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Renovation Journey: Designed For Life

At a Glance

  • Ryan and Geri
  • Home to 2 adults
  • Size: 95 sqm / 1022 sqft
  • Renovation duration: 10 weeks
  • Location: Boon Tiong Road
  • Cost of renovation: $70,000
  • Cost of furnishing: $30,000
  • Interior design firm: Habit
  • Interior designers: Yanling and Denise
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Looking at Ryan and Geri’s home, you won’t believe that they have been living here for a year already! Well part of that could be due to their efforts at keeping the house spick and span, we believe that it is the fresh interpretation of classic designs that gives this apartment its contemporary vibe. It is no wonder then that Ryan and Geri would rate Habit 10/10 for their efforts. Find out more about their successful collaboration.

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Qanvast: How did you embark on the process of searching for design ideas?

Geri (G): At the start, we took our time reading through interior design magazines. We also read through the articles on Qanvast – especially those listicle ones where you all would feature the top 10 homes in a certain category.

Ryan (R): Looking through these different articles gave us a few ideas about what interior design style we wanted. We wanted something bright and airy. We also wanted wooden furniture for our home. So it’s a mix of the Scandinavian and minimalism style.

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Qanvast: Tell us more about the feature wall in your dining room.

R: We really like it. This feature wall is Habit’s translation of the ‘brick wall’ trend. It’s not like the usual brick walls that you see in other people’s homes. I think that it frames the dining area really nicely. As we usually play host to our friends, it’s important that the dining area had a unique design.

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Qanvast: We heard that you met up with a few interior designers. What was the deciding factor to go with Habit?

G: Habit was a friend’s recommendation. We checked out their portfolio on their Instagram and Facebook and we really liked their style. I feel that they put their heart and soul into coming out with a unique design for each and every home that they’ve worked on and to me, that is really impressive.

R: When we were first met up with the interior designers from the different firms, we brought along a mood board to show them pictures of the types of design that we wanted. Although everybody came back with what we asked for, Habit went the extra mile and presented three different designs based on our requests.

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We were blown away by the effort that they put into the design process. Although Habit’s absolute price was higher than the other two interior designers that we had met, we decided to enlist their services as we feel that it’s worth it.

Qanvast: What was it like working with Habit?

G: They did a really good job and helped us to solve any problems that cropped us. When there’s an issue, they would propose some solutions and take action once they hear from us. If there’s a problem with the contractor, we could just liaise with Habit and they will solve it for us.

They are very prompt in their response from furniture choosing to even providing us updates on how the renovation is progressing and when certain things will take place. We liked that they updated us on not just what has happened but what will take place during the renovation.

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Qanvast: How was the handover process like?

G: Habit was really good with the handover. On the final day, there were things that needed to be rectified – such as touching up the paint on the wall – so Habit arranged for their contractor and carpenter to come by to help us with these issues. Although we were worried that the contractors might be annoyed, they were really nice about it.

R: We have heard stories from our friends that once the payment is done, the interior designers would disappear as they want to focus on their other projects. This was definitely not the case with Habit as we felt that they were very responsible from the start to the finish.

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Qanvast: That’s great to hear. Were there any issues post-renovation?

R: We had some problems with the water pipes once and since we didn’t know what to do, we called Habit and they managed to get their plumber to come down and take a look. When he came, he helped us to check all the pipes and he didn’t charge us for the work.

G: This shows that Habit has a good relationship with their network of contractors.

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Qanvast: What advice would you give first-time homeowners?

G: Figure out how much time and effort you are willing to devote to the renovation process. That will help you to determine whether you should hire a contractor or enlist the services of an interior designer. Since renovation boils down to project management, you need to know whether you’re comfortable liaising directly with a contractor or if you prefer to have someone who will do everything for you.

R: I would say that homeowners need to manage their expectations. It’s very common for people to want to pay very little but expect a lot in return. That’s not how it works. You get what you pay for. At the end of the day, homeowners should also realise that nothing is perfect and that they cannot expect a perfect house to be presented to them after the renovation process.

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