll surrounding any resort. So the ‘landing pad’ is a wooden floating platform in the middle of the sea. So it can get a little scary with strong currents and wind (no issue during the high season when the seas are calmer), as one tries to get a steady stance on the platform, while waiting for the boat from the resort to arrive and transfer the luggages and the passengers onto the boat for the 15 minute ride to the resort.

 

Next…We arrive at Como Maalifushi!

Share it:

Related posts:

The New Home – T Minus 84 days to Moving In

For a while, I have been mulling over whether to continue blogging about new home. As I have good friends who are currently going through financial challenges in their lives, and blogging about my breakthroughs might make them feel worse about their current state, so I did consider that I should be more sensitive about their situation.

Then I was reminded why I planned to blog about this in the first place.

The new home is a blessing from God and I am full of praise and thankfulness for all He has done in my life.

If you have followed my journey since 2011, you might have chanced upon posts about our first home, and how we move on from this home.

What I didn’t add then was the circumstances surrounding why we had to sell our home.

My hb chalked himself a huge debt through his business and we were in a very bad shape financially, so selling the home was the only way we could think of to pay off most of the debt.

We could not afford to buy a home anymore after that so we rented, but less than a year later, we had to move again from the rental home, as renting a house prove to be something we could not even afford monthly. So we moved into a room in hb’s Auntie’s house.

Again what I didn’t add was that debt was still there, and due to some very unwise choices, the debt hole become bigger. The hole was big enough not to ever own a home for a rest of our lives, if God didn’t bring us through this. I never dared to even think or even ask God to give us a new home, I just lived my life a day at a time.

Subsequently hb and I had to live separately (that was the most poignant time in our marriage), and since 2013, hb has been working out of Singapore.

In 2015, things improved financially and we could afford to rent a home, which we are still residing in today.

Being able to rent a home has been no short of a miracle breakthrough, but God went further and gave us a bigger miracle to have finally owe a home which we can call our own.

Looking back, hb and I can both identify to the story of Abraham in the bible. Except that being stubborn asses as we were, we would probably not be willing to give up our ‘Isaac’ (our home). But we had didn’t have a choice as we had to deal with the consequence of the bad choices we made.

After letting go of our first home, there were more tests and difficulties that came along (which are too complicated to list them down here, but I will share if you are ever keen to hear my testimony personally) which brought us to the lowest point in our life.

Eventually it became worse than just losing the home. But it was at this point that we decided that in our own strength, we can never save ourselves and we needed a miracle from God to bring us a breakthrough.

This new home is more than an answer to our prayers, hb’s specifically was, to have our finances restored. Upon retrospect, it has been more of a resurrection rather than just restoration. As for me, my prayer was “God please take care of my family. I will do what you tell me to.” So I have been very determined since then, to be able to understand the will of God and learn to hear Him speak to me for every situation in my life.

So in a way, our situation then it was a ’no choice’ surrender to God, vs the story of Abraham who was willing to give up Isaac as a show of obedience and surrender to God. But I learnt surrender, obedience (my trips to Jakarta to share a testimony over a two year period, God made it very clear to me that I will lose my inheritance if I did not take the obedient step to go 😱), repentance, and the fear of God through this journey.

Even then, God made everything work out for good. That’s how wonderful the God I serve. And true to His word in the Bible, as He has blessed my family abundantly, having all that we need. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

So when you see this ‘silly’ woman share bible verses and faith messages on my Facebook status, know that I am walking out and truly experiencing this life with God. These verses and words are like fire, fire in my heart and in my bones (Jeremiah 20:9), I cannot hold it back, simply because He is so good and He is a true and living God.

————

 

I would have never expected that one day I will be able to create a nesting place that hb and I both envisioned.

IMG_7455

It has been exciting seeing the transformation of our new home step-by-step. Even with this stripping down to bare walls and floors, with only ugliness and mess, I am still reminded of God’s goodness for my family.

This is a milestone for my family, as it is only because of Him, that I am able to share this process and the joy of building up this dream home for my family.

Share it:

Related posts: