At A Glance
• Serene and Jonathan, early 40s, communications and legal industry
• Area size: 152 sqm / 1,636 sqft
• Location: Jewel @ Buangkok
• Cost of Renovation: $100,000
• Cost of Furnishing: $30,000
• Interior Design Firm: Fuse Concept
• Interior Designer: Billy
With a massive book and graphic novel collection, Serene and her husband needed an interior designer who could advise them about storage solutions and design concepts for their home.
We met up with Serene and find out how their interior designer, Billy, conceptualised a design concept around their precious book collection.
Qanvast: What were you looking out for when you were looking for an interior designer?
Serene (S): I was looking out for both design ideas and storage solutions when it came to selecting an interior designer. I wanted my home design to be consistent so I needed an interior designer who could give me design advice.
Qanvast: Going into the renovation, what were your requirements?
S: My husband and I have a lot of books and we needed sufficient storage space for all our books. When it came to the bookshelves, my husband also wanted a design that minimises the spacing between the shelves so as to maximise the amount of storage space for the books.
Qanvast: What gave Billy from Fuse Concept an edge over his competitors?
S: Out of all the interior designers that we met, we felt that Billy was the one who came up with designs that best suited our requirements. As compared to Billy, the rest of the designers required us to go through our requirements with them a few times before they fully understood what we wanted. Billy could also give us a lot of constructive advice whereas some of the interior designers just engaged in a lot of ‘fluff talk’.
Qanvast: Was there a particular instance where Billy stood out from his competitors?
S: While some of the other interior designers could come up with beautiful designs, their storage ideas are not very practical. For instance, one of the designers suggested using a normal track for the sliding bookshelf.
However, from speaking with Billy, we understood that a normal track would not be able to take the weight of hundreds of books. After sharing this concern with that designer, they redid their calculations and in the end, they said that they needed to change their design. From this, we could see that Billy possesses more experience than the other designers and he could come up with designs that were both stylish and practical.
Qanvast: Tell us how Billy designed the storage spaces to fit your book collection.
S: Billy worked very closely with the contractors to design the shelving system for our books. He had to get special hinges and rollers for the shelves such that they could withstand the weight of hundreds of books. He also asked us for the sizes of our largest and smallest books so that he could carefully plan out the height of the bookshelves.
Qanvast: What other practical advice did Billy suggested?
S: One area in which Billy gave us practical advice was when it came to selecting our tiles. For example, he told us which tiles to avoid for our laundry areas because the laundry detergent would make the tiles turn yellow.
He was also my voice of reason when it came to budget matters as he advised on areas I could save money on.
Qanvast: What did you like about working with Billy?
S: He is very diligent and conscientious. During our discussions, he noted down everything which we said and I think he did a lot of research of his own – especially when it came to designing our bookshelves. When the renovation was ongoing, he came down every day to oversee the progress of the renovation and he would also take photos and update us about the major renovation milestones via WhatsApp.
Qanvast: How did Billy help you during the furnishing selection process?
S: Billy helped us a lot. As my husband and I are very busy, we didn’t have much time to travel around Singapore to pick out the furnishings so Billy would shortlist a few options for the tiles and laminates, and let us make the selections from there. He was really amazing.
Qanvast: It sounds like you had a pleasant experience working with Billy.
S: Yes, I did. It was really a joy to work with Billy. He made the whole renovation process very fuss-free. Unlike my previous renovation, I didn’t feel the need to come down to the site every day to check out the progress of the renovation. My husband and I definitely had a pleasant working relationship with Billy.
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