Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mie Casa - Deko Bersama Jaime Ep. 1

I am at my apartment in seri kembangan at the moment. Overseeing some painting works done by my colleagues. Got to know about their skills through word of mouth by some very satisfied "customers" including Anakku Sazali. Initially they didn't want to impose any fee. Up to me to "sedekah". But in principle I don't go on that basis when doing business. Just name me your price and justify me how much your work worth. In short, the whole deal must be on a win-win basis. Suffice to say, they charged me reasonably.

As I was sitting alone earlier on my dining table, enjoying my McDonald Breakfast, I recalled the first few months after receiving my keys from the developer. I know everything about buying a house but I know peanut about decorating a house. For that I really envy Samsir, Suhaimi and Sazali. They just seem to know "where" to put "what". Then it was during my PTK3 exam week. In between hearing to the boring lectures and reading confusing notes, I still managed to surf the Net for decorating ideas, at the same time pretending to be typing notes. Nasib la PICC ada Free WIFI.

I bought my apartment when it was completed so I had little time thinking about the concept. Furthermore as I shared in my earlier post I was not into apartment living. Decorating and renovating a 976 sqft apartment like mine post quite a challenge too. The lightings, the paints and choice of furnitures must be of the right combination to bring out the glam and spaciousness.

I seeked the help of my bosom friend Samsir throughout the process as the reno and deco plans really stressed me out. I couldn't decide on the theme, couldn't estimate the budget and everyone claim to know a good contractor when in fact they just want the commission. Then I remembered Dr. P's word of wisdom (uweeksss) - sometimes we need to seek the Divine intervention to clear obtacles in our life. So I prayed hard to the Lord that I may meet good and honest people to dress and grace my humble home.

A matter of fact, I get to know of my contractor quite by accident. I was walking to the maintenance office one day to pay the bills and Ah Kui (the koo-lee) was sitting by the swimming pool looking out for potential clients. He is a Vietnamese, just working for Mr. Lim (the towkay) for 6 months but know how to speak and write in Malay and English. He brought me to their office which was actually one of apartment units they renovated and converted into show unit. He showed me all the brochures and samples but I couldn't made up my mind. Not wanting to loose a sale from me, Ah Kui brought me to all the units that they were currently renovating so that I could judge for myself their workmanship.

Somehow I was not really convinced but nonetheless I asked for a quotation. Few days later I came back with Sam and Uncle Perumal to check out on another 2 contractors who were also doing renovations in my apartment building. Sam and Uncle did most the talkings as I prefered to observe the works as well as the personality of the contractor. One thing I learned about engaging or procuring a service in KL especially from smaller business is that we have to look out for hidden costs or charges. So precaution is a BIG must. After comparing all the quotations, we decided to settle on Mr Lim's company as the price was reasonable and came highly recommended by my fellow Sarawakian neighbour.

For me, the heart of a home is the kitchen. My mum's kitchen in Kuching has an open concept that doubled as our dining area. It was designed to be totally separated from the living area where our TV is so that we wouldn't be watching TV while eating. And whenever we need a bigger space to do our cookings for family functions or open houses (we did 3 open houses every year - CNY, Gawai and X'mas) we can move or use our dining table. Plus my dad bought a dining table that can be folded to make it round or pulled to make it oval to sit more people.

My apartment kitchen is very tiny so my contractor had to hack the wall separating the yard and kitchen area to form a wet and dry kitchen. Furthermore I need consider lots of storage for all my kitchen utensil ranging from baking utensils, steaming utensils, cutleries, serving dish etc. Plus a mini pantry for my pastas, herbs, spices, dry and canned food. Well, some habits are not easy to get rid of. Like my passion to entertain, wine and dine.

As for the living area and the bedrooms, I had little to complain about in terms of workmanship. So far I have yet to see any defective works or face problems with the fittings and finishings. I have yet to envision how exactly I want it to look like but sometimes u tend to gain inspirations from unlikely places. For example I drew the inspiration of putting plasterbox in the living area while looking up the ceilings of Parliment lobby.

As all my "interior designers" are urban-chic males so choice of colour schemes were more on the earthy and neutral tones - brown, black, white and silver. After reading hundreds of articles and downloading thousands of photos, I finally decided to go on the modern contemporary theme. However, as a half Chinese, I also did some research on feng shui to ensure better flow of chi, determine the best directions, identify poison arrows and energising the eight aspirational areas that governs wealth, fame, love (grrrr), career, networking, education, family and health, and descendant's luck. Kasi ong sikit maa...

The main renovation completed 3 months ago and now I am in the process of putting the finishing touch and hunting for furnitures to mi casa. I just can't wait to see how my Macy curtains fit in the overal do next week. Though it is just a humble abode, I do want it to have a personality.In many ways I am grateful to be single. I don't have to compromise with anyone on the theme, concept, and arrangements. But best of all, it's Mie Casa.


mohdsazali said...

bos......... cantik umah.......... nanti buat welcoming party jemput tau.... the colour scheme mix well.... betul la bos bilik yang gelap or tak berapa kena cahaya kena guna warna yang cerah .... hijua is the best.

tak sabar nak g umah bos.

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