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The Interior Designer Checklist You Need

23 Dec 2016

Renovation Essentials

Engaging a professional interior designer can be intimidating to many homeowners and some might be deterred from taking such a risk. But knowing how to tackle this rigmarole of interior designing could give you more benefits than just a beautiful home!

We’ve picked the brains of 3 veteran interior designers in Singapore: Freddy Tan (The Interior Lab Pte Ltd); Wilson Teh (Rezt & Relax); and Paul Chang (Beaux Monde Pte Ltd).

So here’s what you need to know as you embark on the journey of searching for an interior designer (ID), working with the ID, and post-renovation things to note.

1. How Do You Find A Good Interior Designer?


Simei St 4 Double Bay Residences by The Interior Lab

Essentially, there is no good or bad ID. Looking for an ID is like searching for a partner, you find one you can communicate well with. Be sure to do ample research on the profile of interior design companies, browse samples of renovated houses, and look out for good and bad reviews about the company. Interior designing companies that are accredited by local agencies can ensure reliability.

2. How Can You Make Life Easier For Your ID And Yourself


HDB 5 Room by Rezt & Relax Interior

IDs are not contractors. Contractors simply give what you ask for, but IDs sit you through consultations to provide creative solutions and designs that cater to your lifestyle.

Treating your ID like a partner would work well. Let there be trust and patience.

Director Freddy Tan from The Interior Lab, who has worked on condominiums and HDB flats, shared that some clients think IDs should constantly be stationed at the site when in fact, IDs usually have more than one project at hand.

Do not confuse the job of an interior designer and a contractor. There is a huge amount of preparation involved in planning a space and drawings from an ID will take a longer time as compared to a contractor.

Never make decisions and regret them! Ask lots of questions, and do not be a know-it-all. Be clear with your requirements and your ID is hired to give professional advice. Make an informed decision and be firm about it.

3. What An ID Can Help You With


Loyang Ave by The Interior Lab

With smaller houses built, an interior designer can create efficient space with functional uses and allow your home to look more cohesive. IDs coordinate everything for you, and liaise with contractors. You can ask your IDs anything, from the pattern on your kitchen cabinet to the colour of your power socket.

To ensure satisfaction, Interior Lab’s Freddy says, “I will make sure that owner have 100% confidence on items that we select during the renovation process. I’ll explain in detail and so that owner can understand and will be able to visualise what will be happen to their home.”

If you have difficulty visualising a design concept, your ID can provide 3D visuals and present actual samples or even, bring you to a renovated home. IDs also give advice on which furnishings will work best and the place to purchase them. Without IDs, you will spend more time and effort on your house and probably pay the same amount of money.

4. What You Should Let Your ID Know


HDB 5 Room by Beaux Monde Pte Ltd

Plenty of discussion is needed between you and your ID. Think about your lifestyle, and list out your wants and needs.

In his 16 years of ID experience, Paul Chang from Beaux Monde has 3 working guidelines: practicality, functionality, and creative ideas and solutions.

He requires information like age group and who uses the space. For example, if there are young children then designs will incorporate less sharp corners and child-safe features.

Allow your ID to understand your lifestyle and how you like to use your space. For example, an organised person will prefer a neat and clean look which Paul can then propose a concept with lots of hidden storage compartments.

Odd-shaped layouts, unsightly beams and columns are important aspects to highlight, as it will affect the entire design concept of the house including the materials to be used.

5. What You Need To Watch Out For


HDB 4 Room by Rezt & Relax Interior

You should give trust in the IDs eye for design, but always make sure you are not getting the shorter end of the stick. Beware of hidden costs, everything you have discussed and negotiated with your ID must be in black and white or you might end up having to pay more than you can afford.

Rezt & Relax Managing Director Wilson Teh advises, “Read and pay close attention to all the nitty gritty details of the contract and get the designer to explain to you if there is something you don’t understand.”

He adds, “The designer must fill clients in on how long each of the material will show signs of wear and tear like when a white laminate would start to become yellowish or when tracks start to malfunction.”

Some industry black sheeps might dupe you. Do not be taken in by low prices, Beaux Monde Director Paul Chang reminds clients, Always remember, good things do not come cheap and cheap things do not come good.

Freddy from The Interior Lab also reminds homeowners that after post renovations, one should check waterproofing, workmanship, whether there is a need for touch ups and that you can have a 5% hold back after the project is completed.

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