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Interior Designer or Contractor?

11 Jun 2018

Renovation Essentials

So you’ve got the keys to your new home and you have big dreams to turn this new space into your comfort nest. Then, the age-old dilemma pops up – do you get an interior designer or a contractor?

Not sure of what you want?

This is clearly where an interior designer comes in!

An interior designer helps to conceptualise, design and create visuals of how your house would look like before getting a contractor to carry out the renovation works.

Martin from HomeVista Pte Ltd shares that an interior designer always tries to understand the homeowner’s living habits and needs when they first meet, “for instance, are they frequent flyers or do they do heavy cooking? What are their hobbies? Who are the occupants (do they have kids or cats)?” They would then incorporate these needs into the design and styling. The only tangible items you need to provide are your floor plan and your budget!

HDB 3 ROOM – 204 Yishun St 21 by HOMEVISTA PTE LTD

Putting your dreams into visuals

Since a contractor helps to execute the renovation works requested, some might say that if you already have a clear idea of what you want, a contractor would be sufficient. This is a good option if the renovation works you have in mind are simple.

But let’s say you have a grand ideas for your kids room, how do you translate the images in your head to let the contractor know exactly what you’re looking for?


Through 3D drawings, an interior designer can translate your visions into pictures. This ensures that all parties (the interior designer, contractor and homeowner) have a common understanding of the desired design. Gisella from Image Creative Design also adds that “3D drawings could also result in more accurate pricing as homeowners can decide on what they really want based on the images rendered and make necessary adjustments to fit their budgets, avoiding extra or hidden costs.”

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Time is of the essence

Where the works do not fall under the expertise of the contractor such as wiring works, the particular task may sub-contracted. Since the contractor typically does not oversee the work of the sub-contractors, you may be required to go down to your new place every 2-3 days to check on the progress. If you don’t want to be rushing down to and from work during lunch hour to check on the renovation works, you should consider getting an interior designer.


Furthermore, Diana from Dyel Design highlights that “an interior designer can ensure better finishing as they would be able to look out for common mistakes made during the works and get them corrected quickly”, a task that could be difficult for an untrained eye. This is especially helpful if you’re doing major renovation works such as the one shown above.

Beyond just renovations

Remember, unlike the contractor, the interior designer is there to provide recommendations on the design of the house. This includes helping to find suitable furniture, lighting and even fans that fit into the overall theme. Some interior designers may even have recommendations for the common household appliances like washing machines or even the laundry hanging system. This could save you from spending too much time doing research.

562 Ang Mo Kio by DB STUDIO PTE LTD

Keeping in contact

That’s not all. Most interior designers continue to provide their services even after the renovations have been completed. If there are issues with a particular design or questions on a function of an appliance recommended by the interior designer, the help you need is just a call (or whatsapp message) away.

Image credit: Syda Productions/ Shutterstock

So if you’d like to see your dream home come alive with as little hassle as possible, click here to find your interior designer now!

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