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Renovation Journey: Good as Gold

At A Glance

  • Samad and his mum, age 29
  • Area size: 137 sqm / 1,474 sqft
  • Location: Stratum (4-bedder)
  • Cost of renovation: $30,000
  • Cost of furnishing: $30,000
  • Interior design firm: Weiken
  • Interior designer: Janet
Stratum Condo Renovation by Weiken
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After doing his homework and meeting up with a total of eight interior designers, Samad enlisted the services of Janet from Weiken whom he trusted with designing his new home.

We sit down for a chat with Samad and get him to tell us about the pleasant time that he had collaborating with Janet on his home design.

Qanvast: Tell us about the beginning of your renovation journey

Samad (S): Before I began looking for an interior designer, I had no clue what kind of designs I liked or how much budget would be needed to renovate a place of my size. After downloading the app, I got assistance from a staff at Qanvast and she suggested that I use the Qanvast boards to save pictures of projects that I liked. She also recommended five interior designers to me based on my preferences.

Stratum Condo Renovation by Weiken
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Qanvast: Which feature of the Qanvast app do you like best?

S: The best thing about the Qanvast app is the boards. I liked that I could classify the pictures according to my preferences. This made it very convenient for me when I was meeting up with the interior designers because I could show them pictures of how I wanted the various areas in my home to look like.

Stratum Condo Renovation by Weiken
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Qanvast: What made Janet unique from the other interior designers?

S: I met eight interior designers in total and Janet’s portfolio was the best match to what I wanted to do for my place. She also had the best understanding of my requirements as compared to the other interior designers – some of whom were proposing to hack the wall or to swap out the marble flooring for colourful tiles. I would say that we could connect well and it was easy to communicate with her.

Furthermore, Weiken is a reputable firm that produces good quality work so I knew I could trust Janet with designing my home.

Stratum Condo Renovation by Weiken
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Qanvast: What kind of design did you want for your home?

S: I wanted a modern minimalistic home that is clean, simple and cosy. The design of the home had to be something that I could envision seeing every day. Colours-wise, I did not want anything too bright or too dull.

Qanvast: Did you feel confident of Janet’s project management abilities?

S: Yes. During the period of the renovation, Janet was often on site to monitor the contractors’ work and she gave me daily updates on the progress of the renovation. I was also overseas for a period of time during the renovation and she kept me updated on the renovation progress over Skype. She also helped me to keep track of my invoices for the various expenses such as for the furniture, furnishings and electrical works.

Stratum Condo Renovation by Weiken
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Qanvast: What did you like about working with Janet?

S: She gave me a lot of practical advice through which I could see her expertise as an interior designer. For instance, I initially did not want cove lighting because I felt that it was too bright and it might get dusty over time. However, Janet was able to assuage my concerns and convince me that cove lighting would work well for the overall design that I wanted.

Stratum Condo Renovation by Weiken
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Qanvast: What were some exceptional qualities that Janet possesses?

S: She is accommodating. There was this one time when I forgot to tell her that I wanted an open space for the bottom part of my shoe cabinet and she had already done the 3D design. Despite this, she was nice enough to redo the 3D design to incorporate the idea that I had. She is also very patient and took the time to answer any questions that I might have.

Stratum Condo Renovation by Weiken
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Qanvast: Where did you get most of your furniture from – Singapore, Malaysia or online?

S: I purchased all my furniture from Singapore because I wanted that sense of security and the option of contacting the vendor if there are any issues. It was indeed a wise decision because there was a delay in the production of my sofa and the vendor offered to deliver a substitute sofa until my actual sofa was ready for delivery. If I had purchased my furniture from Malaysia or from online, I may not have received that standard of service.

Qanvast: What was some valuable renovation advice that Janet gave you?

S: She told me that the first thing that I needed to do when I received the key to my apartment was to conduct a defects check. Prior to that, I didn’t know that I had to do anything of the sort.

Stratum Condo Renovation by Weiken
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With Janet’s assistance, I checked the entire unit and realised that there were missing tiles on the wall behind the toilet cabinet. Janet then helped me to submit a report to the condo management so that they told could send their contractors to do the rectification.

Qanvast: What advice would you give to new homeowners who are looking to renovate?

S: It is important to have an idea of how you want your home to look and to have a budget in mind before you meet up with the interior designers. With all these information on hand, the discussion with the interior designers will go more smoothly and they will be able to advise you on your ideas. With regard to that, the Qanvast app was very helpful because it creates a kind of ‘design’ skeleton upon which the designers can develop their concept.

Qanvast: What should homeowners look out for when shopping for an interior designer?

S: Find an interior designer you can trust and whom you are comfortable talking to. During the renovation journey, there is bound to be sticky issues such as those involving money and you need to be comfortable enough to discuss all these with your interior designer.

Looking to renovate?

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