At a Glance
- Charles, and his wife Grace
- Size: 113 sqm / 1216 sqft
- Location: Anchorvale Crescent
- Cost of Renovation: $70,000
- Cost of Furnishing: $20,000
- Interior Design Firm: Create
- Interior Designer: Rick
Without a formal brief of what they wanted, Charles and his wife, Grace, entrusted the design of their home to Rick, founder of Create, who impressed the couple with his novel ideas and keen eye for detail.
The result? A one-of-a-kind space that's not only intriguing, but feels like home.
Qanvast: How did you start your search for an interior designer?
Charles (C): Although we have relatives who are in the interior design line, we decided to source for interior designers on our own to avoid any conflicts or misunderstandings. However, we didn’t really have any idea on how or where to start.
Thankfully, my wife discovered Qanvast and we connected with designers via the app. Create was one of the interior design firms recommended to us by Qanvast, and that's how we met Rick.
Qanvast: Why did you decide to engage Create?
C: When we showed Rick pictures of what we wanted, he could sketch some designs on the spot, bearing our requirements in mind. He also showed us pictures of his previous projects and we were wowed by his designs.
On our second meeting, he brought us to one of his projects – a 4-room flat in Jalan Besar – and we were very impressed by his spatial planning. After that meeting, we has our minds set on engaging him.
Qanvast: What was the brief that you gave to Rick?
C: We didn’t really have a brief! We just told him what we liked and didn’t like, and he was able to put it all together for us. From there, we made modifications to the original 3D design and as we went along, the design continued to evolve. Rick also suggested some design ideas such as the feature wall, which we decided to incorporate.
Qanvast: Tell us more about what it was like working with Rick during the design conceptualization process.
C: Although we didn’t have a particular theme in mind, we knew we wanted to have symmetric accent tiles in our living room area and Rick conceptualised the design of our living space around the tiles.
Grace (G): We had a good working relationship. Whenever we suggested ideas to him, he would let us know, from an interior designer’s perspective, whether our idea was practical. He could also pre-empt our needs. There were quite a few occasions where he made suggestions on how his design could be improved to better fit our requirements.
He's also very particular and detail-oriented, making sure that all elements of the home really balance out. For example, he made sure that our bar was aligned with the ceiling's beam.
Qanvast: What is one requirement for your home that Rick helped you to fulfil?
C: My wife wanted our work table to be nearer to the wall while I wanted it to be in the middle of the living space, behind the sofa. Rick managed to merge these two ideas by customising a sliding table which can be easily shifted. We were very impressed with this particular design idea of his. When we have friends over, we push the table out so they can sit around it.
Qanvast: What were some interesting design ideas which Rick proposed?
G: Initially, we wanted an open-concept wardrobe but Rick advised us against it as it would collect dusty easily. Instead, he proposed a wardrobe with bi-fold doors and we decided to go ahead with his suggestion. When we saw the wardrobe, we went “woah” because we really liked the design. It’s the optimal solution.
Qanvast: In what areas could you see Rick’s expertise in interior design?
C: He has more than ten years of interior design experience and we could see this in the way he approached interior design; he did a great job of playing with the lights. For example, he suggested putting a board with LED light strips over the beam so that the dry and wet kitchen area will be illuminated.
Qanvast: That’s interesting. In what other areas did Rick use lighting to best effect?
G: Our bathroom! There are three different types of lights in our bathroom. We find the one which illuminates the backsplash to be really nice.
He also used lighting creatively for our TV feature wall. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of having a TV console so Rick proposed a wooden panel wall feature with LED lights at the bottom. Whenever we turn on the lights, it illuminates the entire living space.
Qanvast: What advice would you give homeowners shopping for an interior designer?
C: Homeowners need to do their research on interior designers. They should also not engage a designer simply because the quotation's cheap because they run the risk that there are hidden costs that may surface along the way.
G: They should also not be afraid to approach smaller interior design firms. Although our designer only started his company early last year, the quality is really there and we’re glad we decided to engage his services.
Qanvast: What kind of homework should homeowners do before looking for a designer?
C: Homeowners should do research on the design they want for their home, with their lifestyle requirements in mind. They should also find out how to maintain various design features. For instance, I knew I wanted accent tiles so I researched on how to take care of them.
Qanvast: Any other tips to share?G: We imported our Hansgrohe rain shower from Germany instead of purchasing it from one of their retailers in Singapore. We had read on a forum that it’s cheaper to do so and indeed, it’s much cheaper even with the shipping costs included.