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Designer Spotlight: Tan Studio

With a strong emphasis on using only quality materials in their carpentry, Tan Studio has differentiated itself from its competitors as a firm that creates designs that can literally stand the test of time.

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We sit down with Delson Tan, the man behind the Tan Studio brand, and get him to share some nuggets of renovation advice.

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Qanvast: What are some of Tan Studio’s strengths?

Delson (D): Our quality workmanship, the provision of after-sales service and our expertise when it comes to renovation matters. We use only quality materials for the renovation. For instance, when it comes to the grout for the tiling, we use a better long-lasting material so that the grouting will not turn yellowish and will stay white.

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Qanvast: What is your philosophy when it comes to renovation?

D: I came across this design article once which talked about a product or service consisting of three aspects – design, price and quality – and about how it is impossible to achieve the same standard for these three aspects. This can be applied to the renovation process. For instance, if you want the design and quality to be good, the price will be higher.

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Qanvast: Which of these three aspects do you place the most emphasis on?

D: Quality. I will not compromise on quality. When homeowners engage my service, they can be assured that they will be receiving good quality workmanship at a price that is comparable to the market rate.

Qanvast: Can you walk us through the various stages of the discussion phase with your clients?

D: During the first meeting, I will ask for the homeowners’ requirements which includes their preferred colour scheme and the areas that they are planning to renovate. Then, during the second meeting, I will present the homeowner with a layout plan and my quotation. I will also come up with a unique design idea for all my clients.

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Qanvast: Share with us about the after-sales service that Tan Studio provides.

D: While our formal warranty period is for eighteen months, I will still do whatever I can to help my clients even if it is already past the eighteenth month.

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Qanvast: Was there any such instance where you helped a client even though the warranty period was over?

D: Yes. I once had a client who contacted me four years after his renovation was completed to ask me if I had any electrician to recommend because his dining light had an issue. I immediately asked my electrician to go down and help him to rectify the problem. Although my former client wanted to pay me, I told him that it was not necessary and that I was just happy that they still remembered me.

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Qanvast: Tell us about your most memorable project.

D: It was actually one of the first few projects that I worked on. I proposed a design that was based on a dark colour scheme and it turned out that that was what the client wanted. After working on hundreds of projects, this is still my most memorable project because I really like the dark colour scheme of the design which is not something that most homeowners nowadays would select for their home.

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Qanvast: What gives you the passion to work in this trade for ten years?

D: The appreciation shown to me by my past clients makes me want to continue designing homes. On top of that, I feel inspired to come up with better designs for my future clients.

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Qanvast: What advice do you have for homeowners on a tight budget?

D: Homeowners on a tight budget should focus their budget on a specific area of the home and fully do it up first. This will be more practical than if they were to do partial renovation works for different areas of the home because it would affect them in future if they want to add on more features.

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Qanvast: What are some practical advice you will usually share with your clients?

D: I will tell my clients to check for any leakage by the window if they are moving into a new HDB apartment. If there are any yellow lines, it means that rain water is able to seep into their home and they will have to report this issue to their Building Service Centre (BSC) and to the HDB during the defect period.

Another thing which I tell my clients to do is to pour water down the gully holes around their home to check whether the water can flow smoothly. As all of these things fall under HDB’s scope, I will emphasize to my clients that this these are things which they need to look out for.

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Qanvast: Do you have any last words of advice for homeowners?

D: Don’t let design trends or other people’s opinions affect what design you want for your home. At the end of the day, the house is meant for you to stay so you should pick a design that you want.

Check out Tan Studio's portfolio here.

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