Met up with Mr D at his shop, where he would be brought to do tile selection at Lian Seng Hin, situated at Balestier.
Checked out the wood-grain homogeneous tiles immediately, and thankfully they were within budget. Requested samples for these 2.
Also looked at beautiful glossy tiles. He picked one that was just slightly off-white, with white smokey marbling. A look at 3 of the samples lined up together.
After a difficult debate spanning 1 1/2 days, it was decided that this would be the tiling for the living/dining room and the bedrooms.
Loved the sparkles promised by the white tile, the grain contrast of the dark "wood" one. Was worried about how the yellowish "wood" tile would turn out. Would it spoil the place?
The blog in the link above gave him the guts to push through.
Also decided to do away with false ceiling/L-box. The poor contractor sure had more modifications to do.
Now, left with ceiling lights to choose, laminate finishes for the built-in wardrobe and kitchen cabinets.