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Renovation Journey: A Worthy Investment

At a Glance

  • Wagio, and his wife, Dety and their children, late 30s
  • Area Size: 113 sqm / 1,216 sqft
  • Location: Woodlands Rise
  • Cost of renovation: $34,000
  • Cost of furnishing: $19,000
  • Interior design firm: DS2000 Interior & Design
  • Interior designer: Joseph

Just because a quotation is low doesn’t mean that you should work with the designer. We can’t reinforce that enough and homeowners Wagio and Dety found that out from themselves when designer Joseph from DS2000 impressed them with his detailed itemised quotation that showed that he was the right man for the job.

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Qanvast: Share with us your search for an interior designer.

Wagio (W): In addition to the five interior design firms which Qanvast recommended to us, we also had one designer who was referred to us by my friend so we met six interior designers in total. Initially, we were thinking of working with the designer which our friend had referred to us because his quotation was lower than the quotation which DS2000 had given to us.

Since we thought we were going to engage the other designer, we told Joseph, the designer from DS2000, that we would not be taking him on as our interior designer because it's above our budget.

Qanvast: That's interesting, but what made you engage DS2000 Interior & Design in the end?

W: That same night, Joseph went back and did an item by item comparison of his quotation and the quotation given by the other designer. Following that, he pointed out to us some areas in which the other quotation was not detailed enough.

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He also alerted us to the fact that the other designer’s proposed feature wall design was much smaller than the feature wall that he was proposing in his quotation, and that a small feature wall wouldn’t look good taking into account the layout of our home. This really impressed us because we could tell that Joseph has a lot of experience and we felt more comfortable entrusting the design of our home to him.

Qanvast: What other factors convinced you that Joseph was the right guy for the job?

W: Rather than approaching the layout planning in a cookie-cutter fashion like some designers would tend to do, Joseph asked us meaningful questions like “What is the first thing you want to see when you come in from the main door?” to get us thinking about how the layout of our home should fit our lifestyle.

He also impressed us with his ability to sketch out what we wanted. Furthermore, he was willing to release these drawings to us even before we had signed the contract with him.

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Qanvast: Your home looks very spacious. Was that one of the considerations that went into the design?

W: Yes. I said that I wanted my home to be spacious enough to host large gatherings but that I did not want too many chairs around the living room area. Hence, Joseph proposed doing a bay window settee in the living room area so that there will be enough space for guests to sit without the area looking cluttered. The window settee also doubles up as storage so I can store my children’s toys and other things inside the cabinets.

Joseph did up this area very nicely and the design of the window settee merges seamlessly with the design of the feature wall so the entire design ends up looking very coherent.

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Qanvast: How did Joseph work with you to fulfil your requirements for your home?

W: He made it a point to find out more about our lifestyle so that he could propose suitable materials for our home. For example, he asked us whether we do any heavy cooking to which we answered “yes”.

With this in mind, he suggested reducing the amount of wood elements around the home as they might absorb the smells from cooking. However, he still maintained that we should have retain some wood elements around the home as it would fit the modern look which we wanted to achieve for our home.

Qanvast: Did Joseph help you during the furniture selection process?

Dety (D): Yes, he did! He followed us to shop for the lights, the curtains and the sink. He also went the extra mile by helping us to purchase some of our items like the sofa, the beds and the ceiling fan from JB so that we could save on our budget.

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We appreciated his assistance with the furniture selection because there are really too many factors to consider when purchasing a piece of furniture. In addition to the design, one has to think about things like whether the colour matches the overall colour scheme of the home and the functionality of the piece. Joseph really helped us to make the right choice when it came to picking out our furniture.

Qanvast: Did you have a fuss-free time working with Joseph?

W: Yes. Whenever we were having a hard time choosing the colour of the materials, Joseph would shortlist some options for us so it is easier for us to make our decision. We also didn’t have to come down to the place very often because Joseph always sent us pictures to keep us updated on the progress of the renovation.

D: He was even kind enough to help us to install the ceiling fan we bought from Qoo10 and saved me the trouble of doing the installation myself.

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Qanvast: What did you like best about working with Joseph?

W: Since it’s our first time owning a home, it was important to us that special attention be given to the details and Joseph was really very meticulous in that regard. He always sought our preference about even the tiniest of details – like what kind of mechanism we preferred for our cabinet doors – before he proceeded with the design.

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