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Pei Qi's Taobao Home Makeover: The Renovation

September 17, 2018

In collaboration with e-retailer Taobao, we follow the home transformation journeys of three homeowners, as they build their dream homes from scratch! From renovating to shopping online for their home, will the result be what they had always envisioned… or better?

This is the first article of a three-part series on Pei Qi's Taobao Home Makeover.

Check out the rest of the series:

Part 2: Pei Qi's Shopping Process | Part 3: Pei Qi's Big Reveal

From the get-go, savvy newlyweds Pei Qi and Zhong had a clear vision and understanding of what they wanted out of their new home - and its look.

‘Zhong and I decided on a darker, mid-century modern theme. Nothing monotone or neutral - more colourful. Also, we actually knew the types of furniture and appliances that we wanted to get before approaching IDs,’ explains Pei Qi.

Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here

3D Render of Proposed Living Room Design by Tayllen

Another key requirement? Ample storage and walking space to entertain friends and family who come over - an issue which they faced upon stepping into their 93sqm, 4-room HDB flat. As such, they needed someone with a sharp eye to provide solutions to their limited space; a role which Tayllen from Authors • Interior & Styling wholly stepped up to fill.

Creating a space-savvy home that’s modern and colourful, we sat down with the three to learn more about their home’s look, how they managed to future-proof their space and their smooth renovation experience.

Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here

From Left to Right: Homeowners Zhong and Pei Qi, and Their Interior Designer Tayllen

About the homeowners

Pei Qi (PQ): Hi, I’m Pei Qi. I'm 28 this year and I working in the consulting industry. My husband, Zhong is 32 and he works in finance. For now, it’s just the two of us shifting into our new home.

About their property

PQ: This flat was actually an en-bloc redevelopment. It’s considered a sale-of-balance flat, but it’s completely new, so in some ways the layout and sizing is just like a BTO.

PQ: Upon stepping in, what we liked about the home was its rather elongated living area. But the apartment was surprisingly smaller than what we expected - 93 sqm looks like a lot of space on the floor plan! As a result, one of the objectives we had was to maximise the amount of storage we could squeeze in.

Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here

3D Render of Proposed Living Room Design by Tayllen

About how their lifestyles influenced their renovation plans

PQ: We both like to read, relax and watch television. We also like to entertain and host friends over - which was why we wanted a living area that was comfy, yet spacious enough for guests to walk around. The design also had to work around the 65-inch TV that we wanted to get.

PQ: Another consideration was future-proofing the home. When our family expands in the future, we want to have enough storage nooks or compartments to fit in the children’s various knick knacks. We’ve seen it in our friends’ homes and even my parent’s home - when there are kids around, things can get really messy!

Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here

3D Render of Proposed Kitchen Design by Tayllen

About deciding on their home’s look

PQ: I’d say the look we wanted was more mid-century modern. We wanted something darker, but not monochromatic - something a bit more colourful. Though along the renovation process, it has evolved into a more ‘Scandinavian’ look.

Tayllen (T): I think the Scandinavian vibe comes from using a slightly lighter palette in some areas. An examples would be in the kitchen, where we opted lighter woods to match the brighter hues used in the home.

About materials used in the renovation

T: The kitchen countertop is a wood-effect KompacPlus top. We decided to go for laminates in darker hues, like navy blue and olive green, as well as darker wood finishes for carpentry. Meanwhile, the floor is overlaid with dark wood-effect vinyl.

Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here

Materials Used (From Left to Right): American Walnut Vinyl from FloorXpert, Brunswick, Espalier, Nautical from Lamitak, 10.20 Boston Cherry Countertop from KompacPlus

About finding the right ID for their home

PQ: We met a total of 5 designers. Some through friends’ recommendations and others through Qanvast. We were very particular about keeping within the budget and specs laid out, and prepared a brief for each of the IDs we’ve met. What made us decide to go with Tayllen from Authors was that she was very responsive, and we felt comfortable talking to her.

Zhong (Z): Another thing was her extensive portfolio, compared to other IDs we met. It was from searching on Qanvast that we came across one of Tayllen’s projects, and we were very impressed by the details she put in the carpentry, which was why we decided to approach her.

Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here

3D Render of Proposed Bedroom Design by Tayllen

Some smart design ideas that Tayllen had proposed

PQ: Most IDs proposed an L-shaped wardrobe along the wall length of our bedroom. We were a little concerned about that, as our entryway would become too cramped. There would be some unused space at the corner and we can't fit as many drawers in that configuration. However, Tayllen proposed to have a freestanding dresser to complement the wardrobe instead - which provided us more drawer room, and still allowed us to place items on top. We loved the idea.

Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here
Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here

After the Renovation: Wardrobe and Cabinet in the Master Bedroom

About their renovation process

PQ: There weren’t any major hiccups at all, and we didn’t have to step in much, save for picking the tiles, because Tayllen kept us up-to-date via our group Whatsapp chat.

T: It also helped that Pei Qi and Zhong were very clear on what they wanted, so there weren’t much changes along the way. Also, since we knew that the timeline would be tight, we prepared a lot of things in advance, such as setting aside additional tiles for repairs.

Z: We were in good hands -Tayllen made it really easy for us, and helped us in every way.

Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here

3D Render of Proposed Bathroom Design by Tayllen

About the highlights and challenges they faced

Z: In terms of highlights, it's definitely the anticipation of how it’ll all turn out. Will it match whatever 3D rendering shown to us, or the vision that we had in mind? Biggest challenge? Probably keeping up with all the updates (laughs)! For the most part, we leave it to Tayllen, so we don’t really keep close tabs on what’s happening which can get pretty confusing.

Next up in Pei Qi and Zhong’s home transformation journey, the two share more about picking the right furniture pieces for their home, and their shopping experience on Taobao! Click here to read on.

Your Dream Taobao Home Starts Here!

Your Taobao Dream Home Starts Here

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