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Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home

July 29, 2015
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“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance”

Home to Hsiao Wei, Edmund and their adorable son, Lucas
Size: 115 sqm / 1238 sqft
Location: Boon Tiong
Cost of renovation: $60,000
Interior designer firm: Habit
Interior designer: Yan Ling, Denise and Ivan

Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home
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Everyone loves MUJI for their simple and sleek products. Homeowner Hsiao Wei was inspired to recreate this simplicity within her home using minimalistic designs.

A classy home with a practical finish is no easy feat. Hsiao Wei trusted Habit's suggestions and played around with different textures and patterns to create her MUJIesque home. Read on to find out more about Hsiao Wei's renovation journey.

Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home
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Qanvast: How did Qanvast play a part in your renovation process?

Hsiao Wei (H): Initially I bought many home renovation magazines for inspiration. Soon realising they were a waste of money and space, I shifted to online research. That is how Qanvast came in.

I browsed through many interior designer’s projects on the app for ideas. From there, I shortlisted my preferred designs and interior designers.

Qanvast: What was the inspiration behind your home?

H: Clean, simple and bright. That was our mantra. Our previous house had a lot of dark colours so we wanted to explore the opposite end of the spectrum for this house.

Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home
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Qanvast: What elements did you use to embody a minimalistic MUJI feel in your home?

H: Clean-cut furniture and a muted colour palette were essential to maintain a simplistic style.

We told Habit we wanted a corner for photos and they created this photo wall for us including a ledge to display frames that cannot be mounted. This eye for detail and subtle touches was what we really liked about Habit.

We also asked Habit to include a lot of hidden storage throughout the house which helps minimise the clutter around the space.

Qanvast: The accent tiles create an interesting focal point. How did this idea come about?

H: Initially when we saw one sample tile for the grey homogenous flooring, it looked alright. However when all the tiles were laid, the flooring looked completely different from what we envisioned. We felt it had a slightly "dirty look" like cement.

Habit assured us that it would all come together once the white accent tiles were placed. And they were right!

Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home
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Qanvast: We understand you previously engaged a contractor. What do you think is the key difference between a contractor and an interior designer?

H: A contractor recommends standard designs and mainly executes whatever we tell them, instead of providing value-added service. Their run-of-the-mill designs lack the oomph needed to make a home visually attractive.

An interior designer better suited our needs. We wanted someone who would recommend insightful ideas to make the house aesthetically appealing. It also helped that we had more budget to spend this time round! [laughs]

Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home
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Qanvast: How did you select Habit as your interior designer?

H: The first impression I got from interior designers was based on their portfolio and that’s how I sieved through them. I feel that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a visual person, I am predominantly drawn to aesthetically pleasing designs.

Habit’s past projects stood out to me as their designs ventured away from standard Singapore houses. Their pictures also illustrated quality workmanship and commendable finishing.

Habit was professional in their replies. Our initial meeting was already very productive as Habit understood was able to visualise what I wanted and even provided insightful suggestions. In fact, we sealed the deal within our first meeting!

Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home
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Qanvast: How was your experience working with Habit?

H: The renovation went smoothly with minimal hiccups as we had a good rapport with Habit.

It was a 2-way collaboration throughout our renovation. We would tell Habit what we had in mind, and they would come back with useful suggestions to improve the overall design of our house. Their professional perspective has helped us envision what worked and what did not.

Qanvast: Couples often have differing opinions when renovating. How did you and your husband work together?

H: We had a common starting point when deciding the interior theme. Then we sectioned the house into different areas. Each of us decided the renovation works for a particular area without interference from the other. Basically divide and conquer! [laughs]

Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home
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Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home
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Qanvast: What is one must-know tip to create a child friendly home?

H: Keep your space clutter-free. For example we didn’t even keep a coffee table in the living room to ensure fewer accidents in the area. This also makes the house more spacious giving Lucas more room to play.

Qanvast: Any advice for people renovating their house?

H: Inspiration is everywhere, so always be on the lookout. Experiment with different styles and steer away from a standardised look. Most importantly, feel comfortable working with your interior designer.

Renovation Journey: A Minimalistic MUJI Home
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Looking for a smooth renovation experience as well? The Qanvast app can help with that. Browse thousands of interior design ideas, get the renovation cost breakdown and receive up to 5 complimentary quotes from interior designers.

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