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Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

June 8, 2016
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At A Glance

  • Rozana, 38, nurse manager at Changi General Hospital
  • Location: Tampines (resale)
  • Size: 67 sqm / 721 sqft
  • Renovation duration: 6 weeks
  • Cost of renovation: $46,000
  • Cost of furnishings: $24,000
  • Interior design firm: Fatema Design Studio
  • Interior designer: Wan
Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

We all know how bright, airy themes can amplify spaces in small homes. But who would have thought that dark colours could also bring out the best in small homes. Well, a designer with foresight and great aesthetic sense.

See how homeowner, Rozana, paired up with the friendly designer from Fatema Design Studio and worked their way to a home so unique that even her house was featured on Suria channel.

Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

Qanvast: What made you go with this bold design?

Rozana (R): I wanted to return to a cosy home after a long day at work - that was the brief I gave to Wan, from Fatema Design Studio, and he suggested darker shades for that cosy feel. Since I’m not staying with my parents, I was open to the idea of trying something different.

Wan wanted to paint the ceiling black, but I didn’t want to feel like I’m living in a cave, so we went with brown-beige tones.

Qanvast: What did friends or your family commented about your home design?

R: My parents were saying the interiors are too dark, and complained how I have to switch on the lights even in the day (laughs), but my friends commented my home looks like a condominium unit, and now, I think I don’t have to go for staycation anymore.

Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

Qanvast: What made you picked Fatema Design Studio?

R: Wan suggested a couple of less mainstream designs which caught my attention. He listened to my requirements and then finetuned it by weaving in his ideas. I was skeptical towards some of his suggestions but he reassured the design would turn out well.

Wan was meticulous with the design planning - right down to the size of the washing machine, TV, fridge and even to the small accessories, he would advise what I can or can’t do.

Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

Qanvast: How did you and Wan work together?

R: I worked mainly with Wan and Khai was the project manager. They gave good advice in terms of spatial planning and the overall design details on how to tie in the whole look. For example this portrait in the living room, Wan suggested picking an abstract artwork to bring out the colour contrast skip instead of the typical landscape portraits. I respect Wan’s design advice and opinion and went along with him.

He was very easy to work with, very approachable. Even after the renovation has completed, we still keep in contact.

Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

Qanvast: What other commendable traits you see in Wan?

R: Wan was really helpful; he helped me solve this sticky situation I was in – after I sold my unit, the previous owner of this flat extended their stay by two weeks. This means I have a tight renovation timeline for the whole renovation. As I was in a rush to move in, I gave Fatema Design Studio a timeline of 4 weeks.

Fatema Design Studio understood that in order to deliver a good job, they will need more time and they do not wish to compromise their workmanship. As a result, they spoke on my behalf to the flat owner to see if a compromise could be reached.

Also there was once where his worker accidentally drilled into my neighbour’s home. He quickly did the rectification works and bought them an apology token.

Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty
Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

Qanvast: How did you chanced upon Fatema Design Studio?

R: I requested a quote through Qanvast and Fatema Design Studio was the third firm that contacted me. The first two firms basically followed my requirements but Wan, from Fatema Design Studio piqued my interest by telling me: “OK, I hear that this is what you want. May I suggest that I do a 3D drawing on a something slightly different, then you take a look and see if you like what I propose”.

The following week, I met up with him and the deal was sealed. I could feel Wan’s sincerity and he worked within my budget and design requirements.

In fact after the first meeting, I was about 80% sure I will pick Wan.

Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty
Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

Qanvast: Your home has an exquisite touch! How and where did you shop for your furnishings?

R: Pretty much left everything to Wan; he didn’t want me to ruin the interior style so he did most of the shopping (laughs) and even stopped me from buying items that might look aesthetically awkward at home. Even the bedsheets, he recommended going for white ones for that hotel luxe feel. He also had the initiative to procure the items for me when I was really occupied at work. You could really tell he enjoyed doing the shopping.

Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

Qanvast: Share with us a tip or two for new homeowners.

R: If you are really busy to oversee the renovation, get an interior designer. This is my second time renovating a house and previously I worked with a contractor and it was very tiring to oversee the works and choosing the various materials without any guidance.

Plus, contractors don’t really bother with after-sales service, and they are not aesthetically strong.

Renovation Journey: Tiny, But Mighty

Looking to renovate your home? We have the easier way out. Like Rozana, drop in a quote request today and we will match you with 5 interior firms for free!

Not ready to meet with interior designers yet? Download the free Qanvast app and save home ideas on the go. With over 150 firms to view from along with renovation reviews and cost, there’s no easier way than using Qanvast to design your home. Get the free app from App Store or Google Play.

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