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Renovation Journey: Room For More

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At A Glance

  • Japheth and Regine, early 30s, in banking and consulting firm
  • Home to: 2 adults
  • Location: Twin Waterfalls (3-bedder condo)
  • Area size: 104 sqm / 1,119 sqft
  • Renovation duration: 10 weeks
  • Cost of renovation: $36,000
  • Interior design firm: Third Avenue Studio
  • Interior designer: Lawrence

Japheth and Regine were looking for a designer who could help them create more storage for their shoes and clothes, maximise space and to design a home like no other. After months of searching, they found Lawrence who confidently delivered what the couple envisioned in their new abode.

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Qanvast: We like the mosaic feature wall and the dark blue walls. Where did you browse for home ideas?

Regine (R): I browsed through overseas website like Houzz and Pinterest while Japheth looked at local sites, like Qanvast.

Japheth (J): I like the ideas on Qanvast. They provide an insight into how we can work with the layout of our home and give us a better idea of how much the ballpark budget should be.

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Qanvast: What did you look out for when you speak to the designers?

J: For us, it was relatively straightforward. We wanted someone to solve the spatial problems we face, i.e. to create more storage and wardrobe spaces, without hack away walls or utilizing another room for a walk-in wardrobe. In addition, the overall design must be one that is practical.

R: We didn’t want a cookie-cutter or an industrial-style home. As we wanted a different look for our house, it was essential to find a designer who possessed a certain level of creativity.

J: I remember when we conveyed what we wanted to the designers, we told them upfront “no brick walls, no industrial style” – that was when their faces fell because they can’t copy and paste their designs from other portfolios. (laughs)

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Qanvast: What was the experience like with Third Avenue Studio as compared to the other firms you met?

J: Lawrence’s service was really good. We gave the same requirements to all the firms that we met and what set Lawrence apart from the others was that he listened attentively and went the extra mile to do up a coloured sketch of our floor plan using a software, which is almost similar to a 3D drawing – and that was before we even agreed to sign with them! By the next meeting, Lawrence had analysed and solved our spatial planning needs instead of just showing us pictures and moodboards and we were really impressed by that.

R: We could tell that his ideas were really original and we like that he is bold and could come out with ideas that never came across our minds.

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Qanvast: Please share with us more about the spatial planning needs that Lawrence helped to solve.

J: We were debating over having a larger wardrobe in the bedroom while leave the layout as it is without hacking. In the end, we tore down the built-in cabinet and extend the depth of the wardrobe.

Down the hallway, we have lots of shoes and Lawrence helped to build a mirror cabinet that cleverly conceals the shoes and enlarges the walkway.

We told Lawrence we wanted a bench for the dining room and he helped us to build a settee (see image below) with a concealed storage and a power socket by the side which is great for steamboat dinners and charging our electronic devices (laughs). He also demonstrated his thoughtfulness when he made the ‘legs’ of the settee more angled in so that one can tuck their legs in comfortably while sitting.

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R: We don’t like clutter so things have to be kept out of sight. Lawrence managed to create neat pockets of spaces to store our items.

Qanvast: Was your renovation all smooth and breezy?

J: We had issues with the paint type used and the scratches left on the parquet flooring by the workers. While Lawrence managed to quickly remove the scratches with varnish, we had a sour experience with the paint as we did not want to get a painter to repaint the walls since we had already moved in. We were expecting a higher quality paint that would make cleaning the walls easier but unfortunately, that didn’t turn out so well in this renovation.

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Qanvast: Are you comfortable with the bold designs that Lawrence proposed?

J: We knew we wanted dark colours and the mosaic feature wall (an idea we took from Qanvast by the way!). Lawrence proposed the blue shade which we really liked and the timber feature wall for the TV area.

R: To be honest, we were a little worried as the 3D drawings were really bad – the colour tones were wrong which makes it hard to visualize. But we decided to trust Lawrence as he was very confident that he could deliver what we wanted.

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