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Renovation Journey: Modern-Masculine Sensibility

At a Glance

  • Sean, 32, sales and Priscilla, 31, hair stylist
  • Size: 90 sqm / 968 sqft
  • Location: Compassvale Bow
  • Cost of Renovation: $55,000
  • Cost of Furnishing: $30,000
  • Interior Design Firm: Team Interior Design
  • Interior Designer: Debbie

Having come across interior design firms who claimed that they could complete the renovation with just a budget of $20,000 to $30,000, Sean and his wife, Priscilla, knew that they had to tread carefully when finding an interior designer and their search led them to Debbie from Team Interior Design who the couple could put their confidence in.

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Qanvast: What factors did you take into account when shopping for an interior designer?

Sean (S): One factor was the budget. We had set aside a budget of about $40,000 to $50,000 for my renovation and while we didn’t want a designer whose services were too expensive, we were also sceptical of design firms who said that they could complete the renovation with a budget of $20,000 to $30,000.

It was also important for us to find an interior designer who we had chemistry with and who could give us inputs.

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Qanvast: What gave Debbie an edge over her competition?

S: Two out of the three interior designers we met kept pushing their ideas instead of coming up with designs that fit our requirements. Debbie was a good listener and took the time to listen to what we wanted.

Qanvast: What was your design brief to Debbie?

S: We wanted our home to be nice and cosy, and that lighting was very important to me.

We also wanted to use different flooring for the various rooms in the home so that the overall design looks more interesting and it’s easy to tell one space apart from another.

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Qanvast: How was your working relationship with Debbie like?

S: She was very straightforward and advised us on what could and couldn’t be done. She was also very prompt.

Even though it has been months since the renovation was completed, Debbie still turns up if we have any issues to highlight to her.

Qanvast: In what areas could you see Debbie’s expertise as an interior designer?

S: She gave us really good advice. For instance, she told us that there’s no use for so many telephone cables and advised us to change to Category 6 cables so that I would have a LAN point in all of my rooms.

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Qanvast: What was one design that Debbie conceptualised which you really like?

S: We were contemplating having a walk-in wardrobe or hacking one of the walls to make our bedroom look bigger, but Debbie proposed a design whereby the bed would be placed on a platform that’s separated from the other section of the bedroom by a built-in wardrobe. We liked this idea because it makes the bedroom look cosy.

Qanvast: What were some other good designs that Debbie came up with?

S: She did a floating, built-in TV console to make the area look more spacious. She also came up with many hidden storage areas and cleverly concealed our bomb shelter.

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Qanvast: In terms of cost, what were some areas that you didn’t mind spending more on?

S: I chose to use PVC laminate for the inner lining of my cabinet instead of Formica because I heard that Formica peels off easily.

Also, I changed all of my hinges to Blum as I wanted to invest in a good one since I intend to stay in this home for many years.

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Qanvast: What exceptional quality does Debbie possess as an interior designer?

S: She is very meticulous. Besides painting the walls, Debbie also painted the pipes in my service yard and the ceilings in my home. I didn’t even notice that she had done so until one of my friends – who is also an interior designer – pointed out these details out to me.

He told me that it’s nice of my interior designer to put in the extra effort to paint these areas because most interior designers usually wouldn’t bother. I’m definitely grateful to have Debbie as my interior designer.

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Qanvast: If there was anything you could redo in your renovation, what would it be?

S: We chose to have blinds in our bedroom because we thought it looks nicer than curtains. However, after moving in, we find that the blinds don’t really block out the light in the morning and the room gets quite bright. Curtains would have be better.

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Qanvast: Where did you get some of your furniture?

S: Cozy Home. Our sofa and dining set are from the same place. We also customised the length of the sofa to fit the area perfectly. We wanted a leather sofa but it would be very expensive, so we chose this leather-looking fabric. The best thing is the price - the sofa is only $1600, the bench, $400 and the dining set is about $900! Debbie noticed that the legs didn't match and she changed that for us.

Qanvast: What advice would you give to new homeowners embarking on their renovation journey?

S: New homeowners should engage the services of an interior designer because there would be things that they wouldn’t know to look out for. They should also hire a reliable interior designer who is able to organise everything for them and customise designs to fit their requirements.

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