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Renovation Journey: Birth of a Home

At a Glance

  • Jane and Allan
  • Size: 135 sqm / 1453 sqft
  • Location: 8@Mount Sophia
  • Cost of Renovation: $45,000
  • Interior Design Firm: ID Gallery Interiors
  • Interior Designer: Rachel

First, there were two. Then, there were three. Having already embarked on their renovation journey with Rachel from ID Gallery, homeowners Jane and Allan found out that they were expecting a baby and had to make some major changes to their original design.

We sat down for a chat with the proud parents and get them to tell us about what a great help Rachel was with the renovation throughout Jane’s pregnancy.

Renovation Journey Birth of Home
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Qanvast: Tell us how your search for an interior designer led you to Rachel.

Jane (J): We met up with about six interior designers – some were recommendations from Qanvast while a few were recommendations from our property agent.

Allan (A): After meeting with all the designers, we felt like we had the most chemistry with Rachel. She was very easy to talk to and came across as someone who is patient and accommodating. Hence, we decided to go with Rachel since we felt that working with her would make things easier for us during the renovation.

Renovation Journey Birth of Home
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Qanvast: How did Rachel help you to achieve the design that you want?

J: We had ideas when it came to what we wanted to do but we didn’t quite know how to put it together and that’s where Rachel came in. She pieced everything together for us and came up with a design that matched our requirements.

A: Rachel was quick to tell us when she felt that something did not match our theme. For example, my wife was thinking of having a chandelier and Rachel said that it would look out of place.

Renovation Journey Birth of Home
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Renovation Journey Birth of Home
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Qanvast: What were some of the requirements which you gave to Rachel?

J: I told her I wanted a home that was bright and shiny so there had to be a lot of lighting. I also wanted a home that was dog-friendly.

Qanvast: Did you request for any changes to be made to the original design which Rachel conceptualised?

J: Yes. We found out that we were going to have a baby after Rachel had come up with the original design so we needed to convert one of the rooms into a baby room. We also decided to do up a brick wall behind our TV console after I saw a design in her office that I really liked.

Qanvast: Were there any hiccups during the renovation and how did Rachel rectify them?

J: I’m very particular about the workmanship so whenever I spot a flaw, I would let Rachel know about it. For instance, I noticed that there were bubbles in the wallpaper and that the wire for the lightings was loose.

Although these were issues which were caused by the contractors that she recommended to us and not her own workers, Rachel took it upon herself to rectify all these problems. Whenever we alerted her to an issue, she would get somebody to come down the next day to fix the issue. She was very efficient at handling the rectifications.

Renovation Journey Birth of Home
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Renovation Journey Birth of Home
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Qanvast: Was there any occasion where Rachel went out of her way to help you?

J: Yes. Some of the hinges in the existing kitchen weren’t functioning very well and Rachel helped us to fix them even though we weren’t doing any renovation works in the kitchen. There were a lot of small things like these which she helped us to fix free of charge.

Qanvast: Did you encounter any other challenges during your renovation journey?

A: We thought that we could give Rachel ten weeks to complete the renovation but our condominium’s management office told us that we had to finish it in four weeks. After negotiating with them, they gave us about six weeks to complete everything and thankfully, Rachel managed to finish everything by then.

J: She was really efficient. She also handled the management office very well.

Renovation Journey Birth of Home
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Qanvast: Are you pleased with the way your home turned out?

A: Even with the 3D drawings, it was hard for us to visualise how our home would look like so when we first stepped into it after the renovation, we were very impressed. We’re thankful that everything really came together nicely.

J: So far we have only done up our room and the baby’s room. We love Rachel’s designs for these two rooms and will engage her services again when we embark on the second phase of our renovation for the third room and the kitchen which would probably be sometime next year.

Renovation Journey Birth of Home
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Qanvast: What did you like best about Rachel?

J: She is very accommodating. She could only come in to take measurements the day after the previous tenants moved out so the timeline was tight. As we work long hours on the weekdays, we could only meet her on the weekends so she set aside time just to meet up with us on the weekends.

A: She helped us a lot with the project management. As we are unable to speak Mandarin, it would be hard for us to communicate with the contractors but she handled it all easily.

Qanvast: What tips can you give to homeowners embarking on their renovation journey?

J: Homeowners should think about practicality when they are deciding what to get for their home. They also need to be open-minded as a lot of things might change along the way.

A: I would definitely recommend getting an interior designer. Homeowners should also expect to exceed their budget and prepare a buffer just in case.

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