At A Glance
- Homeowner Derek, and his wife
- Size: 93 square metres
- Location: Telok Blangah Heights
- Cost of Renovation: $35,000
- Interior Design Firm: The Local INN.terior
- Interior Designer: Joyce
Although they initially wanted a home with a ‘hotel’ feel, Derek and his wife discovered that the best kind of abode was one with a cosy, personal touch. Taking inspiration from the homely designs they came across on a trip in Norway, the couple set out to create an intimate Scandinavian home in the heart of Singapore.
We sat down for a chat with Derek and get some insightful advice on renovation matters.
Qanvast: Where do you source for home design inspiration?
Derek (D): We like travelling a lot and would look out for interior design inspiration whenever we are overseas. When we were in Taiwan and Korea, we would visit furniture shops to get a sense of the design concepts in those countries. However, what left us really impressed were the designs that we saw in Norway. We stayed in a hotel that had a homely feel and this led us to decide that we wanted a similar concept in our home.
Qanvast: What are some reasons why Qanvast is your preferred interior design platform?
D: Qanvast stood out for its usability. The app has a very professional design and when you click in on a project, you can get a clear idea of the works done and the budget for that home. Looking at these projects can also give homeowners a clear sense of the design identity of the various interior design firms.
We especially liked the quote request function where Qanvast would match homeowners with interior design firms that fit their budget and requirements. That was very helpful for us.
Qanvast: What made you choose Joyce from The Local Inn.terior?
D: The Local Inn.terior was recommended to us by Qanvast. When we saw their portfolio, we felt that their firm was good at Scandinavian design. We also had chemistry with Joyce so we felt comfortable with handing the project to her.
Qanvast: Were there any other reasons why Joyce had an edge over the competition?
D: As Joyce is new to the industry, we really liked the idea that she had a fresh perspective on design and could come up with out of the box design ideas for us. She looked at what we suggested and merged all our ideas together in a cohesive manner.
Even though she’s new to the industry, she was very professional with her design suggestions. Whenever we had ideas, she would offer us her insights on the workability of these ideas. She also brought us to one of her recent projects so that we could check out the quality of her carpentry. She really impressed us with the way she handled things.
Qanvast: What was some practical advice which Joyce had for you?
D: Joyce made us realise the importance of space management. As our kitchen size is rather small, Joyce was very precise when she did the planning of the space. She even advised us on the minimum length in millimetres that the sink should be from the edge of the wall.
Qanvast: What did you like best about Joyce?
D: Joyce always kept us well-informed. She stuck to our budget and she would advise us in advance if there was going to be any possible increase in cost.
She kept us updated on the works that were being done in our home by sending us pictures over WhatsApp. When it came to the major renovation works like the laying of the vinyl tiles, Joyce would always check and confirm with us before her workers commenced on the work. If there were any hiccups, Joyce would take the initiative to let us know the solutions that she could offer.
Qanvast: Were there any hiccups which occurred and how did Joyce deal with these hiccups?
D: The vinyl flooring was out of stock and we had to wait for about a month for the shipment to arrive from the Belgium warehouse. Joyce rearranged the scheduling of the renovation works and coordinated it in such a way that the renovation process could still proceed smoothly. In the end, there was a delay of about two weeks but we understood that Joyce did her best to help us.
Qanvast: What is one piece of advice that you have for new homeowners looking to renovate?
D: Besides knowing what theme they want, homeowners should also have a clear idea of how maintainable they want their home to be. Prior to the renovation, homeowners should start thinking about how often they intend to clean the house as this will affect the type of design ideas that will be suitable for their home.
Qanvast: How can homeowners get a better sense of what they can accomplish with their renovation budget?
D: Homeowners should have an open mind during their discussions with the various interior designers. As there is usually no upper limit to the renovation works which can be done, homeowners should brief the interior designers on what they want and wait for the interior designers to come back with their proposals. By comparing these proposals, they can then have a clearer idea of what renovation works they may want to forgo to stick to their budget.
Qanvast: What are some factors that homeowners should look out for when shopping for an interior designer?
D: Homeowners should be cautious when an interior designer is overeager and says that anything is possible. There are times when the interior designer should have to pause and think before answering you. If they promise you that they can deliver whatever you want, you may want to think consider twice before engaging them.
It is also important for you to see the past projects that an interior designer has done so that you can access the quality of the workmanship. Even if the quotation is within your budget and you have chemistry with the designer, it is very important for you to have a first-hand look at their past project so that you can determine if they are able to deliver what you are looking for.
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