My Experience with an Interior Designer

20 Aug

I must say upfront that this is probably a very misleading title. Basically, it has nothing to do with my house specifically. It has more to do with my friend, who is an interior designer, and whose encounter with his client (who happens to be another friend of mine) that leaves me wondering if anyone should hire one in the first place.

As it turns out, the client contracted the interior designer to do up his 5-room apartment in Holland Road. It was to be a Mediterranean concept. Due to a series of events beyond the designer’s control, the original kind of terra cotta tiles were not delivered. In fact, the importer could not give a specific date on when the specific tile design will be made available. The client was understandably upset, for out of the scores of designs, he only liked that one. Although the designer offered to provide alternatives to the original design, the client is not willing to negotiate. The matter ended in stalemate: the client is not willing to proceed with other tiles, the designer could not provide the original tiles as ordered. Needless to say, there was significant delays. The client then proceeded to cancel the project and refuses to pay up the balance milestone payment that was due. The designer tried his best to explain and get the milestone payment but to no avail.

I was brought in, unfortunately, to mitigate the situation. I am friends of both and risked being enemies of both too. After much anxiety on my part and with lots of persuasion, the 2 parties finally decided to cancel the project but that any outstanding amount of money for costs incurred by the designer would be paid.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. That if an interior designer is to enter into contract with anyone, he would do well to put in some disclaimer clauses. In particular, he should not be held liable for any inadequacies of third parties, such as the tile importer. Otherwise, he would be opened to endless squabbles and perhaps even more seriously, lawsuits. On the other hand, clients should also be reasonable. In this instance, I was at least glad that matter did get resolve, although not that amicably.

Earthquake at the Taranaki Region

2 Feb

According to Geonet the quake occurred at 7am, Feb 3, 2012, 40.18°S, 173.54°E, 200 km deep around the South Taranaki Bight region.

“What a thump!”, says John Watson.

On twitter:

Café Chick:

 An earthquake at the same time as my alarm went off. Good morning, Wellington!
billy jorgensen:

 Felt that: thought it was the wind rattling the windows. No wind outside. 7yo reports toys falling over upstairs
Apparently there were no reports of damage.
Good morning….New Zealand!

Strong Quake Felt Across Central North Island, New Zealand

2 Feb

About 15 minutes ago, a strong quake measuring 5.7 magnitude was felt across the top half of the south island and the Wellington region. If you have felt the quake, please share it here.

Is Youtube Dead?

14 Sep

Just tried accessing Youtube at 1700hrs GMT and there’s nothing on the page. This is what I saw:

500 Internal Server Error

Sorry, something went wrong.

A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.
If you see them, show them this information:


Funny Quotes: Paul Homles on Sign Language

5 Mar

I read a piece on why sign language wasn’t included sooner in NZ’s media and this part had me in stitches:

“I wonder whether there shouldn’t be a signer at Prime Ministerial press conferences. Why shouldn’t there be? Perhaps in Parliament itself, during Question Time? Probably not.

A signer can probably only interpret someone speaking sense.”

Good one, Paul.

Christchurch Accommodation

4 Mar

Latest Info On Christchurch Motels Accommodation Status After the Feb 22 Earthquake- UPDATED 7th March 2011

There seemed to be a dearth of information on the operational status of  motels in Christchurch. As I understand from a few of the motel owners, there has been many cancellations – and understandably so. Still, the people in Christchurch needs to get back on their feet and I hope I could contribute in a little way towards it’s economy by providing the information below. Besides, travellers to Christchurch may also benefit too. I have written to most of the accommodation providers in Christchurch and I will post their operational status as they respond to me. Please tell others about this page and if you have any further information to add, please email me:

Aarburg Motel
94-98 Roydvale Avenue
Fully operational. Courtesy van provided 7am to 10pm by arrangement
Riverlands Holiday Park
45 Doubledays Road
RD 1 Kaiapoi
Fully operational.
Tui Lodge Motel
286 Blenheim Rd
Fully operational but only accepting locals and builders.
Tuscana Motor Lodge
74 Bealey Avenue
Fully operation by Sunday (March 6th, 2011)
Avonhead Lodge Motel
168 Yaldhurst Road
Fully operational.  No damage.
City Centre Motel
876 Colombo Street
Fully operational. But inside cordoned area. Guests are allowed pass through the cordon to the motel.
Aalton Motel
19 Riccarton Road
Fully operational. No damage.
Chardonnay Motor Lodge
170 Johns Road, Belfast
Fully operational.
Merivale Manor
122 Papanui Road
Fully operational.
Lorenzo Motor Lodge
36 Riccarton Road
Operational but accepting guests on conditions of availability as they are accommodating emergency workers. Please email them for details.
Roma on Riccarton
38 Riccarton Rd
Fully operational.
Strathern Motor Lodge
54 Papanui Road
Fully operational.
Clyde on Riccarton
280 Riccarton Road
Fully operational.
CentrePoint on Colombo
859 Colombo Street
Fully operational.
Papanui Court Motel
140 Main North Road, Papanui
Fully operational.
Riccarton Motor Lodge
214 Riccarton Road
Fully operational.
Kidson House Accommodation
4A Kidson Terrace, Cashmere
Fully operational.
Backpackers Operational Status
Please click on the link for details.

Christchurch Earthquake Information Page

24 Feb

I love New Zealand and I visit the country every year. I am due to arrive in Christchurch on March 22, 2011. I was shell-shocked by the news of the Feb 22nd earthquake that hit Christchurch. It had barely recovered from the first one that hit on Sep 4, 2010. I was in the first one and it was distressing enough. They always said that there will be a big one but nobody expected this. At least not 5 months later. I have no wish to carry any picture in this post. There are enough on the Internet.

Honestly, I don’t know how I can be useful. In whatever little way, I will post whatever helpful links I can find and add to this post. (disclaimer: use this info at your own risk. I bear no responsibility of the accuracy of the info provided). If you have any additional information that you would like to contribute here, please email me at:

For motels and accommodation that are fully operational, please check out my post on Christchurch Accommodation

Canterbury Earthquake – By Environment Canterbury
Tourism New Zealand – News for Travellers – NZ News
NZ Herald – NZ News
TV NZ – Live Updates
Hotels Update – Flyertalk
Hotels Status – Flyertalk
Christchurch Quake Support – Facebook
Christchurch Airport
Christchurch Earthquake People Finder – Google
Civil Defence
Petrol Stations Status – AA
Christchurch Road Conditions – AA Roadwatch
Christchurch Quake Map Since Sep 4, 2010 – Paul Nicholls of University of Canterbury’s Digital Media Group
Canterbury Quake Live – GeoNet
Christchurch Recovery Map
Supermarkets and Stores – status of supermarkets and stores

I reckon people will want to know which accommodations are open. I do not have ready access to much information at this moment. But if you are a proprietor or you are aware of accommodations, be it motels, hotels, BB or Backpackers, please email me at

Clyde Motel
Centre Point at Colombo

Appended here a link to BBH’s website for the latest info on the operational status of Christchurch backpackers:

That’s all I have for now.


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