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Renovation Journey: Going Light, Bright And Airy

December 6, 2017
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At A Glance

  • Jasmine, 29, Bank Executive and Edwin, 38, Operations Manager
  • Size: 90 sqm / 968 sqft
  • Location: Whampoa Dew
  • Cost of renovation: $30,000
  • Cost of furnishing and appliances: $10,000
  • Interior design firm: D Initial Concept
  • Interior designer: Ashley

Homeowners Ashley and Edwin wanted a design that would keep their home bright and airy – and to do just that, they engaged the help of Ashley from D Initial Concept. Read on to find out how their renovation journey went, and how they achieved a simple yet homely space.

Renovation Journey D Initial Whampoa Dew
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Qanvast: How did you start planning for your home’s renovation?

Jasmine & Edwin (J & E): About a month before we collected our keys, we started doing some research and fact-finding online – mostly on Qanvast and Pinterest – to gather ideas on what style we like, and the average budget based on past owners’ experience.

Qanvast: What was your design brief to Ashley – any specific requirements?

J & E: We wanted something bright, airy & uncluttered that didn't have “over-storage” – like having carpentry in every corner – but we needed a functional space that can keep our miscellaneous items out of sight.

Qanvast: Were there any design concepts that Ashley proposed, that particularly impressed you?

J & E: Our designer, Ashley, suggested placing the fridge at the dining area, allowing us more space in the kitchen. This worked very well for us in terms of space planning, and in general, she was able to come up with a design that matched what we had in mind.

Renovation Journey D Initial Whampoa Dew
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Qanvast: Did a design with clean walls and minimal carpentry pose any challenges?

J & E: On the contrary, it gave us more freedom and creativity to decide where we would like our shelving, poster and décor to be!

Renovation Journey D Initial Whampoa Dew
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Qanvast: Your bay window – was that something you’ve always wanted for your home?

J & E: Yes, definitely. It was a must-have requirement for us. We like the idea of relaxing on the settee and watching the horizon. It also comes with storage underneath. Ashley designed the bottom to be gradient, so that our legs will not be hitting the settee.

Renovation Journey D Initial Whampoa Dew
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Qanvast: I see, I also noticed that your kitchen cabinets are suspended off the floor?

J & E: Yes, it gives the illusion that the kitchen floor is bigger and is a more cost-saving option since less material is required – the cost of the cabinet base is surprisingly expensive!

Renovation Journey D Initial Whampoa Dew
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Qanvast: What were some considerations that Ashley took into account when designing your kitchen?

The space at the L-shape joint of our kitchen cabinets which she utilised for additional storage, how we might encounter the issue of having to reach for the kitchen and service light switch situated right in front of the window, and the window's height. Ashley recommended a 2-way bi-fold window, instead of the conventional bi-fold sliding window that we had in mind.

Renovation Journey D Initial Whampoa Dew
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Qanvast: What about the Eubiq power track – was that recommended by Ashley?

J & E: The idea was from a friend, and we realised that it not only looks appealing but it’s also cost-effective - the 1m track can house about 8 power adaptors, so we can plug multiple appliances at the same time. Currently we only have it in the the kitchen, but we are not ruling out the possibility of installing more tracks around the house should the need arise!

Renovation Journey D Initial Whampoa Dew
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Qanvast: I like how the wardrobe area has been carved out. Could you share more about its conceptualisation? Was this a requirement going into the renovation?

J & E: Yes, major requirement. Well, we had a few ideas on the master bedroom wardrobe, but the concept of a mini walk-in, see-through wardrobe stayed. We did not want to sacrifice a room to have a walk-in wardrobe so we allocated this space instead.

The wardrobe is from Amare La Casa, and the aluminum wire-mesh partition is customized by Ashley who helped us to coordinate and saw it through very nicely.

Renovation Journey D Initial Whampoa Dew
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Qanvast: That’s interesting – the two designs work very well together. But why not get the wardrobe built-in instead, since the partition was customised?

J & E: We did a comparison between Ashley's quote & Amare La Casa and felt it was more cost effective to engage the latter. Also, they specialise in customised wardrobes with high quality materials.

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Qanvast: What about your furnishings? Where did you buy some of the bigger ticket items?

The dining set & sofa is from Comfort Design, while we moved our matrimonial bed from our parent's place. Ashley gave us recommendations for Scandi or funky items such as our bedside tables, remote and tissue holders which are from Born in Color.

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Qanvast: Was this your first time renovating? What were some things you learnt along the way

J & E: Yes, it is our first home and our first time renovating! We learned many technical skills such as electrical re-wiring, plumbing, the different types of tiles, and interpreting our floor plan among other things. Not to forget soft skills such as interacting with contractors, various interior designers, vendors and accommodating one another.

Renovation Journey D Initial Whampoa Dew
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Qanvast: What advice would you give other homeowners?

J & E: Always plan ahead, research and look for options. Try to request for regular updates such as task list to be completed each week, and maintain close contact with your ID. Apart from that, don't forget to have fun and enjoy the process of renovating your home!

Qanvast: What would you have done differently, in retrospect?

J & E: Nothing much, it was a smooth & enjoyable experience for us and we love how our home has transformed!


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