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Renovation Journey: The Good Old Times

At A Glance

  • Hairul and Suyin, late 30s, 39 each, premier sports and research industry
  • Home to 2 adults, 2 playful cats and a dog
  • Area Size: 67 sqm / 721 sqft
  • Location: Telok Blangah
  • Cost of Renovation: $50,000
  • Cost of Furnishing: $10,000
  • Interior Design Firm: Superhome Design
  • Interior Designer: Stephanie

“When you have a particular idea in mind, it’s much easier to narrow down the options”.

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The problem that many homeowners face is that they get confused when they have too many ideas that they want to implement but are unable to decide upon one. Not for Hairul and his wife though. Knowing what they wanted from the onset, they sought out the help of Stephanie from Superhome Design to deliver a super home for them. We sat down for a chat with the decisive couple and get them to share some wise nuggets of renovation advice.

Qanvast: Where did you source for home design inspiration?

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Suyin (S): We referred to Qanvast to get ideas for HDB homes and to learn more about what can be accomplished within a certain budget. We also browsed other websites like Apartment Therapy and Pinterest for general inspiration.

Hairul (H): We created our own Pinterest board where we added pictures of homes or designs that we like - quite a few of the photos are from Qanvast [laughs]. We also referred to Home & Décor magazine for inspiration.

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Qanvast: Why did you decide to hire Stephanie from Superhome Design?

H: Having met up about three to four interior designers, we felt that Superhome’s portfolio was the most thematically similar to the type of home which we were looking to have. Our first meeting with them went well since Stephanie was able to understand what we were looking for when we briefed her on what we wanted for our home; the other interior designers which we met tried to push their ideas across instead of focusing on our requirements. Since Superhome’s budget was reasonable, we thus decided to proceed and engage their services.

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Qanvast: So, what kind of style were you hoping to achieve for your home?

H: We were looking towards a rustic industrial feel which is unique in a sense because it’s almost a 50/50 split between the two styles. We feel that the rustic wood elements blend perfectly with the warmer tones of the industrial style.

Qanvast: Where did you get your furnishings and appliances from?

H: We brought some furniture – the coffee table, sofa and stools – over from our previous home while the rest were new items which we purchased from furniture retailers such as IKEA.

We also bought some of our furnishings like the shelf and TV console from Taobao. This helped us to reduce the cost of furniture by about 60 to 70%.

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Qanvast: What was it like working with Stephanie?

H: We had an easy working relationship. Since her office and mine are across the road from each other, I could easily pop over and discuss matters with her. Stephanie also accompanied us when we went furniture shopping and to Hafary to select the backsplash and the patterned tiles for the bathroom. During the process, she would give suggestions on how we could achieve cost savings.

Stephanie would also sort out any issues that we had with the carpentry. She even got her workers to help us to fix up the furnishings which we purchased from Taobao. One of our shelving units wasn’t made properly and her carpenters were able to help us to fix the issue. We’re very thankful.

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**Qanvast: What did you both like best about Stephanie? **

H: Whenever Stephanie has creative ideas, she would present them to us without forcing it down our throats. She was very open to our suggestions and would do her best to incorporate them into her designs.

Qanvast: Could you share more about some of the creative designs which Stephanie came up with?

S: The wire mesh storage unit above the kitchen counter was something she conceptualised when we told her we wanted additional storage space. More importantly, we wanted an easily accessible power point so Stephanie suggested placing it above so that the wires can be hidden inside the wire mesh unit.

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Qanvast: Are there any areas of improvement for Stephanie?

H: When it came to project management, I think Stephanie’s resources were a bit stretched which resulted in a few delays. There were times when she said that certain works would be completed by a certain date but it ended up being extended by a day or two. This was also partly due to the Chinese New Year festivities since her workers weren’t around for about two weeks to a month.

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Qanvast: Lastly, do you have any advice for new homeowners?

H: Before you meet your interior designer, have a clear picture in your mind of what you want for your home. If not, there’ll be a lot of time wasted going back and forth over ideas with your interior designer.

S: If you know what you want to do, it’s also easier to find pictures of what you want to show to your interior designer.

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