Friday, February 04, 2011

Transformed Family Room and a completed album

Blessed Lunar New Year! We are celebrating Chinese New Year in Singapore (and around the world!) and have some time amidst the festivities and awfully lots of good food to blog :)

Well it took a lot longer than we were told to expect, but after 3 weeks of living on very little liveable space while surrounded by wood, paint, and tonnes of dust, our renovations are done! And we are so happy with our 'new' family room!

First I must show you this amazing thing Jared did while we were planning the renovations. We had many ideas and could not make up our minds (yikes!) it was hard for our contractor to keep drawing and re-drawing the plans! One night Jared heard our conversations and said "I can help." Then he took the contractors' 2D plans, brought up Google Sketch Up on his computer and in about an hour did up the living room in 3D plans! We were SO impressed and SO PROUD of the little guy. We played around in the program and finalised what we want by the next day!

When our living room came into being, Jared exclaimed "My 3D design has come to life!" Dh and I are secretly thinking maybe one day he will become an outstanding architect or designer and will trace the beginning of his career to this moment! :)

Well, I have not been able to scrap the transformation of our Family Room yet, so here are some before, during and after pics. It might have been horribly dusty and inconvenient in the in between days, but the whole family was so excited we took it in our stride. I had to come home and sweep, vacuum and mop a 'space' every day, and the boys had to sleep in various odd places while their room was being worked on, one night in a little space between the kitchen and the dining table, but it was like an adventure, what troopers! It has been such a ride, all worth it!

Here's our old bookcases which were overflowing and that first pushed us to the idea of renovating. Originally I only wanted to build in new floor to ceiling bookcases, but one thing led to another, and we did a whole lot more, lol!
Here's how our family room looked like before, it's really nice too, actually, cluttered and cosy and eclectic, but our family room and where we spent the past 11.5 years!

In the distance was the old study table shared by all and where only the desktop could stay on a permanent basis (Ryan and i had to take out, set up, and keep our laptops everyday), and our old dining table.
All the books and stuff in the living room has to be packed up into boxes, we had to throw and give away a lot! And still had 27 boxes in limbo for 3 weks!
Having a fun home movie in the bedroom!
 Almost everything had been torn down and we still need to live our daily lives...
 Working in the 'home office'
 Sleeping arrangements (all in mom and dad's room like the old (baby) days!)
 Here's how it was during the building stage
 And... tada! Finally, enjoying the new family room!!!! Here's the dining cum bookcase area!
 The new mom and dad's study area
The boys' study area with space for their lego and exoforce, and the Hulk... gracing the sofa area, which I tried to infuse with the robin egg blue color scheme I wanted... don't think it's working, the lego and hulk are overtaking the color scheme ... lol
And star wars lego take pride of display space... not quite my plan.. but it's the family room, the family argues, so I have to agree...
 And all of boys' toys and board games find space in the huge white cupboards
My laptop has its permanent place now! Don't ask why the boys are squeezed in front of their dad's PC after we create so much more space for everyone

Oh! My Micah 6:8 word art turned out beautifully! We love it. Every family needs an anchor verse where everyone can see it. We should have had it long ago. It was blown up to 80cm X 70 cm on canvas printing. The little red figurines and decorations for Chinese New Year.
 And here's our new Travel Magnetic Scrapbook! We always collect magnets as souvenirs, and this time decided to put up our photos from the various trips over the years as well. We bought 3 magnetic boards from Ikea and fixed them together. It's wonderful to have these trvel memories up where we see it everyday. Try it!
 And here's our new floor to ceiling bookcases. Lots more space for more books, yipee!!
 Thank you God for this wonderful new living space!
 The boys had been sleeping on the floor of their room for the longest time..
 Now they get a 'double'' bed, the lower part pulls out at night for sleeping. And more display area for bionicles :)
Wow, blogging about the transformation and lining up all the before and after photos together, has made me feel that before the renovations, though our space was slightly messy and uncoordinated, it was lived-in, and full of 'us'. Now we have a chic and more spacious space and soon it too will become lived-in and infused with 'us'. And that's the plan! It's not the design or the neatness, but the living in the space that makes it our home

We experienced another interesting development after the new room took shape and new furniture arrived. It was mostly white as planned (we think it brightens and makes our room feel bigger) and very easy to spot any dust or dirt! We also had the marble floor re-polished and became suddenly very conscious of not scratching the floor, not dirtying the white walls, chairs, and so on... after a week, dh declared that we have become slaves of the new home, lol! We were constantly cleaning, and making the boys nervous with constant reminders not to this and that... not the way to enjoy the family room at all! We have since intentionally calmed down and stopped the slaving. Gladly however, the boys seemed to have developed better habits in terms of keeping the place clean and neat, a very welcomed effect!! :)

Amazingly in the midst of all that was happening, I scrapped whenever I could, re-using my own templates, and have completed my entire Hokkaido trip album! Some templates had to be tweaked and developed into new layout templates, and I enjoyed making every one of them.

This was using template 112 , where we enjoyed awesome lamb bbq and 'sledding' at the Historical Village of Hokkaido Museum grounds.
More pics of this amazing open air museum where historical buildings from the past were relocated from all parts of Hokkaido.

Then we made our way to theOkurayama Ski Jump where we were just in time to catch jumpers practising, awesome!
At the same site, there is now a Winter Sports Museum where we 'tried' every winter sport!
And had a chance to take the ski lift ourselves..

Here we were visiting the grounds of an old temple beautifully covered in snow..

It was our last afternoon in Sappporo and our last chance to play in the snow. (template 123)
 And Jared had his own last encounters with the snow...
Then we flew back to Tokyo and visited Akihabara.. (template 25)
And also to Sega Joypolis.. (template 30)
Wandered on toy street and chanced upon the Tokyo Lego Office! (template 146)
Made a interesting visit to the Edo Tokyo Museum (template 33)
And a final layout to round up the trip
An entire page of reflections I made in my journal on one of the nights on the trip went into the last page of my album. I think this might be my first no-photo page!

And here's the album! I had huge discounts at shutterfly and got this for under $80, it's on it's way to us now!

The ski lift layout has been turned into template 236 to share:
This template is now available as Template Pack 8 in the Store. Thanks for your interest!


  1. Thank you, as always, for the template! And, your new space is lovely! Bright, airy, and truly functional. Loved the 3-D your son did;these kids, they are going to take over the world... while we're still trying to figure out how to Tweet.

  2. Yin this is awesome! Your renovated space is lovely...I know you and your family are going to enjoy it for years to come. I love the bookcases and work gives me some ideas;) Your layouts as always are gorgeous and thank you again for sharing your lovely templates with all of us!

  3. I really need floor to ceiling bookcases like that! neat to see the transformation and WTG Jared for helping with the 3D drawings. I'm sure that will be a useful skill in the future!
    Thanks for the new template. I still use them regularly to help me get my pages done. I don't know what I would do without them!

  4. Your new family room turned out great! Love all the Japan layouts. Thanks so much for another great template!

  5. Thank you for the new template, can't wait to use it! Your renovations look great!

  6. I have a magnet board wall (from IKEA) as well. I love it! Thanks for the template.

  7. Congratulations - I'm so happy for you! I hope you and your precious family enjoy many happy years there in health, peace, joy and continued salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ! I am truly so very happy for you!


  8. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the DigiFree category today [05 Feb 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  9. The transformation is super. Love the airy look (and your robin's egg blue looks fine amidst the star wars and hulk, lol). If Jared wants more practice I can send him pictures of my living room. hehehe. It sure won't be long until he will be making his life pursuit known and looks as if he has a good start. The Japanese trip book is great. One of these days we are going to have to get over there (our DIL is Japanese). Take care and I look forward to seeing more of your family room as it begins to take on the lived in feel.

  10. Wow! It is fun seeing your transformation! I am sure it kept you quite busy! Thanks for another fabulous template!

  11. Thanks for the template, and I love, love, love your book. Thanks for sharing - I'm inspired!!

  12. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 10 post on Feb. 05, 2011. Thanks again.

  13. Thanks for sharing

  14. thanks for sharing the template!

  15. I kept checking your blog to see the renos. Thanks for posting. It's so exciting to have a space that works better for the fam!

  16. That was brilliant of your son to transform the layout into 3d for you.

    THanks for the template.

    Can you tell me where I might find template #235?

  17. Hi!

    Thank you for the wonderful template! :) I always love them! Your new layouts are great!

  18. Moin!

    Thanks a lot for all your templates sharing with us!!

    Greetings form Hamburg :-)

  19. Gung Hay Fat Choy, we have been celebrating the Year of the Rabbit here too with the girls. I just coordinated a large party with several other families of Chinese children. Love the reorganizing. We just did the same thing for the girls, giving them a work area and desk for the laptops and getting them off the dining table. Isn't it nice? And thank you for the template. I'm finally scrapping again. I'll email you when I finally post some to my blog again. Take care and thanks!

  20. Thanks for another great template! Your photo book is wonderful!

  21. Thanks so much for the freebie!!! I've also let my readers at Scrap Trends know that you have a freebie, so that they can come visit your blog to grab it.

  22. It looks awesome, Yin! Both the renovations and the album! :) I'm going to attempt a monthly album this year, and I'm very inspired by your photobooks. Thanks for sharing the new template!

  23. Oh, I forgot to say... Great job, Jared!

  24. I love your layouts! Your blog page with the layouts behind the text box is awesome too! What amazing memories!
    Thanks so much for the template!

  25. Thanks Yin! I always love your layouts! You have such a great style! Also thanks for posting the templates that you used in your layouts! I really appreciate it!

    Patti in Dallas, Texas, USA

  26. Thanks so much

  27. Love the album! Where did you get the huge shutterfly discount? I need to order my 2010 book and have been looking around for some discounts but haven't found anything good yet! Please share if you can! :)

  28. Thank you for another AWESOME template! Glad you're able to enjoy your family room after the renovation and that you all remained so upbeat during it!

  29. Thanks for the template. So thrilled for you and the makeover. It will be feeling like a lived-in family room in no time. Enjoy!!!

  30. Thanks a lot!!

  31. I found your blog while looking for templates and fell in love with your style and your family! keep up the good work!

  32. Hi Yin! Sorry I'm so late in posting. This was a big entry and I wanted to soak it all in :) I LOOOVED seeing your living room transformation. I love IKEA too. I also love all of your new scrapbook layouts and the fact you went back and reused Template #25 :) Yay! Thank you so much for what you sent me, and for the new freebie. I just love your blog posts!

  33. Thank You so much! I have a question. Have you ever tried to order photo books from PICABOO? I'm thinking to try it, but still not sure. Congratulations on your new room. Looks awesome!

  34. Hi Gizelle, no I haven't tried PICABOO. If you try it, let us know your reviews! Yin

  35. thank you so much for the template. I use your templates 99.9% of the time. No joke. LOVE THEM!!!

  36. You have been busy, and I love the new look... particularly the legos. Reminds me of my house!

  37. THANK YOU for the template and love the room design! You're so generous.

  38. HI YIN!!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and the lovely compliments :-)!!! YOU are the guru - so compliments from you are like gold :-)!! ... just wanted to let you know that I posted a bunch more pages - all inspired by your templates - and thought you might like to check them out :-).

    thank you for allllll you do for us moms who just want to save every memory and not have to spend hours and hours doing it!!

    love tawn xx

  39. Hi Yin, I have only just discovered digital scrapbooking and stumbled across your site. I have really enjoyed your reading your blog so far. We have a few things in common which kept my interest...I grew up in Singapore, I'm Christian and we are currently building! Your study along the wall is very similar to what we are planning in our new home and it was great to find a photo that we can show our architect! Your photo book by the way is fabulous and so inspiring. So thank you for taking the time to blog!

  40. Thank you a million times over for your templates! My soul purpose for starting scrapbooking was to fit more pictures to a page! I use your templates over and over again. What makes it even better is that I get to read the blog of a sister in Christ as well! Blessings!

  41. I love your renovations! White would never work in my house. LOL

    Thanks again for another fabulous template!

    The word art is stunning. I need to do that for my family. Thank you for the inspiration.

  42. I am so loving all your pages and travel. Thank you for your templates. THEY'RE WONDERFUL!!!!

    I live in Japan and was wondering where the Lego Offices are. I have not heard of them before and I know my kids would love it.



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