How I Did My ‘Devine Space Project’

I’m sick and tired of having to make do with rented space. I really hate the floor (it accumulates dirt far too soon), and while the intention is good by the landlord; I hated the cupboards, the poor taste of old school rottan sofas with piles of items everywhere (I’ll admit some of them are mine).

I have been trying to inject some systems, minimizing the items one by one but they were too much. I’m overwhelmed. And I can’t drill any holes either! So, where can I put my Vision Board? Shit.

As the anxiety grew, it hit me, one fine day. What if, I just, buy another house and make it the way I want it to be?

  • You want to colour the house to the tone of brownish with hardwood flooring? Done.
  • Table of 4 for a deep conversations while eating with close friends and families? Done.
  • Simple sofa with extended leg-rest for reading? Done
  • The biggest furniture comprising of only books? Done.
  • And the grandest feature of all; Nothing in sight and lots (and lots) of empty space (which is the most beautiful space in the world – if you ask me).

If you ever had the same first world issue as above, you might want to consider starting your Devine Space Project as well. Here’s the way I roll;

1. Be alone and list down all the features for your version of ‘The Devine Space’.

First off, notice the word Devine. I don’t use Luxury or Great, hence the final space is intended to be the mix of spiritual, sacredness and minimalism. It is the space where I savour to be in, required very little time to clean/maintain, and the default mode is ORDER. It is very hard not to be in ORDER because there is not much things which can mess it up in the first place.

Your definition of devine space might be different to mine, it doesn’t matter. As long as it is intentional, you’re good to go. Ask yourself, what would be the space that you would prefer to be in, where you feel flowing with creativity, and be able to do the things you treasure the most.

I am guilty too as initially I had put tonnes of luxurious features – such as having an air conditioner at every other room and high end table top at the kitchen. But my daydreaming was short-lived as the step 2 comes in.

2. Get an approximate price of all the features and work out your comfortable max budget.

If item 1 is the child in you with everything in the world that he wished, the item 2 is your 45 year old self smacking your head and said grow up. What were you thinking planning on an extravagant expenditure while you earn a bare minimum?

As much as I want to have everything in the list, I value frugality as well. Hence, I find starting with budget as a constraint worked for me.

I learn that the total costs for overall features are a cool 42K.  That is too much. I may need to postpone the project for a significant time to build the capital. Since I don’t want to wait and can’t stand any longer in a bad system, I figured let’s do the essentials with lowest cost as possible.

Pondering the savings account, I resolved to spend not more than 15K for the whole project. Talk about not being stingy.


3. Rank & reduce features according to the ones you actually Need (not Want).

At this stage, there are numerous conscious decision by me to ensure only required features are included. You can argue that hardwood flooring is hardly a need, but it is the first thing in the list as it would enable me to better manage the house. I then proceed with ranking other features into P1 (super required) or P2 (not so important). Initially I had P3 as well but it’s hard to differentiate P2 and P3 so in the spirit of minimalism, let’s remove the P3.

Some P1s in my book are:

  1. Good shoe rack (5 layer for 10 pairs of shoes only)
  2. Sofa with leg rest for reading (good for 3 pax)
  3. TV mounting and cabinet for ASTRO/Unifi decoders (to remove it out of the way)
  4. The most important thing; dark coloured hardwood flooring.
  5. Bill assortment system
  6. Loose stuffs bowl (keys, stationaries, nail clipper, etc)
  7. Vision board (this is still in punchlist)
  8. Workspace with filing system (finance & family album)
  9. Room for music instruments, sewing machine, and Aafiya’s stuffs (Create Room)
  10. Ikea panel for minimum numbers of clothing
  11. Repainting the house with colour of choice
  12. Kitchen worktop area and good 2 sinks

On the other hand, the outcast P2s are:

  1. upgrading car porch gate and floor to marble
  2. hanger for used clothing. Did not need this as I’d toss it directly into the wash-bin.
  3. house gym equipments (weights, adjustable bench, dip pull)
  4. second bathroom for guest. currently becoming our storage.
  5. wardrobe room to incorporate island, bigger mirror, carpet, and ironing board. currently none are in-place.
  6. high quality ceiling (seriously?)
  7. WII or XBOX (thank God it doesn’t happened)
  8. air conditioners
  9. Mac workstation (not going to happen)
  10. Armchair
  11. Painting boards & mannequin

You could see now, some would-be major purchases has been eliminated in early stage. Additionally the reduction from 40K to 15K budget also have seen us lowering the expectation for the quality of table tops for kitchen and extension of kitchen space itself. It’s fine by me as long as it is still functional.

4. Execute

Fortunately, there’s a small terrace house within my budget near my previous home. The interior is in good condition with only major renovation required to extend the kitchen backwards.

While waiting for the transaction to be completed, we conclude the plan and budget required.

If only I can rehearse the entire project, I would ensure the painting jobs to be completed before we proceed with other renovation as it will be difficult to remove the stains of paint at the hardwoods. It is also hard to drag yourself completing the painting scopes now that the whole house is occupied with items.

Good order of renovations are:

extension of the kitchens > painting jobs > utilities > hardwood flooring installation > wardrobe installation > blinds & curtains > everything else

Every transactions are monitored, via our special account (Devine Space) in Spending Tracker apps. I would recommend this apps 100 times! Needless to say, we managed to keep the cost within our budget with an added ORDER in the house.

You can take CONTROL of your life if you really want it.

p/s: perhaps some pictures to be shared, later.

3 Comment

  1. Hi ilham. Thanks for reminding me of the project again. Perhaps u can share on the maintaining part of the house in later article. Are you considering to implement your remaining P2 or P3 items later or cancelled langsung?

    1. only those in punchlist will be done, namely linds/curtains & paints. What do you think! Thanks

  2. […] When I got tired of the state of my house, I set out to be doing Devine Space Project. […]

Leave a Reply