“With Mr Shopper Studio, you make and not break the look of your home.”
This is a quote that the Mr Shopper Studio design team embraces dearly in their company culture. Taking charge of both the renovation and styling processes, Mr Shopper Studio brings captivating 3D drawings into reality and ensures that homeowners will get the dream home that they can be extremely proud of. We catch up with the team as they share more about their firm’s extreme interior makeover concept and give home furnishing tips to homeowners.
Qanvast: How does your firm stand out from other interior design firms?
Mr Shopper Studio (MSS): To us, good interior design is more than just business transaction. We focus on helping homeowners understand themselves and their design needs better through our trademark IPA (Interior Personality Analysis) programme. This programme is meant to identify if homeowners require our renovation and styling services, or if they just need someone to assist them with handling the entire renovation project – which is what most interior design firms are doing.
Qanvast: How do you work together as a team?
MSS: Our team consists of three key appointment holders – the theme designer, interior decorator and project director, and all three parties will be involved in every project, although the homeowner only liaise with the theme designer instead of all three parties.
The theme designer will meet up with clients to understand their overall budget, requirements, expectations and needs. Once he has gathered the information, he will proceed to brief the rest of the team and work together to come up with a design proposal. Then the interior decorator will source for all the relevant furniture and soft furnishings. The project designer’s job revolves around overseeing the entire renovation, which includes tasks such as advising the team on functionality issues, providing quotations for all the contracting works and managing the contractors.
Qanvast: It is interesting that your firm provides both renovation and styling services. Tell us how this idea was birthed.
MSS: We realised that most homeowners know how to buy from Taobao but most do not know what to buy. As we have experience and passion in interior styling, we felt that this was an area we exel in as we know where to get the good deals and hidden gems on Taobao.
Later on, we heard and read about homeowners’ feedback on how their home turned out different to be from the 3D rendering and the actual look, and how homeowners often exceeded their budget in order to achieve that look in the 3D drawing.
First and foremost, homeowners need to understand that most interior firms do not take charge of the furnishings but only the structural works. To really create that constrast, your choice of furnishings plays a big part.
Most homeowners would have spent most of their budget on renovation and fail to set aside a comfortable budget for furnishings and accessories, which leads to either exceeding the overall budget to design your home, or settling for furniture that is potentially different from what the interior designer had thought of in the rendering.
Thus, we believe that our concept of helping to source for and purchase home furnishings all within owners’ budget right from the beginning adds value to our renovation services.
Qanvast: Since your firm handles the purchase of home furnishings, do you have any procedures in place if the purchased product isn’t ideal or has defects?
MSS: It’s not an issue if the item was from a local supplier, but for online, it’s trickier and we will inform our clients on the risks involved for online purchases and we’ll see how we can mitigate the risks and negotiatie with the seller on behalf of the homeowner.
In addition, we also have an optional insurance policy for Taobao purchases and homeowners can choose to opt in and we will take full ownership of their purchase. For owners who are concerned about quality, we also have tie-ups with reputable brands such as Commune, Crate & Barrel, Cellini just to name a few whereby we are able to obtain exclusive discount for our owners.
Qanvast: What is a comfortable amount that homeowners should set aside for furnishings?
MSS: The portion for furnishings, which include things like furniture, soft furnishings, lighting, curtains etc, should be almost equivalent to the amount that homeowners spend for their renovation. I believe the Renovation Journey articles on Qanvast are a good source of information for homeowners as it is mentioned in these articles how much the homeowners spend on renovation and furnishing separately.
Qanvast: Any tips for first-time homeowners when it comes to purchasing furniture?
MSS: Go easy on colours. If you have too many colours or patterns within a house, it tends to look busy and distracting to the eyes. For a modern look, keep to two colours. For an eclectic, fun or retro look, you may go for more colours or even pick a fun pattern for a wall or a bold piece of furniture, but other pieces should be kept solid to avoid a busy design.
Homeowners should also be more mindful of the delivery dates of furniture. If they are purchasing from Taobao, they might need to allocate about 2-3 months for fabrication and shipment. If they are getting furniture from a local retailer, there will be more control over the delivery schedule though it would be best to enquire on the maximum duration that the stock can be held to.