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!


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