By now I think everyone who knows me knew I just shifted into my first home (matrimonial home), and I was busy with renovations a while back. It's been four months now and I finally got my ass down to blog about our "finished project"!
I will not be showcasing all the rooms in my humble home - just the rooms with most of the ID's carpentry works. My apartment comes in a 'move-in condition' with kitchen, toilets, floor tiles, air conditioners, oven, walk-in wardrobe etc. all done. We decided to minimise hacking works and not have major overhaul since we both like the designs the apartment came in.
**Just to make things clear, this blog post is in no way sponsored nor affiliated to any companies - purely good ol' sharing on my own accord.
All photos taken by: Junerick Enriquez Photography
Interior Designer: The Interior Place
Design Theme: Modern Victorian
Balcony Next to Living Area
The framed photos hanging on my wall are mostly shot by my #InstagramHusband,
who happens to adore landscape photography.
Those are countries we visited before or amazing moments captured on print.
Master Bed Room
Spot the brown door on the right?
That is the door leading to my walk-in wardrobe. It's pretty small & basic and we forgot to take photos of that.
Apart from my hubby's study room which I have no say in, the rest of the rooms' designs have been conceptualized by yours truly. I know exactly what I like and dislike - and with that, it makes things 30% easier. Haha!
So why do I need an interior designer then, you ask?
Well, you can know what you want, but unless you're gifted at interior drawings, chances are you still need a professional to draw/map out your dream designs, advise you whether those designs are feasible, help you to do the necessary measurements and make it happen for real!
My partner & I are hopeless hoarders; and with the common challenge of small spaces of Singapore homes, especially condos, we felt the need to engage professional help to provide ideas & drawings for storage space, i.e. the interior of the built-in storage, cabinets, shelving, etc. Not to mention electrical points, wiring, lightings, etc.
5 Tips for Choosing A Good Interior Designer
While we are at this topic of home interior design, I thought I'd share my personal experience & thoughts on how to select a good ID for your first home.
1. Budget & Research
It is important to work within a comfortable & realistic budget. Your budget is in fact the first question all IDs will ask you on your first encounter. It is better have a design theme in mind and find out if your current budget is in line with your preferred theme before you head down to meet IDs. Do your initial homework by reading online forums such as www.renotalk.com and www.renonation.sg to research on various IDs' price range, reputation, quality of work, etc. Visit ID company websites for their online portfolio and read Facebook reviews (not sponsored blog reviews ok) to shortlist a few IDs you would like to meet.
2. Shop Around (Face-to-Face)
Do not commit to the first ID you meet; be conscientious and talk to more IDs. Find someone whom you think can form a positive synergy with: their working style, personality, specialty designs, skills, ability to keep to your expected schedule - are all essential to make your home renovation experience a pleasant one. After a first meeting with every ID, they should produce a simple 2D drawing on your floor plan.
3. Request for Showflat Viewings
ID showroom offices are only part of the picture; it is there...for show. Besides viewing the ID's portfolio (which they will gladly show you on their PC), you may request to see the real homes of their ex-clients to gauge their skills and the quality & longevity of the materials. Ask your ID if they can show you past projects - both recent & older ones as well. For my case, we visited the homes of our good friends before settling for The Interior Place. My husband's close friend have had two homes renovated by TIP, and that was a real-life positive testimonial which gave us greater confidence in our selected ID.
4. Bargain by Offering your Home to be Showflat.
You'd already knew home renovation involves a huge expenditure. So if you could bargain while shopping for clothes at Bangkok, why not bargain with your IDs? Don't be shy! ASK for discounts. Offer your home to be a showflat after reno is completed and a nice ID may agree to take a grand or two off for that. Besides if the ID is agreeable to this deal, it means they are confident of their work quality and after-sales service, and are interested to maintain a long-term relationship with you.
5. "Black & White"
If you're a newlywed renovating your first home, you would have been through the insane wedding preps where you signed on every contract ranging from wedding venues, wedding photography packages to even your $500 dessert bar. It is not surprising that you will be asked to sign on a contract on this big-ticket item. Make this contract work to your favour. Read every line in detail and whatever the ID promised you, request for inclusions. Double-check the figures; and for the final payable amount, ask for a round-down.
A good ID will make sure you also receive a work timeline/schedule, as well as a staggered payment timeline. Trust me, that first contract (with a non-refundable deposit) you signed on is just the beginning. There will be MORE documents to sign on as you engaged in more meetings with your hired ID to view 3D renderings, on-site measurements, making payments, etc.
During actual reno works (where hell truly starts for you!), your ID is likely to add in "extras"; in their industry terminology - on a variation order (V.O). This simply translates to more moolah flying off your pockets. You can imagine if things are not accounted for on paper proper, disputes are bound to arise and the worse scenario is for you to incur a larger-than-life debt before you even stepped into your dream home!
**Highly recommend you to check out the useful links below before you sign on the dotted line:
Hope you enjoyed viewing my cozy (a.k.a tiny) abode! Do you have any tips to share regarding home renovation or ID selection? Comment in the box below! If I miss out anything you want to know, feel free to ask. You have my email address. ;)