A Playroom for Dylan & Alexis, COMPLETED!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hello!! A month has passed since we last embarked on our journey to convert our study room into a playroom for our kids and I'm so happy to say that we've finally completed it, before Alexis arrives! :D I thought I'd like to recap our journey here because... I think I really enjoyed myself doing up the room.

Maybe not so much for my husband, because he had to do all of the hard work (moving, setting up... and PAYING THE MONEY!), but the last I heard from him, he was as happy as me when the two of us laid down in our cozy corner. :)

Gave away our study table

The room initially was a mess, even though we were trying to have it as a study room, it is technically a store where we put all sorts of stuff. It was filled with two long tables (with the second table filled with all of our barang barang ON and UNDER the table omg) + 2 display shelves + 1 book shelf + 1 small chest of drawer.. the whole place was very cluttered and squeezy. I hated it. In fact, it was so cluttered, Nian actually found a cockroach in the room when we cleared it out!

OMG the horror. Sometimes, I see a lizard or two running around in the room as well, so with this decluttering, I'm honestly very glad that the room is transformed into something more useful and spacious.

Talking about the table, we inherited one of the tables from Nian's poly school mate when we first moved in, but we realized that we haven't got much use for it since we do most of our work on the coffee table in the living room. As such, we asked around and finally gave the table away to our cousin. I hope she will find the table useful for her university days and it will help her to get great results!

Spoke with some contractors

We were quite direction-less initially when we first started because while we know what we wanted, we couldn't decide if we should get a contractor in to have it made-to-measure or if we should just go ahead with Ikea and set-up the room ourselves.

As such, we spoke with some contractors to get some quotations for the following items:
- carpet for the entire room
- made-to-measure storage cabinets for toys
- made-to-measure storage cabinets for books
- to paint one side of the wall green + another side with magnetic paint

We did speak about replacing our lights with ceiling fan + lights, but that was not included in the quotation.

After waiting for about a week plus, this was my reaction when I received the quote:

Carpet for the entire room would cost us $900, and then we would have to change the door because the gap between the door and the floor was too small... and that is another $380.

The toy cabinets will have 6 drawers and each one be fitted with Blum soft closing will cost us $950 and the book shelf will cost us $1180.

In total, we will be paying about $4,044 for the room.

Generally, I think our biggest ticket goes to the two custom-made cabinets, setting aside over $2000. What shocked me the most was the painting of the wall because it actually costs $300 to paint a 5.2m x 2.6m wall.

A tin of paint will only cost us about $60 the max so we really didn't think it was worth the money to pay someone so many times more to paint just one side of the wall, so almost immediately, we knew that we have to DIY a lot of things to fit into our $2,000 budget.

As such, off we went to Ikea - where we can get storage system at our budget.

Some 3 hours later..............

Most of the things that we need have been bought and we spent about $900! There was supposed to be an Ikea sale going on but wtf everything we bought were not on sale.

Some of the things we bought!

1. Toy Storage + Book Shelves
- $99 for the frame, which we bought 4 of them
- $29 for a pair of shelf pieces
- Storage boxes in three different sizes, we bought 3 each ($3, $5 & $7 respectively)

Total damage for these: $470

Here's how it turned out after we fixed them up:

Nice or not????? :D

I thought it is pretty neat overall, not bad for $470, which is actually >50% of our total expenditure there. One stroke of luck was that we thought there would be more space left after we place the storage but if you're sharp enough and notice the bottom left, you'd realize that our shelves end exactly on the door frame.

Apparently, even though I took the entire measurement of the wall to be 1.78m and that the width of an individual carcass is 44cm (which should technically work out to 1.76m), we forgot to anticipate the double layers in between the shelves that contributed to the additional length.

Luckily we calculated some extra space so that it eventually ended up nicely! *cold sweat*

You will also notice on the right there are a pile of pillows, those are for our cozy corner which have yet to be completed when we took this photo cuz we haven't laid our carpets yet, but below the pile of pillows are Dylan and Alexis' little table!

2. Table + 2 chairs
Damage: $39.90

I dunno how much weight these chairs can take because I certainly don't dare to sit on it to test for now lol but for $40, it looks pretty reasonable and not too flimsy. Most importantly, it is not wobbly. It says a lot about the quality of a table if it is wobbly. The kids will be able to write and draw very well there!

3. Carpet
- 2 pieces at $169 each

This high-pile carpet is craaaazy comfortable and I was SO HAPPY when I realized that it was in the size we wanted (195cm x 133cm) because the layout of our room is quite awkward  because of a missing "piece" on one of the corners, so buying one big piece of carpet to lay is quite mission impossible.

We also decided that we will not carpet the entire room, just half of it, because of the weird dimensions as well. By carpeting half of the room it makes the measurements more "standard" and carpets easier to purchase.

We played around with the different dimensions and worked out that our room is exactly 2.66m across, so if we're lucky enough, we may just find something that can fit perfectly. AND VOILA, a carpet with 1.33m width, which means that it is exactly 2.66m when we pile two side-by-side! *throws confetti*

We are planning to go back to purchase another carpet for our living room. With Dy's play corner moved into a room by itself, our living room is suddenly SO MUCH bigger it instantly brightens up my day when I stay at home. Finally a 4-room flat that has space!


Earlier on, we mentioned that we were thinking of painting the wall by ourselves because really, painting isn't that hard. It is just a lot of sweat, time and effort. So while brainstorming on the colours (olive green, pale green, light green, grass green, neon green etc), we thought why not explore the possibilities of wallpapers since printed colours are usually more vibrant and I personally like it that it can come with various textures, which is difficult/impossible to achieve with wall paint.

We then spoke with the contractors from Recherche Furnishings & Automation to learn more about wallpapers.

Basically, wallpapers come from various countries but typically they are from China, Korea and Holland. And like what all of us would have anticipated, those from China are of course the cheapest and the most expensive ones from Holland, because of the quality and freight fees. Recherche only carries Korean wallpapers but there were so many for us to choose from, we actually took two hours to make a decision.

We eventually settled for a cloth-based light green wallpaper with very nice texture!

The above was something we chose while browsing the catalogue, and below's how it looks after installation:

In the day
*cues awkward silence*

I know! It is definitely not as obvious as what we saw from the catalogue, but it is largely because of the small contrast between our cream coloured walls and this one. It actually looks better at night with our lights on.

Close up of it at night
How it looks like from afar
We really like the subtle green + the woven texture overall! Plus I feel that the workmanship is very good, we can't see the lines where they connect at all and Nian said that the installation guy was really skillful. Overall, it was a really great experience. ^-^

It costs about $400-$450 to wallpaper a piece of wall like ours. Instead of calculating by a minimum fee, Recherche goes by the number of rolls of wallpaper used. Not sure if this is the same throughout the entire industry though but what I can say is that 1 roll really goes a long way because after sticking our 3.9m x 2.4m wall, we still have quite a bit left.

The wallpaper is given to us for our own disposal - we can choose to keep and use it for patching up in the future, or get the contractor to stick on other walls, whichever you like.

Cozy Corner

The cozy corner is meant to be a corner (so that we can relax one corner) filled with beanbags and cushion, it is also a corner we hope will be comfortable enough for our kids to laze and read or play. We considered purchasing some beanbags but as luck would have it, I took part in a giveaway and won one, in a soccer ball design no less!

If only I'm as hot as this girl, that'd be perrrfect. Here's out it looks like eventually, without the beanbag cuz it was not yet delivered when we took this photo:

And here is me, lazing around after Dylan went to bed! It was so huge, we were contemplating putting the beanbag in the living room, but we already have a very nice-to-slack sofa. Our place is slowly becoming a slack-nest. LOL

Total damage thus far: $1250 +/-


Before we embarked on this Project Playroom, I honestly thought it was something that can be done within like two days #yahright. Turns out, it actually took us one whole month! I think the hardest part was to clear the room out. So many things, dunno where they should go!

This was the mess we cleared out from our book shelf + a ginormous table we used to place in one corner. The rule of thumb at home is this - you can never have a table that is of no proper use lying around. It will eventually become a dumping ground. AGREE OR NOT????

We eventually repacked everything - I realized I have A LOT of stationery: most pens from Pilot, our scrapbooking stuff that we used while preparing for our ROM, plenty of envelopes (to mail out stuff for our customers), lots of notebooks from goodies bags etc. I always say that my husband is a hoarder, actually I think I am one too. I love to keep all these fancy stationery and pens in all sorts of colours!

Where to keep them after we repacked and threw away the useless stuff? Right in the store. We specially cleared 4 boxes of the stuff we moved from our old place just to fit these new things, hehehe.

Here's how our store look like now:

I am honestly praying that Singapore won't go into war or have any natural disaster any time soon because if they ask us to hide inside the bomb shelter, it's probably gonna take us a week to clear everything so that our family can hide inside wtf. By then I think die oready.

We may also be throwing away the idea of the magnetic paint because we really have no time to go down to source and test out the magnetic strength.. maybe next time we'll get it done when we have more time on our hands.

Of course, you know all our hard work is worth it when we see this every morning. ^-^

Next project: Doing up Dy & A's bedroom! Slowly but surely, I think Imma soon redo our bedroom too. Then the toilets. The works from Rangers Design and Deco were such an eyesore I don't think I can tahan for another few more years. (read about our horrifying contractor here)

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