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Renovation Journey: Back To Basics

At A Glance

  • Nur Nasyrah Ahmad, 29, and Muhammad Azharuddin Mohd Amin, 28, both teachers
  • Size: 112 sqm / 1,205 sqft
  • Location: Compassvale Drive
  • Cost of Renovation: $19,000
  • Cost of Furnishing: $5,000
  • Interior Design Firm: Superhome Design
  • Interior Designer: Stephanie
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With a tight budget of $20,000 for the renovation, Nasyrah and Azharuddin were on the lookout for an interior designer who could deliver quality yet affordable design ideas. With the creative mind of Stephanie from Superhome Design, the lovebirds got a minimalistic, uncomplicated home that will be perfect for their soon-to-be-born baby. We get the couple to share their budgeting tips for an affordable home renovation.

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Qanvast: What is the design style of your home?

Nasyrah (N): Technically, our house can be considered Scandinavian since we wanted clean lines and an easily manageable home. However, we didn’t want it to be too monochromatic so my husband suggested introducing pops of colour around the home such as in the colourful carpet and in the TV console.

As we were on a tight budget, the flooring and doors are the original ones provided by HDB. We also didn’t do any feature wall since we figured that trends pass and we didn’t want to be stuck with a design that we wouldn’t want in a few years’ time. Basically, we didn’t have to do many renovation works as we wanted a simple, minimalistic home.

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Qanvast: How did Qanvast help in your search for interior designers?

N: We submitted a complimentary quote request with Qanvast and got matched with five interior design firms. In the end, we decided to go with Stephanie as her laid-back personality matched ours and we were really comfortable with her. We also liked her practical design ideas as they really met our needs.

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Stephanie could see that we knew what we wanted so she gave us advice in terms of spatial arrangement and colour. For instance, I wanted grey walls but my husband thought that it would look too dull. Stephanie helped us to envision how it would like by showing us pictures of homes that had grey wall. She also showed us the colour swatches of different shades of grey and guided us in the selection of an appropriate shade for our home.

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Qanvast: Did Stephanie work well with the budget that you gave her?

Azhar (A): We were lucky as Stephanie was able to gauge our expenses very well. When we said that we had an expected budget of $20,000 for our renovation, she stuck to the budget and we ended up spending a total of $19,000 for the renovation. This impressed us since we know that many other interior designers usually exceed the budget that homeowners give to them by around $5,000 or so.

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Qanvast: It’s amazing how you capped your furniture spend to $5,000! How did you do it?

N: We purchased most of our furniture online from sites like Hipvan and Singsales when they were having sales. We did not buy anything if it was selling at its usual retail price. Since we’re a young couple, the bulk of our budget was allocated for renovation costs so we tried to look out for affordable furniture and furnishings for our home.

A: Our lights were bought in JB. Although we had to pay taxes for the lights, we felt that it was quite worth it since the total costs of the lights was about $1000 and the taxes amounted to about $30.

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Qanvast: How did you budget your finances for the renovation?

N: Many homeowners tend to get carried away by the idea of their ideal home and end up bursting their budget. From the start, we were clear about the amount of money that we had to play around with and we were very upfront with Stephanie about it. We also weighed our needs and wants a lot when purchasing items or deciding on the works to be done in our home.

I am very grateful to my husband for his diligence in finding out about all the furniture sales and discounts that there were because these really helped us to stick to our budget. He also continually reminded me to stagger our expenditure.

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Qanvast: Any other renovation advice for homeowners?

A: Homeowners should articulate their expectations in terms of the deadline and how they want their house to look like. This should be well communicated to the interior designer and contractors so that they are clear about your expectations.

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