Saturday, August 3, 2013

Friday Five: Talking about tiles (and kitchen cabinets)

Hello! So we're still unpacking boxes and trying to find our stuff, but I thought I'd just let you take a peek into our new kitchen. We're still trying to shift things around and packing the drawers, and there are still quite a few pictures I'd like to hang up. It will probably take awhile before the kitchen looks complete!

:: Wall tiles: You've seen how the old kitchen looked like, and this round, we opted to change the tiles, which were really old (we are the third owners of this flat, and I think the tiles are about 30 years old). We really loved the look of subway tiles (see here for some really nice kitchens done using subway tiles!), and opted to use those with the bevelled edges for the walls, for a more country look. Another plus point for subway tiles: they are pretty easy to find (almost every tile company stocks them), and are not expensive.  

:: Tiles for the backsplash #1: When it came to the backsplash for the sink and counter areas I was rather torn. I initially wanted to use some Peranakan tiles, but we only found a series of 4 designs (which we didn't like) at one tile company. Our interior designer said that we probably had a higher chance of getting Peranakan tiles over in Malacca or Penang, but we didn't want any delays for the renovation. Plus, I found out that original tiles could cost 60-80 ringgit per piece!

We were also considering using those classic blue and white tiles, like those in Monet's kitchen or those here:

Photo source: The Design Files (click the link for more photos of this lovely home!)

However, we couldn't find any suitable designs in all the tile companies that we visited, so we ditched the idea.

:: Tiles for the backsplash #2: So after thinking through our options, we decided to go with simple bright yellow tiles. We loved how cheery yellow could make a kitchen look, especially since our kitchen was rather dim, and got our inspiration from here:

Photo source: Design Sponge

We thought those yellow tiles would be easy to find, but we were wrong. There were tiles in all sorts of shades and patterns, but no bright yellow tiles! We found some cheery yellow mosaic tiles, but we thought that those would be pretty hard to clean (all that grout!), considering the area would be subject to lots of grease. We ended up visiting quite a few places before we managed to find these square tiles of the correct shade, and heaved a big sigh of relief!

:: Tiles for the floor: We opted to change the floor tiles since the old ones were very slippery when wet. We really loved the look of wood, however, laminate or parquet flooring wouldn't be practical since there was lots of stir-frying going on in our kitchen. I was really delighted to find out that most tile places actually stock tiles that look like wood, and we opted for those with some texture to reduce the probability that anyone might slip on them after the floor was mopped. (One tip from our interior designer: Avoid those tiles with very sharp edges, and try to choose those with slightly rounded edges, since the sharper edges might not be very kind to little feet.) The hubs loved those that had lots of texture and looked really like wood, but I was worried that the rougher floors would be harder to mop, so we compromised and got these:

Yes, there usually stuff on the floor. Courtesy of baby J.

:: Cabinetry: Initially, we wanted to get our cabinetry from Ikea, since their prices are affordable and they have pretty nice designs and smart interior storage options. So we made an appointment for the site measurements to be done (where you pay a fee for their contractor to come down and take measurements), followed by the appointment at Ikea to plan your cabinetry based on those measurements. We were rather disappointed during the planning session though. We found out that the contractor that works with Ikea to install the cabinets would only use Ikea cabinetry, and all other odd areas where the standard cabinets could not fit would be filled up with a boxed up unit (ie. that area would be dead space, and the contractor would not fit any shelves/cabinets there). The Ikea staff was really helpful and tried to maximize our space. However, we had to work around beams and a pipe at the corner (you know how HDB kitchens are). That resulted in a lot of areas that could not be used, which bothered us, since we needed lots of storage space. 

In the end, we just asked our interior designer to custom-make our cabinets, and opted for white cabinetry to brighten up the kitchen (we learnt our lesson, after opting for dark wood colours previously!). We chose not to have handles (less cleaning for me!) on the cabinets, as well as drawers for the bottom cabinets. All in all, I love how much brighter the whole place looks now! 

No proper photo yet, since I don't have a lens that is wide enough! This was snapped with the iPhone. 

Mum in the Making

Linking up with:
So Oddly Dreamlike


  1. I love it! It's so nice and bright! If we move, I'm going to show this pic to our ID and say "we want this"

  2. ahh!! so pretty!! now i'm looking at my kitchen and feel kinda uninspired... sigh.

  3. Love the bright and cheery yellow tiles! And I think Baby J is very artistically inclined, judging from how he left the pegs on your kitchen floor. ;P

  4. Love the happy bright kitchen=). What an awesome job you did to your kitchen!

  5. Love how cherry and clean the whole kitchen looks. Great choice of colour there.

  6. loving the choice of yellow + white.

  7. I love the way they look. Im now thinking if i will choose that style.Leather Button Beds

  8. I love the choice of bright yellow tiles for the back splash. Sigh...if I have seen your blog earlier...I would have gone for a different design for my kitchen. My reno is still on going...can't wait for all to be completed. BTW, great blog!


  9. I agree with Susan.

    Love how cherry and clean the whole kitchen looks. Great choice of colour there.But we have to take of cleaning services for it.



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