Renovation Journey: An Inviting Home With A Great View
"We compared all the quotes and realise that the quotation from the interior designer was even lower than one of the costs quoted from a contractor!"
At a glance:
- Kian Sing, an engineer and wife, handling administrative work; both in their early 30s
- Home to: A young family of 2
- Size: 968sqft / 90sqm
- Location: Punggol (4-room HDB)
- Cost of renovation: $30,000
- Cost of furnishing: $15,000
- Interior design firm: Space Vision Design
- Interior designers: Andy (with 15 years experience) and Hannah (with 4 years experience)
It’s hard to miss the scenic view as we stepped into the house. Surrounded by lush greenlands, this Punggol unit overlooks the Straits of Johor. Having to wake up to a great view everyday, it's evident that the young couple love their dream home. Snuggling up with their Schnauzer, Snuggers, they shared with us the story of their renovation journey.
Qanvast: The view here is really good, and your home design complements the serene surroundings. Did you already have in a mind a design in mind all along?
Wife (W): We started with Pinterest and we took ideas from all over the place, from local to overseas sites, blogs and Facebook. We also met up with some interior design firms, and we took some of the design ideas. We wanted a Scandinavian look but I don't think it looks like Scandinavian decor now.
Our house was quite straightforward in terms of the layout, no awkward corners, so we were looking at more of home decor accessories.
Then after, we saw one of Qanvast’s blogposts circulating on Facebook and the app gave us more ideas to play with.
Qanvast: Great to know that Qanvast had helped in your home design. How did you find the app so far?
W: The app is easy to use and I like how the ideas were neatly consolidated with a price reference. The latter really helps us to gauge how much would it cost to do up a similar design. To me, I tend to think that beautiful designs are expensive.
Kian Sing (KS): We started our research quite early, so after we nailed down to what we want, we were actually looking for someone to execute the idea.
Qanvast: Did you consider hiring contractors then?
KS: Yes, we explored both options and met with a few interior designers and contractor firms.
Actually we almost went with a contractor that is recommended by a friend until Qanvast came along. We decided to drop a quote request from the app to give us more options for comparison. Space Vision was one of Qanvast’s recommendations. Seeing that their office was about 15 to 20 minutes drive away from our place, we headed down and spoke with them. They seem quite credible and we can see that the guys knew what they were doing.
Qanvast: So the ID firm, Space Vision Design ticked all the right boxes?
W: We compared all the quotes and realise that the quotation from Space Vision was reasonable and within our budget, and surprisingly, it was even lower than one of the costs quoted from a contractor! We did some research as well on Space Vision and they seemed quite ok.
KS: We felt more confident working with Space Vision. Seeing that there’s little difference in terms of price but yet we can get more value with them in terms of project management and better workmanship quality, we decided to engage them.
Qanvast: Tell us, how was working with Space Vision like?
W: They were generally alright; not pushy and they listened to what we have in mind and worked on them accordingly. They were also pretty helpful when advising us on space planning for our furniture and fittings. For example, I initially insisted on our king-size bed to be placed near the wardrobe in the master bedroom, but they discouraged. Thankfully we took up their advice, else we wouldn’t be able to walk comfortably in the room!
We used to stay around here so we popped by to check very often, probably more than the workers! Space Vision was pretty responsive and it was easy to check with them on the renovation progress.
There were some horror stories on renovation and we crossed our fingers when it was our turn to renovate our home. Thankfully, everything went smoothly for us!
Qanvast: Was the renovation research a painful process?
KS: We started relatively early (around 6 months before we collected keys), so we had done a lot of window-shopping. We paid numerous trips to IKEA, IMM, and to major and small furniture and department stores, compared and looked around for ideas. Window-shopping is tiring (laughs).
W: Our house was really simple, so it wasn’t that bad, and it kind of helps that we knew what we wanted.
KS: Then after, we spoke to some of the firms and got a quote from them. It was around 2 months before the key collection that we took the search seriously, because we didn’t want to commit too soon.
W: Oh, but choosing the laminates was a real headache for me. I spoke to the workers when we came down to visit and I learnt quite a bit from them. Plus, it is also a good way to test and see if they know their stuff.
Qanvast: Where do you like best in your new home?
(together): The kitchen! The kitchen cabinets came out better than expected, and we like how the kitchen brightens up with the glass partition and it doesn’t break the space.
And definitely, the view! Snuggers have a larger playground now, and the breeze here is really good. On some days, it's so cool that we don't have to turn on the air conditioner or fan.
The homeowner prefers to have a open-kitchen concept yet still able to seal off the area partially for heavy cooking. Hence, the designer proposed to do a partial hack on the wall between the kitchen and dining area. A glass panel was fitted to seal off the space without breaking the design flow.