Pei Qi's Taobao Home Makeover: The Big Reveal!
In collaboration with e-retailer Taobao, we follow the home transformation journeys of three homeowners, as they build their dream homes from scratch! From renovating to shopping online for their home, will the result be what they had always envisioned… or better?
This is the third article of a three-part series on Pei Qi's Taobao Home Makeover.
It was a long (and sometimes hectic) journey, but for design-savvy homeowners Pei Qi and Zhong, it was also a fruitful and satisfying one.
"We're really glad with the whole result, and frankly, there's hardly anything to fault as everything looked just exactly as what we had envisioned our home to look like in the 3D plans," explains Zhong.
In fact, looking alike would be an understatement here - the HDB flat looks amazing in real life, as shades of navy blues, forest greens and warm woods pair magnificently for a look that's colourful and cheery. Finished with eye-catching furniture and decor buys that Pei Qi and Zhong had picked from Taobao stores like 林氏木业, 卫诗理/Visney and 慕思/DeRUCCI, we'd say their home makeover was a rousing success.
Settling in their cosy living area (decked head to toe with Taobao as well!), we chat with the couple to learn more about their thoughts and feelings seeing their dream home finally being put together.
Pei Qi and Zhong's first thoughts about their home
Zhong (Z): To put it simply, we love how it has all turned out. We're glad with the result, and frankly, there isn't much to fault about. Everything looked exactly the same as what we had envisioned from the 3D drawings.
Pei Qi (PQ): Though it was a little hectic at times, but it's wonderful to see the final product of our hard work come to life. And yes, it definitely lived up to the look and feel that we had wanted to go for from the start.
About their home's design
PQ: I think we mentioned in the beginning that we wanted to go for something a little mid-century modern, dark but colourful - and we managed to stick through that theme pretty well, for the master bedroom and living area.
About receiving their Taobao furniture
PQ: All of the furniture and decor pieces came on time. While I made separate purchases from various merchants on the site, I made arrangements with the forwarder such that the items would be delivered together. I had a batch of items that came about a week earlier before another batch of furniture pieces, which helped to pace things out.
Z: It was still hectic; on one of the days, we had not just the furniture, but the appliances come in as well. I had to be at the house to receive the items, and because there were so much stuff being moved in and things to oversee, the furniture delivery people were constantly calling Pei Qi (who was at work) to ask if anyone was at home. I honestly couldn't even hear the bell ringing!
About installing their Taobao furniture
PQ: We had a lot of furniture - I think almost everything in our home is from Taobao. Surprisingly, our handymen were able to install everything within a day! There were some items that did not require any work - our TV console which came in one, complete piece.
Z: That being said, I wouldn't recommend installing those items on your own. It's better to get a professional to do it, especially for the bigger, more complicated items, like say our modular study table or the bed frames. They would have the right tools to fix them up properly.
PQ: For our study, we bought two modular table units to fill up one entire wall. It's designed such that you can mix-and-match the items and rearrange them to fit your space's layout. And that meant we had a lot of loose parts that needed to be put together. The handymen took a long time figuring out how to set things up. So, imagine a not-so-handy homeowner struggling with it!
About their Taobao furniture meeting expectations...
Z: The thing about online shopping is you can never tell how an item's going to turn out in real life. But thankfully, our items mostly lived up to our expectations in terms of the finishes, sizing and comfort.
...In terms of sizing:
PQ: We didn't have any major problems as we made sure to account for some leeway in measurements. Everything was just right - from the console, sofa, study table to even the end-tables by our master bedroom, the pieces managed to fit perfectly when they were all arranged in place.
... In terms of quality:
Z: We were very impressed with the quality of the materials for the furniture. The finishes for the wooden furniture are well sanded and smooth, and they are seriously solid and heavy. So heavy, I almost hurt my back trying to carry and arrange some items. That's when you know a piece of furniture is really sturdy (laughs)!
...In terms of comfort:
PQ: In terms of comfort, I'd say that our chairs and sofa are plush and pretty comfortable to sit on. However, the mattress in our guest bedroom may be slightly too firm. Perhaps we laid it the wrong way, but we may get a mattress topper to soften it.
Z: Special mention to the study room armchair that we got from 林氏木业. Though it was slightly bigger than expected, I managed to fall asleep in it last night. It was so comfy - or maybe I was just dead tired from all the moving.
Their favourite furniture piece and space in the house
Z: For me, it's the TV console from 卫诗理. I like the quality of the its dark finish - it's smooth and well-constructed - as well as how it ties into our whole theme and anchors the space. Basically, I love the living space. It's where I hang out the most. I've got a comfy sofa, a huge TV that's just the right distance away - it's perfect for kicking back and watching shows in.
PQ: I think the same goes for me too. My favourite piece is the TV console and yes, the living room. It's where we get to spend quality time with friends and family. In fact, we planned the design such that there would be ample sitting and standing space for guests. For example, our bench/storage compartment, the sofa and ottoman, and even the dining area which is within close distance of the living space.
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