Joogo Home https://home.joogostyle.com Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain Sat, 01 Dec 2018 03:11:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0 https://i0.wp.com/home.joogostyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cropped-Favicon-Joogo-L.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Joogo Home https://home.joogostyle.com 32 32 HDB BTO Toilet Acrylic and Lighting https://home.joogostyle.com/bto-toilet-acrylic/ https://home.joogostyle.com/bto-toilet-acrylic/#respond Sat, 01 Dec 2018 03:11:34 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=786 We bought our toilet ceiling lights from Taobao, a minimalism square of white light, at a fraction of Singapore’s price. The design was nice but we should have bought the warm white instead of cool white. We loved the warm lighting in our previous rented […]

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We bought our toilet ceiling lights from Taobao, a minimalism square of white light, at a fraction of Singapore’s price. The design was nice but we should have bought the warm white instead of cool white. We loved the warm lighting in our previous rented place, a romantic and hotel ambience.

We didn’t even realise we got the wrong hue of light after installation. It only came to our attention after we saw a group-buy on our BTO’s Facebook group. The group-buy is to replace the toilet ceiling’s nest-like cover with acrylic panel and install LED T5 light. And that was our second chance to have ambient lighting in the toilets.

TADAH! Totally change the ambience of the toilet.

BTO Toilet Acrylic


Options for Lighting in Toilet 


Other homeowners changed the nest-like covers to acrylic for less superficial reasons like us. According to my neighbour, the covering up with acrylic is for easier maintenance and to prevent cockroach or lizard from crawling in the hidden corners.

There are three ways you can make this change:

  1. Contractor
  2. Find your own vendor/sub-contractor to outsource the work
  3. Do it yourself (DIY)

Contractor’s quote is the most expensive, followed by the sub-contractor’s. DIY is naturally the cheapest option. For the first two options, you pay to save yourself the hassle. But the last option is not as hard as it seems. And that was what we chose. But before we bring you on our DIY journey, here’s a price reference for sub-contractors.

This was the group-buy price as of June 2017 (I don’t know which vendor they used):

  • Supply and Installation for Two Bathrooms (from S$300)
    • Acrylic Panels: S$160 (U.P. S$190)
    • Acrylic Panels (Others): Coloured at S$280; Double sided of glossy and frosted at S$230.
    • T5 LED Light: S$140 (Additional)
  • Supply and Installation for One Bathroom
    • Acrylic Panels and T5 LED Light: S$160

Process of DIY: BTO Toilet Acrylic Panel


Vendor: Dama Trading

We were tempted to join the group-buy until another neighbour suggested we check out his wholesale contact – Dama Trading (“Dama”). They sell both LED lights and acrylic sheet, among other things.

We were contemplating if we should use Dama because hubby had to measure on his own, and he wasn’t too confident. But the price by Dama is too good a deal to pass by. It’s S$116.57 for the acrylic panels and T5 LED light sets for two bathrooms. More on the price breakdown at the end.

The DIY Process

First, measure the nest-like cover at the ceiling, that is the panels of holes that “cover” the toilet pipes.

Secondly, email or phone Dama with the measurements so they can provide you with a quote.

  • + 65 6743 6100
  • sales@dama.com.sg

Photo: Dama’s Office (2nd floor)

Thirdly, visit their office at Blk 3029A Ubi Road 3 # 01-98/99 Singapore 408661.

  • Mondays – Fridays: 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Saturdays: 8:30am to 3:00pm
  • Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

We went to the office on second floor, and someone greeted us at the door to direct us to the right counters. They had sofa for waiting customers to sit and also served coffee and tea. At the counter, we gave the measurements again. The staff calculated the size of the acrylic sheet needed. Note that they will cut your required pieces from a bigger piece, and you pay for the price of the bigger piece.

Payment was on the spot. With the invoice, we headed down to the workshop at the first floor and passed it to one of the workers. Thereafter, we waited about 15-20 minutes for him to cut the acrylic sheets for us. It’s hard to take the public transportation with these acrylic panels, and thus it’s best to arrange your own vehicle.

Oh before you leave, remember to get the T5 LED lights from the office. You can get it from the guys seated at the tables above the steps. Right side of you as you enter the office.

Photo: Dama’s Workspace (1st floor)

Lastly, install the lights and acrylic sheets in the bathrooms. We paid our contractor S$60 to do the electrical wiring – “Electrical works to extend lighting point from access panel, included labour to install LED strip light.”

We wanted to install LED strip instead of T5 initially. In any case, our contractor helped us to install the T5 lights and acrylic sheets, but according to hubby, the light and sheets installation is relatively easy.


Dama’s Price Breakdown 


We needed 6 acrylic pieces in total for our two bathrooms: L-shape box in our master bedroom toilet, and straight box in our common toilet.

Invoiced Amount

Total for Acrylic = S$73.88

  • Cutting charges: S$2.00
  • PL-422 Barley Acrylic sheet: S$42.68
    • Size : 1220 mm x 1830 mm x 3 mm thick
    • Cut into 4 pieces, 2 each: 585 mm x 1110 mm; and 325 mm x 790 mm
  • PL-422 Barley Acrylic sheet x 2pcs = S$14 x 2 = S$26.00
    • Size : 500 mm x 820 mm x 3 mm thick

Total for T5 LED = S$42.69

  • T5-15W LED Light (L:900mm) = S$10 x 3 = S$30
  • T5-20W LED Light (L:1200mm) = S$12

Total = S$116.57 (before GST and discount)

(as of Jun 2017, prices might have changed since then)

Other Fees

Subject to 7 % GST, but there are discounts for different tiers of purchase amount. We got a sales discount of 5% but it has since been revised to 3%. Revised terms on a single invoice:

  • C.O.D: Purchase above S$300 = 7% discount
  • Cash & Carry:
    • Purchase below S$500 = 3% discount
    • Purchase above S$500 = 7% discount
There’s an even cheaper option but we had to cut the acrylic ourselves, which was way out of our league. So we didn’t get it. If you want, you can get S$6/piece (4ft x 2ft) from Choo Chiang Electrical (Blk 3 Toa Payoh Industrial Park #01-1381). 

Review


After more than a year of installation, I’m happy to say that there is no problem with the acrylic sheet. However, one of the T5 LED light bulbs was fused after using it for slightly less than a year. Since the T5 LED tubes from Dama are also from China, we probably could have gotten cheaper bulbs from TaoBao. However we got them from Dama for convenience’s sake. So purchase spare light bulbs just in case!

Otherwise, we are pleased with the warm lighting. Every night, we switched this on instead of the white ceiling light for our relaxing shower before bed. 🙂

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Recipe: Homemade Meatballs https://home.joogostyle.com/recipe-homemade-meatballs/ https://home.joogostyle.com/recipe-homemade-meatballs/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 03:33:17 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=719 I always thought preparing homemade meatballs belong to the league of experienced home cooks. But as it turned out, it’s a simple dish! A healthier choice as compared to processed meatballs. You can either eat them with rice or add them to porridge. Prep and […]

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I always thought preparing homemade meatballs belong to the league of experienced home cooks. But as it turned out, it’s a simple dish! A healthier choice as compared to processed meatballs. You can either eat them with rice or add them to porridge.


Prep and Cook Time (Serves 2)


Prep: 40 minutes to prepare ingredients.

Cook: 10 minutes to cook the dish.


Preparation


Prepare and Marinate the Meatballs

  • Marinate the minced meat (pork or beef) with sesame oil.
  • For healthier choice: Add small bits of broccoli or chopped vegetables into the minced meat.
  • Optional: Add pepper and salt into the marinade for seasoning.
  • Roll the minced meat into small meatballs with your hands. You can scoop the portion out with a spoon.
  • Let the marinated meatballs sit for about 30 mins.

Cooking


Meatballs with rice:

  • Cook the rice separately.
  • Steam the meatballs for 5 to 10 minutes until they’re cooked through.

Meatball porridge:

  • Prepare the porridge with vegetable/chicken stock and extra ginger.
  • Optional: Add pepper, sesame oil and salt for seasoning.
  • Add in the marinated meatballs to boil together with porridge.
  • Optional: Add spring onion for garnishing. And crack an egg just as the porridge is done.

Enjoy the juicy meatballs!

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Review of LG F1410SPRE (Washing Machine) https://home.joogostyle.com/review-of-lg-f1410spre/ https://home.joogostyle.com/review-of-lg-f1410spre/#respond Wed, 05 Sep 2018 03:11:42 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=709 This review of LG F1410SPRE (washing machine) is not sponsored. It was written after I have tried and tested it for ~15 months, since 1 Jun 17. Be sure to read about “Buying a Washing Machine in Singapore” before you continue with this review. From […]

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This review of LG F1410SPRE (washing machine) is not sponsored. It was written after I have tried and tested it for ~15 months, since 1 Jun 17.

Be sure to read about “Buying a Washing Machine in Singapore” before you continue with this review. From that post, I listed a few pertinent questions to consider before deciding on LG F1410SPRE.

  1. Front Load or Top Load washer?
  2. Are you thinking of a 2 in 1 – washer and dryer combo?
  3. Other features to consider?
  4. Which brand is suitable for you?

Our Final Choice


Decision Process

You can also see our thought process, through these questions, at “Buying a Washing Machine in Singapore“.

In summary, we chose front-load washer for its water efficiency and performance. And LG for its good reputation for washer while still being affordable, unlike the expensive European brands. The salesperson presented us with these two LG choices, both of which are 6 Motion Inverter Direct Drive Washing Machine:

  • F1410SPRE: 10kg, with TrueSteam and Turbo Wash. Black only. Made in Korea.
  • F1408NC3W: 8kg, with Turbo Wash. White only. Made in Thailand

Our Purchase

F1410SPRE stood out because it’s made in Korea and we wanted black. Moreover, the TrueSteam function and 10kg capacity sounded enticing to us who were expecting a baby.

The price difference between these two models is only S$200+. So why not get the one with a bigger capacity, made in Korea and in stylish black?

Hence we bought LG F1410SPRE for S$1,149 from Gain City. We were promised free delivery until final payment. Apparently, there’s a S$30 delivery fee for items below $1,500. We got it waived in the end after a bit of hassle.

Official Information on LG F1410SPRE.

Review of LG F1410SPRE

Image Credit: lg.com


Review of LG F1410SPRE


The LG washing machine (“washer”) was delivered to our previous place on 1 June 2017. It was then shifted as we moved into our new BTO flat (September 2017). Our baby was coming and I wanted to wash all the baby clothes before her arrival. Hence, we got this washer before we shifted into the new place.

This review was written after we have tried and tested it LG F1410SPRE for ~15 months.

1) Made in Korea. Black.

Made in Korea

On hindsight, it doesn’t really matter if the washer was made in Korea or Thailand. LG should have the same strict QC standards regardless of the place of production.

Sadly, there’s a bit of rust at the top of the front load door. Is it because I sometimes spilled detergent on it? Hope the area of rust doesn’t spread.

Black

I think it’s more stylish to have a black washer. However, because we didn’t do windows for our service yard, we had to put a waterproof washing machine cover over the washer. Hence, the colour wouldn’t have mattered much once it’s covered. But to me, this black washer still looks more stylish than its white counterpart. Justifying our purchase

2) Top load vs Front Load.

From Top to Front Load

Although we grew up with a top load until this washer, we transited to a front load washer without any hiccup. In fact, I relish being able to sit on the floor to sort out the laundry and shove them into the washer at the same time.

Last Minute Laundry

It wasn’t easy for me to decide on a front load washer initially because of last minute laundry. Top load allows me to drop them in after the laundry cycle has started. On the other hand, I’ve heard that this is not the case for front load.

Turns out my worry is unfounded. For LG F1410SPRE, I could still throw in laundry after a few minutes, even when water had started trickling into the drum. I just needed to pause the cycle and wait for the door to unlock before I opened it. However after a while more, the door can only be opened after the laundry is done. This is to prevent door from opening and water from gushing out. So at least I have a few minutes of grace to throw in any forgotten laundry!

Maintaining a Front Load

There’s a hassle with front load though, it’s good practice to always wipe dry the front load’s door and its rubber lining after each laundry. Moreover, use the Tub Clean function regularly with anti limescale (I haven’t tried this yet). For maintenance, here’s a LG video tutorial on how to keep your washer clean.

3) 10kg Wash Capacity.

Is 10kg necessary for a family of two and a baby?

It depends.

If you separate baby and adult laundry like me, 10kg is not very necessary. Moreover for baby’s laundry, I usually use ‘Gentle Care’ wash program, aka delicate hand wash. This would not be applicable for adult’s clothes. So I usually separate them out.

Recently, I’m starting to mix the now-toddler and adult laundry. 10kg is still quite big, but a good to have when I accumulate the laundry.

10kg wash capacity finally proves useful when I am changing bedsheets! 🙂 And if I have another baby, this capacity is good. If you don’t mind mixing laundry of the child and adults, then 10kg definitely saves you from washing so often. Moreover, 10kg allows laundry size to grow. Yes, you can always upgrade to a bigger washer or to wash another round but that’s extra money and time spent.

Would I still go for 10kg?

Actually I’m still undecided.

The wash capacity is underutilised 70% of the time. But it’s better than having a smaller washer and not able to wash more when I need to. With a baby on hand, time is precious and I rather not spend it on extra rounds of laundry.

Moreover it’s a front load and thus with load detection. This means that the washer will weigh the load and decide on the water level. So even if I don’t maximise the 10kg capacity, I wouldn’t need to worry about the waste of water.

4) TrueSteam

We were particularly interested in LG’s TrueSteam because the salesperson told us it’s good for steaming soft toys and lightly worn winter clothing. I think I did try TrueSteam when the washer first came. But the wash cycle shot up from the usual 1.5 hours to 3 hours! I was stunned and quite worried about the amount of electricity it was using.

I forgot about TrueSteam and its purpose until I revisited my previous post about washers. Most of the soft toys I have washed so far allowed for gentle machine wash. I probably should try the “Steam Refresh” function on those soft toys that don’t allow for machine wash. Time to fully utilise the steam cycle function with this video tutorial.

Also, I probably would try TrueSteam on curtains, and quilts during our next annual spring cleaning. So my 10kg capacity can be put in good use too!

5) Other Functions

Wash Programs

I like their range of wash programs. 4 out of the 13 pre-set programs are most commonly used by me. I would also often adjust the RPM and temperature to suit the laundry type. One gripe I have is that they don’t have 30°C, while most clothing care label indicate cold, 30 or 40°C. So I have to use 20°C for those, not a deal breaker though.

Tag On function (Smart Technology)

The pre-set programs didn’t really meet my needs for my cloth diaper laundry. So I wanted to download cycles to my washer – real cool right? Except my phone doesn’t support NFC which is required for LG washer. So I couldn’t have the washer communicate with my phone to download cycles and perform SmartDiagnosis. Such a cool technology but with such a limitation.

Child Lock

Child lock is particularly important because my baby’s curious fingers keep finding their way to the buttons. She even stopped my laundry cycle halfway and I have to re-wash. Sadly, the power button is the easiest for her to press and that’s the only button that’s not lock when child lock is activated.

Overall

Overall, it’s time to fully utilise the extra functions to make our washer a value buy!

However this was expected – sometimes we pay more for appliances to be smarter, but are not diligent enough to learn and utilise the new functions. At least for me, I didn’t feel motivated to study the washer thoroughly enough, because I’m happy enough when the basic cleaning is done.

So if you are unmotivated as well, perhaps you can consider the more basic washer that usually has a lower price point.

6) Performance

Noise

I think front load washer naturally has loud vibrations because this model specifically indicate that’s it is with less vibration. Yet, the wash cycle can still be noisy with vibration noise and sometimes thumping sounds with heavy load.

There was once the vibration noise got real loud. Hubby checked it out and found that the feet are not resting evenly on the ground because of loose screws. Once he tightened them, the vibration is not as bad.

Are you irritated by the beep sound when you press a button, or the LG melody tune at the end of each laundry cycle? Tip: Simply switch it off when you touch and hold the Steam and Pre Wash button simultaneously for three seconds.

However, you wouldn’t get a sound signal to alert you when there’s an error in the wash cycle or when the cycle has ended.

Cycle Time

For normal cotton cycle, it’s usually 1.5 hour. But for some reason it goes up to 3 hours sometimes. Perhaps I pressed some button by accident. Shrugs. It happened to me a few times and I was still wondering why my laundry was not yet done after so long.

So now I try to wait for the washer to finish weighing the load and calculate the wash time. Check that it’s 1+ hour before I leave it alone to its washing.

Overall

Overall, we are satisfied with the work performance of this stylish workhorse. No major breakdowns as yet. Hope it stays this way! 🙂

Read my guides on how to choose the right washing machine and mattress and make an informed purchase.

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Recipe: Steamed Tofu with Fish Paste https://home.joogostyle.com/steamed-tofu-with-fish-paste/ https://home.joogostyle.com/steamed-tofu-with-fish-paste/#respond Sun, 26 Aug 2018 13:32:08 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=713 For lunch, I simply prepare rice and ‘Steamed Tofu with Fish Paste’ for baby Evangeline (~13mths) and myself to share. This saves me the hassle of preparing two sets of meal. For myself, I didn’t even need to add soy sauce for taste. The BoBo fish paste I bought […]

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For lunch, I simply prepare rice and ‘Steamed Tofu with Fish Paste’ for baby Evangeline (~13mths) and myself to share. This saves me the hassle of preparing two sets of meal. For myself, I didn’t even need to add soy sauce for taste. The BoBo fish paste I bought for this dish was a tad too salty.


Prep and Cook Time (Serves 2)


Prep: 25 minutes to prepare ingredients.

Cook: 15 minutes to cook the dish.


Preparation


Prepare Tofu and Fish Paste Mixture

  • Mix 100g of Fish Paste* with 1/2 slab of Silken Tofu (for steaming)
  • Optional: Add 1 beaten egg, sesame oil and pepper to taste into the mixture. Salt if fish paste is unsalted.
  • Use a fork and mash the tofu with fish paste until it has pasty-like consistency.

*Add 1 tbsp of water if fish paste is dry.

Prepare Ingredients (Optional**)

All washed and finely chopped:

  • Leafy vegetables
  • Carrot

**I add these ingredients for Evangeline’s sake. These are not included in the original recipe.

For leafy vegetables, it’s whatever suitable for toddlers. We usually use Chinese Spinach (莧菜, Yin Choi, Bayam (Malay), Amaranth) or Wolfberry Shoots (Gao Gei Choi, 枸杞葉). For more about vegetables: stephysiology.blogspot.com/2012/01/from-dining-table-x-into-data-table.html

Curtains or Blinds

This is a photo of a half eaten dish. Much water was produced during the steaming. 


Cooking


  • Spread the ‘Tofu and Fish Paste Mixture‘ evenly in a steaming bowl.
  • For healthier choice: Add chopped leafy vegetables like Spinach, and grated carrot over the mixture.
  • Steam for 10 minutes on high fire.

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Recipe: Chicken Claypot Rice https://home.joogostyle.com/chicken-claypot-rice/ https://home.joogostyle.com/chicken-claypot-rice/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2018 08:37:03 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=685 I have been using HappyCall pot to cook this Chicken Claypot Rice recipe for 2-3 years now. It’s a simple dish to cook, but there’s a bit of preparation work required. Prep and Cook Time (Serves 2) Thaw: 2-3 hours to thaw frozen chicken. For […]

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I have been using HappyCall pot to cook this Chicken Claypot Rice recipe for 2-3 years now. It’s a simple dish to cook, but there’s a bit of preparation work required.

Prep and Cook Time (Serves 2)

Thaw: 2-3 hours to thaw frozen chicken. For best practice, thaw meat in the fridge from morning.

Prep: 1-2 hours to prepare the marinade and ingredients.

Cook: 20 minutes to cook the dish.

Preparation

Prepare Marinade

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp of ginger juice (grate a knob of ginger and squeeze)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp corn flour

Prepare Ingredients

  • 1.75 cups rice, washed and drained
  • Xiao Bai Cai, wash and cut the ends
  • Cut salted fish into small pieces
  • Slice chinese sausage (腊肠, “la chang”, “lap cheong”).
  • Cut mushroom into thick slices. If Chinese mushroom, soak before cutting.
  • Cut 1 chicken thigh into bite-sized pieces for this dish,
  • Marinate two* pieces of chicken & mushroom for at least 1 hour. Leave it in the fridge.

*For the other thigh, also prepare marinade for it and leave it to bake in oven.

Directions

  • Fry the salted fish with a little oil in the pot.
  • Once the fish turned brown, pour the washed rice into the pot with slightly less than 1.75 cups water, sprinkle chicken stock into the water.
  • Close the lid and bring to boil over medium heat. Once it boils, lower the fire and cook till the stock is absorbed into the rice but still wet.
  • Spread the marinated chicken, mushrooms, sliced sausage and salted fish (optional) over the rice.
  • Pour in the remaining marinade all over the ingredients and towards the side of the pot.
  • Close the lid and cook with low heat, until rice and chicken are cooked, which will take about 15 minutes. (Optional: Add in the Xiao Bai Cai after the 15 minutes.)
  • Flake the rice, cover lid and cook for another 5 minutes and you’re done! (Optional: Sprinkle chopped spring onions, add some garlic oil.)
  • Mix the pot and eat!

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Curtains or Blinds? | Recommended Curtain Maker https://home.joogostyle.com/curtains-or-blinds/ https://home.joogostyle.com/curtains-or-blinds/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2018 08:19:36 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=589 One major renovation decision to make is the type of shade to put up at your windows. Choosing curtains or blinds considerably affects the house both in function and aesthetics. About Curtains and Blinds Curtains Nowadays, it’s common to install both day and night curtains. […]

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One major renovation decision to make is the type of shade to put up at your windows. Choosing curtains or blinds considerably affects the house both in function and aesthetics.


About Curtains and Blinds


Curtains

Nowadays, it’s common to install both day and night curtains. Day curtains are made of sheer fabric that’s lightweight and translucent. It allows light to come in while maintaining a certain level of privacy. It’s good in the day to shade strong sunlight while preventing peering eyes from close neighbouring blocks at night. If you don’t know about BTO flats, you can clearly see your neighbours’ rooms at the opposite block when night falls. Most of the time.

I mean you can use blackout night curtains to ensure complete privacy and darkness. But sometimes you just want to open up the curtains so that wind can blow in and your house to feel less gloomy. As compared to day curtains, night curtains are made of thicker and heavier fabric.

The thickness of night curtain determines how much light will filter through. The thicker and more “blackout” the curtains, the more expensive it is. Night curtain is also the one standing out with its design and colours as part of the house’s decor.

Curtains or Blinds

Blinds

With many types of blinds in the market – roller blinds, venetian blinds, korean rainbow blinds, etc – you are not lacking of choices. Some of these blinds look modern and seemingly easier to clean than curtains.

I saw a friend with rainbow blinds and thought the mechanism is interesting. You can pull and adjust accordingly for varying degrees of light to enter. We wanted to get it from Taobao because it’s much cheaper than in Singapore, but we were not confident in measuring and installing it ourselves.

Apparently, the price difference is because rainbow blinds from Korea is of much better quality and hence commonly coined as the “Korea blinds”. Yet I have met vendors who sell these blinds at a much cheaper rate, although they are still more expensive than Taobao. However, when I asked about “Korea blinds”, they would always reply me with “rainbow blinds”. Soon I realised it’s because the blinds from these vendors are not the original blinds made in Korea. Theirs might even be of similar quality as the ones on Taobao.


Curtains or Blinds?


Our Initial Choices

Initially, we had these two combinations in mind:

  • Curtains and Rainbow Blinds
    • Living Room (“Living”) and Master Bedroom (“MBR”): Curtains (day and night)
    • 2 Common Rooms (“Rooms”): Rainbow Blinds
  • Curtains (mix of day and night)
    • Living: Curtains (day and night)
    • Rooms and MBR: Curtains (night)

However in the end, we installed day and night curtains for the living room and all 3 rooms.

Curtains or Blinds

Photo Credit: www.tcb.com.sg/blinds/rainbow-blinds

Why Not Blinds?

Light Filtering In

You’re flipping through the home decor magazine and you saw a beautiful black and white Venetian blinds. You decided to get it for that modern and sophisticated look. On your first night, you admired it and dozed off to sleep, only to be rudely awaken the next morning. Bright sun rays has filtered through the gaps of the blinds. Darn, it’s a weekend to sleep in. My friend recounted her regret in getting such blinds. However, if you are not the kind who are bothered by light, this is a possible choice.

So I thought rainbow blinds was a good alternative. With no horizontal slats, there will be no gaps for the light to come through. Or so I thought. Vendors we met admitted that sunlight will still enter the room from the sides – the gap in between the blinds and the wall. Moreover, the blinds still has pores for a small percentage of light to filter in. If you truly want a dark room like us, this will not make the cut.

Didn’t consider roller blinds because there’s not much privacy once you pull up the shade to allow the light in.

“Knocking” Sound

Halfway through my search, I remembered that I had blinds in my childhood room and it was noisy! The wind would make the blinds fly up and then down to hit the wall. Repeatedly. So there’s always the banging or knocking sound against the wall. One way I circumvented it was to roll up the blinds, but then there would be no shade and privacy shield. I mentioned this to a vendor, and he said I could attach weights to the ends of the blinds to minimise the knocking sound.

Cleaning Up

On contrary to popular belief, curtains these days are easier to clean than blinds. Dust collected on blinds will be more visible and hence you have to wipe it quite often. On the other hand, according to a vendor, you need only to wash the curtains once a year. If you are particular about cleanliness, you can simply use a handheld vacuum cleaner on the curtains once in a while.


We Chose Curtains


Curtains or Blinds

Why Curtains?

We were renovating while preparing for the baby’s arrival, hence we had her in mind when we made renovation decisions. A baby sleep training book recommends black out and silent environment for the baby’s room, and only curtains can achieve that effect. So in the end, we chose curtains instead of rainbow blinds for the two common rooms.

Dim Out vs Black Out Curtains

On the onset, we requested quotes for black out curtains. All the vendors we met recommended dim out instead of blackout curtains. If blackout curtains blocked 100% of the light, dim out is at about 90%. The latter makes the room dark enough, unless one is really sensitive to the light. Dim out is recommended because it’s less expensive and can be washed in our own washing machine, unlike blackout curtains, which has to be sent to the dry cleaners.

We didn’t even bother to ask about the cheaper thin curtains, with approx 60% black out effect. We used to have that in our ex-rented place and the light filtered through like it is with blinds. And that often woke us up prematurely from our weekend snooze, especially hubby. So it’s definitely dim out for MBR too!

Day and Night Curtains

We had to choose whether we want day curtains in addition to dim out night curtains. Day curtains are definite for the living room and master bedroom because of aesthetic reasons. We wanted to create a more luxurious look. But how about the 2 common rooms?

We got day curtains for them too, since it’s only about S$50 top up per room. Moreover, with both day and night curtains, we have a wider range to adjust for the light to come in.

Even if we regret, we can simply take away the day curtains. On the other hand, we can’t easily install day curtains because of the curtain track. Moreover, it’s good to have day curtains for some privacy at night and slight shade during the day!

Curtain Tracks Installation

Curtains in Singapore

To Hang Curtains from Ceiling or Window Beam?

Not many homeowners think about this question until the vendor’s time to ask. It is generally better to hang curtains from the ceiling than along the window (under the beam in our BTO flat, “beam”) because it makes your house looks bigger, and your ceiling higher.

But a few vendors would recommend hanging from the beam for small or BTO flats. Curtains hanging from the ceiling will protrude out more and takes up more space, although paradoxically it gives the illusion of a bigger area. The protrusion is as much as the thickness of the beam.

Our Decision

This posed a dilemma for us. If we install from ceiling, the curtain will “eat up” the seating area of our living room’s bay window. But if we install from the beam, our curtains would look fatter and stubbier. It’s of course nicer to have curtain ends flow to the ground, but we need the bay window storage. There’s no price difference to consider, as the price remains the same regardless of curtain length, since the vendor has no use for the excess fabric.

In the end, the decision turned out to be easy, if only the vendor told us this earlier. The vendor said if we want to install window grilles in future, it’s best to hang from ceiling. Because with two curtain tracks for day and night curtains, we wouldn’t have space for the grilles at the beam.

Since window grilles might be a possibility, we installed from the ceiling in the end. Glad we made that decision because on hindsight, the space “wasted” seemed quite minimal. With the night curtains drawn up most of the time, there’s no issue with our window bay seating area.

Other Parts of the Curtain

Curtains in Singapore

For curtain tie backs, we chose the classic type, that’s included in the pricing. It’s a simple rectangular strip that uses the same fabric as the curtain. We could top up for fancier ones, but didn’t see the need to.

Unlike in the past, curtains nowadays are hung up using plastic hooks, except for the first hook. The first hook is metal and it’s to keep the curtains in the middle as we fan out the ends (see my first photo). You can also choose to unhook and push all the curtains to the sides.


Vendor: Venus Curtainz Gallery


Choosing the Vendor

We went with the cheapest quotation, which is from Venus Curtainz Gallery (“Venus”). But their outdoor blinds didn’t seem safe to us and so we got our service yard’s blinds separately. Other than being cheap, Venus was also recommended by a friend who engaged them previously.

Venus is cheap mainly because it is a Malaysia company. According to this Straits Times article, “Curtain makers losing business to JB rivals“, Venus is not the only curtain maker from Malaysia doing business in Singapore. True, there’s a certain risk involved when you engage these companies, but even the local main contractor we engaged ran away with our money. And we found no feasible recourse with Case, Small Case Tribunals, or the police for this Singaporean and his Singapore registered office (Alex Leung of Valiancy).

Sample Viewing 

Homeowners wouldn’t need to travel into Malaysia to view the samples. Venus’s salesmen will bring thick stacks of (material) samples to the clients in Singapore. For my BTO estate, they even organised a group showcase for the homeowners to view the samples and ask questions.

Quotation

Venus will take measurements and quote based on it. This is the quotation for our 4 room flat:

Supply and Install Double Pleat Curtains:

  • Living Room: Day and night curtain with double track.
  • Master Bedroom: Day and night curtain with double track. Curved track in master bedroom (because of the L-shape window).
  • 2 x Common rooms: Day and night with double track

Price: RM 2900 (less RM300 if we exclude day curtains with track in the 2 common rooms.)

The payment is in ringgit because Venus’s boss wants to avoid currency fluctuation loss.

Company Information

Our Salesperson: Daniel Lim +65 9104 5596 (Through Phone Call or WhatsApp)

VC Curtain Gallery (Company Name as stated in invoice)
D-1-9 Pusat Komersial Bayu Tasek, Persiaran Southkey 1, Kota Southkey
80150, JB , Johor
Co reg. no. JM0762146-A
www.facebook.com/VenusCurtainzGallery


Verdict


Curtains in Singapore

Installation

Venus was willing to accommodate our request and make two trips for curtain installation. We wanted to install the curtain tracks before we removed the floor’s protective covering to polish our parquet flooring. Turned out there wasn’t much debris to worry about. A small tip to share, paint the walls before you install curtain tracks. Basically, curtain installation should be one of the last few renovation items.

Curtain tracks installation was fairly quick, although one of the tracks was made wrongly based on wrong measurements. So we had to wait a while more for Venus to make a new one and come again to install that track. Thereafter, Venus made another trip to hang the curtains, which was about the time our furniture arrived.

The Product

Venus expedited our order because we were in a hurry, but who knows the rogue contractor ran away and we had to delay our renovation instead. Hence, Venus kept the curtains for so long that it’s crumpled when delivered. The curtains are usually straight.

Daniel told us the creases will disappear after the curtains are hung up for some time. Otherwise we can use a garment steamer to straighten the curtains out. The latter didn’t work much for us, probably our steamer wasn’t powerful enough. But after 11 months, creases are indeed slowly fading away.

There’s no issue with the curtain mechanism at the time of writing. Oh, Venus also gave us spare curtain hooks. The installer assure me that these are really just in case, the hooks don’t break easily.

That’s all! Do you have other curtain makers to recommend? Or are considering? Let me know in the comment box below. 🙂

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Recipe: ABC Soup https://home.joogostyle.com/abc-soup/ https://home.joogostyle.com/abc-soup/#respond Mon, 09 Jul 2018 12:38:47 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=674 ABC Soup, it’s named as such because the soup has vitamins A, B and C? Or is it because it’s easy to cook, as simple as A-B-C? 🙂 Prep and Cook Time (Serves 2) Thaw: 2-3 hours to thaw frozen pork ribs. For best practice, […]

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ABC Soup, it’s named as such because the soup has vitamins A, B and C? Or is it because it’s easy to cook, as simple as A-B-C? 🙂

Prep and Cook Time (Serves 2)

Thaw: 2-3 hours to thaw frozen pork ribs. For best practice, thaw pork ribs in the fridge from morning.

Prep: 30 minutes to wash and cut ingredients.

Cook: 1 hour to boil the soup.

Preparation

  • 2 to 3 Potatoes, peeled and cut to chunks
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and cut to chunks
  • 1 Tomato, sliced to 6-8 wedges
  • 1 yellow/red onion, peeled and cut to chunks
  • 1 slice of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped, add more if you like
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thinly (Optional)

Directions

  1. Blanch pork ribs in boiling water for about 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water, set aside.
  2. Place the blanched pork ribs and the other ingredients (except salt) into a pot.
  3. Pour water in to cover the ingredients with it.
  4. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low fire for another 40-50 mins.
  5. Season to taste with salt. For best results, keep warm in thermal pot for at least 2 hours before serving.

This ABC Soup recipe is inspired by this blog

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BTO Service Yard (Part 1) – Windows & Grilles or Outdoor Blinds? https://home.joogostyle.com/bto-service-yard-part-1-windows-grilles-outdoor-blinds/ https://home.joogostyle.com/bto-service-yard-part-1-windows-grilles-outdoor-blinds/#comments Wed, 25 Apr 2018 04:23:26 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=107 Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness, and with my review of roller blinds’ installation. Refer to BTO Service Yard (Part 2) for layout and storage ideas for service yard. Windows and Grilles With […]

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness, and with my review of roller blinds’ installation. Refer to BTO Service Yard (Part 2) for layout and storage ideas for service yard.


Windows and Grilles


With so many homeowners installing windows and grilles at their BTO service yards, why doesn’t HDB install them instead? Is it because of cost savings for themselves? Or does it not matter to you? In fact, you wonder why there’s a need for windows and grilles at the service yard. Below are a few reasons of why homeowners like to install.

Common Reasons for Installation

I gathered these reasons from snooping around online forums and drawing from my own experience.

  • Block the wind from blowing out your cooking fire,
  • Block the rain from splashing in,
  • Grilles provide additional space to hang your clothes or hang broom, mop and dustpan with hooks,
  • Prevent burglars from climbing in or children from climbing out,
  • Allow privacy and not peering eyes, and
  • Prevent birds from flying in and out with your food or stuff.
  • Almost everyone is installing them.

Image credit: artistroom.com.sg

Our reasons for not installing

My husband and I were very set on doing windows and grilles for the service yard, just because everyone else is doing so. However, we asked ourselves, “Do we really need the windows and grilles?” We mulled over the question, considered our needs and preferences. In the end, we installed outdoor blinds for our service yard instead.

You may ask, “Aren’t the reasons above good enough for windows and grilles?” Well, let me bring you through our thought process.

Blockages

Other than windows, we can also close the service yard door to block the birds from entering or block the wind from blowing out our cooking fire.

As for the rain, HDB has built a sloping shelter at the top to shield away some drizzling rain. Our blinds will then block out more rain splashes. In case of torrential rain and wind, we got waterproof cover to protect the most expensive item in the service yard, the washing machine.

We can’t have the best of everything and so chose to live with a bit of rain splashing in. Balconies experience the same rain problem, but you don’t see as many people putting up windows and grilles to block their balcony view. And our service yard’s view is pretty good. 🙂

Blockages from Sliding Windows

If you notice, most service yards have sliding windows for some reason. And with a sliding window, part of the indoor clothes rack will always be blocked from the sun and the wind. This is not appealing to me because I love to bake my clothes under the hot sun.

True, I can still hang our clothes on the rack mounted outside on the service yard wall. But just imagine, I have to slide the windows left and right to stretch and reach out to hang on the whole spectrum of the poles. After a while, I would very likely leave the windows open, because that’s what happen at our rented place. 😛 What’s more, we couldn’t bear to have the window and grilles block out the good wind and nice view.

BTO Service Yard

Image credit: www.kahhuat.com.sg/products/blinds

Burglars and Privacy

I don’t think HDB will design the service yard to be burglar friendly. From what I observed, there’s usually no ledge for the burglar to step on and climb into the yard from the corridor. Moreover with us on a relatively high floor, I doubt a burglar will risk his life for HDB stuff. Even if he were to make it to the service yard, the bi-fold door to the kitchen might be locked.

I know for certain flat units, the service yard is exposed for all to see, e.g. yard facing a corridor. In this case, one might prefer to have windows to shut out prying eyes. We have no issue with privacy because our service yard doesn’t face the corridor or neighbouring block.

Grilles and Children

There are families that chose to install only grilles and not windows. Many recommended us to install grilles since we were expecting a child during the renovation period. However, we decided to wait till the child is old enough to walk before considering. Come to think of it, I grew up in a high floor apartment with no window grilles too. 😛

We also wanted to buy some time and enjoy a clear good view. Moreover, grilles are expensive, and we wanted to lighten our renovation cost by deferring the cost. Lastly, we didn’t want the grilles to start their wear and tear process until we actually need them. So when the time comes, we will have brand new grilles instead of old ones.

Image Credit: www.sgdigitallock.com.sg/window-restrictor

Soon, we came across another way to keep children safe – window restrictor. We got ours from SG Digital Lock at a baby fair. However with no windows at our service yard, this doesn’t help too. But since we are using this restrictor for the whole house, it doesn’t make economical sense to install grilles just for the service yard. So now we have to be really diligent to close the service yard door or to “train” our baby not to go to the danger zone.

Other reasons for grilles could be to hang stuff and ward of potential intruders, if any. Then again, grilles can be a hindrance when you try to hang your clothes outside.

Just so you know, you’ll need to get an installation permit from HDB to install grilles. I heard that for certain BTO projects, HDB will only allow you to install grilles and not windows. There are also limited grille types and patterns allowed. Here’s a useful reference: www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/residential/living-in-an-hdb-flat/renovation/window-works


Outdoor Blinds


Image credit: littlewinniesworld.blogspot.sg/2013/02/path-to-hdb-tai-tai-curtains-blinds

There are various kinds of blinds available, but the blinds for service yard should be able to withstand weather elements. There are not many online reviews or chatter about roller blinds for service yard. From the little I gathered for balconies, people usually choose bamboo blinds or outdoor roller blinds.

We are more inclined to install outdoor roller blinds over the bamboo ones for our service yard. It’s easier to roll up and down, easier to maintain and clean than bamboo blinds, and apparently more long lasting.


UPDATE: After 7 months


We have installed outdoor roller blinds for our service yard and lived with it for 7 months! So how is it?

The Vendor

Let’s talk a bit about our search for a vendor first. In order to negotiate a better price, one will naturally get the same vendor to do the whole house, including the service yard. However, our curtain vendor is from Malaysia and their outdoor blinds system seemed unsafe. That’s because their roller blinds doesn’t have the wind guide (see photo above) that most Singapore vendors would recommend for balconies and service yards. Perhaps the Malaysia counterpart underestimated the wind strength in Singapore.

Hence we found a separate vendor, H.M. Deco Pte Ltd, to install for us. Other than the stainless steel wind guide, they helped us to supply and install Korea heavy duty spring chain system. With 5-year warranty and material of the blinds in the average range, the total cost works out to be S$388 (2017).

Needless to say, this price is more expensive than our curtain vendor’s quote. The addition of the wind guide bumped up the cost by quite a bit and we still got to account for the trips made by HM Deco for measurement and installation for only the service yard. Moreover, we reckoned that the blinds material and spring chain system could also be cheaper from China instead of HM Deco’s Korea.

Verdict

Awesome

So far, we are loving our outdoor blinds! As compared to my previous experience with windows and grilles, this is less of a hindrance when hanging clothes. Moreover with a baby, there’s laundry hanging to dry most of the time. This translates to having to open the windows all day, and even night, for natural instead of indoor drying. I always think that clothes will have this musky, wet clothes smell from indoor drying.

At least for roller blinds, I can pull it down during the night to block out potential rain drizzle and still have air flowing in to dry my clothes on the indoor retractable rack. And once in a while when I don’t have laundry on the the rack, the blinds can act as a sunscreen against the morning sun. Or we could roll it up to enjoy the great scenery!

In any case, we would prefer to open the windows all the time for the wind to enter our unit. This is because whenever we close our service yard door, the wind will die down a bit. Speaking of wind, good that we got the wind guide. We get super strong winds! So if we didn’t get the wind guide, the blinds would be violently flapping in. And my guess, be spoilt easily too.

So with windows open all the day, they might slowly become a white elephant.


Downside

Of course there are downsides with our roller blinds. You can’t roll down the blinds completely to touch the ledge because of the wind guide. There will be always be a tiny gap at the bottom.

Moreover, with torrential wind and rain, the blinds will be blown into a C-shape as it travels up the wind guide. So there will be quite a huge gap from the ledge to the bottom of the blinds. As a result, much rain water gets into our service yard. But this occurs only once in a while, and we could live with it – having our floor, laundry bags, cleaning stuff, and dirty clothes become a little wet while our washing machine is protected by a waterproof cover.

One more thing, on a very windy day, we can’t shut out the strong wind with a window, and so our stuff in the service yard would be blown in a mess.

Verdict

We don’t regret installing blinds, at least for now. It all boils down to your needs and preferences. If you want to keep service yard really dry, then this is not an option for you. But if you love to take in the wind and scenery, you could consider. And for those interested to get the same colour as our outdoor blinds, it is code 1006 (light grey).

What’s your decision? Or do you have other concerns? Share with me in the comments section below. 🙂

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Toilet Doors in Singapore (Bi-Fold Doors) https://home.joogostyle.com/toilet-doors-in-singapore/ https://home.joogostyle.com/toilet-doors-in-singapore/#respond Tue, 27 Mar 2018 03:02:04 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=339 We didn’t opt for HDB’s OCS fittings and had to find our own bedroom and toilet doors in Singapore. The decision turned out to be good. We had the liberty to choose door designs that fit our theme, and not have doors that look like everybody else’s. […]

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We didn’t opt for HDB’s OCS fittings and had to find our own bedroom and toilet doors in Singapore. The decision turned out to be good. We had the liberty to choose door designs that fit our theme, and not have doors that look like everybody else’s. More importantly, we could install the types of door we wanted – solid doors for bedrooms and bi-fold doors for toilets.


Different types of toilet door


We decided early on that we wanted bi-fold doors for our bathrooms. Perhaps that made the search easier. I know bi-fold door is an old school choice. It’s the kind of door you find in most old houses. So why didn’t we go for newer options like PD door, slide and swing, glass door, swing door, etc?

Foldable Door

Let’s backtrack a little. In the very beginning, we simply wanted a foldable door. We stayed at a rented BTO that had all the OCS fittings, and the HDB swing doors are “huge” in relation to toilet size. Moreover, these doors swing inwards and I found it a squeeze to open the toilet door from the inside. I’m considered petite, by the way. With the swing area taking up so much space, one might need to rethink about the cabinet configuration and placement of sanitary fittings, such as towel holder.

Toilet Bifold doors - home.joogostyle

Slide and Swing Door

Slide and swing door has always been known as the PD door to me. Later I found out that PD Door is also the name of the company that developed this door system. It’s like diapers being known as pampers. Nowadays, other than PD Door, there are other suppliers providing slide and swing doors. However, I suspect that the door mechanisms for these other suppliers might not be as good as the original.

Slide and swing door saves space like a simple foldable door. However, I’ve heard many stories of how guests would spoil the doors because they didn’t know how to open and close it, or thought it’s a foldable door. Sometimes, even the owners spoil the doors themselves too – forgetting that it’s a PD door or using too much strength. I assumed such door system might not be as strong as bi-fold or swing doors.

Fancy Foldable Door

I didn’t really want the “traditional” bi-fold doors. Hence, I went online, such as pinterest and door suppliers’ websites, for inspiration of fancy foldable doors. With reference to the photo below: I had preference for Solid Nyatoh/Timber Bifold with fixed open louvers (bottom right). Then a supplier told me that the wood is not good with water splashes and hence not ideal for bathrooms. So I looked at aluminium doors with open louvers (top right). The door design is nice but it is too expensive for our budget.

Toilet Doors in Singapore - home.joogostyle

PVC Foam Bi-Fold Door

At HDB showroom: My Nice Home Gallery, we went to a showflat designed with safety features for elderly folks. That’s where we saw a bi-fold door with a handle (top left)Waterproof, foldable and the option to choose a pretty door skin to match our house’s design. It sheds off the “traditional look”, and yet remains functional.

I was searching high and low for this door because I didn’t know what it is call. Finally, I came to know it as the PVC Bi-Fold Foam Door. My search for suppliers became more refined and even so I barely managed to find two suppliers: Contat Decor and Ct5door.

Contat Decor’s Quotation as at May 2017:

  • PVC Foam BiFold Door w/o Frame – 840mm x 2135mm = $420+GST
  • PVC Foam BiFold Door w  Frame – 840mm x 2135mm = $540+GST

We were not willing to fork out S$1000+ for toilet doors, and hence decided to settle for traditional bi-fold door. Perhaps we could get bi-fold doors with two panels instead of the usual four (bottom left). At least the door will look a little more modern and sleek.


About Aluminium Bi-Fold Doors


While we were at YongTat and Siong Door looking at bedroom doors, we checked out their bi-fold door options. Limited designs, and prices were also on the high side. Hence, we looked around for other suppliers and shortlisted Ministry of Doors and Doctor Doors.

Bifold doors- home.joogostyle

I didn’t know there were so many combinations of aluminium bi-fold door available. Here are a few specifications to customise your bi-fold door:

1. Door pattern

You can choose 2, 4, or 6 panels and decide if you want them to be evenly divided into rectangles, or unevenly into rectangles and squares, or in diagonals. The more panels you choose, the sturdier the door is.

2. Colours for the panels and frame

You can go for a monotone palette or mix and match different colours for individual panels. Moreover, you can choose a white or dark brown frame to match.

Ministry of doors is quite a popular choice for bi-fold doors because of their wide variety of designs. Other than plain colours, you can choose prints for your door. According to them, “they have proprietary printing technology that makes their panel the highest resolution printed panel with 3 or 5 years color warranty in the market”.

3. Types of Track

There are two types of track system: Door that comes in top hung track with roller or with top and bottom track. The former is more expensive than the common latter. This is probably due to the need for a stronger mechanism to hold the door only from the top.

Doctor doors- home.joogostyle


Our Choice


Supplier

We wanted to go for Ministry of Doors because of their design and printing technology. However, after a couple of WhatsApp messages replying standard questions, they went silent when we asked for further details. It’s the same cold response when we used different numbers. So we wanted to go to their showroom to see the samples and talk to them. However, they are only open on weekdays, not even a Saturday morning. This was inconvenient for us and so we gave them a miss.

We ended up choosing Doctor Doors (“DD”) but ironically, we also didn’t go to DD’s showroom. Their location was too far for us. We went ahead this time round because we saw our neighbour’s bi-fold door from them, and felt assured from their experience. Hence, we simply told Doctor Doors what we want over WhatsApp and they were quick in arranging the dates for measurement and installation.

Note: Doctor Doors is invoiced under the company “Combi Door Pte Ltd”, which has also another brand name. This is according to the worker who came to measure.

Specifications for our Toilet Doors

We chose top hung track even though DD told us that it’s not as lasting as the top and bottom. We considered our baby who would one day be crawling. Fast forward to present, she’s crawling now and it was a good choice. The bottom track might have cut her as she tried to crawl into the toilet. Moreover, without a bottom track, there’s less likelihood of us tripping over. Aesthetics wise, top hung looks better to us.

Toilet Bifold doors top hung- home.joogostyle

Doctor Doors advised us to get 4 panes because 2 panes are not as durable, especially for top hung doors. They suggested the standard 4 rectangles, saying that’s the most durable.

Isn’t this the typical bi-fold door I’ve been trying to avoid?! Now I know why so many households ended up with this, because it’s relatively more durable and cost effective among the other door patterns.

In order to blend these “traditional” bi-fold doors into our house, I tried to make them inconspicuous. Hence, the all-white panels and frame. However, I didn’t expect the rubber at the back of the door to be black. So when the door is open, the black lining is unsightly. And most of the time, the doors are open. -.-

Price and Installation Process

As at 8 June 2017, we were quoted S$240 for one bi-fold door with top roller, and thus S$480 for two. DD will only come to measure upon order confirmation.

After we placed our order with DD, they came down two days later to measure and collect 90% deposit, S$430. This percentage is their standard practice but on hindsight, I thought it’s quite ridiculous. We should have negotiated for a 50% deposit instead. You never know with renovation contractors these days.

The installation took place on another day and it took about 1-2 hours. They cleaned up the debris after installation. The whole ordering and installation process was quite fuss free.

Doctor doors- home.joogostyle

So How Are The Toilet Doors?

We specifically had DD confirmed that the door’s lock is white over WhatsApp. However, we forgot to have them write it down in the order form. Thank goodness, they were willing to change the black locks into white without extra charge. However, the locks look a bit dirtied, scratched and off white. Better than nothing, if not, I have to live with the unsightly locks, along with the rubber lining!

Then, there’s the problem with the closing of the common toilet door. It rolls smoothly to a close, almost. As I tried to close it completely, I have to use the other hand to adjust the door to fit the frame. A few guests even thought my door was spoilt because they couldn’t close it with one hand, like everyone always do. DD said that it’s because the door is too big and thus the misalignment. Then why didn’t they tell us when they came to measure?!

Other than that, the doors are still in good working condition after half a year. And they are really functional – space saving and water resistant. So did it bother me that I didn’t get my fancy toilet doors? Nope, after a while these toilet doors sort of blended in and our house still look pretty! 🙂

If you are looking at bedroom doors as well, head over to my post: “Bedroom Doors in Singapore” Have fun!

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BioHome Review + Giveaway! https://home.joogostyle.com/biohome-review/ https://home.joogostyle.com/biohome-review/#respond Fri, 16 Mar 2018 02:01:15 +0000 https://home.joogostyle.com/?p=505 I’m excited about this BioHome Review. I am a closet environmentalist. Or rather, my hubby and I are going green, but not so serious like the Japanese/Taiwanese. I believe this will catch on in Singapore as the government seemed to be actively encouraging green efforts […]

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I’m excited about this BioHome Review. I am a closet environmentalist. Or rather, my hubby and I are going green, but not so serious like the Japanese/Taiwanese. I believe this will catch on in Singapore as the government seemed to be actively encouraging green efforts through some Channel 8 drama.

At our home, we try to recycle our paper and plastics, save the water, use cloth instead of disposable diapers, etc. Next up, to carry our own bags and minismise plastic bags usage. And with Bio-home products, we can take a step further and start using environmentally-friendly products around our home.

It’s a double win situation because these products are better for the baby in the house too. We are not trying to be hipster by going green, but to do our small part in stewarding well earth’s limited resources and not destroying them with more waste and toxins.


About Bio-Home


My First Impression

The first time I came across Bio-home was in 2015, when the brand just launched. I looked at the small bottle and thought, “What an atas product. Don’t think I will buy, but let me try.” However, I didn’t really need to use the multi-surface cleaner in our rented place. Hence, I procrastinated and lost the bottle during our move.

Then some time last year, Bio-home reviews popped up here and there on Dayre (micro-blogging app). I was reading how good the products were, but still, the very expensive label was still etched in my mind. Moreover, I have the assumption that green products = expensive. I shrugged off the reviews.

Bio-home’s marketing is quite impressive. One day, not long after we shifted into our BTO, I found a set of trial kit hanging by our main gate. I looked around and saw the trial kit hanging at our neighbours’ gates too. The brand finally caught my attention and I did a little digging around.

About Bio-Home and products

I was surprised to find out that Bio-home is by homegrown brand Lam Soon. I assumed such eco-friendly products are overseas brands. The cleaning products range has strong formulations for effective cleaning, and yet uses 100% plant-based active ingredients that are safe for people, pets and the environment. The ingredients are from ethical and renewable sources.

The floor cleaner and dishwashing liquid use concentrated formulas, this means reduced waste and cost savings. For example, one pump of the dishwashing concentrate washes up to 5x more plates than normal dishwashing liquid. Singaporeans are not big on concentrates because the little liquid doesn’t feel enough for effective cleaning. However, I read somewhere that concentrates clean better and save you money from not using much. Hence, I started using a Softener concentrate for some time now. And I still got to remind myself not to use so much.

Being green inside out, Bio-Home products use bio-degradable and recycled packaging.

BioHome 3 - home.joogostyle.com

Now with a baby, I prefer to use household products without harsh chemicals – not wanting the baby to smell, touch and consume toxic residue. It’s better to use natural cleaning products, but since I’m not hardworking enough to make my own, Bio-Home is the next best alternative. It is reassuring to see labels on the bottles indicating “Baby Fabrics” and “Baby Safe Formula“. A peace of mind that the products are safe and good for babies.


Bio-Home Product Range


Product range with pricing*

  • Dishwashing Liquid (500ml, S$3.90),
  • Kitchen Cleaner (500ml, S$5.50),
  • Floor Cleaner – Baby Safe Formula (1.5L, S$7.95),
  • Multi-Surface Cleaner (500ml, S$4.95),
  • Laundry Detergent (1.5L, S$11.90), and
  • Delicate Laundry Detergent – Baby Fabrics (1.5L, S$11.90).

*Prices taken from Redmart as at 14 Mar 2018.

I was quite shocked by the prices, because I was expecting a higher price point. Bio-Home turned out to be one of the more affordable eco-friendly cleaning products in the market. Moreover, parents are usually willing to fork out a little more for the welfare of their babies, so this pricing is still quite acceptable to us.

Where can you buy?

You can easily find their products at supermarkets such as NTUC FairPrice, Cold Storage, Shengsiong, and online retailers such as Redmart.


My Bio-Home Experience


Floor Cleaner

My 8 month old baby, Evangeline, is now exploring the whole house, occasionally licking the floor. Ewww.. Just before she started crawling, I was using Magiclean floor cleaner and the chemical smell is quite strong. So Bio-home floor cleaner came in at the perfect time!

With a baby-safe concentrated solution, and a natural scent of Lemongrass & Green Tea, I feel more at ease letting Evangeline roam around with this on the floor. At least she’s not consuming so much harsh chemical residue. I was worried initially if this floor cleaner will be bad for my parquet, but my fears were unfounded. It is suitable for most type of surfaces, including marble and parquet.

Mothers, do consider this floor cleaner if you have crawling babies at home. 🙂

Multi-Surface Cleaner

Like the name suggests, this cleaner can be used to wipe on most surfaces, that is if you are very diligent in household chores. I am not, only wiping surfaces once in a while. Hence, when I didn’t have a child, this cleaner didn’t seem so necessary for me. Now I use it for cleaning toys, playmats, basically any surface Evangeline is putting her mouth on.

It has a Lemongrass & Green Tea scent too.

Delicate Laundry Detergent

This is another product I will recommend to parents. This non-toxic, phthalate-free detergent is specially formulated for delicate clothes, baby fabrics, or for those with sensitive skin. It contains hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Bio-Home’s pH balanced formula so that no fabric softener is required. This is good because I’ve read that softener is not recommended for front load washer and baby clothes – it may irritate baby’s skin.

But I can’t resist adding Comfort Ultra Softener Pure here and there for the aroma. This detergent has Hyacinth & Nectarine scent but it’s not very strong on our clothes. Then again, fragrance is not recommended for baby clothes too. It’s best that detergent for babies is as natural as possible.

What I don’t like about this detergent is the amount to use for my front load washing machine. Usually, lesser amount is required for front load washer, as compared to a top loader. However, Bio-Home uses a full cup for 7kg load, regardless of front or top load. So I feel like I’m using detergent more than usual.

vs. Baby Laundry Detergent

Otherwise, Bio-Home detergent is generally cheaper than baby laundry detergents. For example, Pigeon’s detergent (600ml) sells for S$8.90 on Redmart. Or the 1.5L B&B detergent I got during baby fair, 2 for S$18.90 (1-for-1 promotion).

I sometimes mix my adult and baby laundry to wash, and hence instead of expensive baby laundry detergent, I can just use Bio-Home detergent now. Safe for baby, and suitable for adult clothing.

Dishwashing Liquid

This product is good for anyone who washes the dishes. The easy-rinse, low-foam and concentrated formula is supposedly to be gentle on your hands and yet effective in cleaning. The first thing I noticed while using it is the Lemongrass & Green Tea scent. It also comes in Lavender & Bergamot scent. Also, the dishes did feel cleaner with less effort. 🙂

Visit biohomecares.com for more information.


Giveaway


There are 12 trial kits to giveaway! Inside each trial kit, you’ll get floor cleaner, multi-surface cleaner, delicate laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid.

Simply complete these steps:

  1. Like Joogostyle Facebook Page
  2. Like and share the Giveaway post on Facebook
  3. Fill up this form

p.s. you can find us on Instagram (@Joogostyle) too  🙂 

Giveaway ends 6 April 2018, midnight.

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Terms and Conditions:

  1. Joogostyle reserves the right to select the winners at our sole discretion or to amend the deadline at any time without prior notice. No explanation is required. Winner will be notified via Facebook/email.
  2. Winner will need to email his/her personal particulars to Joogostyle upon confirmation announcement on Facebook. If a winner does not respond within three (3) working days, the prize will be invalid and the winner forfeits all rights to any prize.
  3. Joogostyle may at its discretion replace or substitute any of the prizes with another prize of equal or similar value at any time without prior notice being given.
  4. Joogostyle reserves the right for final decision in the case of disputes.

Other Testimonials


“This is probably the best dishwasher liquid I have ever used. I easily get wrinkling hands if I use those cheap and strong chemical hand wash/dishwasher liquids. However, since I’ve switched to this (bio-home Dishwashing Liquid), the problem is minimized and it cleans the dishes effectively too.” – Yuna, Kuala Lumpur

“I like that it removes grease from plates well without leaving any residue or grease. I just need a pump of detergent to clean a load of dishes. It also helps to save water due to its low foam formula. My hands feel soft and smooth, with a slight lemongrass and green tea fragrance… Though they just contain natural ingredients, their cleaning power is still comparable to conventional cleaning products. The price is also quite affordable and the packaging looks great.” – Amanda, Singapore

Disclaimer: The products are sent by the brand for consideration. Regardless, my review is genuine and I am not being paid for this editorial review.

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