Homeownership 101: Keep Calm & Get A Designer
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We all assume that we need an interior designer, don’t we? This week we turn our attention towards finding out how an interior designer can help youin terms of time and expenditure wise. Of course, if you’re planning to go real lean on spending after buying your apartment, we might just have the solution for you too! Now, ask yourself, do you know what does an interior designer do? There are quite a number of people who thinks that interior designers, or ID as they are affectionately known in Singapore, is practically anyone who make sure your house looks great after he/she is done with it. That’s mostly right, except that it’s a little more complicated than that. Here’s why!
1. It’s not just design
Your trusty ID isn’t just a designer, but an interior space expert who knows how to boost the asthetics of your apartment, and make it more likely for you to enjoy going home at the end of the day. In a nutshell, an ID is trained to marry function and art through their crafts.
Function: We don’t want to live in Picasso’s world, do we now? While the appeal of having an aesthetically brilliant home is attractive, what’s the use of its beauty if the space becomes an obstacle to daily activity? An ID will help you to make sure that function does not water down on beauty.
Now the catch-22 here is that not every interior designer is created equal. There are practitioners who compromise on function for the sake of beauty, and before you contract the services of any ID, ask questions that tests the ID on this.
Cost saving: They help you avoid expensive mistakes during renovation through professional assessments, and increases the property value of your apartment.
Aesthetics: At the end of the day, if coming home to a tastefully decorated home is a priority, then that’s another reason to hire someone experienced enough to make that happen.
Experience: Ultimately, an interior designer will help you to save both time and money because of experience. If you’re a novice homeowner, chances are you will feels clueless about how to optimize the schedules between different contractors, or where to purchase the materials and furnishing
You’re going to spend some time researching, understanding the nuances, internalizing all those new knowledge, and then try to strike a balance with your novice judgement. Doesn’t it sound much more assuring to have an experienced professional doing that for you? Yeah, that’s also why you need an ID.
Professional: The ID is the person who will not only handle your whims and fancies, but also the paperwork! The ID is a professional for this reason, being able to forge a close client-designer relationship. The ID must also manage working relationships with contractors, furnishing resellers, and even ensuring that all health and safety codes are followed to the tee!
2. Where to shop for a designer?
Recommendation: Wouldn’t it be awesome if you’ve some tangible showpiece of what a designer can actually produce, before hiring? Yes, that’s perhaps the best case scenario.
Talk to your family and friends: Ask about the ID they hired, the working experience, was there any rapport between the ID and them, were there any conflicts between the ID and contractors, was the deliverables made on schedule? Chances are your family and friends will be more likely to let you view their decorated house. Take notes on what you liked and disliked, and if you intend to hire the same ID, think of it as renovation 2.0! Unfortunately, this made your family and friends’ place a testing bed. Well, just don’t tell them that.
Advertisement: We live in a post-consumerist age, right? Okay, big words aside, don’t shun advertisements just yet! Yes, they make plenty of promises, but get a glimpse of what the ID is promising, and assess if you think its deliverable at the rate the ID is asking for. One way to check deliverability is to compare prices and competences between different IDs. Like we said, there is no lack of designers out there, so why not shop around?
Online: There are online communities popping up every now and then for renovation purposes.
Great thing about sourcing for an ID online is interactivity. You get to talk to other homeowners, especially those who had their houses done and are very happy to share their experience with you. Just do a quick search for ‘renovation Singapore’ should get you quite a number of opened threads.
Take note: There are quite a number of contractors or interior space specialists who are also branding their work as “interior designing”, whether or not they possess interior designing qualification.
3. What if I wanna go cheap?
Sure, not everyone have S$20,000~50,000 in their wallet (or debt threshold) ready to splurge on an ID, right?
Juggling work and renovation: If you don’t mind handling some of those tasks and commitments that we’d listed above, it’s certainly not a tall order. Ultimately it’s a matter of time and workload management. An employed person will find it difficult to juggle between work and renovation commitments, but why not delegate some of these tasks to a trusty family member?
Taking leave: Since you’re considering to go real lean on renovation spendings, chances are you’re looking for very minimal dolling up of the house anyway. It’s a matter of finding the right time for you to get an extended leave period from your workplace. Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to start renovation immediately after getting the keys to your apartment. It’ll be just like living in a naturally industrial-styled apartment for the first couple of months.
No renovation: For all you utilitarians out there, there is hope! It’s true, most if not all HDB apartments come with basic fixed finishings like flooring, piping, flush toilet bowls, electrical wiring for lighting, and switches (if you’d opted for the package).
Video tutorials: Not sure how to fix them? No worries, there is an endless supply of online video tutorials on home DIY that you can learn the techniques of installation and finishing. So there you go, a really cost-saving alternative to employing an ID or a contractor.
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