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Renovation Journey: Plan For The Future!

At a Glance

  • Ling Nee, 33, Purchasing, and Boon Hau, 36, SMRT, his brother and mother
  • Size: 122 sqm / 1,313 sqft
  • Location: Woodlands
  • Cost of Renovation: $70,000
  • Cost of Furnishing: $30,000
  • Interior Design Firm: NextDoor ID
  • Interior Designer: Cai Ning and Wei Ming
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Knowing that there were a lot of Feng Shui requirements to be observed in their home, Ling Nee and Boon Hau wanted an experienced interior designer who could integrate these Feng Shui considerations in their design.

We sat down with the couple, and got them to share more about the careful thought that went into designing their Scandinavian home.

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Qanvast: How did NextDoor ID stand out from the other interior design firms that you met?

Lee Ning (LN): We met about five interior design firms in total and NextDoor ID left the best impression on us. Compared to some of the other interior designers who told us that our budget was too low, the designers from Next Door ID were confident they could work with it and were very sincere and interested to take on our project. We also liked that they worked together and took care of the project as a team.

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Qanvast: What was your brief to the designers?

Boon Hau (BH): We told them that we wanted a Scandinavian design that is both elderly-friendly and child-safe. We also needed a lot of storage space. In addition, our entire home had Feng Shui requirements that needed to be met.

LN: We wanted a really comfortable home to return to after work. We also wanted more space for dining to host steamboat dinners and gatherings at our place - so we made sure there was an electrical power point nearby the dining table.

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Qanvast: What was one Feng Shui requirement that was a challenge to execute and how did Cai Ning deal with it?

BH: In accordance with the Feng Shui requirements, the beds needed to face a particular direction. This was especially a challenge for the narrow bedroom which my mother and brother share. It was hard to fit two beds in and have them facing the same direction.

Cai Ning carefully designed the customised beds, taking a lot of measurements and planning the layout such that there is ample walking space around the beds.

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Qanvast: What are some of Cai Ning’s outstanding qualities as an interior designer?

BH: We can tell she's very experienced from the way she conveys her ideas to us. She knows what will work well and proposes alternatives if she finds that our ideas are not practical.

It was easy talking to her and whenever we had any issues with the renovation, she would rectify it immediately.

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Qanvast: How was it like experiencing the renovation as a couple?

LN: My husband is more willing to spend on carpentry while I’m thriftier. During the renovation process, I was the one who was trying to control the budget [laughs]

Qanvast: So, were you able to control the budget?

LN: In the end, I left the decision-making up to my husband - it was a good thing that I did! Initially, I did not want to build a storage area in the extra space under he window as I felt that it was quite narrow and would not store much. However, Boon Hau said we should just do it since it can be used in the future. Now, our three windows all have cabinets under them, and we're already using them all!

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Qanvast: Were there any occasions where there was a need to compromise?

LN: I wanted to have a television in our master bedroom as I have the habit of watching television before I sleep. However, my husband came across this article which talked about the disadvantages of having a television in the bedroom. So in the end, I didn't install one in our bedroom.

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Qanvast: Any renovation advice for homeowners?

BH: Be practical. You’ll want a home that is easy to maintain.

LN: Try to incorporate your daily lifestyle into the design of the home. Also, you should plan ahead for the future when renovating your home.

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