If you’re a creative individual with big hopes for your home, why not take charge of how it looks like? That’s what Instagram influencer Sherlyn Chan did to her four-room flat. She shares with us her experience in designing a visually stunning home that was worth all the hard work.
Qanvast: What a gorgeous house! Who came up with the design of your home?
Sherlyn (S): I designed it myself and looked for a home professional to execute my ideas. My husband trusted my design skills, and the contractor we hired helped by advising me on issues regarding functionality, such as how the door swings open. He executed the work while the design direction came from me.
I also took my husband’s preferences into consideration as he didn’t like things to be visible, so everything had to be hidden. This is why our house has a lot of built-in cabinets. It makes the house look clean, but the carpentry was the bulk of the renovation cost.
Qanvast: What was the interior design theme that you were going for?
S: I wanted to have a full Nordic Scandinavian look initially with plenty of white and grey, but I didn’t want the home to look cold. So to make it look warmer, I chose wood and soft furnishings like the fabric sofa and curtains to balance out the atmosphere. My friends commented that my home looks like Muji.
Qanvast: How did you ensure that your furniture fit into the theme of your home?
S: Unlike the conventional way of renovating first and then getting the furniture after, I got the furniture first and then designed my home to match my furniture. I feel that it’s more difficult to look for specific furniture designs that fit the décor theme as I can be picky, so I’d rather do it the other way round so that the designs blend well. It’s much easier this way.
Qanvast: How did you choose your home professional?
S: I got to know about the contractor cum interior designer through a friend. My friend’s house was very well done, and they also raved about him so we decided to go with him. I could also work well with him as he was very approachable and will listen to what I have in mind.
Qanvast: Where did you get your furniture from? Could you recommend some places?
S: My favourite shop is Habitat at Big Box. The carpentry laminates and colour selection were based on the designs of Habitat furniture. For a period of time, I went to Habitat almost every week!
I recommend getting furnishings from the same collection so that the whole look of the house is consistent. Some of my other furniture came from Castlery and Muji. As for the light and fan fittings, I simply went with the shop that the contractor recommended for convenience sake because I didn’t have to spend time comparing prices.
Qanvast: What are the rewarding and painful moments of this renovation journey?
S: The most rewarding part of this journey is that I can finally have a place to call home. This home is a restful abode for my soul and spiritual being, and I have well-rested nights in this new home.
The most painful part is spending money and I was also unable to execute a home design that I really like, such as giving different window treatments like those that you see in European window designs to a HDB flat. I also couldn’t have a big bathtub due to space constraints and HDB regulations.
Qanvast: Do you have any renovation advice for new homeowners to-be?
S: Think of your lifestyle and then simulate the movements and habits within the space. Using the kitchen as an example, you need to know how you are going to move about the space and where to place your condiments, cookware and appliances before fixing the cabinetry and other stuff. Because once the carpentry is built, you can’t change it.
You can’t go wrong with your home if you have the passion and drive to see the design and renovation process through like Sherlyn. After all, it takes effort and courage to turn your dream into reality! So if you’re still doubting your own abilities to design your home, take a deep breath, have a sip of tea, and browse Qanvast for some inspiration. It might be baby steps, but hey – it’s a great start!Feeling inspired? Download the Qanvast app for more creative home design inspiration that will set in the itch to renovate! Get the free app from the App Store or Google Play.