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Renovation Journey: The Natural Appeal

At A Glance

  • Kheng Hwee and Valerie, sales operation manager and self-employed
  • Home to 2 adults
  • Location: Heron Bay (Condo)
  • Size: 96 sqm / 1033 sqft
  • Renovation duration: 6 weeks
  • Cost of renovation: $40,000
  • Cost of furnishing and appliances: $19,000
  • Interior design firm: Reno Cube
  • Interior designer: Jeff
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Like many homeowners, Kheng Hwee and Valerie were excited to move in to their new abode, especially after seeing how their ideal cosy dream home was realised with the help of Reno Cube. Find out more about how they sailed through the process of piecing their home together.

Qanvast: How did you both settle on this design?

Kheng Hwee (KH): We started our renovation research quite early, almost right after we bought our place. We bought magazines and flipped online sites initially, before moving to the Qanvast app for ideas.

After that, we started looking out for furniture. As we like teak furniture, we popped by shops such as Mountain Teak and Ethnicraft several times. We ended up purchasing our TV console, dining set and bookcase from Ethnicraft as the designs are good and the items look durable.

With our ideal furniture in mind, we gave each designer the same brief – to design around based on the items we purchased.

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Qanvast: How did Reno Cube stood out among those you met?

KH: Jeff attended to us right from the start and he was the only one who diligently note down what our requirements are. It was unlike the other designers whom we met. We were initially concerned, as it seems like a one-way communication at the first meeting, but we were impressed by Jeff as he was the only one who managed to nail down the design concept when he showed us the concept at the second meeting.

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Qanvast: Did you confirm right away at the second meeting?

KH: We knew that likely we will go with Jeff but we didn’t signed with him immediately. Instead, we requested to look at his works to verify the quality of the workmanship from Reno Cube. He brought us to a commercial project of his, and a residential unit at Dawson. We were sold as we were pleased with his works.

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Qanvast: What did you look out for in an interior designer?

Valerie (V): We knew what we wanted and we were looking for someone to carry out our ideas and do it well. We thought of working with contractors but realised they couldn’t envision the design we want, and we knew it is going to be difficult to work with them if they could not understand our requirements.

KH: Chemistry is also important. Some firms we met we knew were good, but we just didn’t manage to ‘click’ as well as when with Jeff.

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Qanvast: What do you like about Qanvast?

KH: It’s really convenient to use. My usual habit – I browse for home ideas over lunch and then quickly share good ideas I see on the app with my wife. I used to compare homes and prices, and eventually we requested for firm recommendations from Qanvast.

Qanvast: What would you advise to new homeowners?

KH: Be ‘kiasu’ and start your renovation research early. Have a good buffer and don’t be too fixated on the budget. Find a balance between what you can spend and the quality you are getting.

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Qanvast: Was the renovation outcome in line with your expectations?

KH: Definitely! The renovation works were relatively fuss-free and the only hiccup we had was the wrong measurement taken by his contractor who did the steel framed partition. We knew it wasn’t Jeff’s fault as he has correctly communicated the right measurements to them.

Jeff is responsive and has a lot of good ideas. Take for example the DB box – we wanted to conceal, and he went beyond to convert it into a functional and stylish shoe cabinet.

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He has a team of good carpenters and sub-contractors. The herringbone feature wall in the living room is our pride. His carpenters took the extra step to make the look natural and even. We were really impressed with the extra mile they had gone, and they themselves were pleased with their workmanship (laughs).

We didn’t expect what we saw in our 3D drawing to be well executed! The workmanship from Reno Cube is top-notch. We’d say Jeff and his team exceeded our expectations, and we got Jeff to manage a separation renovation project.

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