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All excited to do up your new home? Watch this MyNiceHome video for key tips before you start your renovation!

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The right lighting can do wonders to create a relaxing mood for your bedroom – find out how.

Make it Over

In the Mood for Sleep

Since the invention of the light bulb, sleep has never been the same. We no longer go to sleep according to our circadian rhythms – we can turn night into day at the flick of a switch. Research has shown that exposure to light at the time when we are supposed to sleep can cause our internal clock to reset and eventually go haywire!

But there is help, yet. 🙂 Apart from going to bed at the right time, you can literally change the mood of your bedroom by playing with the amount of light. We share 3 tips to turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary.

Softly Illuminating

Track lighting is the quintessential feature of a modern home. It refers to light fixtures attached to a track that conceals the electrical conductors underneath. Often used to highlight unique features in a room – paintings or display shelves – these lights are highly functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Adding track lights seems counter-intuitive if you are going for the cosy feel, but the trick is to angle it properly. Rather than shining it straight on your bed, redirect the light fixture towards the wall instead. The effect you will get is soft light illuminating your bedroom.

To achieve the same lighting effect, another option is to install dimmers! These handy additions allow you to control the brightness of your light output by simply adjusting a switch. Besides being able to mimic soft accent lighting, dimmers can also reduce energy usage – ‘fading down’ the lights by 50% reduces the associated energy use by the same percentage. If you do decide to install them, do ensure that the dimmer switches are rated for the total wattage of the lights it controls.


Playing with Blinds

Nothing brightens up a room like natural light. Sometimes, however, you want less of it and roller blinds are your answer to regulate the amount of light entering your bedroom.


The greatest thing about roller blinds is its versatility. Just by changing the material, you can achieve drastically different lighting effects.

If you enjoy sleeping in on the weekends, blackout blinds are perfect for you. Usually made out of thick material such as suede, these blinds can completely block off light to let you snooze in peace.

Alternatively, you can opt for zebra blinds. These have horizontal slates like venetian blinds, but made out of solid and sheer fabric that are alternated, thus giving it the striped look. The sheer parts dim the incoming light, creating that relaxing ambience in your bedroom.

Layered Lights

If there is minimal natural light entering your bedroom, consider switching harsh ceiling lights with soft task and ambient lighting. ‘Soft’ lighting is basically interior designer talk for warm, yellow light. The secret is to layer your light sources, rather than just relying on overhead lights. Lamps, both standing and table lamps, are good supplementary light sources.


Another little tip is to use LED Edison bulbs – the upgraded, energy efficient version of the original Edison incandescent ones. These bare bulbs effortlessly evoke a vintage feel, thus are staples at our favourite, hole in the wall hipster cafes. But now, you too can replicate that cosiness in your own bedroom!


Lighting is a tricky and often overlooked detail in the design of bedrooms! So the next time you are thinking of revamping yours, make a mental note to consider these tips. 🙂

Share your lighting tips with us at or on our Facebook page!

By Atikah Razak
August 30, 2016

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Have greater peace of mind with the Home Protection Scheme (HPS). Check out our handy guide!

Buying A Flat?

Protecting That Roof Over Your Head

Owning a new HDB flat is exciting, as any home owner will readily agree. You have a cosy space of your own to relax in, raise a family and plan with hope and expectations for the future.

But in life, one sometimes get thrown a curved ball. So it is good to be prepared as best as you can. To protect that roof over your head, and for greater peace of mind, get mortgage insurance for your flat. This is where the Home Protection Scheme (HPS) comes in.

What is the Home Protection Scheme (HPS)?

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board rolled out this scheme to ensure that we do not lose our HDB flat due to unpaid loans in the event of death, terminal illness and permanent disability.

These are the key features of the HPS:

1) You have to be insured under HPS if you own an HDB flat, and are using your CPF savings to finance your home loan.

2) You may be exempted from HPS if you have private life insurance or mortgage-reducing insurance that can sufficiently cover your outstanding housing loan.

3) HPS covers you till your loan is fully paid or up to age 65, whichever is earlier.

4) The payout is determined by the extent of coverage that you opt for.

5) Ideally, you should choose to be insured 100%. Full coverage means that the CPF Board will settle the entire sum of your outstanding home loan. If there is a co-owner paying a portion of the loan, it is advisable that the total share of coverage add up to at least 100%. Nonetheless, this is ultimately up to your own choice. 🙂

How do I pay the HPS premium?

The annual premium for HPS will be deducted from your CPF Ordinary Account (OA), and you are only required to pay the premium for 90% of your HPS cover period. For a quick look at the eligibility criteria and premium breakdown, check out the infographic below!


For a more accurate estimate of what your premium would cost, do make use of the CPF Board’s premium calculator!

How do I apply for the HPS?

The application process for the HPS differs based on whether you are taking a loan from HDB or a bank. If you fall in the first category, you can drop by the HDB Hub or any HDB branch office to apply for the HPS. For the latter, you should obtain and complete these forms which are available at the banks or CPF service centres.

We hope this has helped you and other new home owners understand a little more about the HPS! Do access the CPF Board’s website if you require more information. 🙂

By Atikah Razak
August 24, 2016

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As foodies and nature lovers would know, Hougang is an exciting town to live in! Check out its BTO flats on offer this August Sales Launch.

Keen on getting a BTO flat in the August Sales Launch? Discover Yishun’s gems and be pleasantly surprised!

Get the details of the projects and the prices for HDB’s August Sales Launch!

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