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Renovation Journey: Dreamcatcher

At A Glance

  • Erli and Afsrah
  • Area size: 93 sqm / 1,000 sqft
  • Location: Choa Chu Kang
  • Cost of renovation: $40,000
  • Interior design Firm: Fifth Avenue Interior
  • Interior designer: Derick
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Desiring a space that is uniquely theirs, Erli and Afsrah entrusted their home to Derick from Fifth Avenue Interior who they knew was the right man for the job.

We sat down for a chat with the bubbly couple who share more about how they managed to overcome the height restrictions in a HDB to get their very own loft.

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Qanvast: What gave Derick an edge over his competition?

Erli (E): Even before I met Derick, I was very keen on engaging him because he had many positive, heartfelt reviews from his past clients, and his portfolio was very impressive. Prior to meeting him, I had met about five other interior designers and none of them gave me the assurance that I could entrust the design of my home to them.

Furthermore, out of all the interior designers, Derick was the one could do the most with the budget of $30,000 that we had set for the renovation. When I saw the designs that he came up with for me, I was really amazed and I knew that he really understood what I wanted for my home.

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Qanvast: Was there any specific instance where Derick clearly stood out the other interior designers that you met?

E: I told all the interior designers that I met that I wanted a preparation station in my kitchen. Out of all these interior designers, Derick was the only one who came up with the idea of putting the sink directly beside the preparation station to make the whole preparation process smoother. In comparison, the designs that the rest of the designers came up with would result in a cramped space that would make it very hard for me to do the preparations.

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Qanvast: Tell us more about the design that you wanted for your kitchen.

E: I did not want any top cabinets in my kitchen because I know from experience that the items in the top cabinets are hardly taken out to be used. I also wanted an open rubbish bin to be integrated into my kitchen counter beside the sink so that it is easy to throw things without having to step on a pedal. Overall, I wanted my kitchen to be organised in such a way that the preparation and cooking process is coordinated.

Qanvast: The Aurora Borealis mural is gorgeous. Tell us about it.

E: I love the view of the Northern Lights so I asked my friend – who is an artist – to paint the Northern Lights onto the entire wall. I also asked her to paint a dreamcatcher together with the Northern Lights because to me, a dreamcatcher represents dreams coming true. As this is our first home, it is really a dream come true for us to be staying here.

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Qanvast: Why did you decide to do away with an actual dining table?

E: We don’t really like to have a lot of furniture in our home. We also felt that a dining table is someplace which you vacate after you eat so we felt that it might make more sense to have a coffee table where we could eat at instead. The good thing about this coffee table also is that its height is adjustable so we can raise it up and down when necessary.

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Qanvast: Tell us about your loft.

E: I have always wanted a loft in my bedroom. When I proposed this idea to Derick, he shared his concerns that it might not be so feasible in a HDB home because of the height of the ceiling. Nonetheless, he tried his best and came up with designs that worked around the height limit. We also appreciated his concern for our safety as he paid utmost attention to the stability of the structure when designing the loft.

Qanvast: What is your favourite area in your home?

E: The loft. It is the cats’ favourite spot too! Whenever I want to destress, I will go up there to chill out. It is such a relaxing space that I can even put my phone aside in the living area and just hang out there with the cats.

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Qanvast: Going into the renovation, how did you envision your house to look like?

E: I knew that I did not want my house design to fit under a particular theme or to be stereotypical. On top of that, I told Derick that I do not want any loud colours like orange or green in my home as I want it to be a place where I can relax. Hence, I asked him to use more dark colours like grey and black around the home. I also told him that I love marble surfaces.

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Qanvast: Did you have a good experience working with Derick?

E: Yes. I have come across stories of homeowners being cheated by their interior designers and it was very reassuring to have Derick constantly checking in with us about the nitty-gritty details of the renovation – right down to our doorbell. Derick also knew my tastes very well. He went to the store to pick out my bathroom tiles and when he sent me the picture, it was exactly what I wanted. I was very comfortable with him.

Afsrah (A): Derick would also give us his honest recommendations on what type of furniture or furnishings we should buy. We were also able to get some of our electrical appliances at a better price because of the network of contacts that he has. That was really amazing.

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Qanvast: What advice do you have for new homeowners?

E: Always open up to your other half. Also, do not be too quick to dismiss your ideas. Even though they might not seem feasible or may be too high for your budget, there might be a way for your interior designer to give you what you want.

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