Showing posts with label Home Renovation. Show all posts

Hot Water Storage Heater for your BTO Flat - Sweet Bunny

 Nothing is as refreshing as having a shower at the beginning of the day or at the end after a long day’s work. Cleaning oneself is about personal hygiene and the numerous benefits and health benefits you receive from a hot shower.

Selecting a New Water Heater – 
When choosing a water heater for your home, there are a few factors to consider, such as the space available to place the water heater, preference for an instant tankless water heater or a storage water heater. Personally, I prefer a storage water heater for my household because we own a rain shower, having the proper water pressure to be compatible for the rain shower to function well, producing a refreshing blast of water instead of drips of water in cases where the water heater’s pressure isn’t sufficient.

BTO bathroom

Like most 4-Room BTO flats, there are two bathrooms, one connected to the master bedroom and another to the living room. My family and I use both bathrooms heavily and are glad to report that the A. O. Smith Water Heater was and still is very reliable for the past two years. The only issue we experienced was the heater switch installed by HDB broke. Still, thankfully, my Interior designer Hosen Gan from Swiss Interior, dispatched a contractor to help replace the switch for us. Hosen recommended AOS Bath to us. I can always trust Hosen’s recommendation. He is truly an honest and reliable ID.


Water Heater Purchase and Installation – The purchase was made by my husband, he went down to the AOS Bath showroom in Paya Lebar on a Saturday, and he said the staff were friendly, knowledgeable about their products and helpful. He purchased the A.O. Smith intelligent heater (40L/10 gal)/ Gen 6 Digital Heater and a pre-filter.

The following weekend 2 contractors came to fix up the heater in the bathroom closer to my living room. I felt terrible because the lights had not been installed in my place yet, but the heater was installed well with some torchlights. A job well done; we never faced issues with the heater for the past two years.

A.O. Smith intelligent heater

When family members use the hot water, you could always press the instant button to get hot water in a couple of minutes. To me, that is the best function of a storage heater.

Purchasing a heater from a reputable and trusted brand is essential for safety and cost savings. No one wants a heater that keeps breaking down and requires constant repairs.

                                                          bathroom with aos storage heater

AOS Bath is the sole distributor of A. O. Smith Water Heaters in Singapore. A. O. Smith is the #1 water heater company in the United States of America and has been established for 145 years.

Knowing how to use and maintain your water heater is essential. Thankfully, AOS conducts frequent training sessions with homeowners, architects, consultants and businesses. Being a well-established company, its hot water systems are supplied to hospitals, clubs, hotels and organisations such as Resort World Sentosa, Haidilao, Nanyang Technological University and Universal Studios.

Keep Lizards and Insects away with InsectOut's Magnetic Insect Screen Window Mesh - Sweet Bunny

If there is one thing that I really detest about pests, it is their droppings, I really absolutely hate lizard droppings, it sticks onto the walls and goodness knows where else in a home.

When dear and I were planning out our budget and expenses for our home, insect meshing the entire house was on top of the list. Keeping pests like mosquitoes, cockroaches, flies and even birds out from our home and taking care of our family’s well-being is a worthy cause.

I have to say InsectOut is an excellent vendor because Mindy is always ever ready to offer good advice and assistance whenever I drop her message. Call me kiasu but I contacted the vendor during my home renovation way before the window grills even were installed. Mindy shared the requirements and optimal way to have my grills installed so that the mesh and grills of my window would be totally sealed with no gaps or spaces for the creepy crawlies to come into our home. I am thankful that Mindy highlighted the importance of ensuring my window grills were properly cased up as my contractor wasn’t aware and was going to install the grills in another way that wouldn’t allow my meshes to be installed properly.

not gaps between the window and the grill to keep pest out

not possible to install insect mesh with the gap

Best insect mesh screen installation service in Singapore- InsectOut provides a custom made mesh service for all types of windows and grilled gates, they have a range of magnets that cleverly matches the colours of window grills enabling it to blend well with its surrounding grills and will not be an eye-sore to look at. The scenery outside will not be blocked by the mesh and you can even leave the window open and fresh air and sunlight in. The mesh used is also very durable because it is made out of fibreglass which is easy to maintain just by washing and wiping with a microfiber cloth or even just using the vacuum to remove any dust, just as you would with your aircon filter. The mesh is secured between 2 interlocking grooved magnetic strips and grooved PVC strips. The strips are not permanent and can be removed if you are renting a property you can consider installing these insect meshes.

mesh frames to match with your window grill


After my renovation was completed, I arranged with Mindy to speak to one of InsectOut’s sales representatives, Mr TC who was very friendly and informative about InsectOut’s Magic Seal product. After we agreed to proceed with the installations he took the measurements of all our windows and matched the colour of our grills to the samples that he has. The next visit was made by Mr Malek a soft-spoken and hardworking individual who helped us install the mesh, when we asked him if he would like to take time off for lunch he smiled and said he had a heavy breakfast before he stopped by.

Verdict, we love the meshes, when I first moved into my flat I was contently bitten by mosquitos, a baby lizard visited our kitchen and flying cockroaches came as and when they pleased through our window after the meshes were installed I have not seen any of these pests enter our home through the window, only a few tiny cockroaches from the drainpipe which I have since placed cockroach bate near and haven’t seen any since and the ultra-tiny housefly that may have come through the door as we enter our home. It has been a year since the mesh has been installed and we face no issues at all, the best part is Mindy is just a message away if we need any assistance. 

                               Insectout mesh window

Getting InsectOut to install the meshes is one of the best choices we have made and would highly recommend them who seeks to keep pest out of their homes

Tel: 8242 9595

Getting Our First Home Journey 5, My 4 Room Bto Home Renovations Mistakes to Avoid - Sweet Bunny

 As much as I would like to say that my house is perfect in a certain sense it isn't. Sure it is Instagram worthy but there are some errors that I would really love to have avoided if I were the wiser. So here I am sharing the boo-boos so you won't make the same mistake as we did.

5 renovation mistakes to avoid

Study Room renovation mistakes to avoid in a BTO HDB-The most horrific error in our home is our study. It was designed with more aesthetics than function in mind, the inbuilt wall cabinets are practically useless.  The wall on which the tables are built is protruding on one side and concave on the other. Making it a challenge to design. The ceiling beams are obstructing so much of the shelf space in the cabinet. Also what was supposed to be my study desk turned out more like a breakfast bar sized table. Impossible to place more than a laptop on.  

study room cabinet mistakes too narrow

Breakfast Bar Table

Not enough electrical points in the living room- We have an issue in the living room where we do not have enough electrical power points if we would like to install an appliance or would like to display a power generated display such as a lamp or fountain, we would not have enough places to hook it up to. 

Electrical points

Having a fixed TV Feature Wall - Our featured wall was made for a 55-inch television, it was built too close to the window. we never thought that we might want a bigger screen in the future, so we kind of regret having the carpentry fixed in such a manner but on the positive side we do really like all the extra storage the overhead cabinets provide.  

Television Feature Wall

Not allocating enough room to install the curtain rod and insect mesh -  The Curtain pelmet was built too close to the window making it difficult to install our curtains after the insect mesh was installed. Thankfully the curtain installation company had  2 staff who were experts in installing the rods and hooking up the curtains after quite a wrestling with the installation works. 

Grey Curtain and Pelmed

Not testing out the lights in the light showroom - We didn't test out the dining room chandeliers, yes the yellow lighting does look awesome in photographer and videos but we found it a tad bit blinding. Thankfully we can change the bulbs once they blow out when new ones would be required. 

pineapple chandelier

As this is our first home I guess it is only natural to overlook certain matters, we did try our very best to avoid as many renovation mistakes as possible. Renovation mistakes are costly and like a colleague, of mine said can be a thorn at your side every time you lay eyes at the mistake. However, If you don't face issues and obstacles in life you won't have the much-needed experience and knowledge to grow. 


Getting Our First Home Journey 4, My 4 Room BTO Mini Walk-In Wardrobe and why it is practical to have one - Sweet Bunny

Other than being aesthetical, featured in many chick-flicks, television shows, owned by celebrities and socialites alike and perhaps even every girl's dream of owning one. Walk-in wardrobes are the must-have of a home today.

                                        Photo by Huy Nguyen on Unsplash

Yes, I have to confess I am one of those girls who always dreamt of owning a walk-in wardrobe, so when dear and I purchased our first home we told our Interior Designer Hosan Gan to incorporate one into our master bedroom of our flat. I must say he did a brilliant job on designing and building one. Kudos to you Hosen!

To go along with the grey-blue theme of our home it is no surprise that dear's and my shared walk-in wardrobe is of the same palette. Settling the colour was the easy part now dear and I had to make several other practical choices.

What to consider when you are squeezing in a walk-in wardrobe in a 4 room BTO - When it comes to space planning one must consider what are the room's occupants needs and wants, when careful consideration has been made and you weigh the pros and cons you would have a better idea of what would be the best choices to make. The 3D drawings did indeed help us visualise how the wardrobe would turn out and changes could be made before our plans were finalised and the wardrobe is built.

Version 1 3d drawing master bedroom
                       3D Drawing of what our wardrobe would look like with a vanity 

version 2 masterbed room wardrobe
                       3D Drawing of what a wardrobe would look like with a handbag display

Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when designing your walk-in wardrobe:

1) How many clothes do you own? Is there really enough hanging space and drawers?

2) Know the exact dimensions of the room so that you know if it can fit the furniture you desire, In my case, my room can only accommodate a wardrobe and bed, are there any other furniture I would like to have in my room example: Desk and chair to make my master bedroom into a study.

3) What kind of accessories do you want to store in your wardrobe? Bags, Ties, Watches, Jewellery? Etc. Do you want to put it to be on display?

4) What really is your preferred method of keeping your clothes, do you prefer to hang or fold your clothes. My preference is hanging dresses and jackets while folding home wear. Be sure to allocate spaces to keep your folded clothes.

Dear and I prefer to have an enclosed cabinet because we cringe at the thought of having a dusty open cabinet, our designer incorporated a bi-fold door which is space-saving and opens with a quick push. We didn’t use frosted glass as the walking space in the wardrobe is limited and you may accidentally knock against someone who is inside the wardrobe.

                                                       Here is a view of our wardrobe
How an enclosed walk-in wardrobe can prevent you from disturbing your partner’s sleep- we have one ceiling led light and led light stripes which line the inner compartments of my wardrobe. I am a night owl while dear prefers to turn in earlier whenever I enter to retrieve my clothes or other items I won’t disrupt dear as the room switches are wired respectively separating the room’s and wardrobe’s lights.

Walk-in closets make great storage areas - The wardrobe is built-in from ceiling to floor which provides an excellent amount of space for storing home essentials that you don't use on a regular basis,  items such as pillows for guest who would like to stay over, a travel suitcase that stores my husband's army gear making it easy to access when he has to report for reservice or perhaps winter wear that you only wear on your vacation trips. No vertical space is wasted, maximising the space we have in our small home.


Watch out for bending clothing rails in a walk-in wardrobe - When you have a large number of clothes like I do, the clothing rail tends to bend in the centre, our ID rectify the issue by getting the carpenter to install a middle mounting bracket after we highlighted this issue to him the bracket would be drilled to the ceiling of the wardrobe to hold the clothing rod in place, the downside is I wouldn't be able to slide my clothes from one end to the other seamlessly but on the bright side, the weight of my clothes won't make the rod break over time, I could also treat the bracket as some sort of divider to a different shade darker of dresses from the lighter ones I guess.


There isn’t much space left for vanity to my dismay, but I am glad I get an open shelf and cabinets to store my makeup and accessories. I usually do my makeup in the bathroom where I have a large mirror and better lighting. How do I allocate enough space for all my makeup and creams you say? Well, I will share some organising tips when I write again ….

Till then thank you for reading my blog, I hope you enjoy reading as I do writing.

BTO Home Essentials Series 1- The Best HDB Metal Gate Lock from Loon Lock Smart Home Security - Sweet Bunny

It can be a nightmare searching for the right lock for your brand new HDB BTO's gate but it doesn’t have to be because Loon Lock has come to your rescue… 

Call me old school but I prefer the traditional padlock compared to their digital counterpart. 

I was fed up with locking and unlocking the gate itself as it was very noisy and took many turns of a key to unlock or lock it. I prefer a padlock that is fitted onto an eye bracket, making opening my gate a breeze.


Where to get a padlock for your HDB Gate - The newer HDB gates come with different sized eye brackets which made it more difficult to find the right bolt size. I found Loon Lock HDB Gate online and got dear to purchase one at a Selffix store after reading positive reviews on Loon Locks's Facebook page.

The locally-based company has created an ingenious padlock with functions that are very well executed. Unlike the common padlock, the Loon padlocks are much better in many ways. 
For example, when you unlock your gate there is no need for lifting the padlock off the gate when you get home from grocery shopping or struggling with your keys until you get inside your home. As for the case where you lose your keys, there is no need to throw the entire padlock away, you could buy a key cylinder and replace the old keys with new ones. We are in the age of sustainability and with the move to be more eco-friendly in mind, making purchases that can minimise wastage and minus out single usage would be the way to go.

The best padlock for home security-  My hubby purchased the LOON Lock ART. 118 BKR retails at SGD 118.00. Although he had some trouble installing the lock as the eye bracket of the gate was too small. He sent a WhatsApp message to Loon Lock and they came down to install the lock without charge. Even though the purchase was made from Selffix and not directly from the company's webpage. We have enjoyed using our new lock ever since.

Loon Lock Website

                                                  Installation of Loon Lock in HDB BTO

I highly recommend getting your gate locks from Loon as they are very committed to providing excellent customer service. It is also a great way to show your support for a local company. The lock is available for purchase on their website or from their retail partners. Which I may add have grown in number since the last time I checked their website.

Loon Lock on HDB Gate

                                       I purchased the lock about a year ago and it is still working great!

Stay tuned for more of my BTO Home Essentials Series for more awesome lobang.

Getting Our First Home Journey 3 - 4 room BTO Renovation during covid19 in year 2020 with Swiss Interior Hosen Gan - Sweet Bunny.

Renovation during covid19 2020- Our floor tiles and the false ceiling was completed but all renovation works had to be put on halt due to the covid19 lockdown. It was a huge bummer but nothing we could be done; there was also a huge men power shortage which left us with only 1 person to do all our carpentry work and it was no easy feat as we had a truckload of shelves and cabinets to be built. Hosen our ID himself would help the carpenter with the installations at times.

We delayed our renovations further after renovation works were allowed to continue for Hosen to work on his apartment as his family required a new home because they have handed over their flat to the new owners. We were not in a rush to our new home as dear and I was living separately in our respective parents’ home. I always believed in showing understanding and kindness especially when there was someone in dire need.

We were very thankful to have Hosen coordinated all the necessary requirements by the authorities, post lockdown to ensure a timely schedule for the renovations. He also coordinated our window grills, air-con installation, city gas installations and electric works as well as plumbing. His team installed the Song-Cho Cooker Hood with External Carbon (SC-L1), Song-Cho Clean up a sink and the 72L Built-in Oven with Grill Function. He was also very particular about getting the measurements of all the electronics such as the hob, refrigerators and sink right. What I found most adorable was he would ensure that all the carpentry was spaced out well where a person would be able to walk through comfortably, As I walk through my kitchen and bedroom these days I realised he measured this space using his own body size which was amusingly efficient the spacing was just right.

                                     Living room shoe cabinet and seating area

                                      kitchen blue and white swiss interior

Blue and white kitchen and island counter

bto bathroom with shower screen

Review on Hosen Gan Swiss Interior - In conclusion, I would say that what would have been a chaotic experience, thankfully was a smooth renovation journey, with the right person in charge ensured that it was a rather good outcome and the quality of the carpentry was impeccable. 

The only fault I could find with Hosen was he was rather forgetful and tends to overlook some details, he did miss out on some minor stuff items such as the doorbell which we replaced ourselves with one that ran on batteries and plug-in power instead, the lighting in the service the yard was left in the storeroom which he did later arrange to install after some negotiation as he wanted to charge us to install the light which I found ridiculous as the light was bought all together with our other lights and should be installed together, the bookshelf in our study that was pretty to look at but can’t store anything much due to the pillar beam. Among other things which we can come to terms with. 

All in all, I would still recommend him as he is trustworthy and very dedicated to his work, he even provided us with a list of furniture shops and recommended on which colours would go well with our built-in cabinets. He did go above and beyond by installing all our bathroom fixtures as well as the bidet and helping us to purchase and collect a couple of items and we are all human no one is perfect, all the electronics and piping worked like a charm and if they didn’t he readily assign someone to fix it.

Getting Our First Home Journey 2 - 4 room BTO Renovation Modern Scandinavian Themed with Swiss Interior - Sweet Bunny

Our renovation journey began back in January 2020, I was introduced to the interior designer Hosen by a close friend, the way my friend described Hosen was hilarious, Quote “Don’t see Hosen fat, fat whole body tattoo, he is a very hard-working and trust-worthy fellow.” I couldn’t stop giggling at the way my friend's described, jokes aside, Hosen has a vast knowledge of everything you would ever need in a home, he would patiently listen to our requirements and suggest the best way to implement the construction. I can vouch that he is an expert on space planning; his ideas are always well thought through, probably because he has a large family and understands the wears and tears due to the large volume of traffic at home, he trumps functionality and perfects the aesthetics of a home.

4 room bto floor plan bomb shelter in kitchen

Modern Scandinavian apartment – I love the Scandinavian style homes while dear preferred a more modern and edgy look so we compromised and settled for a mix of both designs. We love the colours grey and blue. We wanted a tranquil and minimalist space. At first, I was worried about the grey shades. There is a fine line between looking chic and turning out too gloomy, I am glad Hosen is an expert in colour coordination, all the colours blended well with each other contributing to a seamless flow between the living room, study, kitchen and bedrooms.

Blue Grey Kitchen & dining room swiss interior

Swiss interior living room

Swiss Interior Study room

What to expect when you renovate your BTO apartment - We met up with Hosen about 3 to 4 times to discuss what we expected for our new home, we went through a couple of drafts of drawings on our HDB floor plan and he gave us his input on what would be the best layout for our home. Dear was right 3D drawings were very important; it was a good way to visualise how the outcome of the renovations would turn out and if the ID understood our requirements. After signing the contract with Swiss Interior, there were a series of meet-ups to discuss as well as to choose the items we would require, namely floor tiles, lighting and bathroom essentials. Hosen also did a rough default check for us and found nothing out of order. We realised that our common toilet was unable to flush thankfully HDB resolved that for us. 

Places we chose our tiles, lights and bathroom fixtures from.

Elecmento Debanio Pte Ltd -Lights and bathroom fixture 

Dear and I don’t own a car so Hosen would graciously offer us a lift after we finish our discussion at our site. What I was most thankful for is the fact that we didn’t have to worry about applying for the right permits or sourcing for contractors who could produce excellent workmanship and have all the right permits and certification to complete the job. Hosen also kept us posted on the latest developments in the renovation regularly. I heard some feedback from friends that some IDs just ghost you after you sign the contract and updates are given only when you request. A rule of thumb I always go by is to find someone that your friends or family have worked with before or an ID with a lot of good reviews on multiple platforms such as blog reviews, Qanvast and even forums.

Stay tuned for part 3...

Getting Our First Home Journey 1- Getting Our Keys for our BTO and engaging and Interior Designer - Sweet Bunny

When I was dating my husband some 5 years ago, I suggested a bold decision. To buy a Build-To-Order flat (BTO) together. To my surprise he agreed, mind you, we had just begun dating for a couple of months and the stakes were high, our relationship could have turned sour after we booked a flat... and everything would have gone downhill from there. But thank god it didn't. We are really meant to be.

 Collecting the Keys to Our four-room BTO - Fast forward to March 2020; we received our flat’s keys in March Before Covid-19 struck, At first, I was shocked at how tiny my new home is being used to living in my father’s 5 room flat but with the right layout, space planning and carpentry we can make this cosy 93sqm abode into a home.

BTO New home pineapple roll

We opted out of having HDB tiles and chose the open concept kitchen layout to give the illusion that the house was bigger and also for the fact that our bomb shelter is located in the kitchen which meant having very little space for cabinets and appliances. We kept the HDB doors which are kind of thin but acceptable as we wanted to save cost and would probably change them in a couple of years.

In Dec 2019, we went on the search for an Interior Designer, dear preferred an ID as he liked to have a 3D drawing which really helps a person to visualise how the apartment would turn out. They will also coordinate all the works that the house would require saving you the hassle of searching for reliable and properly licenced contractors.


Arranging a meeting with an interior design firm – We met up with eight different firms,  designers of diverse backgrounds: Key Concept, Brown Studio Design, Ovon, TCL Design, Absolook, Design4space, Cozy space, Swiss Interior. These opinions are of our own about the Interior designers, nothing personal.