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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need some help for our new apartment

housewife2012November 6, 2012
We just bought this 267m2 unit (about 3000 sq feet) in Hanoi, Vietnam. It comes with nothing, just the walls. All the furniture placements in the attached pic are just suggestions by the developer. It has lots of floor to ceiling glass windows and sliding glass doors to the balconies.

Our idea is open design, minimalist furnitures with lots of storage. Our desired color combination is light gray walls with medium/darkish gray focal walls, white trims and light ash floors in the 4 bedrooms and light beige marble-like tile floor in kitchen, living/dinning room (the tile floor has been done by the developer) .

a) The doors are wooden and at the moment are natural wooden color. Should we paint them all white to match the white trims? I like the look in many pics but I am hesitant to paint over solid wood.

b) We want to knock down the wall of the kitchen, on the left when you enter the entrance to make it an open kitchen. We want to make simple, linear glossy white cabinet from floor to ceiling with hidden/no handles on the back wall, where the stoves are but I don't know where to put the fridge, sinks and stoves. Moving the side-by-side fridge to this wall will break up its uniform???

We want a large counter with a table connected to it for our family to have daily meals (we are a couple with 2 small children) without having to move to the large dining table. The counter is parallel to the back wall, about 7 feet by 4 feet, extending from the column on the left (next to the door to the balcony that is marked "Out door" to the current kitchen wall next to the entrance. We want a light wooden veneer color for the cabinet with a caesar blizzard counter top in water fall style. And here I have troubles visualizing where to connect the table to this counter.

I thought of moving the sinks and the stoves to this counter but not sure we are allowed to move the sinks there (by the developer). The thought of poor workmanship on the drainage from the sinks is quite threatening too.

Your thoughts please.

c) Since the dinning and living areas are open into each other and are quite large (about 800 sq feet together), should I built storage cabinets as well, such as the media storage where the TV is housed and floor to ceiling wardrobes/cabinets similar what on the kitchen back wall? The TV cable is on the left wall. My husband generally does not like decorative items much. He calls them "clusters" so open shelves should be minimal. We thought we would put the piano and 2 study tables for our kids along the wall on the right hand side, the common wall with Bedroom 1. Does it make sense in terms of furniture arrangements?

I still have a lot to ask but it seems I can only write so much at one post. From my post, you can see English is not my first language so I hope I make sense. Living in Hanoi, I have troubles finding the right decorator to ask, any ideas would be very welcome. Attached are some inspirations I saw.

Thank you so much.
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Your writing is quite good. Not sure exactly what you are looking for since you have an extensive ideabook collection and they are great. You know what you want and it just a matter of finding someone to excute your ideas.

Good Luck.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 4:48PM
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3D Design View
It usually helps to see your proposed changes modeled in 3D before moving forward. My company does 3D visualizations and floor plans if that's something you would be interested in.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Thank you Dytecture. I have tried to do some research and kind of know what we want but I have troubles figuring out where to place furnitures. Maybe this has something to do with being used to stay in a much smaller space. Also I realized that my dilemma in this discussion is too general. Thanks very much anyway.
    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 5:34AM
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Thanks 3D Design View. I could get the 3D done cheaply locally but I need to get some clear ideas first.
    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 5:36AM
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The floorplan is average. search 277 Davenport, Toronto for some open kitchen plan. The kitchen on your floorplan is too confined for a 3000 sq ft unit.
    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 12:43PM
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If you are used to living in a smaller place, do not be in a hurry to buy all your furniture at once. Buy a few good quality foundation pieces and then add more SLOWLY. This will keep your spaces from getting too cluttered. Another thought - your floor plan appears to have chairs everywhere and I am not sure why. If no one will ever sit in the location, maybe try to find something that will work better - maybe a plant, artwork, shelving, a bench, a console table, a cabinet, lightinh... or a combination of any two. Love all the balconies!
    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Thank you for your comment konig1985. I failed with the search on Houzz but found it on Google. Digging in it right now :)
    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:42AM
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Thank you Cassid. Yes, we will only buy essentials to start with but I have to figure out the kitchen and all the built-ins now if possible. Once we settled in, there won't be any further renovation. All the furnitures you saw on the plan were only suggested by the developer, not ours. My husband hates cluster and rather has as few furnitures as possible with no decorative items either. We have two young kids and I am worried it's going to be empty even with no personal touch.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:47AM
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Konig1985, I see what you meant. I love the floor plans for 277 Davenport but I don't think I can change much for my apartment as I don't have much freedom to change all the pipes and drainage. With the poor workmanship here, even if I could do whatever I wanted, I would have to guarantee for all lower floors to be free of any negative effects from moving them and it is a big risk.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 4:06AM
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It would be major, but moving the kitchen would be best. For example, against bedroom #1 wall. You could have a nice long island, and turn your dining table 90 degrees.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:38AM
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Macral Design Corp
I would like recomend you some ideas for entertaiment centre.
All models designed and manufactured in Spain.
More ideas in my houzz.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:20AM
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Nicole Orner
With two small children I would suggest designating an area as a play room, perhaps in the library.

I know that direct access to the balcony without being able to see them would make me nervous. So another idea, would be to some how section off the living room area as the play room. Then you could see them from the kitchen. There are no measurements on the plan, but I suspect you could fit a smaller dining and living area into that massive dining room.

A frosted glass wall (tempered of course) would hide the kid level clutter while allowing light to pass through. A wall made of wooden slats, would accomplish the same thing and most likely it would cost considerably less. A third option would be to hang a fabric drape. My "Warm Clean Spaces" ideabook has a few room dividers like that.

Your ideabooks are lovely, I think you are on the right path.
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Macral Design Corp
Here you can see some ideas of decoration and products for kid bedroom. Enjoy it.
Project: Macral Design. Kids and young bedrooms · See Project
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:12PM
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Very nice designs Macral Corp. Love the entertainment centers. Thank you.

Nicole, bedroom 1 is my children's. They are 8 & 6 and that room does not have a balcony. I think they can play in their room. I am thinking of putting metal grills in along the glass wall too though it would be nicer without the grills. At our current place, they have play area in the living room and it's always so clustered and messy. Even our helper gave up on tidying up that part. Thank you for thinking of them.
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:55AM
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