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Renovating in Malaysia: Where to Spend VS What to Save

November 28, 2017

(This article was last updated on 7 Jul 2022.)

When it comes to renovating your home – two extremes often exist. On one hand, there’s the urge to splurge every penny on creating the ultimate home you’ve always dreamed of. On the other, do you really need to? Sure, call it a long-term investment (after all, you’re probably going to stay in it for years to come) – but some things aren’t necessarily important or worth the extra splurge.

Renovation Works Spend or Save Malaysia
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To save yourself the potential regret (and to help you save up), we rank which of these 6 popular, big-ticket works are worth the spend, and which are not…

1. Mixed Tiles: SAVE

Kota Kemuning by A Moxie Associates Sdn Bhd
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View this project by A Moxie Associates Sdn Bhd

Yes, they are everywhere on our Instagram feed (#sorrynotsorry) and they look eye-catching to boot, but fancy tiles in general are pretty costly. Fancy on fancy? Let’s say they should be at the bottom of your list if your renovation budget is a concern. Unless you’re an eclectic soul who has always been in love with this sort of mismatched thing, stick with timeless, classic tile colours that you know you won’t cringe about after 10 years.

2. Kitchen Backsplash: SAVE

Senzville, Penang by JZone Interior Design
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View this project by JZone Interior Design

Once again, another new fixture in stylish interior blogs and Pinterest boards, funky backsplashes are an instant way to add pizzazz (and hip factor) to your otherwise blah kitchen. However, just remember that they do just that – spiff up your space. Your kitchen can still function the same without it. And honestly? Extra backsplash tiles just means more cleaning work – considering how grime and dirt are easily trapped in the grout lines.

3. Wall Hack: SPEND

Summerskye Residence, Bayan Lepas by EMPT Studio
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View this project by EMPT Studio

Okay, hacking can be an expensive endeavour, but they are a worthy cost that can totally open up a cramped home or change the way a space functions (like an all-in-one open-plan concept). They can also greatly improve the way we live – and enable the space to fit into our lifestyles better. Just remember to think in the long run. Will you need your home to function differently in the future? For instance, that study room you were planning to hack for a larger living space might come in handy if you need extra storage space for the years to come.

4. Platform Bed: SAVE

Tiara Damansara, Selangor by BOLDNDOT
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View this project by BOLDNDOT

The ultimate storage space maximizer, platform beds might be heaven sent solutions for hoarders and they give off that zen-like, minimalist look, but they have their downsides too. We won’t recommend having them if you’re living there for the long haul, as a platform bed’s flat surface can prove inconvenient to get out of as you age (or if you get pregnant).

Tiara Damansara, Selangor by BOLDNDOT
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View this project by BOLDNDOT

Perhaps something more functional in the long run is a taller, wider raised platform that still achieves the same look and provides ample storage space?

5. Walk-In Wardrobe: SPEND

Tropicana Aman, Selangor by Mieux Design
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View this project by Mieux Design

If you’re talking about having enough storage space – spend those pennies on a solid, walk-in wardrobe instead. Got extra room at home to spare? Walk-in wardrobes are a worthy addition that not only helps you stow away your ever-increasing collection of clothes, but can even double as a mini-storeroom of sorts for other stuff. Consider customizing compartments for storing items like your vacuum cleaner, luggage, ironing board or any odd-shaped knick-knacks to fully utilize this space!

6. Bathtubs: SAVE

Zenia Parkhomes, Kuala Lumpur by Alvinterior Concept Sdn. Bhd.
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View this project by Alvinterior Concept Sdn. Bhd.

A long, leisurely soak in a luxurious tub sounds like the ultimate indulgence – because it is. To be honest, most of us probably wouldn’t make full use of a bathtub on a daily basis; instead we’d grab a shower head to get the job over and done with! Not only are bathtubs a hassle to install, they can consume more water – and are chore to clean. So, leave that claw foot tub for your next staycation instead, maybe?

Get more for less.

Renovating a home may be a pricey affair - so make the most of your budget by working smart! An experienced interior designer can help come up with a suitable design, based on your available budget, and advise you on the best areas to cut costs from. That's where we can help - simply request for a quote here, and we can match you up with 5 interior firms - for free.

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