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Renovation Journey: Next To Norway

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At A Glance:

  • Shayne and her husband Chin Ann, both 27
  • Size: 1,001 sqf / 93 sqm
  • Location: 4-rm HDB in Tampines
  • Cost of renovation: $30,000
  • Cost of furnishing and appliances: $15,000
  • Interior Design Firm: DB Studio
  • Interior Designers: Jason and Joel
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Drawing inspiration from the Scandinavian’s simple and cheery style, Shayne and Chin Ann’s first home got as close as it could without resorting to clichés. And, that’s even after scouring most of their furniture from IKEA and Taobao. Instead, their four-room HDB flat in Tampines boasts a sophisticated vibe, all thanks to interior designers Joel and Jason from DB Studio, who took their own spin on the Scandinavian trend and ran the extra mile to meet the couple’s aspirations -- including the open kitchen and double-sided “His & Hers” wardrobe.

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Qanvast: What did you like about the Scandinavian theme?

Shayne (S): I lived in Norway for six months during a university exchange programme and was inspired by the look of the homes there. Generally, the homes there have a very clean look and adhere to a monochromatic colour palette that makes them feel very open and airy.

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Qanvast: How did you and Chin Ann agree on ideas?

S: Usually I would propose my ideas to Chin Ann, who’s the more practical one. Initially I was really keen on white furniture. But he worried it would dirty easily. So we compromised on grey.

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Qanvast: What made you and Chin Ann entrust DB Studio to renovate your home?

S: Unlike other firms that presented us with package deals, DB Studio’s quotation gave us clear, individual breakdown costs for every component. The interior designers, Jason and Joel, also showed their professionalism by alerting us of all the additional works way ahead. For example, when we talked about hacking the wall between the kitchen and bedroom, Jason and Joel immediately advised us that we had to re-tile the floor tiles to keep the look consistent. Also, they brought us to view a couple of their projects so we could have an upclose look of the quality of the carpentry and design.

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Qanvast: Name us a few ingenious renovation ideas that Jason and Joel created for your home.

S: A “His & Hers” double-sided wardrobe that opens on both sides! Thanks to this, Chin Ann and I have our own wardrobe space and I sort of have my very own walk-in wardrobe.

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Qanvast: Any hiccups during the renovation process?

S: Yes – our fridge was too high and it wouldn’t fit under the built-in tall boy. So Jason and Joel got the contractor to remove the cupboards to accommodate it. Also, the laminate on our table top came short of the length, so Jason and Joel helped us add a layer of KompacPlus, a customisable panel, all at their own expense!

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Qanvast: Describe your working relationship with Jason and Joel.

S: We were very happy working with them. We appreciate that they were accountable, and responsive on WhatsApp, generally responding within half a day. They also managed to stick to their timeline and complete the renovation on time.

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Qanvast: Are you satisfied with how your home turned out?

S: It actually looks very similar to the 3D drawings Jason and Joel had prepared before the renovation, so, yes. One of our neighbours visited our home and told us she wanted a kitchen just like ours. That, to us, was the best form of compliment.

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Qanvast: What advice do you have for homeowners when it comes to renovations?

S: Don’t get stressed out over the nitty-gritty details that you forget to enjoy the process. If something really bothers you, get your designer to fix it. It is also important that you have a good relationship with your designer to minimise errors and to make sure your home turns out to be exactly the way you want it.

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