At a Glance
- Yong Tao and Germaine
- Size: 113 sqm / 1216 sqft
- Location: Punggol Way
- Cost of Renovation: $52,000
- Cost of Furnishing: $30,000
- Interior Design Firm: KDOT Associates
- Interior Designer: Kobe
Instead of taking the ‘safe’ route and choosing built-in carpentry to match their home design, first-time homeowners Germaine and Yong Tao wanted to play up on their furnishings to give their home more character.
We sat down for a chat with the lovebirds and got them to share with us about their pleasant renovation experience.
Qanvast: We noticed that there are not many built-in features around your home.
Germaine (G): We wanted less carpentry because we feel that having too many built-in shelves or cupboards would encourage clutter. No matter how clean and nice a house may look in the beginning, clutter would build up over time so we wanted to avoid a situation like that. That was why we did not build a feature wall to display memorabilia and other small items.
Qanvast: What was the inspiration behind your home design?
Yong Tao (YT): We also had a friend who was renovating his place around the same time and we found inspiration in their interior design which was based on a hotel theme.
G: We knew that we did not want our home to revolve around the carpentry. Instead, we wanted to use furniture to play up the design of the home because we felt that this would give the home more character.
Qanvast: Where did you get your furniture from?
G: Besides the TV console and the sofa, most of the furniture and furnishings in the living room are from Taobao.
Qanvast: Tell us more about your experience of meeting up with the various interior designers.
G: Although we didn’t set a list of qualities that we were expecting our interior designer to have, we generally wanted an interior designer whom we had chemistry with and whose quotation was reasonable.
G: One of the interior designers that we met up with had great designs but his pricing was very steep. He also had very strong ideas so it didn’t feel like we were on the same page when we were having our discussions with him. As compared to him, Kobe’s price was reasonable and we were definitely comfortable with Kobe.
Qanvast: What were some qualities that Kobe has that made you want to engage his services?
G: We wanted an interior designer who is fastidious and out of the three interior designers that we met up with, we felt that Kobe was the most attentive to detail. On top of that, he understood what we wanted and we felt that he was trustworthy.
Qanvast: How did Kobe guide you through the material selection process?
G: Kobe accompanied us to shop for the materials. We felt like there were just too many options when it came to things such as the colours of the laminates so he helped us to shortlist a range of materials from which we could make our selection from. He also guided us towards selecting materials that would match the overall design of our home.
G: I appreciated that we had the freedom to choose which materials we wanted because I know that some designers limit the range of laminates and tiles that their clients can select.
Qanvast: We noticed that your home is a smart home. Why did you want a smart home?
G: We were very intrigued by smart homes because we liked how the lights can be switched on and off with just the push of a button. We also liked that we would be able to track if anything in the house isn’t switched off when we are outside. Overall, we think that having a smart home would bring benefits to our lifestyle in the long run.
Qanvast: Overall, did you have a fuss-free time working with Kobe?
YT: Things went quite smoothly, more or less. There were a couple of times when there was some miscommunication but eventually everything worked out fine. If there were any issues with the renovation works, he would also come down to the site quickly to rectify it.
G: He was quick to reply to our messages. I’ve heard horror stories of designers who can take very long to respond so I am thankful that Kobe was very responsive. He also updates us frequently and sends us pictures of the ongoing renovation works over WhatsApp.
Qanvast: What is your favourite corner in your home?
G: My favourite corner is the living room because I love the beautiful view from our windows. The waterfront view makes us feel like we’re living in some other country.
Qanvast: How did the Qanvast app ease your renovation journey?
G: Everything is consolidated on the Qanvast app so it is easy for us to know how much the renovation price would be for an interior design which includes certain renovation works.
Compared to other renovation platforms, I feel that Qanvast has a very clean and nice design. The other platforms also do not have any articles whereas Qanvast publishes articles – such as the one with the “BTO Checklist” – which is very helpful for homeowners.
Qanvast: What advice would you give to first-time homeowners?
YT: Think about your lifestyle when renovating your home. Don’t build something that doesn’t fit your lifestyle.
G: They need to put in the effort to research and determine what style they want. Also, young homeowners can consider having less built-in carpentry and instead, use furnishing to make their home look more unique.
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