As a little girl, my late grandmother stayed 5 minutes away from where I currently live. We used to drive past this estate and I would peep into the homes, wondering who lived here in these beautiful units.
This home welcomed us as a newly married couple, excited at moving into our first real home after 2 years of living in a rental flat. It was here that we threw our heart and soul into decorating. Of course, it helped greatly that we were DINKs, and that I was then working at IKEA. Over the years, the look of our living room changed greatly. Gone are the mocha walls that we once thought would create a cozy feel. Here to stay are our white walls that brighten everything up (I share more on that here).
We love how our living room is the place where we can all congregate together, but yet is also a place where we can be ourselves individually. It's where our firstborn flops on the sofa before getting ready for the school bus. It's where I read at night. It's where our little one plays pick-up-sticks. It's where the kids play with their train tracks or Lego blocks. It's where my husband (sometimes not so willingly) massages my feet. It is our family room, and I share more about it here.
Over the years, the dining table has remained. Our lovely find from the AS-IS section at IKEA. It's large enough to accomodate my family when they visit for dinner (that's 10-12 of us seated at the table!), and cosy enough for our intimate home-cooked meals at home every evening. It's also where Max and I work on our laptops at night after the kids have gone to bed.
This is where we have coffee, spill juice, remind children to eat, drag chairs, let kids set and wipe the table, put dish after dish after dish of homecooked goodness, and create reading forts under the table. We eat here, play card games here, the kids paint and craft here, we read here, and there's always a chase-around-the-table competition going on in the evenings.
When we first moved in, we had no idea what to do with our spare bedroom. Today, it is our kids' room, and we've tried our best to make it welcoming for them. There are pictures of them around, and they are surrounded by things that they love. Thousands of forward rolls have been done here, as part of the gym classes our kids make us take part in.
This is where we read book after book and tell story after story each night before bedtime. It's where they shoo us out, giggling, and emerge ten minutes later, shoulders draped with blankets, and crowns on their heads. This is also where we drag mattresses to on weekends for 'camping'.
As a young couple, we decided to paint our bedroom a deep red. We wanted a dramatic bedroom. Romance! Romance! Dark flooring, dark walls... today I would have chosen a lighter colour. But who could complain about a four-poster bed and a walk-in wardrobe? Surely not I.
This is where both our kids as babies slept, in their cots, at the foot of our bed. Today the cot is gone and it is replaced by children with train tracks. Today it is a favourite hide-and-seek spot. Today, children play at being firemen by sliding down our bed posters. This is where, at one point, we tried to put a work table to work. It ended up being a nice little place to throw computer bags and other work stuff. So I suppose it served its purpose as a 'work table'.
The kitchen is probably my second favourite room in the house. It's where I cook meals that I know are nutritious for my family. It's where, in the mornings, I can put the radio on and prepare meals undisturbed. It's where we do the laundry, and hang bamboo pole after bamboo pole out into the sun. This is where the kids sometimes play with their sensory bins when I walk around them, keeping chopped carrots and potato peels out of their way.
This is the room where we work the hardest, yet it is also the room that serves to remind us of how lucky we are - How lucky we are to have laundry to do, because it means we have a home full of people. How lucky we are to have a full sink, because it means we have had nutritious meals to eat.
This house, it is the place where we've taken numerous photos starting with the ones of our kids as newborns at the front door. It's where we've loved, fought, laughed, cried. This is the only home that our children have known. Where we've hosted our kids' birthday parties. Where my former colleagues hid under the table to throw me a surprise pre-birth party with the dishes I'd been craving for.
This has been a lovely place to live and it's strange welcoming people into our home for viewing sessions. It's almost like we're betraying it. But, like hermit crabs, we have outgrown this shell, and it's time to move into a bigger one. We've had wonderful memories here, and look forward to creating many more in our new home.
If you know anyone who's interested to move into the lovely Tiong Bahru estate, our home is still up for sale, and more information can be found here.
All images have been taken with permission from our real estate agent.