It took me almost 8 months of planning and researching before I finalise my dream kitchen….phew.
Even hubby is now grudgingly complaining that the kitchen takes up a hefty portion of our reno budget. hohoho… Some of you probably think I am crazy spending so much time planing. But then, if you have a tight budget and big dream, you seriously need to put in a lot of thought on how to maximise each cent spend. ;p
Ta..da.. my kitchen in 3D sketch. It doesn’t come in colours. I add them in myself. not a bad job too eh? hehehe… it’s quite close to the final color I wanted.
Image of actual completed kitchen.
To me, this is the most important item when building the kitchen. This is the surface where you will be preparing most of your food and subjecting it to your hot pots. It needs to be durable and wear lasting.
There are many types of countertop available in the market. However, my opinion is that the best would be professional stainless steel or quartz stone. Both of these materials are highly resistant to heat and are largely food safe. However, stainless steel makes me feel like it’s more to industrial kitchen and I wanted a homely kitchen. So, the decision was made to go ahead with quartz.
But, these babies are NOT cheap. If you are looking at the famous Caeserstone or Silestone, they can easily range from RM 300 – 500 pfr. And I have about 24 foot run of counter top space!!! Caeserstone boast one of the widest range of countertop colours. They have the most amazing colour range. Silestone on the other hand is very well-known since it is used by one of the top end kitchen maker in malaysia (signature kitchen)
I refuse to give up having quartz countertop. So, when I found one company (HTrend) which offer it at RM 200 pfr during the promotion they have in HomeDec 2011, and in the colour which I can accept… I was very excited. Before I confirm with them, I actually demand to see the specification their quartz. It match quite closely with some of the big brands. And so, I was sold.
I was ecstatic that I manage to have my quartz countertop… Yay !!! The best thing was hub love it too. 😉
I know this seems weird for many but being an engineer, I can’t abide with lousy mechanism. Therefore, I waste no time insisting all moving elements must be either Blum, Hafele or Grass. These are the only brand I trust.
Most of the reliable kitchen cabinet makers would know these brands…but, sometimes, they cheat! They will buy you the “copied” version to pass it off. So, it is very important that you insist on their warranty.
Not really my top priority as this would be easier to change in future (if you are sick of the colour). As for me, I ended up using matt polymer surface instead of the norm trend of gloss finish. Why?
- I am not a fan of reflective surface.
- If scratched, it is not as easily observed
- I love the feel of matt surface.
Htrend made mock up samples of the cabinet in the matt finishing in the 2 colours I requested before I make my final decision. It’s really important that you see how these colours are in bigger piece as sometime it looks very different in small size !
Sink & Tap
If your kitchen allows it, always go for the BIG sink. It would be even better if you can have 2 bowls. Remember, we do a lot of asian cooking and think of the size of the wok you use ! Can it fit comfortably into your sink? The next you need to be aware is the thickness of the steel use to fabricate the sink. Commonly, 0.8mm should very sufficient. But, if you can afford a better one, why not? J The thicker the steel, the more solid is will sound when you place your item in your sink.
I really hate the ‘thang’ sound. So, I opted for granite sink. Muahahaha… And I think I got a pretty good deal. It’s from HCE. They claim it’s fromGermany. But, I normally take all these with a pinch of salt. Unless I see them participating in international market or they have international website, I am usually dubious about such claim. Nevertheless, it is made of granite and I love the overall outlook. Not to mention, it’s cheaper than some branded steel sink, so, why not? (I grab this picture from Builder’s Hardware, where I bought my sink). To Read more about the sink and tap. Go here.
As for the tap, I immediately decided I prefer the pillar style more than the wall-mounted type. Maybe it’s just my own reasoning… but I think the strength of the tap is better for the pillar style. Imagine this, you will be swivelling the poor thing very often. There are times where you might give it s tug. The strength of pillar is fully distributed along the length of the tap. But, for wall-mounted, it will be concentrated on the L-bend (abit like a fulcrum point).
Now, all is left for me to do is to wait patiently for another 6-8 weeks !!! (oh my… time goes so slowly when you are waiting) before I get can see and touch my dream kitchen. I’m so excited already !!!
** As for the electrical items I got for my dream kitchen, I’ll post on that another time. 🙂
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Granite sink vs stainless steel which is better. U used hce granite any special maintenance. Pls advice. Thks
Sorry for the late reply. Motherhood is crazy. 🙂
I have both granite and stainless steel sink. I love both of them. With the Granite, it takes abit more work. You will definitely have to make sure it’s very clean after every use. If not, the HCE granite sink tends to show black spots…Luckily, mine is Grey, so the black spot is not so obvious. But, one reader got the biege color and I am sure the spots will make it really unappetizing. Currently, I use the Amway LOC multipurpose cleaner. Spray all over the granite surface and soak it overnight. The next day, with a bit of scrubbing, it looks pretty clean again. 🙂
Stainless steel is timeless. It’s so easy to maintain and much cheaper compare to the granite. I didn’t want it in my kitchen because I didn’t like the metallic sound when utensils drops onto the sink.
So, either sink are good. It’s really up to your preference. 😉
Have you decide which you will get?
Hi.. im planning to renovate my kitchen too. So what material did u use for your cabinet? Formica with matte finishing?
OOoo.. renovating kitchen was so favourite part during our house renovation. 🙂
The cabinet was with acrylic matt finishing… it’s pretty similar to Formica.
I’m so glad I went with matt finishing… after 4 years plus, it’s still looking pretty new. Have fun renovating.