theHNhome

#THEHNHOME story begins!

Hello uoolllsss! I’ve been wanting to decently blog about so many things but it just wasn’t meant to be. But I do have some time now so here’s what I’ve been up to.

select color swatch to paint wall*Credit

Hafiz and I have been insanely busy with our renovation planning for our new home. The impending renovation has taken up the bulk of our everyday conversations, discussions and Google searches on our phones (for Hafiz, this one! I, admittedly, am guilty of spending time online-shopping :(). Everything else, Hafiz and I have conveniently chucked to the backseat.

Here is the truth – despite knowing when to expect the collection of our house keys, Hafiz and I never once went beforehand to scout for any interior designers (ID) or went to meet up with any renovation companies. Simply because it was not pressing for us to start looking so early prior to our keys collection. We wanted to take our time. Besides, we had our 2-days wedding, two-weeks honeymoon and the whole process of setting up our new bedroom and settling down (for Hafiz) at my parents’ place after that. It may not sound taxing but believe me, it somehow was. And oh, I also started a new job (which I am so loving right now). We had so much going on. And when we got our keys in July, it was a week to Hari Raya. Being married, our Hari Raya celebrations extended beyond 2 weekends this year. We got too busy!

Shortly after the exhaustion from #HFZNRLRaya2014 had subsided, we both started our search for what we would like/hope to be ‘The Best Interior Designer/Renovation Company’ for our home. It’s been about three weeks and thus far, we have gone to see four different companies. Let me briefly summarize our experiences so far.

Our appointment with the first ID took three hours. I expected it to be long (was warned by a colleague) but I certainly did not felt the time passing as we shared our ideas with the ID. It was an exciting first-time for us but the ID was unfortunately boring. He lacked ideas, spoke in a droning voice – how did he become an ID? My husband and I assumed that it could be he was not a 100% ID but was just attending to us since others were not around. If this was indeed the case, they should have assigned someone certified because we called before we went down! Disappointing! We, however, did managed to get some insights on what to expect during appointments, so it was not a wasted trip. But this is a company that has been highlighted about to a great length on social media – supposedly they are good?  Our appointment with them got us leaving the showroom feeling otherwise. But I don’t really care anyways.

Because our appointment with the second ID was great! He was brimming with knowledge, experience, ideas and he refuted our ideas (nicely) if he knows it cannot be done – no false hope there, which is good. Most importantly, we could communicate with him seamlessly. After our appointment ended, we got good vibes with this one. But we thought, why not look some more? We didn’t want to make a hasty decision just because it all felt great during the first appointment, so we decided to meet up with the third company.

This third one’s portfolio is mostly focused on commercial buildings. It was a downside to me and I was a bit reluctant initially but I thought, the more quotations, the better for us to compare. The ID was nice but I had a feeling that how we see our theme will not be the same as he sees it. You can actually tell when you meet up with IDs. It is from the way they present themselves, handles our questions and gives suggestions. 

Our fourth appointment was with a company who has just been in business for about one year. I only found out about this when in appointment. Not too bad this one but the fact that the company has only been in the industry for a year was kind of a minus factor for me. I mean, how experienced are they? Are we one of their test pilot projects? I did not want to take the risk. I mean, you never know! 

After sitting down with four IDs from four companies and doing our own researches online, we made our decision. I have to credit my husband on his substantial effort despite his heavy office workload. From the day we began our reno quest, he has been the one going all out, very much more than me. He’s been researching on layouts, materials, tiles, lightings and many, many more. But you cannot blame me also lah. He knows so much more than me as he works in Building and Engineering! This is practically his playground. He knows how to handle this – what is expected of us, what is important, what is going to happen and what to expect. I don’t really know much but thanks to this project, I’ve learnt quite a bit!

So, you can probably guess now which ID we went with. I will talk about the ID and company more once we get the work going. To date, our chosen ID has gone down to the site (second appointment), took some preliminary measurements in accordance to our layout requests and also had the first draft quotation ready. He works really quickly. Hafiz took it on to look through the quotation so much so that he abandoned his PS4 for a few nights. This was quite a scene for me! I will be out in the kitchen or living room and will come back to our bedroom to see him bent forward with the quotations and floor plan lying around our bed, pencil in his hand. I love how serious, involved and responsible he is for this home project. There has also been a lot of back and forth communication between Hafiz and the ID – easier for a man to converse with another. I might just request for rubbish, if it was me, considering how little I know about this subject matter (this actually happened on one of the appointments where I thought my idea was feasible. So embarrassing!).

After we had pretty much finalized the items we wanted, we went down for a third appointment to sign the renovation contract with the company. It was quite stressful initially – this project has a five-figure price-tag that we are committing to. This is not a handbag I am buying, that I can choose not to wear if one day I decided that I didn’t like it. This is the second biggest invoice charged to us (after our flat) that we are investing in. We had to be certain of our choice. We had to be sure somehow that we picked the right renovation company; a company which can deliver what we want and can do the job well and nice. So, to be honest, we felt so good that we go this one out of the way. There’s Hafiz doing the honour, keke.

RenovationContractSigning01

But this is not it – this is only the beginning, you guys! What, did you think that would be all?! Everything before the contract signing was just this-is-what-i-want-can-you-do-it-or-not-if-can-how-much-if-cannot-ok-nevermind-I-find-someone-else, the skeleton, the many, many mix of ideas.

Now, it’s time to fill up our 112sqm of bare, empty space with INTERIOR DESIGNING! I’m talking picking floor tiles and countertop and built-in furniture materials, deciding on colors and what else I cannot think anymore! It’s going to be so much fun (and I hope I am not going to be super fickle =\)! And then, we put all these into 3D drawings which will be the first few pictures of our ideas coming to live, our dream home becoming a draft pictorial print. I am excited!

Fourth appointment happening this Sunday! More updates later! In the meantime, HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, YOU GUYS!

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