Renovation

5 Ways To Choose The Right Interior Designer

The difference between having a home whose interior oozes with splendor and one that is a constant source of shame lies in choosing the right interior designer. How so?

Interior designers have the knowledge and expertise to turn your average-looking home into a marvel. There are numerous interior design firms and contractors in Singapore, however not all of them can present you with the best services at a reasonable price. Hence, the need to apply caution when choosing an interior designer. Below are five important factors that you should consider before getting your house renovated or repaired.

Professional Advice

A good number of times, a lot of people are uncertain about what kind of style would be best suited for their Singaporean homes. It is important to get expert opinion on such matters. A first-class interior designer should be reasonably available for consultation and should be able to offer you the best advice based on your needs and desires. He/she should keep in mind your lifestyle choices and general preferences in formulating a design solution that is ideal for you.

 

Expert Designers

To avoid substandard work and unnecessary damages to your home, it is imperative to hire professionals. When dealing with interior design firms in Singapore, you ought to ensure that they only hire trained designers with considerable experience in designing. Good designers have excellent work portfolios. Should you ask for a sample of their previous projects, you will be amazed by the brilliance of their work.

Quality Products

A good interior designer should offer you nothing less than professional service. They should be versed with a wide array of styles and their previous work should indicate excellence. A professional interior designer or design firm in Singapore uses high quality products. Durability of house furnishings is important as it is guaranteed to save you needless expenses in repairs and maintenance.


Affordable Services

When choosing an interior designer, it is important that their charges are in line with your budget. Some firms in Singapore tend to overcharge their services and products, in the process exploiting customers. A good design firm has fair charges in proportion to the value of the services they offer and the quality of products and material that they use. Excellent design firms have packages that are suited for customers with tight budgets meaning that they are able to tailor-make something for everyone.

Post-Sales Service

A good design firm has exceptional post-sales customer service with customer care professionals who are not only friendly but also eager to help. For example, if you experience any difficulty with the already installed products, the firm should have someone to come check it out. Needless to say, a good Singaporean interior design firm takes after-sales as seriously as it does pre-sales.

Good workmanship sells itself; therefore, you ought to choose an interior designer or a design firm based on excellent reviews and referrals. At the end of the day, you can be certain that you have chosen the right Singaporean interior designer if you are satisfied with the finishing

Renovation

What To Look Out For When Choosing An Interior Design Package

With so many reviews and forums to sieve through, deciding on an interior designer can sometimes be a daunting process. You sign up at a local renovation site, and next thing you know you get dozens of calls from different ID companies asking you to come down for a consultation.

Forums and friends’ reviews don’t help either, between the vastly different opinions and design preferences of people, ratings of so many companies can become a rather confusing process. After all, what you’re looking for is never the same as what others are satisfied with. To each their own right? Here are some key factors to consider before picking your choice of ID:

 

Accreditation 

A quick research online will show if an ID company is ISO certified. Being ISO certified signifies that the company practices good sales practices, standards, and ethics. This means that all communication is clearly articulated, transparent and all renovation fees are documented with full accountability for the listed deliverables. This will also include fee refund policies and a well-trained staff force.

ISO accredited companies regularly go through workmanship site assessments by public auditors in accordance to CONQUAS standards. In addition to these regular checks, an assurance in the quality and consistency of work is also provided.

Years of experience

In an individual company, there are many designers one can pick from. They can range from having decades of experience, to absolutely none at all. You should look out for designers who are clear in conversing and able to generate good quality design ideas. You wouldn’t want to work with a designer who is not on the same tune as you as that would introduce misunderstandings and will potentially convey wrong instructions for your renovation.

Choice of contractors

Some interior firms have their own factories while others get their woodwork subcontracted out. It is always preferred to go with a company who has their own in-house contractors and factory as opposed to having almost all your works subcontracted out. When you are working with a company using sub-contractors, do request to see their workmanship so you’ll have a better expectation & assurance on your upcoming delivery.

Style and specialization of designer

Different designers have different strengths and design tastes. Some designers may specialize in kitchen space planning, while others may be better at wardrobe planning or texture coordination. Decide on which aspects of home designing you need the most help in, and get a designer that’s strong in it.

Similarly, although most designers are flexible with different design concepts, most would have one or two design styles that they tend to veer towards. Always take a look at the designer’s past work. If they tend to do mostly Scandinavian styles, try asking if he/she does something vastly different like a Victorian concept as well. This  gives yourself a better idea if this designer is able to produce a work that is up to your expectation.

Warranty/ Insurance coverage

These days, certain ID companies offer clients a warranty on workmanship at the end of the renovation. Do sound out what these warranties cover so that you are in line and aware.  What about during the renovation? If you’re keen to purchase insurance coverage for the items you place in your renovating unit during the renovation period, do get a quote from the interior company on how much this insurance will cost you.

How well the designer understands you

At the end of the day, despite all an interior designer can promise you, it would mean nothing if the designer has difficulties understanding what you want for your design. In the process of chasing sales, some designers come off aggressive in closing a sale fast instead of trying to really understand what you’re asking for.

If you do not feel heard or understood at the consultation and the designer just keeps shoving things that you do not need, do not hesitate to get a second opinion.

Renovation

When Should You Start Planning Your Renovation

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You’d be surprised – the best time to start planning a renovation is actually a year before collecting your house keys. Like all major decisions in life, it pays to think carefully and ahead. And creating a dream home that you’ll have to live in for years? We think that’s a big decision that’ll need all the time it can get. So, if you’re still unsure of when and what to look out for in a renovation process, check out this step-by-step timeline guide below to help you get started.

12 months to key collection

It might feel like a long way to go, but don’t just sit around awaiting your keys! Now’s the perfect time to picture your dream home, and research on the various styles or features you’d like in your new abode.

Create A Mood Board

Start looking around for interior decor looks that strike your interest, and create a mood board to save them. Websites like Pinterest allow you to put save pictures together in a mood board. You can even share your boards with others, which will be really convenient if you’d like to discuss ideas with friends or family!

Research on Your Budget

Figuring out a budget that you’ll be comfortable with in advance will give you enough time to start saving up, or consider your financing options.

3-6 months to key collection

At this point, you should have more or less decided on:

  • the decor theme
  • some basic features you’d like to work on (e.g. structural works, tiling, etc.)
  • your ideal budget, with a comfortable range to work with.

It’s time to find the suitable professional for the job. Here begins the hunt for the perfect interior designer.

Finding and meeting with an ID

Make sure to visit some showrooms and discuss details with the IDs you’ve contacted. Ideally, you should meet a maximum of 3 IDs before making a decision.

Don’t forget to prepare these essentials, so the IDs will have something to work with:

  • Your floor plan
  • Your mood board (physical or online)
  • Your expected renovation time frame (e.g. when to start renovation, when to move in, etc.), so the IDs can work according to your schedule.

1 month to key collection

The big day is coming up soon! After gathering information about quotations and ideas from the various IDs, you’ll need to engage one that you are most comfortable with, in terms of pricing, design and chemistry.

First Steps to Working With An ID

After shaking hands, what’s next? Now’s the right time to discuss what the must haves and no-nos in this renovation. Whether it’s a feature wall, open-concept communal area or a walk-in wardrobe, let your ID know so he/she can fit it to the space plan.

Key collection day

Congratulations! It’s the day of your key collection and you’re obviously excited. But don’t look at your new home with rose tinted lenses just yet – make sure everything is in the right place!

Check for Defects

Bring along the defects list provided by HDB/developer and a lock to secure your home. You will need a seasoned, meticulous eye for this, so it would be better to invite your ID along to help spot anything amiss and take measurements!

Set Up Your Basic Utilities

It’s really important to get the basics working before embarking on a renovation. In order to renovate, workers will need electricity for their tools and water for washing grime or dirt – so don’t leave them hanging! Apply for a utilities account with SP Services to activate the water, electricity, gas and waste collection services, soon after collecting your keys.