The Big Move…Done

I kind of missed my blog when I was away, moving house.
But I am back now and though I wouldn’t say I’m totally settled in (after all, I scare myself when I look at my 3rd room and see boxes and more boxes of unpacked stuff!), I’m lots better now. Less frazzled. Less stressed.
While we loved the old apartment (we stayed there for 9 years), the new place is HOME. Yes, cornily it is. We’ve been hunting for this type of apartment for the longest time ever and we found it.
Law of Attraction? Highly likely.
Serendipity? Most probably.
What I love best about our new home is that it’s a total change from our old place. Gone are the tangerine walls. When I told Jo I had bright tangerine walls in my old place, she went “Cool!” I had a sky blue wall in my bedroom. Nic’s home office was orange and dark green! (We once lived in a room which Nic painted black and with a red door. This was in our student days. Yup, we were radical people!)
Gone are most of the knick-knacks and stuff we accumulated over the years. We sold off a lorry-load of stuff!
It’s unbelievable how much junk two people and a cat can amass.
But a move also portends lots of de-cluttering – not just physically but also mentally.
When we moved into our previous place, we were in our 20s. So the decor reflected us in our mid-20s. A bit mad, a bit adventurous, a bit brazen. I still remember the cow’s skull hanging in my living room wall. It scared off a lot of folks. Even the 8 fake plastic geckos stuck to the tangerine wall using blu-tack also freaked out most friends. Plus we had Iban war shields and a fiery parang too hanging on the wall. No wonder everyone thought Nic was not Chinese!
It was shocking all right. It also attracted attention. Even the postman wanted to step in and have a look around!
We did the paint job ourselves so it was messy and unkempt, and the colours were raw.
But that’s youth you see. And when you get a whole apartment to play with, you go crazy!
Over the years, we’ve realized that our style has changed a little. Gone are the raw colours. But yellow (Dulux Popcorn Yellow) still features in my all-white kitchen. Everyone who knows me know I adore yellow.
And Nic likes his red, well, red. Powerful and energetic.
And Dulux Ruby Red is on our feature wall. Red is a colour that attracts and repels. You either love it or hate it. You can either turn a house into a temple or you can turn it into a home. After all, we are Redbox Studio right? Red features in our lives a lot. So red made a splashing entrance.
In a way, we toned things down a little. But heightened it a lot with lighting. It’s amazing what lighting can do for a home. People think we splurged on major renovation but a lot of it went into de-gunking the place. Tearing down the built-in display units, old kitchen and toilets.
Starting anew with contemporary colours, a fresh new foundation. Re-wiring the place up. Replacing all the old pipes and plumbing. Putting in extra power points – this sounds mad but I go all tingly inside when I know I have 8 places I can plug in my electrical appliances in the kitchen!
Expensive? Yes.
Was it worth it? Definitely!
I’ll post up photos of our new home soon – I have to get things sorted out by unpacking first.
On our first official day here, Margaret got lost after we let her out of her pet carrier. We spent a good half hour walking about this area with a torchlight and shaking her plastic container of kibble like maniacs at 10pm. We’d read stories of cats finding their way back to their old homes thousands of miles away. Margaret could possibly find her way back to Taman Jadeview!
Fortunately for us, Nic is a cat whisperer. He finally found her crouched in a shallow drain. Margaret was a bit wet, all together frightened but no limbs missing. Once she got her bearings and sniffed enough, she was happily munching kibble and rolling over on the marble floor.
I’m still getting used to the new home. I actually have a garden right now (hurray for being on the ground floor) and I can do my 10-pot composting which Don taught.
I can hang my laundry at the back of the house now. We can (finally) park our car right in front of the house! No more going up the multi-storey car park and no more car tyres getting ruined! I can have a fun barbie at the back. Nic can do all the painting and carpentry he wants. I actually have real grass under my feet! I have my own floor to ceiling bookshelf. Oh and a kickass shower.
For some people, it’s the big things.
For us, it’s the little things which matter!

19 thoughts on “The Big Move…Done”

  1. =) Melati Apartments now official Redbox HQ, lol!
    With the new kitchen and shifting of rooms – I feel like I’m moving to a new house too~ =_=
    My room looks like a store room now.

  2. i am more Nic’s style. red and black is the way to go! congrats on the new move and good luck with the unpacking. one year down the road, i am STILL unpacking. i am the laziest when it comes to stuff like this. hope it brings you good luck!

  3. Congratulations! Both of us moved house around the same time. Busy, busy, busy, eh?! I’m still packing or unpacking. It’s good to get it done and not leave the stuff in boxes for years. (which I have a habit of doing so). Whatever that doesn’t warrant us to look into the box for more than 3 years may be stuff we don’t need anymore. (Exception should be made for memorabilia, impt documents, etc). That being said, I’ll let you know my progress after Dec 19th. My target is to be done by the 24th, so that I can enjoy Christmas with a new beginning….hopefully, with less junk. : )

    • Hey, we’ve yet to meet up for lunch! I did my lunch thingy with Jo and Chris a week back. You must update me where you’ve moved to. And yes, our lunch!

  4. Hi, been following your posts and looking forward to the photos of your new home soon.
    As a matter of fact, I am supposed to do up my new place and cannot decide whether to get ID or contractor to do it.
    Appreciate if you can share more of your experience and maybe recommend your ID/contractor if he is good.
    Best wishes to your new home!

    • Domino: You’ve given me an idea for a blog post. Briefly, I can say, Nic and I were our own ID. We knew what we wanted from the start. Contractors must be checked in all the time if you want your house looking like what you dreamt it to be. Contractors seem to have some communication issues sometimes. They say yes, they understand when they really don’t. So keep checking and looking at their work, even if it means you need to take time off work. I’ve seen apartments done up by ID and I can say this: the IDs in Penang don’t have a clue what real people live in. We want to live in real homes, not showhouses. Some ID people think that just because they know suppliers for kitchen cabinets, etc. they know how to design a living space for their clients. And if you have a specific style or way of living, you need to factor that in. We had to design our home with our pet cat in mind. So I opted for lots of closed cabinets (so fur doesn’t bug me) and a grille with large enough space between grilles so the cat can slip out easily. We also enjoy cooking so the kitchen had to be airy and bright, with a sliding door between the wet and dry kitchen (so the smell of cooking won’t permeate my living room!). I also wanted airy, bright bathrooms so we opted for ivory coloured tiles all the way to the ceiling with chocolate tiles near the shower area (this area gets dirtier faster so it had to be dark enough to hide some dirt!). Come back and I’ll write more on the way we designed our home ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d love to share my findings with you.

  5. true, but colors can be presented thru materials and white is a color too….lol. not necessary thru ‘paints’… btw, i still wanan see pikcherssss…lol.

  6. People, this apartment of Maya is a real show unit BUT unlike show unit apartments that tend to look too good and too cold or too pompous to be called a home, hers is the type that will make you want to rush back and re-do your place to get the warmth, cosy feel with all the simple elegance and practicalities that you can be so proud to show off. Definitely much planning and thoughts have been thrown into this lovely place of theirs. Believe me, I have been there, seen it and dreaming it!

    • Mrs Hor – you make me blush lah. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Can I announce here that Mrs Hor is my lovely neighbour who bakes the most scrumptious cakes and cookies and I am so privileged to be her guinea pig!

  7. Hi Maya, thanks for the tips.
    Can’t agree with you more about the so-called “ID” in Pg. The problem with them is they don’t seem to design with the needs of the clients in mind. None of the handful ID that I have came into contact with bothered to ask about our lifestyle or daily needs/routine. How can they design a cosy home when they don’t even know the needs of the client. What they design is merely a standard piece of showhouse, like you said.
    Anyway, have a good break and a good year ahead too.
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
    P/S: Mrs Hor’s comments make me look even more eagerly to “see” your house. Perhaps some pics next post?

    • Domino – Now Mrs Hor makes me even more shy to put up photos. My external hard disk went a bit gila and it contains most of my photos. Let me fix that and put up some before and after photos. Ah, ID. Show me one real one who can design a livable house. Nic always says that most IDs don[‘t even know how to cook so how can they design a proper kitchen for their clients who cook? Logical right? Most ID just want their ‘creation’ to look good. Can use or not? That’s another story. Have you realized that most kitchen plans do not include the major appliance – the fridge? I really wonder why. Thanks for your best wishes. You have a good holiday season too!

  8. Hmm.. red and yellow are colors believe to induce appetite. You guys might need to work out more after moving to your new place. 99% of fast food restaurants in the West has these two primary colors.

    • Maybe! But there’s a park near our area and we go for walks regularly now so I have lost weight. Eating less rice/carbs for dinner also helps to maintain the weight.

  9. Envy,envy,envy…I’ll never get my red, not in this lifetime, with the same husband….I know he will say, “I’m not going to live in a Bomba” Or something to that effect.
    I’ll be protesting (in my head) :
    “BUT, red IS my favourite colour!!!”
    Even without my influence, our son was also born with the red inclination….,then he’ll switch to blue, a bit of both parents, that’s why they say “it is genetic”
    Hope to visit this wonderful place ….maybe…someday, I mean some night, to see the stars….We’ll bring our own mats!

    • HI Jo! Well, try to sneak in some form of red. If you cannot have a red wall, how about red appliances? A pop of red colour really makes your home vibrant. Many people are worried red might make their home look like a Chinese temple but use it sparingly. For us, we used it on one of the walls. The other 3 sides are a soothing ivory. It’s about balance really.


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