Monday, August 12, 2013

Here I come, South!

So I haven't travelled the world or anything close, but I have crossed both Alantic and Pacific oceans a fair number of times. This song describes my summer pretty accurately.

I'm coming back, Southern Comfort Zone.

I have walked the streets of Rome, I have been to foreign lands
I know what it's like to talk and have nobody understand
I have seen the Eiffel Tower lit up on a Paris night
I have kissed a West Coast girl underneath the Northern Lights
I know what it's like to be the only one like me,
To take a good hard look around and be a minority

And I Miss my Tennessee home
I can see the ways that I grown
I can't see this world unless I go
Outside my Southern Comfort Zone

I miss your biscuits and your gravy
Fireflies dancing in the night
You have fed me, You have saved me
Billy Graham and Martha White

I have since become a drifter
And I just can't wait to pack
Cause I know the route I leave on
It will always bring me back

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Coat of Paint!

Yes! Its completed. Over the last three months, I've redesigned, repainted, rearranged, refurnished, redecorated my parents' great room. All sorts of re's and now its done.
I've compiled all the design notes, preliminary planning, floor plans, and price analysis into a notebook so I'm going to dedicate this post on the challenges of doing something like this (1) in Malaysia and (2) with such a low budget of RM1,000 (equivalent to $333).

#o1. In Malaysia
Don't get me wrong, Malaysia is one of the more fortunate of Asian countries. We're developed. We're updated with the rest of the world and the latest technology. But it's not American architecture and I'm not used to it.

I mean, concrete walls?! Yea, it was a nightmare.

So I like photo frames and wanted a photo frame collage. We borrow a hammer drill. I drill one fine Saturday.... for three hours. With only one 1/2inch deep hole in the wall to show for it. My arm was shaking, my ears were about to burst. Next solution, concrete nails! We hammer nails in for about one hour and then try hanging pictures to catch them right after as nail and frame tumbled down.

Finally, a God-sent angel, a handyman who parks next to us, came over for three hours and drilled, chiseled, hammered, drilled yet again, 13 holes into our concrete walls scratch that, they were columns.

If it means taking one hour at the paint store to pick out the perfect color, do it. Don't go with the handy dandy 15 options they give you. No, go for the 1,000 shades of every possible color under the rainbow booklet that they finally pull out to let you see after you have clearly shown that you are one picky designer. But it was worth it. The olive green I picked out - I would marry it if I could marry a color.

#o2. With a low budget.
So go to the local furniture stores and look through all they're options for a room divider instead of going with Ikea's much-more-expensive-and-not-as-nice room divider. You save a few hundred dollars just be doing that.

Work with what you've got. Other than the room divider, I used all existing pieces of furniture and just rearranged everything and accessorized differently. No extra money spent, but still a brand new look.

A new coat of paint is really what does the trick. It makes the place look completely different and completely new. And there's nothing like an accent wall to add color to your room.

Take advantage of the cheap accessories available. Don't go for stuff that's trying to look expensive but really is cheap, it simply looks tacky. Go for the simple designs, the plain black frames, that are cheap but don't look its price.

Finally, sometimes you got to go with your gut instincts even if that means buying accessories that suit the room, even if they don't suit your daddy's taste. He has questionable taste.

To view my design notebook on this project, please visit: