At A Glance:
- Yansheng, GP, 31, and Jialing, 28, VP in an investment company
- Location: Residences @ Evelyn (2-bedder condo)
- Area size: 114 sqm / 1227 sqft
- Renovation duration: 10 weeks
- Cost of renovation: $96,000 (inclusive of design fee of $5,000)
- Cost of furnishings: $30,000
- Interior design firm: Habit LLP
- Interior designer: Yanling and Denise
After months of house-hunting, Yansheng and Jialing fell in love at first sight with the condominium unit and put in a sale on that day. Shortly after, it was the journey to engage the right designer to do up their home. The couple had their heart set on Habit whom they found through Qanvast and their friends.
Qanvast: What do you like about Habit?
Yansheng (YS): We really like their designs, and it seems like they made an effort to reinterpret the spaces for every home, taking care to not copy what they have done before into your home. This means the designs are very personalised to each lifestyle and requirements.
Qanvast: Was it easy to work with them?
Jialing (JL): Yes, our renovation was quite worry-free and they were very on the ball, sharing with us their opinions and advices on the renovation and furniture shopping. They were very responsive and would get back to us promptly.
Qanvast: Your renovation is quite pricey! What was the main bulk of your renovation costs?
JL: As it was an old condominium, we had to fix and redo the structural works like the aircon, electrical wiring etc. We had a lot of carpentry, plus we have a patio, which means additional costs to desoil and to re-lay the cement.
Qanvast: How do you manage your renovation budget?
YS: We try to cut down our costs and spend only on what’s necessary. For example the lightings at home, we did away with ambient lightings for the bathroom and kitchen and we look for ways to save when it comes to buying items to fill up the spaces at home.
For items that we bought online, we tapped into credit card discounts or rebates, and platforms that offered cashback.
Qanvast: Where did you look for interior designers?
JL: We used Qanvast, spoke to some of our friends and even considered our aunt who once does interior/architecture projects. We shortlisted the suitable firms and then arranged for an appointment.
We first contacted Habit some time in Dec 2014, they told us they were fully booked till mid 2015. And so we waited.
Qanvast: Habit charges a design fee that is higher than the average. Was this a concern to you?
YS: We have seen their works from our friends and read the reviews of homeowners who used Habit, and we see the value in paying the design fee. Otherwise, I think we will hesitate.
Qanvast: What do you look out for when hiring an interior designer?
YS: The chemistry has to be there and the design should fit what we are looking for. Professionalism is important too. We had once arranged an appointment with a designer from Company R, but she was at Expo when we had arranged to meet at her office. In the end, she asked her colleague to handle our project. That left a bad impression on us.
JL: When we spoke with Habit, we could really connect, probably because we were once from the same university, and we were around the same age.
Because of the level of chemistry we had, we could trust them with our house. Habit does not provide 3D drawings at all. Yanling and Denise drew and shade the different perspectives when we couldn’t understand what they were trying to tell us. Even so, we didn’t manage to get the full picture but we asked them to proceed anyway. We trust their design expertise. (laughs)
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