Living Gaia - Singapore Interior Design Firm

Qanvast Feature - Renovation Journey: A Family Home
Posted 2016-02-10

At A Glance

Benson and Angie, in mid to late 30s, oil and gas industry and real estate
Home to 3 adults and one kid Location: Waterway Brooks (5-room
Size: 111 sqm / 1195 sqft
Renovation duration: 6 weeks
Cost of renovation: $45,000 (includes flooring)
Cost of furnishings: $40,000
Interior design firm: Living Gaia
Interior designer: Shi Ting

Previously residing in a studio apartment, the couple wanted a tranquil environment for their kid to live in. Now in their new cosy flat along the Waterway in Punggol, the environment they have is undoubtedly a home that brings comfort and joy to the family. Find out how they managed to work with the interior designer, Shi Ting to create that environment.

Qanvast: Where do you search for interior designers?

Angie (A): When it comes to gathering ideas and searching for interior firms, typically we looked at magazines and online sites, but those we saw on magazines don’t suit us – it was too trendy for us. We chanced upon Qanvast and was really surprised with the wide variety of designs and how easy the app is to use.

The reviews in the app were also really helpful as it gives us a better idea on how the firm performs. An easy way out to recommended with suitable interior firms would be to submit the quote request within the app and we did just that to simplify the process.

Qanvast: Why Living Gaia out of those that you met?

A: Mainly 3 factors – they could accommodate our budget of $40,000 to 50,000, the package deal they have and the chemistry with the designer, Shi Ting.

Benson (B): I felt really comfortable talking to Shi Ting, and I like the fact that she is transparent in what she does. We have also shortlisted one firm we met in Expo but we were being pressurised to sign the deal although we like their package. We spoke to Shi Ting and she managed to match the deal with a top-up of $3,000. We thought, why not?

Qanvast: Why did you decide to go with the renovation package instead of a customised design?

A: It’s our first time doing renovation and we weren’t sure what is suitable for us. Plus, we don’t want to spend too much time doing research, as we were also busy with our kid. The package was easier for us to comprehend.

B: We are quite easy going, so we swiftly arrived to a decision on which firm we should pick once we have found someone whom we are comfortable with.

Qanvast: What do you like about Shi Ting?

A: She was down-to-earth, and we could sense that she is not out there to cheat us. (laughs)

B: She’s sincere and hardworking. We hardly came down to check on the renovation as we were too busy and we trusted her with the renovation works. She will often update us on the progress, and is responsive when we needed followups. The renovation timeline was punctual.

A: She also chased us to get things done as we were taking some time to settle things.

Qanvast: Sounds like you had an easier renovation journey than most homeowners!

A: (laughs) There were minor hiccups as well, like some things we didn’t expect it to turn out this way. We didn’t raise it up as it was already built-in.

Qanvast: Where do you get your furniture from?

A: The sofa was by Living Gaia as part of the package deal and our dining set is from Castlery. Blinds, fan and some of the ceiling lights were from Malaysia - we got this contact from a friend who recently renovated their place.

Bulk of the furnishing cost comes from the wardrobe. Shi Ting recommended the pole system and we got Besglas, which comes at a premium price.

We checked out stores mainly from newspapers – like how we got our bed from Metro’s sale, and a couple of furniture stores in Ubi.

Qanvast: What’s your parting advice for homeowners looking to renovate?

A: We know there are homeowners who meet 5-8 designers but I think that can be tiring. Sometimes having to meet too many can dull the decision-making process, not to mention having to repeat more than five times on your requirements! Go with the designer you feel most at ease with.

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