Category: Interior Design

Hidden truths about renovation packaged deals?Hidden truths about renovation packaged deals?

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Blk 433C Bukit Batok West Ave 8

Ever heard of renovation packages starting from $10,888 or whole house 4-room HDB renovation at only $18,888? Are these too good to be true? What are the pitfalls?

If you have received a package deal offer, do look through thoroughly and ask the ID company more questions. What should you take note of?

Not itemized in the package

You do not know what you are actually paying for in packages. Always ask for itemized breakdown charges for each scope of work. Take note of any scope of work not mentioned. Unfortunately you might not be aware of what is missing.

Find out what is included in the package

Compare apple to apple with itemized quotes from other IDs so that you know whether the package includes all that you need. Itemized quotes may seem more expensive but this may not always be the case. We had done a comparison analysis of a packaged deal versus a more transparent itemized quotation. The itemized quotation was found to be cheaper!

Check the dimensions stated

Be careful with package deals as the package might only give you shorter lengths especially for carpentry or counter tops. The top-ups (or correctly termed as Variation Orders) will then be charged at much higher prices.

Words and descriptions

Be careful of the words and descriptions used. Take note of over-promise deals (Anything also can do kind of answers). Always seek clarifications.

Upsell techniques

Packages tend to miss out on certain works for eg kitchen cabinet base and you need to top up at a more expensive rate, higher than market rate. Length of the kitchen cabinet stated in the package is shorter than what you need. Additional top ups are not at package price. The materials included are basic ones only. If you want to change the materials, you have to pay for top ups.

Why should you go for itemized quotation

With point by point breakdown charges, you know how much has been included or removed. Items that you do not need or decide to include will be very clearly shown from the quote so it is TRANSPARENT to you.

Free gifts

Wow!! Free fridge, washer and other electrical appliances if you take up the deal!! Sounds too good to be true?!! Think TWICE.

Rule of thumb

Transparent itemized pricing is the way to go. Consider offers that are too good to be true. You need to be careful of over-promise works that may not sound possible to be carried out.

Itemized Quotation Sample

Why I Prefer to Engage an Interior DesignerWhy I Prefer to Engage an Interior Designer

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Often a lot of care, energy, funds and caution is expended while raising the foundation of a new house or acquiring a new apartment or property but the more important aspect of furnishing the new property is left to chance and personal knowledge (mostly unprofessional). Most people do not see the need to hire a professional interior designer leaving us with the question; why do I need an interior designer?


In the 21st century where the internet has become a beehive of information, one can get designs, quotations, ideas and techniques that can be applied free of charge to a new apartment or space with just a click of a button. However, the practicality and implementation of such a design require the work of a professional. Climatic conditions, environment, specific regulations and pricing are practical factors that the interior designer would analyse to give you a befitting space that suits your needs and budget. There is always a professional touch to apartments and spaces designed by an interior designer, you can always tell from the spacing and layout, the harmony, lightings and general décor that expert opinion was sought after and this is important to reduce the risk of waste of funds, time and energy.

Saves You Plenty of Resources

Working on an already drafted plan and budget, it becomes easier to implement projects without running the risk of loss because feasibility and practical study had been carried out earlier. The interior designer will balance out a lot of things to ensure that you create the best interiors within your budget and the space restrictions. The important areas would be addressed with expert hands. These architects and decorators make sure that the wastage of materials procured is minimal, saving you a great deal that would have been wasted otherwise.

Quality Assurance

A long list of materials is required for furnishing any standard apartment or office spaces. Without expert guidance, you may run the risk of getting substandard or overpriced materials that may not be suitable for your specific property. The bathroom for instance would need the tiles, faucets, water-closets, hand showers, head showers, lights, and exhaust systems, waterproofing materials, mirrors, towel racks, other hardware, storage furniture and a load of other things in line with your requirement. The market is filled with hundreds of brands for each of these items priced differently also. The interior designer in his expertise would recommend the best for each requirement putting into consideration the price, quality, and design language of your space, durability and feedback from previous clients. This may appear to be a basic task initially but as the project progresses, spending time on each of the materials becomes a daunting task best suited for a professional.

Provides You Updated Trends, Designs And Products

The professional interior designer is updated on the latest trends prevalent in the industry, not just in Singapore but across the globe. While it remains possible to access these design patterns on the internet, you would be limited to a lack of professionals who can make those designs a reality. You can plan your interiors to the best of your ability, but your efforts can come crashing when you contract the wrong technicians, electricians, plumbers and carpenters to handle your projects, as it remains difficult for a newcomer to gauge the expertise and finishing of these technicians without actually having worked with them. And this is where the skillful hands of an interior designer are needed.

5 Design Tricks to Make Your Home Look Bigger5 Design Tricks to Make Your Home Look Bigger

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In recent years, it has been a trend for homeowners to knock down walls to make homes look and feel bigger. And indeed, having an open floor plan can create a sense of space and fluidity. But of course, not every home is able to do so.

Implement these 5 tips to make your house look a little bigger without having to exclude anything significant. 

Make Strategic Use of Mirrors

Putting mirrors at the right places can create a greater sense of openness. Not only do they reflect light, they also reflect the view, tricking the eye into perceiving more space.

Choose Your Curtains Wisely

Avoid using dark-colored curtains or drapes. Dark and heavy drapes look bulky and can make your room look smaller. You can choose to use light window treatments such as slatted or roller blinds that can be lifted up. Make sure that the color of the curtains matches the color of your walls because contrasting colors give a cohesive and seamless effect. Alternatively, choose to use Day curtains.

Quick tip: When you install the curtain rod, make sure it extends beyond both sides of the window casing and mount the rod several inches above the top of the window so that it looks taller and wider. 

Create Flow Through Flooring

Using the same flooring design and material is proven to create the seamless visual effect that expands its dimensions, making it feel bigger than it is. If you want your home to look and feel bigger, consider using the same tiles/ vinyl flooring for the living rooms and the bedrooms. 

Cut Back On Clutter

Keeping the space tidy and organised can physically and visually open up the space. The fewer objects in a room, the airier it will feel. Scale down on bulky items and try to keep the floor as clear as possible.

This approach also applies to your walls – Don’t cover your walls with a lot of pictures. One large painting works better than a group of small paintings when it comes to making your house feel more spacious. 

Use Natural Materials

Furniture, upholstery and decorative accents made of natural materials such as rattan and jute can help a room feel more airy and open. Make sure to choose the lighter colours and add plenty of plants.

Built-in Carpentry VS Loose Furniture: Which is better?Built-in Carpentry VS Loose Furniture: Which is better?

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When it comes to furniture, you have the option of getting them custom-made or shop for ready-made pieces. There are pros and cons to both. 

So how should you decide between these two options? Ask yourself these 4 questions before you decide which is better for you.

What is your budget?

Generally speaking, built-in furniture costs more than loose pieces since they are made to your specifications. You also get to choose the finishing and materials used. With loose furniture, most of the time the cost is lower as they are mass-produced. 

To make the most of your budget, you would need to do a bit of homework. Start by listing down all the furniture you need for your home. Shop around; ask for quotations for built-in pieces and browse furniture stores to check out what’s out there. Then you can decide which serves your needs and budget best.

How much lifestyle changes do you foresee in the years to come?

Think about how different your lifestyle will be in the next 5 to 10 years. Will you be having kids? Will you be doing heavy cooking? Will your parents move in with you?

If you are a young couple that’s starting to build your family, you might want to leave a room without built-ins. That way you have the flexibility of changing it from a personal gym/workout space to a baby room, and maybe in the future change it into a study room.

How much/what kind of space do you have? 

If you’re blessed with a versatile squarish layout in your home, it’s easier to get away with buying loose furniture and arranging them however you prefer. Odd angles and awkward spaces are difficult to shop furniture for. In this case, you might need to customise built-ins to maximise your space.

This is also applicable if you’re living in a small home (think newer BTOs, or condos as opposed to large resale flats). Because of the space constraint, built-ins are the way to go since they can go all the way up to the ceiling – this lets you take advantage of the vertical height, and increase your storage space.

How long do you intend to use the furniture for?

Your long term plans are also an important factor to consider, before deciding between built-ins and loose furniture. Since built-ins don’t come cheap, it doesn’t make sense to spend on these if you’re planning to sell your home and move within a short period of time. If, on the other hand, you like to keep things fresh by updating your home every now and then, then it is more practical for you to get loose furniture to keep costs low and you also won’t have a hard time giving them up later on.

Protip: It is also alright if you don’t want to rush into committing (with built-ins), you can actually do your carpentry at a later time. 

Making your decision: Which is better?

Now that you know the pros vs cons of using built-in vs loose furniture, you’ll realise it is not about which is better, but rather which is more suitable for your needs and lifestyle.

Quick summary…If you’re looking for something more pocket-friendly in the short term and more flexibility, you can go for off-the-shelf furniture. On the other hand, if you want one that can maximise space and will be cost-efficient in the long run, then the built-in option would be better for you.

Need more inspiration before making your decision? Browse our projects or contact us at 9736 8330 to get connected with expert designers.

6 (Avoidable) Renovation Mistakes First-Time Homeowners Make6 (Avoidable) Renovation Mistakes First-Time Homeowners Make

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Neglecting Future-proofing

Quick tip: Put some thought into future proofing your home – Will you be having kids? If you don’t have intentions to move, will your home still be ideal when you get older? Will your elderly parents move in with you? Planning ahead will make it easier to adapt your home’s layout and features when it’s time to start catering for the needs of your family members, whether young or old.

Following Design Trends Blindly

Sometimes it is easy to get carried away with many popping renovation ideas for your first home, especially when there are countless Instagram accounts showcasing the latest trends and YouTube home tours videos. However, before you jump right in, consider carefully if these design trends will age well and if you genuinely like the design. If the design is no longer in trend, will you still like it 5 years later?

Also, consider if the design is practical for your lifestyle. For instance, having artificial plant walls is incredibly aesthetic. Yet, it is also notorious for housing bugs and lizards that are common in our climate.

On top of that, certain materials are not suitable for specific areas of the house. For example, you may be tempted to use wood/marble finishing in the kitchen or bathroom but when continuously exposed to water, over time these materials could start to stain, making them not the most practical design.

Shopping for Furniture and Appliances Before Planning for your Home

It’s all too easy to fall in love with that L-shaped 5 seater sofa that’s 2.8 meters long, but you’ll soon experience buyer’s regret when you realise that there is barely space left to comfortably maneuver around. For that it’s important to get the measurements right before committing to a big ticket item purchase.

The same goes for large electrical appliances, such as the fridge and washing machine. Depending on how big your kitchen is, you may wish to scale back on the size of your purchases to ensure the right fit.

Not Setting Aside Some Funds for the Unexpected

It is great to plan a budget and stick to it. But truth be told, not everything will be smooth-sailing and executed perfectly as planned (even more so if you’re making over a resale home). Set aside about 20 percent more of your budget for renovation ‘emergencies’. Some of the main culprits of additional costs include repairs/refurbishing works for old electrical wiring and plumbing.

Saving Where You Should Splurge

Spending money on cabinetry, hardware and other essential fixtures is almost always worth it – Because how well these components work is directly tied to how comfortable life in your new home will be.

Plus, it’s not hard to visualise the consequences of scrimping on the wrong things – just imagine being stuck with a faulty tap or an un-flushable toilet in the morning while rushing for work, and you’ll understand the (instant) regret of not spending a couple of dollars more on better-quality goods.

Falling Prey to Renovation Packages

When renovation packages sound too good to be true, it probably is!

If you are signing up for a renovation package, check beforehand what are the breakdown of costs that are excluded in the package.

Also, you would most probably want to do without too many freebies inside the package as well. Choose IDs that provide you with transparent, itemised pricing – that way, you will be able to see what exactly you are paying for inside your contract.

Quick tip: Do not immediately go for overly cheap labour as it may backfire, causing you to spend more money because of poor workmanship.

If you are looking for interior designers that do transparent, itemised pricing for renovations, feel free to contact us at 9736 8330!