Renovation Journey: In Good Hands
At A Glance
- Mark and Cai Wei
- Size: 120 sqm / 1,291 sqft
- Location: Toa Payoh (Block 14B)
- Cost of renovation: $70,000
- Interior design firm: Project Guru
“The creativity part is just the beginning. It is more important for a designer to be good at execution” Going by this mantra, Mark and Cai Wei sought Project Guru’s help to give them a clean, uncluttered look for their home.
We sat down for a chat with the practical pair and get them to tell us about their smooth renovation journey with Elton, their designer from Project Guru.
Qanvast: How did Elton from Project Guru stand out from the other interior designers that you met?
Mark (M) : Elton was the most pro-active out of all the interior designers that we met. Even before we signed a contract with him, he took the initiative to set up a WhatsApp chat group and began sharing ideas with us even though he was not obligated to.
Elton was also the only interior designer out of the five that we met who pointed out that there would be space constraints if we were to place our sofa at the spot that we wanted. Compared to the other designers, he was definitely the best at space planning.
Qanvast: How did Elton help you to achieve the look you wanted for your home?
Cai Wei (CW): We wanted our home to look clean and uncluttered and Elton was able to recommend the type of lighting and flooring that would suit the theme of our home.
M: Elton also gave us a shopping list where he listed down the kind of furniture and furnishings that we should be looking out and shops where we could find them. He also helped us to work out specific details such as how many pieces of lighting to buy and what length of lighting we should be looking out for. Essentially, he made it very easy for us to find furniture and furnishings which fit our theme.
Qanvast: What is Elton’s best quality as a designer?
M: We like that he does not make decisions for us. Instead, he would tell us from his professional viewpoint about the pros and cons of selecting a particular material for instance and leave it up to us to make the decision. He was also very patient and gave us time to think about things when we could not come to an immediate decision.
CW: His responsiveness was outstanding. During the renovation period, he got things done efficiently. Even after the renovation was complete, he would still attend to our needs and help us to carry out any rectifications that needed to be done.
Qanvast: Were there any hiccups during the renovation?
M: Initially, there was a vanity cabinet above the sink. However, it protruded too much so it got in my way whenever I bent down to wash my hands. Elton was very nice about it and offered to remove the vanity cabinet and replace it with a mirror.
CW: There was also an issue with our dish-rack. Elton had originally designed it to be horizontal and after installation, we realised that it was quite impractical as it was positioned too high up on the wall so we could not reach the rack easily. When we shared our concerns with him, he helped us to build a new vertical dish-rack. He did all these changes at no additional charge which was very kind of him.
Qanvast: Do you have any places to recommend for furniture shopping?
M: There are big furniture chains in Johor Bahru that homeowners can consider shopping at. We customised our sofa and table there and it was definitely much cheaper than the price that we would pay for it in Singapore. Some of these furniture shops even do deliveries to Singapore on a regular basis.
Qanvast: What advice do you have for homeowners who are shopping for an interior designer?
CW: When finding an interior designer, homeowners should look out for a designer who is not just creative but who is patient, responsible and good at execution. Since the execution portion of the renovation spans a significantly longer period of time than the period of creative conceptualisation, you definitely want a designer who has these qualities so that you can have a smooth renovation journey.
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