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Renovation Journey: Eclecticism in the Tropics

At a Glance

  • May-Anne, agent at Great Eastern, and Shaun, aircraft engineer at SIA
  • Home to 2 adults, 2 pet rabbits and a cat
  • Size: 110 sqm / 1,184 sqft
  • Location: Clementi Avenue 3
  • Cost of Renovation: $60,000
  • Interior Design Firm: Prozfile Design
  • Interior Designer: Zion (former designer for Prozfile)

For homeowner May-Anne, it was finally a chance to put her skills to good use. Having had a passion for interior styling since young, the design-savvy insurance agent had a vision - and wanted her first home to be perfect.

Armed with a talent for matching colours, patterns and sourcing for furniture pieces on the low, all she needed was someone who understood her ideals and help lay the renovation groundwork. After
countless meet-ups with various designers, she finally found one in Zion from Prozfile Design.

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Along with the help of her supportive hubby Shaun ,who lets her handle most of the design decisions (but has some up his sleeve too) - the trio spent 6 months renovating their dream abode, taking time to make sure that everything was right, down to even the right hardware finishes.

And did that pay off! Boasting a gorgeously cosy HDB that's picture perfect in every corner, we sat down with May-Anne and Shaun to snag a few styling secrets, and learn how Zion's expertise (and patience) allowed them to achieve what they had envisioned.

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Qanvast: What did both of you look out for when searching for an interior designer?

May-Anne (M): As I knew what design I wanted for my home, I simply needed an interior designer who would help me out not so much on the design side of things but rather with project management.

M: While I do enjoy styling and arranging things, it's a different story when it comes to renovation works like designing built-ins and doing up the bathrooms. We needed someone with that expertise. And because I already have a clear vision, we were also looking for a designer who understood our aesthetic.

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Qanvast: What made you decide to ultimately engage Zion from Prozfile?

Shaun (S): We met up with a couple of designers including the ones recommended by Qanvast before deciding on one. Some of the designers whom we met had good designs but their quotation was too high.

M: As compared to all these designers, we felt that Zion was the best match for us. As she was able to advise us on the feasibility of various designs. Furthermore, her quotation was reasonable and she came across as someone who was sincere. Most importantly, she was hardworking so we decided to go ahead with her.

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Qanvast: What kind of look or style did you have in mind for your home?

S: The Scandinavian and Industrial theme seems to be very popular in Singapore. While they are great in their ways, it was something we weren't keen on - we wanted something different.

M: I personally favour more eclectic designs because I find that being able to combine different colours, textures and styles makes a house look less cookie-cutter, and gives personality and cosiness to a space. As I spend a lot of my time at home, I really wanted a space that I identify and feel right at home in!

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Qanvast: Where were some places the both of you got your inspiration from?

M: I sourced a lot of my ideas from Pinterest and magazines. I also picked details that I liked while browsing through Qanvast's projects! For instance, I might come across a project with vintage tiles that catch my eye, and I'll save it and try to find out where I can get such tiles from.

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Qanvast: What is the most challenging part of the renovation?

S: Honestly, sourcing for items! My wife and I spent six months sourcing for items from online sites and platforms like eBay, Taobao and Carousell. She also visited quite a few second hand antique shops to find unique pieces for our home.

S: Planning for the things in our home was also quite a challenge because everything had to be in place. For example, before we could get the television, my wife wanted to know the height of the TV console so that the TV would be at the right height when we place it on the TV console.

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Qanvast: Did Zion help to source for the furnishings?

M: Yes, she did! In the bathroom, I wanted a particular gold finish for all my hardware, and I asked her to help me to source these items. She was really hardworking and put in the effort to research and find the item for me. She also recommended places like Hafary to us and followed us down to search for some of our tiles.

S: She also found the right gold-finished hinges for us. Items like these are uncommon so we don’t really know where to source for them and she really helped us out in that regard.

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Qanvast: What were some areas in which you could see your designer’s expertise?

M: She was very good at helping us to do the calculations and measurements. For example, she checked with us about the things we wanted to keep on the various shelves in our wardrobe and planned the layout of the shelving based on the size of our clothes and accessories.

M: Her measurements also helped us with the space planning in our home because we would know how much space we have and what we could fit into that space.

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Qanvast: What are some of your favourite shops to buy furniture/furnishings from?

M: I love Creatively Active Minds (CAM) at the Robinsons outlet in The Heeren - they have a lot of rustic looking pieces and Victorian-style botanical items. I bought picture frames, stools, a mirror and other knick-knacks from there. We bought our oriental-style end-table and wine 'bench' from Woody Antique House in Dempsey.

M: We also got some items from Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, online stores from the US - but they ship internationally! They have a lot of bohemian and eclectic finds, so we had some of our stuff from there. Lastly, I highly recommend checking out the ‘Home & Furniture’ category in Carousell - there are a lot of good bargains to be found there! For example, I got an ornamental plate I was eyeing in Robinsons (which retails for $100+) for only $20!

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