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Renovation Journey: The Simple Life

At A Glance

  • Eric and Priscilla, both 33
  • Home to 3 adults and a child
  • Size: 95 sqm
  • Location: Punggol Waterway Brooks
  • Cost of Renovation: $38,000
  • Cost of Furnishing: $20,000
  • Interior Design Firm: M3 Studio
  • Interior Designer: Su Min

The best things in life are simple.

Just ask homeowners Eric and Priscilla their formula to keeping a renovation fuss free. The answer? It all boils down to patience - and a bit of planning!

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After spending months researching for ideas, preparing for their renovation and planning their future, the family of four's clean, flexible BTO is all about the simple things - easy comfort and good company. We sat down with the couple and their designer, Su Min from M3 Studio to suss out more about their effortless renovation experience, and how they managed to create a surprisingly spacious alcove with only 95 sqm.

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Qanvast: What was the general idea/theme you had in mind for your home?

Priscilla: Decor wise, we wanted something that was a cross between Scandinavian and Industrial. While in terms of functionality, we needed a home that was flexible, malleable to our changing lifestyles. We were trying to think ahead in the future. So, in case we have more kids along the way, our home should be easily reconfigured to leave more space for our children (besides our son, Travis) to run about.

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Q: What other must-haves were on top of your renovation wish list?

P: Our flat was on the small side, at about 95 sqm. As a result, we needed something clean, simple with loose furnishings. No fancy patterns or knick knacks that would clog up the space. I love cooking, so another requirement was to have an industrial-style hanging metal shelf in my kitchen to store some of my plates or condiments.

Q: Where did you get some of your ideas from?

P: I'm a very hands-on person, and I can get very fixated over certain looks I like; to be honest, I went researching on sources like Pinterest and Qanvast for months before we started finding IDs! I would take a few ideas here and there, and create mood boards which I would show to the designers, so that they can get a better feel of what I want.

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P: I liked that Qanvast featured many local HDB projects, which gave me a better idea of how more westernised designs from sources like Pinterest can be applied in Singapore's context.

Q: Why Su Min from M3 Studio out of the other IDs you've met?

P: I met three IDs, two of which was from Qanvast while the other was a referral. For each I prepared the same boards, presented the same ideas and requirements, and then compared which designer could grasp my idea and execute it best. And I was particularly impressed by Su Min, as she was able to combine all my random and often times ridiculous ideas to create a look I liked, was within our budget, and solved some constraints we had with our house.

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Q: What were some of the challenges, and how did she overcome them?

P: For example, I mentioned that I really wanted this hanging kitchen steel shelf. Unfortunately, using real steel could be too costly or heavy for us to afford. Su Min was the only designer who was able to give us a better alternative; she suggested using carpentry to build the frame up, then overlaying the beams with metallic looking laminates.

Q: How was working with Su Min like during the renovation?

P: It was surprisingly smooth, no hiccups whatsoever. If anything, we were the ones delaying the renovation! We decided to source for our furniture and other fixtures like lighting over the counter. We would take photos and Su Min would approve them - which took us quite a while. However, she was very accommodating and open to adapting our schedule.

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P: Also, because my mother-in-law works in the M&E (mechanical and electrical) industry, she was more knowledgeable about the electric points and had a referral electrician to do that. Su Min really helped to coordinate and manage the electrician as well.

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Q: What were some of the things that Su Min took charge of?

P: Mainly the material selection, the built-in elements! In line with our theme, we went for the bare essentials in terms of carpentry like wardrobes, or vanity cabinets. And even though I can be quite fixated on the style I wanted for my home, I left matters like the types of materials to her as she's more knowledgeable about their benefits or drawbacks than me.

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Q: What were some floor or wall materials that were used?

Su Min (S): Priscilla and Eric were extremely lucky, as they managed to get most of their tiling finishes (for the bathroom, kitchen and floor) at an affordable price! They initially wanted a mosaic tile and marble for their bathroom, but both methods were extremely costly. Thankfully, Hafary had a sale, and we managed to get the mosaic tiles and a marble-effect homogenous tile for less.

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Q: What do you love most about your space?

P: Can I say everything? We were lucky to have met Su Min who provided us with a fuss-free renovation. In fact, our home looks exactly the same as what we were presented initially in the 3D plan! Perhaps, the best part about our home is hearing the compliments from friends and family; when people come to visit, they are always surprised at how the home looks more spacious than it lets on.

Want an effortless renovation like Eric and Priscilla?

The key is in getting the right interior professional - and Qanvast can help. Request for a quote here, and get matched with 5 interior designers, based on your budget and style. All recommendations will be covered under the Qanvast Guarantee, up to $50,000.

Want more local home ideas? Check out the Qanvast app, available on the App Store and Google Play. Save your favourite images, discover new home products or simply read up on handy renovation tips to transform yourself into the savviest homeowner in town!

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