Renovation Journey: When Family Matters
At A Glance:
- Angeline, 40 years old, manager
- Home to: 4 adults and 2 kids
- Area size: 120sqm / 1,292 sqft
- Location: The Topiary (4-bedder condo)
- Cost of renovation: $38,000
- Cost of furnishing and appliances: $10,000
- Interior design firm: IdeasXchange
- Interior designer: Vincent
For her second home, Angie and her husband knew what they wanted - a home design that revolves around the family’s living requirements, and they need a designer to tackle the design challenges of creating more space and make the living spaces functional to their needs. Read on to see how Vincent from IdeasXchange did it.
Qanvast: Being a second home, where were the key areas to pay attention to in your design brief?
Angie (A): Having sufficient storage was the first concern we had. In this layout, we have a big balcony but we are unable to fully utilize it. So the challenge was to create enough storage pockets and also space to accommodate a drum set in my son’s room. We travel a lot too and hence, we did a platform bed to store our luggages.
Functionality is the next concern. We have a family and we have to ensure that their needs were met. You could say our design is more ‘family-oriented’. Hence, designs like cement-screed are a big ‘NO’, no wall-mount bicycle storage in case they fall on the kids and even bought a bigger dining table.
My husband was also particular about wires protruding hence we had to designed such that wires are tucked out of sight.
Qanvast: Any memorable incident that stood out for you?
A: I really didn’t like cove lightings as it tends to collect dust at the ledge. Vincent cleverly worked out a solution by erecting an angled clear plastic ledge so that thick layers of dust would not gather at the top and yet it wouldn’t obstruct the illumination. I was really impressed by this ingenuity!
Qanvast: How did you decide on Vincent?
A: I was actually unsure if Vincent was the right candidate to hand my project too since he told us that we wanted were achievable; I know there are designers who readily agree to many things and then unable to deliver the deal. My husband, however, reassured Vincent is the man for the job.
Qanvast: Tell us about your experiences with the other firms you met up with.
A: I met up with four interior firms recommended by Qanvast. One of them was inexperienced, as he often had to check with his contractors on the quote. The other two was experienced, and in fact, one of them was savvier when it comes to the design planning. We had to turn down his design opinions, as we were not keen to change our living requirements just cater to his design. Hence, we thought it would be better to not encroach into space and upset him after.
Qanvast: How was working with Vincent like?
A: Vincent was the only one who is the most receptive to our ideas, listened and done what we wanted. There were some slight hiccups to the renovation schedule due to a personal accident that happened in my family and he managed to work with our timeline vey well.
He’s responsible and responsive and he would advise on the feasibility of your ideas. Take for example, I was worried about my son’s room being dim with just two recessed lights and cove lights, but he reassured that was enough and if need be, to add just one pendant light. Being an experienced designer himself, he understands what is required and does not overcharge us due to our concerns.
Qanvast: Did Vincent meet your expectations?
A: Yes, definitely. He has a team of good carpenters too. I was very impressed with the carpentry work done by this team. They don’t skimp on the materials and provided even good quality laminates for the inner panels and backing of the wardrobe. I daresay the quality is better than the one provided by the condominium developer [laughs].
My worries (initially) were unfounded – Vincent did deliver his end of the bargain.
My neighbour’s family was impressed and they requested to get in touch with Vincent for their renovation.
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