A few days ago I went to B&Q and spent hours wandering around drooling at hammer drills, invitingly shapeable pieces of wood, tubs of excitingly sploshy paint, sexily flexible electric flex, and all the rest of the good stuff they have there. The big occasion was the discovery of my new abode, “full of potential” as they say in the parlance, and I’ve gone and signed the lease this morning.
Trouble is, B&Q is not only expensive, the only one I know of is in Neihu. And the abode is to be in Xindian.
Where can I buy all the bits I need to plumb, wire, fix, hammer, patch, paint, etc an old house that’s badly in need of some help? I have limited time to be shopping around, and can’t be arsed with arranging for transportation of stuff from half a dozen locations, so I’m really looking for just one or two places to buy everything from.
It helps if I can charge everything to my visa card too, as I’m determined to pay the bloody thing off just once in my life before I start spending again.
There’s a B&Q in Xindian. Baochiao Rd and Chung hsin Rd intersection. From where you’ll be living, drive into town on Beihsin Rd, turn right when you reach McDonald’s and B&Q + Carrefour is on your left when you reach the intersection. 10 minute drive.
Life’s so easy when you have a kilted mine of information to call on.
And just across the Bitan traffic bridge is RTMart, where you can get Bacardi for NT$429 a bottle.
That’s some kind of cleaning agent, right? I seem to recall seeing you carrying a bottle one night and proclaiming that you were going home to polish your helmet before Jojo got home.
Getting back on topic, are there any interior designer out there?
Or at least someone who can tell me why violet and green don’t go together. Or do they? I hate buying paint if it’s not for other people.
Stick to off-white, that works with most. Just a dash of yellow into the white, or buy it ready mixed in RT mart. (Yes, they sell paint there too)
I remember painting here using the big buckets of concrete paint and the small bottles with color. That did not go well, had to cump 3 gallons of paint, as i put too much blue color into it.
Before starting, I would polish the bacardi bottle completely off, just so I did not forget.
Yeah, that deal with buying white paint and colouring it is a con. You eitehr do far too much and end up dumping tons, or you don’t do enough, in which case, good luck trying to do a second batch and getting the same shade. Pain in the arse.
Go for pastels. Yellows for warmth, greens for neutral, blues for cool. Soudns poofy but it’ll come out well. You don’t have a great deal of natural light, I’ve heard, so avoid dark colours unless you want to feel like you’re in a cave.
Try a pale pastel for the walls and maybe a slightly darker shade in the same hue for highlights such as alcoves, ceiling buttresses, etc.
[quote=“sandman”]Yeah, that deal with buying white paint and colouring it is a con. You eitehr do far too much and end up dumping tons, or you don’t do enough, in which case, good luck trying to do a second batch and getting the same shade. Pain in the arse.
Try a pale pastel for the walls and maybe a slightly darker shade in the same hue for highlights such as alcoves, ceiling buttresses, etc.[/quote]
Mixing paint is never going to happen. Plenty of standard shades available. If you have to do it then estimate how much you’ll need, add some for luck, mix it all up, and save the remainder in case Tom Hill ever visits and draws on the walls.
What’s this ‘alcoves and buttresses’ crap? It’s a box, or would be if the walls were straight. That’s rather the point. It needs to be made more interesting, and it doesn’t have a lot of natural light.
Right now it has neon strips, which are coming right out. I was thinking of putting downlights in. That means doing wiring work and drilling lots of big holes. Yum, crawling round in the loft space with the bugs.
Light coloured walls are a must, but what to do with the window frames?
I have wooden windows, which are currently monkey-shit brown. I didn’t look too closely, but I think they’re varnished. I could clean them up and stain/varnish, or paint over. Where are the colour co-ordinating police when you need them? I’m hopeless at this sort of stuff. I spent years putting other people’s designs into practise, but still have no answer when people ask me “how will it look if I paint each wall in a different shade of puce?” (I just send them to look at Sandman’s house.)
Anyway, wall colour is almost the last to be decided.
Flooring is usually a lot more expensive. And you don’t want to have to replace all your furniture because you went for the Stuart Little approach to home colour schemes.
I have no furniture.
And the floors are that nasty ‘black with little white bits in’. I discovered last night that the bar top at TGI Fridays on Dunhua is made of almost the same material.
A box with black floors, grubby white walls, windows looking out on grey concrete walls - with peeling varnished frames. The ceiling is ‘tiled’ with squares of some cheap fibreboard-style stuff that is nailed on. The nails are rusting, so there are red spots coming through the emulsion.
Like I said, lots of potential.
For color inspiration, you can try looking at the color suggestions on paint co. sites, like this one:
B&Q is terribly expensive, but there are a million mom and pop hardware stores to be found everywhere, if you can read some simple Chinese the main characters are gold and 5. These places are usually floor to ceiling stuffed with crap and very hard to browse but if you invest the time and look you can and will find everything you want and then some.
Sorry most don’t take Visa cash only.
good luck hunting
Terrazo? That cleans up well and a coat of well-polished wax will do wonders. A few cheap throw rugs and bob’s your proverbial. I have a mad electrical polisher thing that will provide hours of slightly terrifying fun if you need it.
I’ll go to B&Q to get an idea of what I need (if I don’t have one). Then I go to the mom & pop’s to buy.
For flooring I’ve had very good success with the concrete tiles. If you polish & wax them they look really cool.
Granite of the “padang dark” flavor?
[quote=“shifty”]B&Q is terribly expensive, but there are a million mom and pop hardware stores to be found everywhere, if you can read some simple Chinese the main characters are gold and 5. These places are usually floor to ceiling stuffed with crap and very hard to browse but if you invest the time and look you can and will find everything you want and then some.
Sorry most don’t take Visa cash only.
good luck hunting[/quote]
The whole point of B&Q is that instead of having to “invest the time” you can breeze in, pile up everything you need, then go home and wait for them to deliver it.
Unless of course it’s a Taiwan B&Q.
I’ve spent hours this week explaining the concept of ‘undercoat’ to a succession of bewildered people who are supposed to be selling the stuff. No, they apparently don’t sell it. In any of their stores. They only sell ‘gloss finish’ which you are apparently expected to apply directly to untreated wood. Ab-fucking-surd. And they don’t sell decent paintbrushes either.
As for kitchens, fitting is ‘free’. You can’t buy the self-assembly units that a modern kitchen is made up of, you can’t buy the worksurface stuff by the metre, or cupboard doors by themselves. You have to buy a finished product installed by exactly the sort of people I’m trying to avoid.
Who pays these people? Where does the money come from? From the ridiculously high price I’m expected to pay for cheap shit made from compressed woodchips held together by the sticky-backed plastic on the outside surface.
Bollocks to B&Q!
Interiors should be dark, especially if it is a small place, otherwise you have light bouncing off your eyeballs all the time. Dark, lots of big mirrors, and spot lighting will give the impression of a bigger and more interesting space.
that just gives me the impression of a cheap 90s nightclub. i wanna live on the beach, in my apartment… with cool jungle noises and a free bar
Liking that idea.
I’ve got the MP3s of surf breaking to play in the background, and those halogen spotlights used on building sites (the big sqare ones) not only do a great job of illuminating dark places, they also give you a tan. I might have to look into the specs of them to see how harmful they are.
I just discovered that polished wood flooring is as cheap as NT$700/ping. I’m thinking of going that route, with plenty of plants and bugger all furniture. Maybe just a sandpit? Trubble is, the dog might get the wrong idea about that.
Maybe find someone to paint a nice beach scene on one wall? Or here’s an idea: the windows look out on the walls of the next house, like 50cm away. I could get a beach painted on that wall with a fuck off big light out there to shine in through the window.
Now, what am I going to do about the ceilings? Nasty fibreboard tiles, nailed to a wood frame and peeling at the corners. A coat of paint isn’t going to cut it. I did consider going with wood panelling for a while, but at B&Q the cheap pine t&g is more expensive than the polished flooring, when they have it.
I’m a shite plasterer, otherwise I’d just skim over it. Any other ideas?
We got some dark blue fabric that we bought cheap by the yard from the fabric market north of the train station and stapled it to the cieling. My place is in a sort of Paki A&W motif with a dash of arabian nights I suppose. The bottom half of the walls are a deep brown and above that orange, pretty much like A&W. The opposite wall is a deep forest green and the floors are that stick on wood finish. I brought home every big mirror I found in any garabage plile anywhere and placed them unobtrusively here and there. I got lamps and track lighting most of which are usually turned off. It is definitely dark. Coming in from the gaudy city and cranking up the aircon is bliss.