Like any reputable design firm, United Team Lifestyle has continuously strived to satisfy the interior needs of its clients. But there's one thing that makes this close-knit team of home professionals stand out from the crowd: An unmatched passion for delivering high-quality work.
(United Team Lifestyle co-founder Desmond, third from right, and the team)
We spoke to Desmond, one of the two founders of United Team Lifestyle to learn more about the hardworking company, and how it continues to go beyond and above in serving local homeowners. Read on for the interview highlights!
Qanvast (Q): Tell us a bit more United Team Lifestyle, how did it come to be?
Desmond (D): For us, things first started out in 2004, when Lawrence and I decided to partner up after accumulating two decades of work experience in the interior design line. Shortly after, we opened our first showroom here in Thomson Plaza and the rest is history.
Q: Considering that United Team Lifestyle was set up in 2004, how does the company keep up with the times?
D: It’s important for a designer to have a sense of what today’s homeowners like. To keep their work fresh, our designers keep themselves in the know about the newest trends and find ways to incorporate what they have learnt into their projects.
Space planning is also another aspect of interior design that we pay great attention to these days because modern-day flats are getting smaller and smaller, and we have to make every inch count.
Q: What design styles and/or trends have you seen come and go in your years of work?
D: If I remember correctly, country-themed homes were quite popular in the early 2000s. After that, Zen and contemporary decor were in demand. And now you have Scandinavian and industrial interiors as the hot favourites.
Q: On the flip side, what aspects of United Team Lifestyle have remained unchanged?
D: I would say that our sense of responsibility towards our clients and work hasn’t changed. It’s something that the company has followed through across the years and continues to pursue even today.
Personally, I strongly believe in this aspect of United Team Lifestyle's identity. Although it’s important for a business to stick to contracts and agreements, we are willing to make exceptions under reasonable circumstances.
We once offered to replace the floor tiles in a past client's home free-of-charge after they became defective due to weather conditions, and even though it was way past the warranty period.
Q: Tell us about the steps involved in the design process at United Team Lifestyle.
D: We approach each project in the usual way – first by taking a look at the floor plans and then proposing suitable design ideas.
It’s important that these ideas are tailored to the owners’ actual needs as well. Previously, we had a young family who approached us, wanting to do up an entire room with a built-in bedframe, a study table and a full range of cabinetry for their newborn child.
But rather than taking on and quoting them for the job, we took the honest approach and advised them to purchase loose furniture, which would be more practical for a growing child. As designers, this is something that we ought to keep in mind because our main goal is to create ideal living spaces, rather than turning a quick profit.
Q: Do you believe in educating your clients about interior design basics? If so, how do you go about it?
D: Yes, I do. It’s important for homeowners to know their options. Here, we share about the latest decor themes, the best material choices, cost breakdowns, and just about everything related to interior design.
An experienced designer may be able to differentiate between similar materials like veneer and laminate, sometimes even just by sight, but that may not be the case for first-time homeowners. That’s why I believe in sharing: Even if they (homeowners) don’t follow our recommendations, at least they have the necessary knowledge for future renovations.