As you count down the days to getting your own home, it may seem like there are a thousand and one administrative matters to sort out for your new home. But while it may get dreadful sorting out all the paperwork, here’s something fun to look forward to - designing your home!
Once you’ve scoured through Pinterest and Instagram finding your preferred style, settled on the budget for home renovations and planned the timeline for renovation, we’re sure you’ll be looking out for interior designers to spruce up your home. With a myriad of interior designers in Singapore, here are five factors to consider when choosing your ID.
Before you proceed to find an interior designer, set a budget for your home renovations. As a good gauge, a 3 or 4-room HDB renovation in Singapore typically costs between $30,000 to $60,000. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to break the bank on home renovations, so setting a realistic budget that allows you to achieve your ideal designs is important.
When speaking to interior designers, make sure to be upfront from the start on your threshold. While most interior designers would be willing to work out a mutually agreeable budget, the open communication here would ensure that from the get-go, both parties know what they can bring to the table. This would then help you to evaluate if the interior designer matches your needs.
If you don’t find an interior designer that understands or has experience working with the style you have in mind, you’ll probably face plenty of issues during the interior designing journey. Finding an interior designer that is able to match your style is like creating a match made in heaven.
To see if an interior designer can execute your preferred style, always look up their portfolio and examine the range of styles they have. Compare how versatile these styles are or whether they look like cookie cutter designs. A good interior designer is highly versatile and able to use different colour palettes, styles (adapted scandinavian, modern contemporary, japanese minimalist, etc.), textures and layouts to create your personalised design. There are bound to be some minor nuances that you would want to incorporate into your home design, and a good interior designer would account for that and incorporate it seamlessly.
Next, identify how credible your interior designer is. The first thing to do would be to check their credentials. Some credentials you can look out for include HDB-License, Case Trust, Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Supplier Association (RMCA), BCA license and BizSafe.
HDB-Licensed: While this is not a requirement, it is an indication that the respective interior designer/contractor has undergone training required to provide quality service to customers and has been in the industry for at least 3 years. To check if your interior designer is HDB registered, you may do a search here.
Case Trust and RMCA: These accreditations will provide insight on whether the firm’s prices are transparent, they provide accountable deliverables and have a good reputation.
Besides formal credentials, other ways to know if your interior designer is credible include looking up reviews on Interior Design Platforms and Google, or seeking customer feedback from community channels on Telegram for example. Be sure to ask around for recommendations as well. Afterall, what’s better to trust besides firsthand opinions?
Responsiveness & Communication
The next thing to consider is how communicative and responsive your interior designer is.
Building a good working relationship with your interior designer would help create a fuss free experience. To assess the dynamics, you could arrange for a meeting or video call to speak directly with your designer and get to know one another. In terms of work ethics, look out for how attentive they are to your questions, accommodative to your needs and adaptable to your preferences. Observe their body language and how friendly they are with you to get a gauge of their personality too.
Responsiveness is also key, especially as there will be plenty of decisions which you would need to seek each other’s opinions on. When it comes to renovation, there are many timelines to stick to and deadlines to meet. Therefore, you would want someone who you know you don’t have to wait around for hours to respond.
An interior designer may have great experience or style, however if you are unable to communicate effectively with them, your project may not reach its desired outcome. Having an interior designer you know you can reach out to for new requests or comfortably disagree on suggestions would create higher satisfaction for both parties.
You’ve gone through the preliminary checks of evaluating if the working relationship would turn out well, whether the style is to your taste, and within your budget. One final thing to consider would be the deadline for project completion and whether your interior designer can set a reasonable timeframe to complete it. For reference, the average home renovation takes approximately 8 weeks to complete. While minor hiccups and delays are bound to happen, a good designer should be able to finish within the stipulated timeline as much as possible.
Now that you have covered the above factors, shortlist interior design companies which fit your criteria and get their proposals to do a comparison. A good proposal should detail the scope of work, cost for each line item and stipulated deadline. Remember, the lowest price may not be the best deal. Instead, look for something that delivers the best value for your buck. Good luck!