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Renovation Journey: Long Term Practicality

At A Glance

  • Jian Sheng, Kellie, aged 33, researcher and educator
  • Home to 2 adults and 2 kids
  • Area size: 128 sqm / 1378 sqft
  • Location: Jalan Bukit Merah
  • Cost of renovation: $75,000
  • Cost of furnishing and appliances: $15,000
  • Interior design firm: Yonder
  • Interior designer: Jimmy
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Renovating a home is akin to making an investment - that was Jian Sheng’s renovation mantra. He sought the aid of Jimmy from Yonder who turned his home into a conducive environment for the family.

Qanvast: Tell us about your search for an interior designer.

JS: We talked to about five interior designers and a contractor - just to compare costs - but two of the interior designers were unable to commit to our timeline. We had the most chemistry with Jimmy from Yonder and his portfolio matched what we wanted. His project management skills and dedication really impressed us.

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Qanvast: How did Jimmy’s project management skills differ from the other designers?

JS: Unlike the others, Jimmy provided me with three schematic drawings of the layout – one which included the measurements, another detailed the various paint colours used and another on the electrical layout - that was really helpful.

Qanvast: How useful was Jimmy’s schematic drawings?

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JS: Looking at the electrical layout, we could determine the position of the different types of lights, and their switches, which gave me an idea of how practical their positioning was based on my lifestyle and needs. Plus, I could easily show him where I wanted an additional plug.

The drawing with the paint colours gave me a point of reference for patching up the walls - useful as I have kids and would need to do so due to wear and tear.

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Qanvast: What vision did you have for your home?
**JS: As we plan to stay in this home long-term, we factored in how our home would be used over the years. For instance, we set aside the spare room incase our parents stay with us in the future.

Kellie (K): There is a broad walkway in our house so I wanted to implement storage options. Some of the interior designers suggested converting it into a dining area but it would be hard for the kids to run around the house. Perhaps when they’re older.

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Ultimately, we wanted the layout of our home to be adaptable, so we only chose built-in options for furniture that would be kept for a long time.

JS: Yes, as our two kids grow up, their needs would shift and they would need different furniture.

Qanvast: How did you both work together during the renovation?

K: Jian Sheng would propose creative ideas to me and I would give my stamp of approval if they were practical. I was more concerned with ensuring that the layout of the furniture is conducive for everyday use.

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Qanvast: How was working with Jimmy like?

JS: It was a smooth journey working with Jimmy. He gave me a good idea of what was possible with my budget, managing my expectations. For example, he advised me not to add the glass panels in the shower area as that would cost an additional $800. In that sense, he helped me save on renovation costs.

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On top of that, when we were thinking of using KompacPlus for the kitchen countertop but he suggested quartz instead as it is more durable and has better finishing.

Qanvast: Were there any hiccups during the renovation?

JS: There was a huge hiccup regarding tile selection. I had chosen tiles that looked like marble with a glossy, shiny finishing, but we were very shocked when were not what we expected.

K: I asked the workers why the flooring wasn’t done since it looked like concrete - it turned out those were the tiles that we had chosen!

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Qanvast: That’s unfortunate to hear. How did Jimmy help to rectify that issue?

JS: Jimmy was very professional in handling this issue. He asked the tile seller to come down and verify that the tiles were those that I had selected. It was. As the renovation and carpentry was almost done, it was not possible to redo the tiles so Jimmy suggested we tile over the existing tiles with vinyl tiles - the most affordable option which also matched our home's look.

Qanvast: How useful was Qanvast to you in your search for home renovation ideas?

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JS: We like that Qanvast is more relevant than interior design magazines like Home & Décor since these magazines feature a variety of designs. I only wanted to look for Scandinavian interiors, and could filter accordingly as well as search by size and budget.

The mood boards made sharing design ideas with my wife easy and Qanvast also posts useful articles such as the “Renovation Price Guide for Singapore Homes” which I used to compare costs for the various carpentry works.

Qanvast: Lastly, do you have any advice for new homeowners?

JS: Start saving money early for your renovation. It’s good to be financially prepared in the event of an unexpected hiccup during the renovation process.

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