INTERIOR DESIGN @ DCRS DECORATIONS
Interior Design requires a skilful understanding of the art of living and science of space planning to achieve a home and environment that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. Especially in a land-scarce city like Singapore, where careful planning and creative designing by professionals becomes critical for homeowners.
DCRS Decorations is a one-stop destination of interior design inspirations and access to expert interior designers and interior decorators who specializes in Home Design and Commercial Spaces who can help you plan, coordinate, manage and translate your dream into reality. In the end, a successfully designed space is a reflection of its occupants where forms, colours and textures combine seamlessly into beautiful and functional space.
Interior Design: A Starter’s Guide to Designing your Dream Home
Just bought your first house? Congratulations! The next step is to turn it into a cosy and inviting space for you and your family. You’ve probably already gained some interior design know-how. Be it from co-workers sharing renovation tips, renovation stories your relatives and friends tell you at their housewarming or home improvement articles in your favourite lifestyle magazine.
But what does a renovation entail? And what does an interior designer do? We aim to answer these questions while providing a basic overview of how to go about designing your home. Things to look out for and most importantly, how an interior designer can help you achieve your dream home.
First Things First
Before you head out (or online) to shop for an interior designer, ask yourself what you’ll need first. Your friends and relatives’ place might look impressive, but it might not suit your needs. And while you can find lots of interior design articles on the Internet, at the end of the day, they are just a reference. You need to know what you want. Ask yourself these questions to start with.
1. How Much Do I Want (or Have) to Spend?
The cost of a renovation job varies widely depending on what you do and how big your house is. To provide a very rough estimate: you could get a simple remodelling job and redecorate done for less than $10,000. But if you are looking to hack some walls, change the flooring or redo the bathroom, it could easily set you back $30,000 to $50,000. Add on the luxury furnishings and branded furniture, and it could be anything beyond $50,000.
Since you’ve probably depleted your savings paying the downpayment for your house, the question is: how much do you have to spend? Do note that if you take a renovation loan from the bank, the maximum you can loan is six times your monthly salary or $30,000, whichever is lower. Plus, don’t forget to set aside money to buy your fridge, microwave oven and other appliances. Have a budget in mind so that you can keep your expectations in check.
2. What Design Style Do I Want?
You might think this is a job for the interior designer, after all, that’s what you are paying him or her for, right? If anything goes for you when it comes to design style, you can undoubtedly give your interior designer carte blanche (I’m sure they’ll love it). But more often than not, you’d probably have something in mind. Bring along pictures of your preferred style when you meet your interior designer to start the conversation.
One thing to note: design styles are like fashion styles – what looks good on others might not look good on you. That chic all-black look at your friend’s place might not work for your shoebox apartment. It would just make your space look even smaller. The rainbow walls you saw in a magazine might look enticing, but stare at it the whole day, and it may give you a headache instead.
A better way to answer this question is to think about how you want to feel when you step into your house, day after day. Do you want to feel like coming home to a resort? Or do you prefer a minimalist all-white palette to decompress after a long day? The honeymoon period with your new home will end one day, so make sure it is a style you can live with.
3. What Kind of Spaces Do I Need?
Besides the standard living room, dining room, bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms, think about what you would be doing at home and how you would be using these spaces. If you are likely to bring work home, you might want to convert one of the bedrooms into a study or at least set up a dedicated work desk. If you watch TV while you cook, make sure to place the TV console where you can see it from the kitchen.
Finally, plan for the future now. If you intend to have kids, you might want to leave that extra bedroom intact instead of hacking it down to extend the living room.
4. Is It Easy to Maintain?
So, you had the luxury of having a maid clean the house while growing up. Well, if your maid isn’t moving in with you and you don’t intend to get a new one, you’ll have to clean the house yourself. You’d be surprised how this affects your buying decisions. For example, curtains that look gorgeous on your floor-to-ceiling windows will be a pain to wash. Same goes for removing that stain off your fabric sofa cover. Carpets look stylish but need vacuuming frequently. Keep all these in mind when choosing your furniture.
Contractor versus Interior Designer
After all that detailed planning, you have decided exactly what you want. You’ve also read all the self-help articles on interior design, the common problems and how to avoid them, and the 100 tips and tricks of the renovation trade. Therefore, you can hire a contractor to save money, right? Well, yes and no.
Let’s illustrate this in a to-do list. If you head down the D-I-Y route, you could:
- Surf renovation websites for interior design inspirations,
- Hire a contractor to build a false ceiling,
- Hire a carpenter to custom-make that display cabinet,
- Engage an electrician to install the lights and power points,
- Pay a painting company to paint the whole house,
- Buy your furniture from Ikea and assemble it yourself, and
- Buy your electrical appliances online and have them delivered to you.
So that leaves you to:
- Negotiate the contracts with each service provider,
- Summit the relevant paperwork to the authorities,
- Coordinate the sequence of works (the false ceiling needs building before the lights can be installed, but then again, you need to drill into the walls to run the wiring for the power points and have them patched up later, so who does what first?),
- Supervise the workers and check on the progress daily, and
- Check the completed works for defects before paying the service provider.
Essentially, you become the project manager. Hiring a contractor does indeed save money. But where you save in dollars and cents, you spend on time. Time to manage the contractors, time to supervise the workers and time to run around selecting materials and furnishings. Is this the best use of your time? Probably not.
Unless you are a hands-on fanatic or exceptionally free, there is no good reason to trade the interior designer fee for the hassle. Plus, when you engage the service providers separately, there is no single person-in-charge to take responsibility when things go wrong, and you may end up the victim of a blame game.