Urban Home Design 二本設計家

Urban Home Design 二本設計家

100E Pasir Panjang Road, #01-02 B&D Building (Century Warehouse) Singapore 118521

Sengkang West Way
HDB・110m²・Contemporary
Bukit Panjang Ring Road
HDB・85m²・Minimalist
Caspian
Condo・115m²・Scandinavian
View all59 Projects
Bukit Panjang Ring Road
HDB・85m²・Minimalist
Caspian
Condo・115m²・Scandinavian
Hacienda Grove
Condo・167m²・Scandinavian
Kampung Arang Road
HDB・135m²・Scandinavian
Boon Lay Drive
Condo・100m²・Modern
Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6
HDB・125m²・Scandinavian
Bukit Batok Street 24
HDB・142m²・Minimalist
Sago Street
Commercial・72m²
Still Road South
Condo・149m²・Modern
Rivervale Drive
HDB・103m²・Scandinavian
Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5
HDB・66m²・Scandinavian
View all 59 projects ›

Rating

5.0
Based on reviews left by homeowners
Professionalism5 / 5
Workmanship5 / 5
Project Management5 / 5
Design5 / 5
Qanvast Awards
Refers to the number of times this firm's project photos were saved to homeowners' boards.
Photo Saves
5,000 Saves
Based on homeowners’ reviews left on Qanvast.
5-star Reviews
130 Reviews
Accreditation
BCA-registered
BCA-registered
HDB-registered
HDB-registered
BCA Licensed General Builder
BCA Licensed General Builder

Experience

Property TypeProjectsAverage Cost (New)Average Cost (Resale)
HDB4S$51,000.00S$77,333.33
3-Room1-S$75,000.00
4-Room2S$51,000.00S$72,000.00
5-Room1-S$85,000.00
Condo3-S$114,000.00
3 Bedrooms3-S$114,000.00
The information is based on the projects we received in the past year and may not represent the firm's full portfolio and capability.

Reviews (152)
verified-review
66.4% of this firm's reviews are verified with a signed renovation contract

Terence Teo
A Retirement Haven as Art Gallery and Museum

Reviewed by Terence Teo・Submitted 29 Jan 2023・ Project completed Feb 2023・Designer Ken Wong and Shawn Leow

Courageous to take on A Unique Challenge First I must applaud Ken Wong, who is one of Urban Home Design (UHD)’s founding director, and the firm’s Interior Designer, Shawn Leow, for being gung-ho enough to take on the challenge of creating for us a Retirement Home with a unique Art Gallery and Museum theme. As senior citizens, we are unlike younger families who move into their new homes and then gradually build up their physical possessions/collections over time. For us, we are moving into what would probably be our final retirement home with a fairly large collection of existing physical possessions accumulated over the decades. The challenge of the interior design (ID) is to provide sufficient storage without diminishing the feel of spaciousness. Even more challenging is how to actualise the desired theme of Retirement Haven as Art Gallery and Museum. The appointed interior designer would have to figure out how best to display our lifetime collection of eclectic memorabilia and heritage/significant artifacts without creating clutter and still preserving a sense of serene, resort-like setting conducive for the retirement years. I had very specific ID requirements/deliverables which were spelled out in a detailed 28-page ID Brief. UHD was shortlisted from a range of some 22 different ID firms that I had considered. Apart from the very positive reviews of the firm’s work on Qanvast, what sealed the deal for me was their previous experience in creating unique IDs based on unusual client requests/themes. At our initial touching base, I was impressed by their enthusiasm in taking on an ambitious project that was beyond the usual or conventional. Convenient One-Stop Service I basically worked with the ID team comprising Ken and Shawn. Ken, the ‘shifu’, provided guidance to Shawn and had a few meetings with me (together with Shawn) to understand my needs and to present some preliminary ideas based on my brief. Shawn followed up by fleshing out details of the ID on the 3D-Autocad and I had several additional meetings with him during both the design and renovation stages of the project to refine the concept details. It is comforting and an advantage to be able to rely on valuable advice and inputs that are based on expertise, experience, company (UHD) capabilities and Ken/Shawn’s networked resources. Ken (together with Shawn) guided me at Hafary to choose tiles. They took me to Galerie 5 to decide on Sol Luminaire lightings and to Modeste to buy a comprehensive range of sanitary, kitchen and laundry appliances/accessories. Shawn separately accompanied me for a visit to Tan Boon Liat building to source for loose furniture as well as a required artwork. I appreciate very much such handholding which made easy the selection and purchase of so many varied items that come together to fit the design concept for our new home in a coherent way. Retirement Haven as Art Gallery & Museum As we have quite a number of objects/artifacts that we would like to display nicely in our new home, UHD sent a team to our former home to meticulously document each and every single object, taking photos of each item and measuring their lengths/widths/heights/depths/diameters as appropriate. These proved to be very useful in finalising the ID concept. The drawn-to-scale digitalised photos were later superimposed on the 3-D Autocad ID drawings so that we were able to better visualise how the objects would look like in our new home and customise the various display cabinets/shelves for the best curated display of the artifacts. This approach also enabled considered decisions on what objects to display and what are the ones to keep in storage or to discard/give away. At this point in time of writing, there are still on-going final installation of some display shelves/compartments as well as refinements to some of the LED lightings for the displays. The various paintings/prints/ photos/artwork/artifacts are also yet to be hung on the walls so I can’t comment on whether the desired art gallery and museum feel is achieved. What I can say is that I am very much encouraged and delighted by the vibes of what are already in place so far. Journey of Creative Collaboration I have enjoyed the ID process as the approach adopted was one of co-construction of the ID concept between UHD as the designer and me as the client. Given the unique context of my project, there was a lot of thinking out of the box and I commend UHD for having done quite a bit of background work to explore possibilities and to work around encountered difficulties and obstacles. There was mutual learning along the way and the open communication as well as trust established enabled comfortable bouncing of ideas between client and designer. All interior designers would have their own design and aesthetic perspectives and preferences. A definite strength I find, for example in Shawn (since I interacted more with him throughout the process), is the ability to see things from the perspectives of the client and to meet my design and aesthetic tastes and preferences. While value-adding to the ID process through sharing his perspectives, he was not pushy for his ideas to be adopted but offered them as options for my consideration and left the eventual decisions to me (which is correct since my household members and I are the ones who are going to stay long-term in the apartment). Catering to our tendency and preference for maximalism (versus the popular minimalist ID favoured by many others), the eventual ID nicely accommodates the full glorious display of almost all our valued artifacts without the apartment looking cluttered and messy. Instead the result is one of neat and eye-soothing thematic clustered displays organised around themes/categories such as heritage zone, abstracts, nature, ceramics, and so on. I like it very much that the spaces created by the ID allow me to curate my own displays to showcase each artifact/item in the best possible way. Some of the notable creative works by Shawn that have value-added to the ID process include the conversion of my collection of 60 neckties into an installation art piece, the transformation of my late mother’s cheong sum as well as a piece of embroidered religious cloth into framed wall art pieces as well as curating the framing/reframing of various paintings/prints/photos/artwork/artifacts and their clustered displays on appropriate walls. Definitely for me as a client, the ID process has been a journey of joy, love and passion as we are likely to stay in our retirement haven for many years to come. I am glad to sense that for UHD, and particularly in my numerous interactions with Shawn, it has also been a journey of professional pride and enthusiasm to deliver excellent outcomes that meet the client’s deliverables. Plentiful Storage We are also pleased that adequate storage has been provided, through maximising space usage such as drawers under settees, beds and coffee table as well as liberal inclusion of floor to ceiling cabinetry. Having recently moved in and completed our unpacking, we are very satisfied to find that the total storage capacity of our current smaller 1324 sf home is, in fact, greater than our former larger 1625 sf home. And all these accomplished without the apartment looking cramped and small. Elderly Friendly One of the key deliverables of our dream retirement home that it must be elderly friendly (including catering for the wheelchair-bound or bedridden). At the point of this writing, we are still working on the Smart Home features and refining touches are still on-going so I can’t fully comment yet on how elderly friendly the final ‘product’ is. Nevertheless, a number of our requests have been catered for and these include: non-slip bathroom floor tiles (R10 rating), grab bars for toilets, flap down seat or sauna-style settee for shower stalls, use of large light switches that are reachable from wheelchairs (when Smart Home is activated, they are supposed to be remote-controllable), doorways and circulation spaces within the apartment are wheelchair friendly, and custom-made bed frames that can accommodate the future use of Woosa mattresses (which replicate some of the features of hospital-type beds such as mechanical raising of upper body or the legs). Excellent Service Attitude I must in particular commend Shawn for his excellent service attitude. His ID advisory role extends beyond what the company is providing for in the contract and include readily given inputs, suggestions and advice on all kinds of loose items that would fit or not fit with the décor of the specific room or area. These include colour/style/design of bedsheets, towels, laundry basket, table place mats, cushions and floor rugs/mats. I could go about shopping for various loose items knowing that all I need is to send WhatsApp images of possible buys and Shawn would usually respond quickly with his perspectives of what is suitable/not suitable. He even went to the extent of supporting me with online searches of some items I was looking for such as mounting stands to display large plates. Professionalism Demonstrated in Troubleshooting Any project of complexity would naturally face technical and logistic hitches and we have our fair share, especially in the context of the novel designs and solutions that we need to deliver A Retirement Haven as Art Gallery and Museum. The way problems are resolved, obstacles cleared, solutions found, as well as shortcomings acknowledged and addressed are therefore indicative of the standard of professionalism and quality of service of the company and the interior designer. In this respect, I must commend Shawn who, in his calm manner, listens carefully to each and every feedback given and takes a problem-solving approach to address each issue of concern. He has been most prompt and attentive in responding to various requests for clarifications and follow-ups. In summary, I am giving this strong endorsement of UHD with the belief and conviction that the excellent attitude so far shown in following up on various final details in my apartment’s ID will continue till the project is fully completed, probably within the next few weeks.

Read More
Jean Lee
Worry-Free Renovation Journey

Reviewed by Jean Lee・Submitted 23 Jan 2023・ Project completed Jan 2023・Designer Xiang Yi and Amy

Urban Home Design was one of the 5 IDs that we shortlisted, and they were very different from the others for the following reasons: 1. They really listen to us: the proposal that they presented to us address all our issues and answer to our requirements. 2. They are very detailed: we were very impressed with the first meeting as they presented 3D drawings and mood boards to explain their designs and concept. 3. They are very dedicated and patient: due to our work schedule, we often met on Sunday evenings, they were always accommodating and patiently discuss the process and design with us, sometimes till late. 4. They are very professional: when there was a switch in designer, the transition was seamless. Amy who took over from Fanny, knew exactly what to do and what to follow up with. Although both Xiang Yi and Amy had other projects independently, response to questions was pretty fast as they worked on a buddy system. They were also very structured and organized. The process was explained very clearly to us and updates were given along the way to ensure we are all aligned with the timeline. 5. They have good relationships with contractors: because of their strong partnerships with their contractors, at times when we needed help to fix something or needed advice on materials and all, they can easily get it done. 6. They are honest: this is utmost important when we leave our home in their hands. They admitted to mistake that they have made due to miscommunications with their contractors and made amends without imposing additional costs on us. And they price reasonably too. 7. They take care of everything: during the time of the renovation, we practically leave the house to them to coordinate with the contractors and managed our deliveries. We were even able to go for a 10-days holiday without any worries, and came back to a brand new home. Thanks Xiang Yi and Amy for your dedication and your efforts in making this renovation journey a painless one. We really appreciate the check-in even after the handover to ensure everything is in order. We would definitely recommend Urban Home Design to anyone who needs an ID.

Read More
Xie Yifang
Positive review by first time BTO 5 rm flat owners

Reviewed by Xie Yifang・Submitted 5 Jan 2023・ Project completed Dec 2022・Designer Xyden and Ah Bing

We are happy to recommend Xyden and Ah Bing of Urban Home Design to anyone who is looking for an ID to renovate their house. 1. Technical expertise At our first meeting with Xyden, we were impressed by his designing skills. Not only was he able to produce a complete 3D sketch up of the interior design based on my initial ideas, he was also able to edit the changes on the spot. They don’t outsource their drawings to third parties unlike many other IDs we’d met. Hence, they do not limit the number of changes you would like to make to the drawings. We’ve lost count of the number of changes we’ve made to the design as we were always requesting to change this or revert that. But Xyden was always patient with our requests and gave advice on our ideas based on his expertise as to whether they were feasible or not. 2. Project management After we collected our keys to our BTO, our IDs came down immediately and helped with our defect checking. By the time they could start work, it was close to the end of September and we needed to move in by mid December. This was also where we saw the benefits of the buddy system in UHD. Every project is assigned two IDs and our previous buddy ID left the company before we had collected our keys. Ah Bing was then assigned to our project and he became our go to person once the renovation commenced. He went above and beyond his duties and even helped us with our Taobao furniture. Whenever there was an issue or question, Ah Bing was always prompt in his replies to us. This was very assuring for us as first time home owners. One week before the move in date, there were still some issues that needed fixing and Ah Bing ensured they were all looked into. Thanks to Ah Bing and Xyden, we were able to move in by mid-Dec. 3. Budget One of the main reasons we chose to work with UHD was that they were able to work within my budget and were able to produce a quotation with detailed items and prices based on our requests. This was unlike the other IDs who gave us quotations that comprised items that we clearly did not request for or were lacking. After renovation commenced, we made many additional requests that were not in the agreed quotation and not only were the prices quoted to us reasonable, our IDs also advised against some of our ideas as it would have blown our budget. Throughout the renovation journey, we had never once felt forced to take up something by them. In fact, they were open and flexible to us using our own vendors from group buys. By the end of our renovation, we managed to complete everything within our targeted budget. 4. Workmanship In terms of workmanship, they set the standards higher than our expectations and they will see to it that any imperfections would be rectified. One such example was after moving in, we realized our bed frame was covering our bedside switches. While we could live with it, their boss couldn’t. They arranged for the electricians to come down and rectify this. Ah Bing also came down a few times after we had moved in to help us paint over the blemishes we created during the moving. 5. Accountability As a client, not only was I reassured that there were two IDs assigned to my project, the boss was also kept up to date of our project progress. He was added into our whatsapp group chat from the beginning and ensured that things were going as planned throughout the renovations. We were prepared for hiccups during the renovations and there were definitely a few during this renovation journey. In fact, as we are typing this review today, there are still some minor issues that need to be addressed. However, these wouldn’t stop us from giving our IDs, Ah Bing and Xyden, and UHD the 5 stars they deserve for ensuring our first renovation journey to be such a positive one. Even after the handover, Ah Bing continues to reply to our concerns promptly and look into them. A good ID firm takes the mental load of renovation off your mind which is what UHD has achieved. They have turned our house into a home for us. Thank you!

Read More
Completed your renovation with this firm? Write a review
Reviews (152)
verified-review
66.4% of this firm's reviews are verified with a signed renovation contract
Terence Teo
A Retirement Haven as Art Gallery and Museum

Reviewed by Terence Teo・Submitted 29 Jan 2023・ Project completed Feb 2023・Designer Ken Wong and Shawn Leow

Courageous to take on A Unique Challenge First I must applaud Ken Wong, who is one of Urban Home Design (UHD)’s founding director, and the firm’s Interior Designer, Shawn Leow, for being gung-ho enough to take on the challenge of creating for us a Retirement Home with a unique Art Gallery and Museum theme. As senior citizens, we are unlike younger families who move into their new homes and then gradually build up their physical possessions/collections over time. For us, we are moving into what would probably be our final retirement home with a fairly large collection of existing physical possessions accumulated over the decades. The challenge of the interior design (ID) is to provide sufficient storage without diminishing the feel of spaciousness. Even more challenging is how to actualise the desired theme of Retirement Haven as Art Gallery and Museum. The appointed interior designer would have to figure out how best to display our lifetime collection of eclectic memorabilia and heritage/significant artifacts without creating clutter and still preserving a sense of serene, resort-like setting conducive for the retirement years. I had very specific ID requirements/deliverables which were spelled out in a detailed 28-page ID Brief. UHD was shortlisted from a range of some 22 different ID firms that I had considered. Apart from the very positive reviews of the firm’s work on Qanvast, what sealed the deal for me was their previous experience in creating unique IDs based on unusual client requests/themes. At our initial touching base, I was impressed by their enthusiasm in taking on an ambitious project that was beyond the usual or conventional. Convenient One-Stop Service I basically worked with the ID team comprising Ken and Shawn. Ken, the ‘shifu’, provided guidance to Shawn and had a few meetings with me (together with Shawn) to understand my needs and to present some preliminary ideas based on my brief. Shawn followed up by fleshing out details of the ID on the 3D-Autocad and I had several additional meetings with him during both the design and renovation stages of the project to refine the concept details. It is comforting and an advantage to be able to rely on valuable advice and inputs that are based on expertise, experience, company (UHD) capabilities and Ken/Shawn’s networked resources. Ken (together with Shawn) guided me at Hafary to choose tiles. They took me to Galerie 5 to decide on Sol Luminaire lightings and to Modeste to buy a comprehensive range of sanitary, kitchen and laundry appliances/accessories. Shawn separately accompanied me for a visit to Tan Boon Liat building to source for loose furniture as well as a required artwork. I appreciate very much such handholding which made easy the selection and purchase of so many varied items that come together to fit the design concept for our new home in a coherent way. Retirement Haven as Art Gallery & Museum As we have quite a number of objects/artifacts that we would like to display nicely in our new home, UHD sent a team to our former home to meticulously document each and every single object, taking photos of each item and measuring their lengths/widths/heights/depths/diameters as appropriate. These proved to be very useful in finalising the ID concept. The drawn-to-scale digitalised photos were later superimposed on the 3-D Autocad ID drawings so that we were able to better visualise how the objects would look like in our new home and customise the various display cabinets/shelves for the best curated display of the artifacts. This approach also enabled considered decisions on what objects to display and what are the ones to keep in storage or to discard/give away. At this point in time of writing, there are still on-going final installation of some display shelves/compartments as well as refinements to some of the LED lightings for the displays. The various paintings/prints/ photos/artwork/artifacts are also yet to be hung on the walls so I can’t comment on whether the desired art gallery and museum feel is achieved. What I can say is that I am very much encouraged and delighted by the vibes of what are already in place so far. Journey of Creative Collaboration I have enjoyed the ID process as the approach adopted was one of co-construction of the ID concept between UHD as the designer and me as the client. Given the unique context of my project, there was a lot of thinking out of the box and I commend UHD for having done quite a bit of background work to explore possibilities and to work around encountered difficulties and obstacles. There was mutual learning along the way and the open communication as well as trust established enabled comfortable bouncing of ideas between client and designer. All interior designers would have their own design and aesthetic perspectives and preferences. A definite strength I find, for example in Shawn (since I interacted more with him throughout the process), is the ability to see things from the perspectives of the client and to meet my design and aesthetic tastes and preferences. While value-adding to the ID process through sharing his perspectives, he was not pushy for his ideas to be adopted but offered them as options for my consideration and left the eventual decisions to me (which is correct since my household members and I are the ones who are going to stay long-term in the apartment). Catering to our tendency and preference for maximalism (versus the popular minimalist ID favoured by many others), the eventual ID nicely accommodates the full glorious display of almost all our valued artifacts without the apartment looking cluttered and messy. Instead the result is one of neat and eye-soothing thematic clustered displays organised around themes/categories such as heritage zone, abstracts, nature, ceramics, and so on. I like it very much that the spaces created by the ID allow me to curate my own displays to showcase each artifact/item in the best possible way. Some of the notable creative works by Shawn that have value-added to the ID process include the conversion of my collection of 60 neckties into an installation art piece, the transformation of my late mother’s cheong sum as well as a piece of embroidered religious cloth into framed wall art pieces as well as curating the framing/reframing of various paintings/prints/photos/artwork/artifacts and their clustered displays on appropriate walls. Definitely for me as a client, the ID process has been a journey of joy, love and passion as we are likely to stay in our retirement haven for many years to come. I am glad to sense that for UHD, and particularly in my numerous interactions with Shawn, it has also been a journey of professional pride and enthusiasm to deliver excellent outcomes that meet the client’s deliverables. Plentiful Storage We are also pleased that adequate storage has been provided, through maximising space usage such as drawers under settees, beds and coffee table as well as liberal inclusion of floor to ceiling cabinetry. Having recently moved in and completed our unpacking, we are very satisfied to find that the total storage capacity of our current smaller 1324 sf home is, in fact, greater than our former larger 1625 sf home. And all these accomplished without the apartment looking cramped and small. Elderly Friendly One of the key deliverables of our dream retirement home that it must be elderly friendly (including catering for the wheelchair-bound or bedridden). At the point of this writing, we are still working on the Smart Home features and refining touches are still on-going so I can’t fully comment yet on how elderly friendly the final ‘product’ is. Nevertheless, a number of our requests have been catered for and these include: non-slip bathroom floor tiles (R10 rating), grab bars for toilets, flap down seat or sauna-style settee for shower stalls, use of large light switches that are reachable from wheelchairs (when Smart Home is activated, they are supposed to be remote-controllable), doorways and circulation spaces within the apartment are wheelchair friendly, and custom-made bed frames that can accommodate the future use of Woosa mattresses (which replicate some of the features of hospital-type beds such as mechanical raising of upper body or the legs). Excellent Service Attitude I must in particular commend Shawn for his excellent service attitude. His ID advisory role extends beyond what the company is providing for in the contract and include readily given inputs, suggestions and advice on all kinds of loose items that would fit or not fit with the décor of the specific room or area. These include colour/style/design of bedsheets, towels, laundry basket, table place mats, cushions and floor rugs/mats. I could go about shopping for various loose items knowing that all I need is to send WhatsApp images of possible buys and Shawn would usually respond quickly with his perspectives of what is suitable/not suitable. He even went to the extent of supporting me with online searches of some items I was looking for such as mounting stands to display large plates. Professionalism Demonstrated in Troubleshooting Any project of complexity would naturally face technical and logistic hitches and we have our fair share, especially in the context of the novel designs and solutions that we need to deliver A Retirement Haven as Art Gallery and Museum. The way problems are resolved, obstacles cleared, solutions found, as well as shortcomings acknowledged and addressed are therefore indicative of the standard of professionalism and quality of service of the company and the interior designer. In this respect, I must commend Shawn who, in his calm manner, listens carefully to each and every feedback given and takes a problem-solving approach to address each issue of concern. He has been most prompt and attentive in responding to various requests for clarifications and follow-ups. In summary, I am giving this strong endorsement of UHD with the belief and conviction that the excellent attitude so far shown in following up on various final details in my apartment’s ID will continue till the project is fully completed, probably within the next few weeks.

Read More
Jean Lee
Worry-Free Renovation Journey

Reviewed by Jean Lee・Submitted 23 Jan 2023・ Project completed Jan 2023・Designer Xiang Yi and Amy

Urban Home Design was one of the 5 IDs that we shortlisted, and they were very different from the others for the following reasons: 1. They really listen to us: the proposal that they presented to us address all our issues and answer to our requirements. 2. They are very detailed: we were very impressed with the first meeting as they presented 3D drawings and mood boards to explain their designs and concept. 3. They are very dedicated and patient: due to our work schedule, we often met on Sunday evenings, they were always accommodating and patiently discuss the process and design with us, sometimes till late. 4. They are very professional: when there was a switch in designer, the transition was seamless. Amy who took over from Fanny, knew exactly what to do and what to follow up with. Although both Xiang Yi and Amy had other projects independently, response to questions was pretty fast as they worked on a buddy system. They were also very structured and organized. The process was explained very clearly to us and updates were given along the way to ensure we are all aligned with the timeline. 5. They have good relationships with contractors: because of their strong partnerships with their contractors, at times when we needed help to fix something or needed advice on materials and all, they can easily get it done. 6. They are honest: this is utmost important when we leave our home in their hands. They admitted to mistake that they have made due to miscommunications with their contractors and made amends without imposing additional costs on us. And they price reasonably too. 7. They take care of everything: during the time of the renovation, we practically leave the house to them to coordinate with the contractors and managed our deliveries. We were even able to go for a 10-days holiday without any worries, and came back to a brand new home. Thanks Xiang Yi and Amy for your dedication and your efforts in making this renovation journey a painless one. We really appreciate the check-in even after the handover to ensure everything is in order. We would definitely recommend Urban Home Design to anyone who needs an ID.

Read More
Xie Yifang
Positive review by first time BTO 5 rm flat owners

Reviewed by Xie Yifang・Submitted 5 Jan 2023・ Project completed Dec 2022・Designer Xyden and Ah Bing

We are happy to recommend Xyden and Ah Bing of Urban Home Design to anyone who is looking for an ID to renovate their house. 1. Technical expertise At our first meeting with Xyden, we were impressed by his designing skills. Not only was he able to produce a complete 3D sketch up of the interior design based on my initial ideas, he was also able to edit the changes on the spot. They don’t outsource their drawings to third parties unlike many other IDs we’d met. Hence, they do not limit the number of changes you would like to make to the drawings. We’ve lost count of the number of changes we’ve made to the design as we were always requesting to change this or revert that. But Xyden was always patient with our requests and gave advice on our ideas based on his expertise as to whether they were feasible or not. 2. Project management After we collected our keys to our BTO, our IDs came down immediately and helped with our defect checking. By the time they could start work, it was close to the end of September and we needed to move in by mid December. This was also where we saw the benefits of the buddy system in UHD. Every project is assigned two IDs and our previous buddy ID left the company before we had collected our keys. Ah Bing was then assigned to our project and he became our go to person once the renovation commenced. He went above and beyond his duties and even helped us with our Taobao furniture. Whenever there was an issue or question, Ah Bing was always prompt in his replies to us. This was very assuring for us as first time home owners. One week before the move in date, there were still some issues that needed fixing and Ah Bing ensured they were all looked into. Thanks to Ah Bing and Xyden, we were able to move in by mid-Dec. 3. Budget One of the main reasons we chose to work with UHD was that they were able to work within my budget and were able to produce a quotation with detailed items and prices based on our requests. This was unlike the other IDs who gave us quotations that comprised items that we clearly did not request for or were lacking. After renovation commenced, we made many additional requests that were not in the agreed quotation and not only were the prices quoted to us reasonable, our IDs also advised against some of our ideas as it would have blown our budget. Throughout the renovation journey, we had never once felt forced to take up something by them. In fact, they were open and flexible to us using our own vendors from group buys. By the end of our renovation, we managed to complete everything within our targeted budget. 4. Workmanship In terms of workmanship, they set the standards higher than our expectations and they will see to it that any imperfections would be rectified. One such example was after moving in, we realized our bed frame was covering our bedside switches. While we could live with it, their boss couldn’t. They arranged for the electricians to come down and rectify this. Ah Bing also came down a few times after we had moved in to help us paint over the blemishes we created during the moving. 5. Accountability As a client, not only was I reassured that there were two IDs assigned to my project, the boss was also kept up to date of our project progress. He was added into our whatsapp group chat from the beginning and ensured that things were going as planned throughout the renovations. We were prepared for hiccups during the renovations and there were definitely a few during this renovation journey. In fact, as we are typing this review today, there are still some minor issues that need to be addressed. However, these wouldn’t stop us from giving our IDs, Ah Bing and Xyden, and UHD the 5 stars they deserve for ensuring our first renovation journey to be such a positive one. Even after the handover, Ah Bing continues to reply to our concerns promptly and look into them. A good ID firm takes the mental load of renovation off your mind which is what UHD has achieved. They have turned our house into a home for us. Thank you!

Read More
Terence Teo
A Retirement Haven as Art Gallery and Museum

Reviewed by Terence Teo・Submitted 29 Jan 2023・ Project completed Feb 2023・Designer Ken Wong and Shawn Leow

Courageous to take on A Unique Challenge First I must applaud Ken Wong, who is one of Urban Home Design (UHD)’s founding director, and the firm’s Interior Designer, Shawn Leow, for being gung-ho enough to take on the challenge of creating for us a Retirement Home with a unique Art Gallery and Museum theme. As senior citizens, we are unlike younger families who move into their new homes and then gradually build up their physical possessions/collections over time. For us, we are moving into what would probably be our final retirement home with a fairly large collection of existing physical possessions accumulated over the decades. The challenge of the interior design (ID) is to provide sufficient storage without diminishing the feel of spaciousness. Even more challenging is how to actualise the desired theme of Retirement Haven as Art Gallery and Museum. The appointed interior designer would have to figure out how best to display our lifetime collection of eclectic memorabilia and heritage/significant artifacts without creating clutter and still preserving a sense of serene, resort-like setting conducive for the retirement years. I had very specific ID requirements/deliverables which were spelled out in a detailed 28-page ID Brief. UHD was shortlisted from a range of some 22 different ID firms that I had considered. Apart from the very positive reviews of the firm’s work on Qanvast, what sealed the deal for me was their previous experience in creating unique IDs based on unusual client requests/themes. At our initial touching base, I was impressed by their enthusiasm in taking on an ambitious project that was beyond the usual or conventional. Convenient One-Stop Service I basically worked with the ID team comprising Ken and Shawn. Ken, the ‘shifu’, provided guidance to Shawn and had a few meetings with me (together with Shawn) to understand my needs and to present some preliminary ideas based on my brief. Shawn followed up by fleshing out details of the ID on the 3D-Autocad and I had several additional meetings with him during both the design and renovation stages of the project to refine the concept details. It is comforting and an advantage to be able to rely on valuable advice and inputs that are based on expertise, experience, company (UHD) capabilities and Ken/Shawn’s networked resources. Ken (together with Shawn) guided me at Hafary to choose tiles. They took me to Galerie 5 to decide on Sol Luminaire lightings and to Modeste to buy a comprehensive range of sanitary, kitchen and laundry appliances/accessories. Shawn separately accompanied me for a visit to Tan Boon Liat building to source for loose furniture as well as a required artwork. I appreciate very much such handholding which made easy the selection and purchase of so many varied items that come together to fit the design concept for our new home in a coherent way. Retirement Haven as Art Gallery & Museum As we have quite a number of objects/artifacts that we would like to display nicely in our new home, UHD sent a team to our former home to meticulously document each and every single object, taking photos of each item and measuring their lengths/widths/heights/depths/diameters as appropriate. These proved to be very useful in finalising the ID concept. The drawn-to-scale digitalised photos were later superimposed on the 3-D Autocad ID drawings so that we were able to better visualise how the objects would look like in our new home and customise the various display cabinets/shelves for the best curated display of the artifacts. This approach also enabled considered decisions on what objects to display and what are the ones to keep in storage or to discard/give away. At this point in time of writing, there are still on-going final installation of some display shelves/compartments as well as refinements to some of the LED lightings for the displays. The various paintings/prints/ photos/artwork/artifacts are also yet to be hung on the walls so I can’t comment on whether the desired art gallery and museum feel is achieved. What I can say is that I am very much encouraged and delighted by the vibes of what are already in place so far. Journey of Creative Collaboration I have enjoyed the ID process as the approach adopted was one of co-construction of the ID concept between UHD as the designer and me as the client. Given the unique context of my project, there was a lot of thinking out of the box and I commend UHD for having done quite a bit of background work to explore possibilities and to work around encountered difficulties and obstacles. There was mutual learning along the way and the open communication as well as trust established enabled comfortable bouncing of ideas between client and designer. All interior designers would have their own design and aesthetic perspectives and preferences. A definite strength I find, for example in Shawn (since I interacted more with him throughout the process), is the ability to see things from the perspectives of the client and to meet my design and aesthetic tastes and preferences. While value-adding to the ID process through sharing his perspectives, he was not pushy for his ideas to be adopted but offered them as options for my consideration and left the eventual decisions to me (which is correct since my household members and I are the ones who are going to stay long-term in the apartment). Catering to our tendency and preference for maximalism (versus the popular minimalist ID favoured by many others), the eventual ID nicely accommodates the full glorious display of almost all our valued artifacts without the apartment looking cluttered and messy. Instead the result is one of neat and eye-soothing thematic clustered displays organised around themes/categories such as heritage zone, abstracts, nature, ceramics, and so on. I like it very much that the spaces created by the ID allow me to curate my own displays to showcase each artifact/item in the best possible way. Some of the notable creative works by Shawn that have value-added to the ID process include the conversion of my collection of 60 neckties into an installation art piece, the transformation of my late mother’s cheong sum as well as a piece of embroidered religious cloth into framed wall art pieces as well as curating the framing/reframing of various paintings/prints/photos/artwork/artifacts and their clustered displays on appropriate walls. Definitely for me as a client, the ID process has been a journey of joy, love and passion as we are likely to stay in our retirement haven for many years to come. I am glad to sense that for UHD, and particularly in my numerous interactions with Shawn, it has also been a journey of professional pride and enthusiasm to deliver excellent outcomes that meet the client’s deliverables. Plentiful Storage We are also pleased that adequate storage has been provided, through maximising space usage such as drawers under settees, beds and coffee table as well as liberal inclusion of floor to ceiling cabinetry. Having recently moved in and completed our unpacking, we are very satisfied to find that the total storage capacity of our current smaller 1324 sf home is, in fact, greater than our former larger 1625 sf home. And all these accomplished without the apartment looking cramped and small. Elderly Friendly One of the key deliverables of our dream retirement home that it must be elderly friendly (including catering for the wheelchair-bound or bedridden). At the point of this writing, we are still working on the Smart Home features and refining touches are still on-going so I can’t fully comment yet on how elderly friendly the final ‘product’ is. Nevertheless, a number of our requests have been catered for and these include: non-slip bathroom floor tiles (R10 rating), grab bars for toilets, flap down seat or sauna-style settee for shower stalls, use of large light switches that are reachable from wheelchairs (when Smart Home is activated, they are supposed to be remote-controllable), doorways and circulation spaces within the apartment are wheelchair friendly, and custom-made bed frames that can accommodate the future use of Woosa mattresses (which replicate some of the features of hospital-type beds such as mechanical raising of upper body or the legs). Excellent Service Attitude I must in particular commend Shawn for his excellent service attitude. His ID advisory role extends beyond what the company is providing for in the contract and include readily given inputs, suggestions and advice on all kinds of loose items that would fit or not fit with the décor of the specific room or area. These include colour/style/design of bedsheets, towels, laundry basket, table place mats, cushions and floor rugs/mats. I could go about shopping for various loose items knowing that all I need is to send WhatsApp images of possible buys and Shawn would usually respond quickly with his perspectives of what is suitable/not suitable. He even went to the extent of supporting me with online searches of some items I was looking for such as mounting stands to display large plates. Professionalism Demonstrated in Troubleshooting Any project of complexity would naturally face technical and logistic hitches and we have our fair share, especially in the context of the novel designs and solutions that we need to deliver A Retirement Haven as Art Gallery and Museum. The way problems are resolved, obstacles cleared, solutions found, as well as shortcomings acknowledged and addressed are therefore indicative of the standard of professionalism and quality of service of the company and the interior designer. In this respect, I must commend Shawn who, in his calm manner, listens carefully to each and every feedback given and takes a problem-solving approach to address each issue of concern. He has been most prompt and attentive in responding to various requests for clarifications and follow-ups. In summary, I am giving this strong endorsement of UHD with the belief and conviction that the excellent attitude so far shown in following up on various final details in my apartment’s ID will continue till the project is fully completed, probably within the next few weeks.

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About Urban Home Design 二本設計家
The core of URBAN Home Design is formed by a group of graduates with BA Hons in Engineering and experienced Interior Designers. The company founder was raised in a contractor family. Being a contractor’s daughter, she is able to appreciate the beauty of construction better than most people. What inspired her to start this business is nothing but a phrase from her father “A cloth will remain cloth without a tailor and a good contractor turns a house to HOME”. As the tailor of your house, we strive to turn a house to your HOME by providing our professional services with U.R.B.A.N principles U – Understanding (we will find out homeowner’s requirements before design and make sure homeowner understand our design before construct) R – Reliable (workmanship of our contractor are reliable and warranty will be given) B – Buildable (we study the space constraint and existing condition to make sure all our design are buildable according to drawings agreed by homeowner) A – Affordable (quality & cost-effective with proper planning allow a professional service at an affordable price) N – Necessity (our proposal will be balanced on both aesthetically and functionality)
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The average renovation costs of projects completed by Urban Home Design 二本設計家 (in the past year) are S$70,750 for HDB and S$114,000 for Condo.
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