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Renovation Journey: Whimsical Wonderland

At A Glance

  • Justine and Li Yong, early 30s, both dentists
  • Area size: 111 sqm / 1,000 sqft
  • Location: Upper Serangoon Crescent
  • Cost of renovation: $70,000
  • Cost of furnishing and appliances: $30,000
  • Interior design firm: The Scientist
  • Interior designer: Alvin and Krays

After asking their interior designer to come up with a unique design to suit their personalities, Justine and Li Yong were wowed with a design that would impress any guest that steps in.

We sit down for a chat with the lively couple and get them to tell us more about their home with a unique design.

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Qanvast: What made The Scientist unique as compared to their competitors?

Li Yong (LY): We told all the interior designers that we met up with that we did not want a cookie-cutter design for our home and the designs that The Scientist proposed to us stood out the most. We also had the most chemistry and felt very comfortable with them as well.

Qanvast: Going into the renovation, were you both in sync about what you wanted?

Justine (J): We actually had quite different ideas when it came to how we wanted our home to be done up. I like bright, airy spaces and wooden elements while Li Yong had another design in mind.

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Qanvast: How did Alvin and Krays work around your differing tastes to come up with a design that suited the both of you?

J: They incorporated both of our ideas into their design and came up with this fun, eclectic design for our home. Although the design of our home is not something that we would have chosen individually, on the whole it really complements both of our styles and reflects our personalities.

Qanvast: How does the design of your home facilitate your lifestyle?

LY: We like to host people so we decided to knock down the kitchen walls so that the area looks more open.

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J: We also asked Alvin and Krays to customise the kitchen island such that there’s enough leg room for our guests to be seated comfortably. This makes it easy for my family and friends to congregate around the island while I cook.

Qanvast: What did you like best about Alvin and Krays?

J: They were very meticulous and efficient. They approached the renovation in a very straightforward and systematic manner which made the whole renovation journey very smooth for us.

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LY: Their meticulousness even extended to their design ideas. For instance, they proposed incorporating some copper detailing around the home to make the overall design more interesting. This was something that didn’t even occur to us and we’re really glad that they had such creative ideas.

Qanvast: Can you tell us more about their systematic approach to the renovation?

LY: They suggested that we decide on what tiles we wanted to have first as that would make it easier for us to decide on the colour scheme of the home and subsequently, the colour for the laminates. Their guidance really helped us to have an easier time in deciding what colours and designs we wanted to select for our home.

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Qanvast: Any dilemmas faced? How did Alvin and Krays solved it?

LY: We were concerned that if we were to have an open kitchen, the smell from cooking would spread easily around the home. Alvin assured us that as long as we didn’t do heavy cooking every day, this wouldn’t be a problem.

J: He also told us that a kitchen hood was not necessary for the type of cooking we usually engage in. Hence, we decided to take his advice and indeed, after moving in, the smell from cooking really does not pose any problems.

Qanvast: Overall, how would you describe your first renovation experience?

J: It was very pleasant. We had heard from our friends that renovating is a scary, tedious experience, and often plagued with hiccups. Hence, we were expecting that there might be at least one or two hiccups. However, nothing went wrong at all and we had a very good experience with Alvin and Krays.

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Qanvast: What advice can you give to potential homeowners?

LY: Choose an interior designer that you have good chemistry with and that you trust. This makes the whole renovation journey easier for both you and your interior designer.

J: Your budget has to be realistic. It’s good to have a bit of a buffer as costs tend to overrun.

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