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Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

January 24, 2017

At a Glance

  • Noel, 30, and Si Lin, 29, both work at the Civil Service College
  • Size: 121 sqm / 1302 sqft
  • Location: Keat Hong Pride
  • Cost of Renovation: $51,000
  • Cost of Furnishing: $17,000
  • Interior Design Firm: AD. I. WRKS
  • Interior Designer: Widya and Teck Soon

“The early bird catches the worm.”

With this belief in mind, Noel and Si Lin began their search for an interior designer four to five months before they collected their house keys, and were rewarded when they met the experienced team at AD. I .WRKS.

Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

Qanvast: What gave AD. I. WRKS an edge over their competitors?

Noel (N): They left the best first impression on us, offering to meet us at a convenient location. The rest required us to travel down to their office - as far as East Coast.

During our first meeting, Teck Soon asked us about our lifestyle and personality to come up with a design uniquely suited to us. The approach that he took was very different and we felt he would be able to help us best since we are first-time homeowners and need some guidance.

Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

Si Lin (SL): In fact, we were so confident that the team at AD. I. WRKS could do a good job so we recommended them to our parents even before they started work on our home.

Qanvast: What was the brief which you gave to Widya and Teck Soon?

SL: We weren’t keen on hacking any walls in our home. That gave them some constraints as they had to find a way to give us the walk-in wardrobe we wanted. We also needed a spacious area where there’s flexibility for us to shift furniture around as we often have many family gatherings.

Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

N: We told them that we wanted a white, minimalist Scandinavian home with ample storage and wood elements around.

Qanvast: Did any of Teck Soon’s proposals stand out?

N: Most of the other IDs we met up with kept pushing us to go with an open-kitchen even though we said we didn’t want to hack any walls. Teck Soon was the only one who advised us against it, saying an enclosed kitchen would be better since we often cook.

Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

He also came up with a design incorporating a bar counter which I wanted to accompany the enclosed kitchen. I wasn’t able to envisage how it would look without hacking down the kitchen wall and I am really grateful to Teck Soon for showing us that it could be done.

Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

Qanvast: What was the design process like?

N: After AD. I. WRKS got back to us with the designs, we would tell them the changes to be made and they would revise it. For example, we wanted to make the storage space behind the bar counter look more interesting so we asked them to shift some of the niches around.

Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

Qanvast: How was it like working with Teck Soon?

SL: He is very meticulous. During our meetings, he always took down notes on our requirements. We appreciated that since some of the other designers that we met could not keep track of what had been discussed.

Teck Soon was also confident about what he would be able to do for us. For instance, we were worried about whether we could fit a king sized bed and two side tables in our master bedroom, and Teck Soon helped to assuage our concerns.

Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

Qanvast: What was some practical advice given?

N: We wanted to use quartz for the countertop and our designers advised us that it might be a bit too heavy for the structure. They suggested that we use KompacPlus instead since it serves the same purpose as quartz and is a more budget-friendly option.

Qanvast: How did Teck Soon help you in the furniture selection process?

N: Besides accompanying us to do the furniture shopping, Teck Soon recommended us to check out furniture shops like Castlery. During those times that he could not accompany us, we would text him pictures of the item we are interested in purchasing and he would advise us if it complemented our home.

Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

Qanvast: What is your favourite aspect of your home?

SL: I like our kitchen door. We wanted a black framed door and Widya came up with a bold design for the handle of the door which made it pop against the lighter colours which was used around the home.

N: For me, it’s the bar counter - something that I have always wanted to have. I think it’s nice to have a space where we can have drinks with friends. I also do my work there at times.

Renovation Journey: Living, Breathing Space

Qanvast: Do you have any advice for new homeowners?

SL: It will be good if homeowners can talk to those who have completed their renovation, giving them a benchmark for them to compare the various costs. They can also find out more about practical matters such as the placement of electrical sockets, whether to have curtains or blinds, and about the importance of window grills.

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