Renovation Journey: Love By The Waterfront

February 24, 2016
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Renovation Journey: Love By The Waterfront
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At A Glance

  • Rachel and Ronald, 31 and 35, business owner and banking industry
  • Size: 113sqm / 1216 sqft
  • Location: Waterway Woodcress
  • Cost of Renovation: $27,000
  • Cost of Furnishing: $20,000
  • Interior Design Firm: Starry Homestead

Working as a hotel furniture supplier, Rachel is definitely no stranger to the interior design business. Together with her husband, the practical pair enlisted the services of Starry Homestead who managed to live up to the couple’s expectation.

Renovation Journey: Love By The Waterfront
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Qanvast: How did you decide on Starry Homestead?

Rachel (R): We found Starry Homestead through Qanvast along with a few other interior design firms that Qanvast had shortlisted for us. After setting up meetings with all these interior design firms, we found that there was chemistry between us and three of the firms. Ultimately, we decided to enlist the services of Starry Homestead as it was the only firm that kept to our budget.

Ronald (RO): In addition, some of these other firms suggested designs which were too bold or which were not suitable for our needs. I recall one designer suggesting that we go for a breakfast table that could sit many people. We definitely do not need that as it is just the two of us staying in this house.

Renovation Journey: Love By The Waterfront
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Qanvast: What was working with Starry Homestead like?

R: They were very attentive to our needs. The first time that we made contact with them was when we sent in the quote request and they replied very fast as compared to some of the other firms that took some time to get back to us. Starry Homestead took the time to understand our lifestyle and proposed concepts that are suitable for us. Our interior designer is an easygoing guy and he would liaise with the carpenters and workers and keep us updated about the renovation progress through the group WhatsApp chat which we found very helpful.

RO: Whenever we were unsure if a particular idea was feasible, we would take our cue from Starry Homestead who would propose suggestions. Even though there were delays due to things like a dent in the laminate, we felt that it was an understandable delay and furthermore, they would replace the furnishing that was spoiled.

Renovation Journey: Love By The Waterfront
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Qanvast: What tips would you give to first-time homeowners?

RO: One important advice – don’t buy so much furniture at one go. Furniture can be bought over time.

R: Homeowners should also consider if the interior design style which they settle upon is one which they can see themselves living in for a long period of time. Initially, Roland wanted a Scandinavian home as he thought it would look more special. After much consideration, we decided to go with the modern style as we know that while the Scandinavian style is a hot favourite now, we’re not too sure how long the trend would last.

Renovation Journey: Love By The Waterfront
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RO: When engaging an interior designer, they should keep in mind that besides the interior designers who are in charge of the design, there are a lot of third parties involved. When you set up a meeting with the interior designers, you will only get to speak with the interior designers and you wouldn’t know how these other third party vendors are like until you work with them. There may even be additional third party costs that are not included under the interior design fee. So, for us, we depended on Qanvast’s reviews where people shared more about their experience with the interior designers and these third parties.

R: Most importantly, homeowners should know what they want, stick to their budget, find out the expected timeline for their project and engage a designer who can adhere to the timeline and complete the project on time. Most people who are moving into a new home are moving from one house to another and if the new house is not ready by the date they expect it to be, then they may not have a place to stay while waiting for their new home to be completed.

Renovation Journey: Love By The Waterfront
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Qanvast: Besides the reviews, what other features on Qanvast did you explore?

RO: We used the quote request system to find our interior designer, Starry Homestead. We found this quite useful as Qanvast would shortlist designers that are suitable for us. It’s much better than aimessly walking around and looking for interior designers! [laughs]

R: Yes, Qanvast is definitely a friendly site! The other websites which we visited were more impersonal and they did not make the effort to get to know the consumer. For instance, in the form, they would simply ask about the budget or what renovation work you want to conduct on your house etc. We have read articles like ‘Renovation Journey’ too and it is very helpful as it gives us a perspective on the interior designers and which firms we could consider.

RO: Qanvast really solves the problem of consumers. The company adapts to changes in the interior design market and the response that you all gave when we sent in the quote request was really awesome. [laughs]

Renovation Journey: Love By The Waterfront
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Qanvast: Was the Qanvast app still helpful post-renovation?

R: Yes. Even now when the renovation is complete, I still look at Qanvast for new ideas. As the months go by, I start thinking if there are any new ways to freshen up the house. By looking at the pictures on Qanvast, I can get a sense of what interior design style is in trend or what other furnishings I should add to the home.

RO: I agree. Looking at the project on Qanvast helps when deciding what furnishings I may want to add to my home. For instance, I was just browsing through Qanvast for ideas on what homeowners put behind their sofa; do people put a bench or a table? Based on this, we can see what works for the home and add in more things when we see ideas that we like. Rachel just put in a standing light [laughs].

Renovation Journey: Love By The Waterfront
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