We are moving to a smaller space from 1399 sqft to 1216 sqft, You might think that this is not a big change but it is a world apart!. For starter the bedrooms are now way smaller, such that they can only fit 1 queen bed and a cabinet and nothing else!. The kitchen is smaller and the yard is ridiculously small that it can only fit one washing machine. However, we like the location and the other conveniences so much that we think we might be able to overlook all these things, and perhaps with a good interior designer, we might just be able to arrange the home in such a way that we can maximize space. (^人^)
The other reason we have for using an interior designer is because we have a style in mind for our home design, we are hoping the interior designer can help us achieve the look we want. Also most importantly, since we are both working full time, we need somebody to liaise with the contractors and do regular site inspection.
So far we met with 3 designers reviews below:
- three d concept-werke – I know them from interior design magazines. They often have their work featured.
- The designer at first came up with a very lazy design, suggesting loose furnishings and no change to pretty much everything; so we had to explain our brief again and they took around 1 – 2 weeks to come up with a revised design
- The revised design is much better, but they just took our brief literally, so much so that some of their design is impractical, but we do like their idea of opening up all the walls and replacing them with sliding doors.
- Happe Interior – this design firm was recommended by Qanvast, actually Qanvast recommended 4 other designers, but we only met up with Happe because they are quite eager in following up and the designer seemed like a very nice guy.
- They were really nice to accommodate meeting us outside of their office for our 1st meeting where we gave them the same brief like we gave three d concept-werke
- They came with a nice colored layout of the apartment, it showed that they made effort, we like their cabinet idea where the cover can actually be slot into the cabinet opening so that when it’s opened we can’t see the cover. However, their bedroom ideas are not so impressive and doesn’t really solve our problems.
- Asolidplan – I saw one of their designs in the Qanvast app and contacted them directly
- I met one of the partner / owner of the firm and he explained to me that their firm is different from other interior designers because they charge a design fee upfront and because they are not a one stop shop, they don’t take profit from the construction cost. He showed me some of their past designs and they are really impressive, it’s something that made you go wow, why didn’t I think of that. However, since we need to pay them first before they design for us, we had to think before we engage them.
- 0932 Design Consultancy – I saw one of their design in the Qanvast app as well and contacted them directly.
- Like asolidplan, they also charge in advance for their design, However the difference is that they need commitment that our minimum project budget will be at least 100K.(for our home size). I don’t like to spend money if I don’t have to (who does) so I didn’t meet them for discussion.
In the end, we decided to go with Asolidplan, because we came to the conclusion that in order for all our concern to be addressed in the design, it takes a great deal of effort to think of an elegant solution, and I don’t think this will come from the designer companies that don’t charge for design upfront (it’s not entirely impossible, but it will definitely take a lot of back & forth redesigns based on our input / ideas to finally come close to what we want). If we have to spend so much effort to think of our own solution, then why do we need to pay them (design fee & the construction mark up fee). But anyway paying the designers first is also no guarantee that they will be able to come up with a nice design though. We can’t wait to see what they will come up with in 2-3 weeks time.