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Renovation Journey: A Blissful Home

At A Glance

  • Xuan Rong and Angela
  • Home to 2 adults and a kid
  • Area Size: 93 sqm / 1,000 sqft
  • Location: Skyville @ Dawson
  • Cost of Renovation: $45,000
  • Cost of Furnishing: $8,000
  • Interior Design Firm: Flipside Design
  • Interior Designers: Dester and Renee
Renovation Journey: A Blissful Home
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The quality of workmanship can make or break a home. With that in mind, Angela and Xuan Rong were on the lookout for an interior designer who could give their standard HDB home the luxe treatment and transform it into a unique beauty. We sat down for a chat with the couple as they share about how they avoided a cookie-cutter look and got the special home they always wanted.

Qanvast: What were the home décor ideas that you wanted to implement in your home?

Renovation Journey: A Blissful Home
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Angela (A): As I grew up in the US, there were some things which I had a hard time adjusting to when I moved to Singapore. Although I know most Singapore homes don’t have a shower stall, it was something I was very adamant about installing in my home since I am very used to that feature.

I was also insistent on not having a single ceiling light in the centre of the ceiling and exploring other light options to create a bright look around the home.

Qanvast: How was your experience with Qanvast like?

A: It is very easy to use. I really liked that how I can shortlist interior design themes and styles that I like. Qanvast also showcased a lot of interior designers’ work based on that theme. Furthermore, we could shortlist projects according to their budget. That’s a very helpful option!

Renovation Journey: A Blissful Home
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I also appreciate the friendly, personalised service that Qanvast offered. After submitting a quote request, someone from Qanvast contacted me and recommended a few interior designers. It was through Qanvast that I came across the Sumang Link project done by Renee from Flipside and I have to thank Qanvast for being the platform through which I was able to find a designer that I really liked.

Qanvast: You’re very welcome. Tell us more about why you decided to engage Renee’s services

A: When I saw Renee’s work – specifically the Sumang Link project – it was like love at first sight. It was so beautiful and very different from other Singaporean homes that I had seen which were mostly minimalistic in style. Her work definitely left a lasting impression and this prompted me to contact her.

Renovation Journey: A Blissful Home
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Qanvast: How was it like working with Renee and Dester?

A: I really liked Renee. I felt that Renee did such a good job with the Sumang Link home that I just trusted her with designing my home. I felt that she really understood what I liked – even when I had a hard time describing the design I wanted – and she would give me recommendations based on my preferences.

Also, Renee was willing to revise her ideas to suit our preferences. In the first draft that she presented to us, we didn’t really like the wooden feel of the bathroom. Instead of persuading us to go with her suggestion, she was open to redoing the design and that was something we appreciated.

Renovation Journey: A Blissful Home
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Qanvast: Could you share more about how she helped you achieve the home you wanted.

A: Renee knew that I didn’t like circular ceiling lights so she proposed other types of lighting such as the cove lights under the mirror in the bathroom. She was also very helpful in proposing that the DB box be covered up. It hadn’t occurred to me to do so and I was really impressed by the effort that she took to consider this miscellaneous detail.

Xuan Rong (XR): We had a hard time conceptualising the design as we weren’t sure where to place the furniture but Renee was able to advise us on that. Renee also gave us suggestions on where we could place the dining table so that if we have friends over, there would be ample space for social gathering.

Renovation Journey: A Blissful Home
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Qanvast: How was it like working on the renovation as a couple?

A: When it comes to details like colour, my husband would help me a lot as I’m really bad at noticing the nuances. So whenever Renee suggested different types of flooring or tiles, my husband would make those decisions. I believe that we played on each other’s’ strengths during the renovation process.

XR: One thing that I learned from this experience is that you need to make your wife happy [laughs].

Renovation Journey: A Blissful Home
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Qanvast: Any takeaways from your renovation journey?

XR: Having visited a few interior designers, I noticed that some of them tended towards a similar approach whereby they would roll out a template and suggest that this is the appropriate look for your home. I believe that the reason why they do this is because they are comfortable with designing a certain way which is something that we weren’t too pleased about as we feel that interior designers should design based on the preferences and needs of their clients. So we would always make sure to probe to see how comfortable these designers were with thinking out of the box.

Renovation Journey: A Blissful Home
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Qanvast: Lastly, what advice can you share with homeowners about your renovation?

A: You must be certain of what you want. Start by doing some research and ask around about what works for others and what doesn’t. Also, make sure to always discuss your plans for the house with your spouse or with your other family members living the same house.

XR: Homeowners should try to visit more houses before starting work on their home renovation. Either get your interior designer to bring you to visit their completed projects or visit your friend’s homes so you can get a better idea of how your renovation will turn out.

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