Home to: Deepa, 30, a teacher and husband, 31, an engineer
Size: 969 sqft / 90sqm
Cost of Renovation: $34,000
Cost of Furnishings: $20,000
Renovation Duration: 6 weeks
Interior Design Firm: Chapter One Interior Design
Interior Designer: Jonathan
The industrial look is not all cool and grey, at least not in Deepa’s home. Located in Strathmore, the bubbly teacher was a fan of bright colours, and she couldn’t resist doing up her place with a spectrum of bold solid colours to warm up the sterile look.
Being prudent in her selection of an interior designer, we could sense her enthusiasm and relief when the house turned out to be better than expected.
Qanvast: How did your search for interior designer begin?
Deepa (D): I started off by asking my friends for recommendation but they didn’t have any reliable ones to recommend. I looked through online renovation forum and portals. The forum was pretty outdated and I didn’t find them useful. I shortlisted a couple from the portal and contacted them.
I like the variety of portfolios and beautiful designs from Qanvast as well and the pictures are well-categorised.
Qanvast: How has Qanvast helped you?
D: It was really useful that I could search by the area, budget and property type. I wanted to see how homes in Strathmore looked like and that’s also how I found Chapter One, as they have worked on another home in this area.
I like the projects there and I contacted the firm and requested to head down to the home they did to get a good sense of the workmanship as well as the review on the firm.
Qanvast: Did they oblige?
D: Yes, I headed down and chatted with the homeowners to find out more about their experience with Chapter One.
I decided to go with them even though I was already leaning towards with another interior firm.
Qanvast: Why did you pick Jonathan?
D: I could tell that Jonathan was really into the industrial look and he could understand what I truly wanted in my house. Definitely, I can connect better with him than the rest. The other firm that I was leaning to quoted a higher price and I had to go with some items which I didn’t need them.
Qanvast: It's great that both of you were on the same page. Was it easy to work with one another?
D: Yes, Jonathan was really easy-to-work-with and I like how we both were participating in the design conceptualisation, rather than him simply following my requirements.
He was also really patient with me. I popped by a few times during the renovation because I was really excited about this, and I hounded Jonathan quite a fair bit with my worries on what could possibly go wrong from all the horror stories I have heard. Thankfully he managed to put up with my nonsense (laughs).
Jonathan (J): It was easy to work with Deepa, but challenging to work on her house given that some design concepts were more tricky to execute which were known only after we started work. We had to work with a limited budget, but we got around it eventually.
Qanvast: What is your verdict on Chapter One? Were your expectations met?
D: Everything was transparent and smooth, nothing iffy about it. I had recommended Chapter One to some of my friends and even to the family that sold us this unit.
Qanvast: What did you learn from this renovation journey?
D: In case of unforeseen rectification, always add a buffer to what the interior designer quoted you. We exceeded our renovation budget a little as our resale flat had some unforeseen structural issues which were only discovered after the renovation started.
Research is really important. I did my homework and so I know which are the items I need and I don’t. Some interior firms tend to bundle these things together and you end up paying for something that you don’t really need them in the first place.