Renovation Journey: Patterns, Pastels and Everything Nice
At a Glance
- Andrew and Susan, in their late 30s, operations and administrative managers
- Location: Upper Serangoon View (BTO)
- Size: 92 sqm / 990 sqft
- Renovation duration: 4 weeks
- Cost of renovation: $42,000
- Cost of furnishing: $10,000
- Interior design firm: Quirky Idees
- Interior designer: Lopez
As working adults, Susan and Andrew spend most of their time with their daughter over the weekends, whether it is bringing her out to have fun or spending quality time with her at home. Even when they are busy at work, they can set their minds at ease as their lovely Scandinavian home has been child-proofed by their interior designer, Lopez, so that their daughter can explore the fun side of childhood while staying safe. Read on to find out their tips for families with young children.
Qanvast: How did you pick Quirky Idees as your interior designer?
Andrew (A): Besides Quirky Idees, we met up with about four other interior design firms, some of which we had found through the Qanvast site. Initially, we were planning to go with one of these firms as we felt that the interior designer we spoke to was mature and experienced. But as we communicate, we realised he was not exactly receptive to our ideas and he had the tendency to pinpoint the problems that we would face if were to go along with our ideas. While it is understandable for interior designers to point out potential problems, we did not feel comfortable with how he kept undermining our ideas, thus jeopardizing the openness of our communication.
Susan (S): On the other hand, we felt very comfortable with Lopez. He had the personal touch and he could understand what we wanted and where we were coming from. Those were the main reasons why we chose him.
Qanvast: Could you share with us more about how it was like to work with Lopez?
A: Lopez was easy to talk to. We told him that we wanted a Scandinavian-themed home and that our main focus was on our young daughter. Additionally, we needed ample storage space so that our home would not end up looking cluttered. Lopez made the effort to understand our lifestyle and he spent his time coming up with design ideas which revolved around our requirements.
S: We appreciate how pro-active Lopez was in sharing his ideas with us. We really liked his working attitude as he was always patient with us.
A: When there were things that we wanted, we felt that we could easily communicate our requests to him and he tried to accommodate to our requests as much as he could. He is unlike other designers who could be quite condescending and would just brush us off. It has been great working with Lopez and we kept in touch even after the renovation was completed.
Qanvast: Tell us more about the style of your home.
S: As suggested by Andrew, we went for the Scandinavian theme but since I foresee myself spending quite a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, I wanted to incorporate a bit of a countryside feel, which is something I’ve always liked.
A: The simple Scandinavian theme is good as our daughter as she likes to run around so we thought it would be good to have a home which is bright, airy and clutter-free.
Qanvast: (turns to Lopez) Could you share with us the approach that you took when designing Andrew and Susan’s home?
Lopez (L): Since the home mainly revolves around the Scandinavian theme, we knew that there had to be light colours and wooden elements in the home. From there, I began proposing designs based on their lifestyle and most importantly, taking their daughter into account. We went for light pastel colours so that the house would look more cheerful. Even when we chose greyish colours, we went for a pastel grey shade so that they house would evoke a cheery vibe.
When it came to the kitchen, Susan wanted it a country style so I did my best to merge the Scandinavian style and country style to create a unique look. For the kitchen door, we went with a barn door as that is distinctively country yet projecting a Scandinavian feel as it is still wood-based.
Also, we wanted the house to convey the personalities of both Andrew and Susan. For the bathrooms, we went for two very different looks – one for him and one for her. We chose different tiles and colour combinations for these two bathrooms and it turned out to be very unique.
Qanvast: Having worked with so many different homeowners, how has the experience been working with Andrew and Susan?
L: It was great having homeowners like Andrew and Susan who were able to vocalise their ideas and express what they like. There was a good two-way communication between us and we definitely formed a friendship beyond just a interior designer-client relationship. This made the whole renovation process a lot more enjoyable!
Qanvast: (back to the couple) Since your main focus was on your daughter, what was the design concept behind your daughter’s room?
A: Since Victoria is still young, we wanted to give her room to decide how she wants her own bedroom to look like since her taste might change as she grows up. That was why we opted for some simple furniture and furnishings that we bought from IKEA instead of a major renovation.
S: Andrew decorated the wall with decals himself. We were browsing through designs online and came across these nice ones from Qoo10.
Qanvast: That’s lovely. Do you have any tips for young families who are looking to renovate their home?
A: I think it is important to always discuss things prior to meeting up with interior designers and if there are any disagreements between you and your partner, you should discuss how you want to come to a compromise. The first time when we met up with an interior designer and he asked us the style that we wanted, we both could not concur and argued in front of him. I wanted something while she wanted something else so couldn’t come to a decision on the spot. [laughs]
S: It’s good to do research. Even after you have discussed with your partner and settled on a particular design, you should still continue your research as your ideas will keep changing and you might find more things which can be incorporated into your home. Go look at pictures, whether through magazines or the Internet, and get all the ideas so that you can discuss them with your partner. It is a very long process.
A: It’s also good to meet up with a few interior designers so that you can gather ideas from differing viewpoints. Nevertheless, design is very subjective so you should go with what you truly like rather than solely taking in advices from others.
S: Homeowners should not follow trends blindly. At the end of the day, it’s your own home so you should go with something that you can imagine yourself living in for a long time.