Renovation Journey: Sixth Time's A Charm


April 19, 2017

At a Glance

  • Corinna, 38, project management, and Leon, 34, iOS developer
  • Size: 101 sqm / 1087 sqft
  • Location: The Topiary
  • Cost of Renovation: $37,000
  • Interior Design Firm: The Renovation Concierge
  • Interior Designer: Marvyn

With five renovation experiences under her belt, Corinna knew what she wanted for her home, and what she was looking for in an interior designer.

We sat down for a chat with her and got her to share some nuggets of wisdom about her renovation journey.

Qanvast: What made Marvyn unique from the other interior designers that you met?

Corinna (C): Even before our first meeting, Marvyn emailed us, asking for our floor plan, and about our budget and ideas for our home design. So when we met him, he was well prepared for our first meeting and he was already able to propose some ideas to us. Marvyn’s enthusiasm really shone from all the other interior designers who only starting asking us about these things after our first meeting.

Moreover, I wanted an interior designer who could help me creatively manage the space in my home and Marvyn’s proposal was the best. As I’m in the project management business, I could also tell that Marvyn would do a good job managing the renovation.

Qanvast: What did he propose?

C: He was able to incorporate a lot of built-in storage units around our home without making the space look too claustrophobic, and designed it such that it has a clean look.

One of the best ideas he proposed was converting an extra toilet into storage space.

Qanvast: What other requirements did you convey to Marvyn?

C: As there are going to be four adults staying in this home, we needed enough storage space. We also wanted the house to be pet-friendly since we own a dog.

Design-wise, I told Marvyn that I wanted a bright, clean space that looks timeless. I also told Marvyn that I like neutral shades which are easier on the eyes.

Qanvast: How did Marvyn ease your renovation journey?

C: Marvyn gave us timely updates with the renovation works and was often on-site to oversee the renovation works. When he could not be here, he would ensure that his colleague was here. Sometimes even his entire team would be here too - the renovation was never left unsupervised.

I like that Marvyn is very well-supported by his team at The Renovation Concierge. They would often brainstorm together as a group and come up with design solutions for various aspects of the renovation such as the placement of the lighting.

I’ve been through about five renovations prior to this and I feel that The Renovation Concierge has the best teamwork and customer service out of all the firms that we’ve worked with previously.

Qanvast: Having experienced a few renovations, what were some things you took special note of?

C: I’ve had some bad experiences before - the workmanship was not too good so I’m quite particular about the quality of the finishing for the carpentry.

I was also quite specific when it came to the arrangement of the shelving in my wardrobe; I told Marvyn where I planned to store my clothes and where I wanted to store my bags, and I asked him to plan the height of the shelves accordingly.

Qanvast: What was the biggest challenge you faced during renovation?

C: When the extra toilet was being hacked, we discovered to our horror that there were a lot of pipes running in the walls.

We needed to get a plumber to shift the pipes somewhere else, and had to get the condominium management’s approval before we could shift those pipes so that caused quite a bit of a delay.

Qanvast: Since you’ve been through a couple of renovations, can you advise homeowners on what things they should pay attention to during the renovation?

C: Managing your electrical outlets is important. As it costs a lot of money to rework the electrical wiring, homeowners should think carefully about where they want to place their electrical outlets.

Shifting one electrical outlet can cost around $200 - $300 so the costs can easily accumulate into the thousands if you are planning to shift various outlets around the house.


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