Renovation Journey: Dreamy Nautical
At A Glance
• Jess and Mark
• Location: Sumang Walk
• Cost of Renovation: $36,000
• Interior Design Firm: Einstein Studio
• Interior Designer: Apple and Alfred
After meeting more than ten interior design firms, Jess and Mark still hadn’t found an interior designer who suited their needs. Thankfully, they did not have to wait long since their search led them to Apple and Alfred from Einstein Studios, whom the couple had a good rapport with.
We chat with the lovebirds and discover more about why Einstein Studio had an edge over their competition.
Qanvast: Tell us more about your search for an interior designer.
Jess (J): We sourced for interior designers via different platforms and met a total of about fifteen to sixteen interior designers which were assigned to us by these platforms.
Mark (M): We felt that a lot of the firms which we met were too commercialised and kept pushing us to go with a package. In fact, our meeting with one of the firms was only twenty minutes long! So overall, we did not feel a connection with many of these firms. Our choice was ultimately between Einstein Studio and another interior design firm.
Qanvast: What made Einstein Studio come out on top?
J: One of Einstein Studio’s plus points is that they gave us a checklist for our pre-home check even before our first meetup with them. Einstein Studio’s quotation was also relatively more affordable than the other interior design firm.
M: We like that Einstein Studio gave us a questionnaire to fill up prior to our first meeting so that during the meeting, they could propose some designs based on our preferences and our floor plan. This made them stand out from other interior design firms where the interior designers did not come prepared for the meeting. Einstein Studio also gave us a very clear breakdown of the individual items on the renovation budget.
Qanvast: How does Qanvast compare with other renovation platforms?
J: I think it’s good that Qanvast filtered through the interior designer firms before presenting them to us as we could tell that the interior design firms presented to us were more catered to our tastes.
Qanvast: Where did you source for home design inspiration?
M: We browsed through a lot of interior design firms’ portfolios on the Qanvast app. Facebook was also another source that we turned to as a lot of interior design firms have uploaded their portfolios to the site.
Qanvast: Were the both of you able to work together smoothly?
J: There were times when we could not come to a consensus over the colours or other design matters. During those instances, we would let the interior designer decide. We always tried our best to compromise with each other and to make the decision together.
Qanvast: How was it like working with Apple and Alfred?
J: We would tell them what we want and they would propose designs accordingly, and suggest better alternatives where possible. They also went with us to buy the lighting and some of the furnishings.
M: They gave us regular updates for every renovation milestone like when flooring, hacking and carpentry works were being done. They did a good job overall so we recommended them to our friends.
Qanvast: What kind of practical advice did Apple and Alfred give you?
M: They were able to counsel us on whether our ideas are feasible in the long run and which designs might not be practical if we were to have kids in the future.
Qanvast: What design-related advice did the designers have for you?
J: Apple was able to help us in terms of colour selection. We had chosen a colour theme based on a mixture of colours that we like but when Apple rendered the images, the colour did not match our Scandinavian theme. Hence, Apple proposed a blue theme that complemented our house design.
Qanvast: Were there any challenges when designing your place and how did Apple and Alfred help you to solve them?
M: When the air-con was being installed, we had concerns that it might eat into the space of the L-box for the false ceiling. Alfred assuaged our worries by carefully checking the space.
He and Apple also took the initiative to change the tiles for the slope at the main gate. Initially, the slope was made of concrete – which was what was given to us by the HDB. Knowing that it will be an issue for us in the future, they helped us to change the tiles so that it would match the other tiles in our home.
Qanvast: Any advice for new homeowners who are embarking on their renovation?
J: Homeowners should carefully examine the quotations given to them by the interior designers as there are usually a lot of hidden costs inside.
M: We feel that larger interior design firms are commercialised and as such, they might focus more on getting sales. Homeowners should be discerning when choosing their interior designer and strive to engage a designer who will put in more dedication into designing their home.