Renovation Journey: Cosy Canberra Home
At a Glance
- Derrick and his wife, and their young son
- Size: 93 sqm / 1001 sqft
- Location: Canberra Street
- Cost of Renovation: $30,206
- Cost of Furnishing: $25,000
- Interior Design Firm: 9 Creation
- Interior Designer: JY Chan
With budget and creative ideas as the main deciding factor, Derrick chose JY from 9 Creation out of the pool of 13 interior designers that he had shortlisted!
Qanvast: Tell us about your search for an interior designer and why you chose JY from 9 Creation?
Derrick (D): I was deciding among eight interior design firms which I had met at Qanvast’s Hangout. On top of that, I had five recommendations from the Qanvast app so I had thirteen interior design firms in total to shortlist from.
9 Creation was one of the design firms which Qanvast recommended to me and I liked that they could give me what I wanted at the budget that I set. The designer, JY, also did a good job of explaining things to us and he proposed ideas which the other designers did not think of, so we decided to engage his services.
Qanvast: What was the design that you wanted for your home?
D: I like Scandinavian designs but my wife prefers something modern. We let JY know about our conflicting design tastes and he came up with a modern Scandinavian design that the both of us liked.
Qanvast: How did JY help you to keep to the budget that you set?
D: We had ideas of what kind of carpentry we wanted to do and JY would let us know which would incur high costs. For example, we were initially thinking of building a bar counter and having a sliding glass panel between the kitchen and the bar counter but once JY informed us about the costs, we felt that it wasn’t worthwhile to spend so much on that small area.
Qanvast: Were there any other areas in the home that you didn’t mind spending more on?
D: Yes. I took up JY’s suggestion of concealing the wires inside the storage cabinet so that raised my renovation budget by a bit. I couldn’t do it for all the cabinets though because that would have been very expensive [laughs].
Qanvast: What were some considerations you made when planning the position of the electrical outlets in your home?
D: I considered the ease of usage when planning the position of the electrical outlets. For instance, I changed the position of the electrical outlet which was originally beside the sink because I wanted to connect my rice cooker to it and I felt that it would be strange if my rice cooker was positioned beside the sink. Although I had to spend money to change the wiring, it was something that I felt was worthwhile to spend on.
Qanvast: Where did you buy most of your furniture from?
D: I bought most of my furniture from JB. It cost me about SGD7000 for my dining table, bed frame, mattress, sofa and coffee table. I think I saved more than 50% and even up to 70% by buying my furniture from JB instead of from Singapore. In Singapore, the mattress alone would have cost me about $5000 so there’s a really huge price difference.
Qanvast: Were there any hiccups and how did JY rectify them?
D: I told JY that I wanted to use Nippon Easywash paint for my walls but when I came by the home to spot check, I realised that the paint on the wall was not Easywash paint but just regular paint. Two of the walls were also painted in a colour that was different from what I had selected from the catalogue.
I pointed this out to JY and asked if he could use sealer before repainting the walls as the paint colour which the painter used was darker than the colour that we wanted. Even though it’s an additional cost on his side, he obliged and helped us to rectify this issue within a week.
Qanvast: How did you differentiate between the Easywash and regular paint?
D: Easywash paint has a matte surface while regular paint has a glossier surface. Regular paint also has a stronger smell than Easywash paint which is odourless.
Qanvast: How well do you think JY executed his duties as an interior designer?
D: Quite well. I wanted furniture than was slighter larger than the average furniture and JY was able to advise us on that. He was also able to propose ideas – like the brick feature wall and the track lights – which would make our home look nicer. However, we did have to remind him sometimes to give us updates.
Qanvast: What advice can you give to new homeowners who are embarking on their own renovation?
D: Homeowners need to have an idea of what design they want for their home so that they can shortlist their interior designers based on that. If they have budget constraints, they also need to take that into account when finding their interior designer.
I would recommend homeowners to come down to check on their renovation progress at least two times a week. I came by once a week and I feel that it wasn’t sufficient. They should also try to come down on the weekdays because the workers would usually expect them to come on weekends.
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