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Design Inspiration

How To Make Your House Look Bigger?

Every home owner wishes to have a house that looks like a million bucks. It may be small on the inside, but that’s the beauty of good interior design; it can make even the smallest of spaces seem grand and luxurious. Interior design in Singapore is leaning towards the ‘upscale’ end of the design spectrum. This is mostly because the standard issue apartment and condos have a specified square footage and designers have been coming up with clever ways to enlarge these spaces for a long time. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some interesting and brilliant ways you can use to make your house look bigger.

(1) Invest In An Open Floor Plan

Do you know why ever other home features an open-floor plan these days? It’s because these plans are a great and cost-effective way to create the illusion of a larger space. You wouldn’t need to invest too much in internal wall construction and demolition, which would save you a lot of time and money. Open floor plans can be unique and distinctive. You can even individualize the space by using platform floors, color coding and unique furniture. It enhances transparency throughout the space, which opens up the visual filed of the user, thus making your house automatically look bigger.

(2) Design large Window Portals

Interior design in Singapore is many times constrained by the official guidelines, but you can always get a permit to enlarge your standard issue windows. When you have large windows, you automatically get more natural light, which can make your home look infinitely larger and refreshing. A home with lots of windows will not only look bigger, but will also be cozier. You can even design either a bay window, sitting nook or even a small breakfast area beside these windows to further beautify your homes.

 

(3) The Magic of Beautiful Lighting

While natural lighting is all well and good, you need to focus even more on artificial lighting. Interior design in Singapore is embracing the open-floor plan format with vigor these days, which can be tricky to design lighting for. You have to be very cognizant of the flow of the space. In order to make your house look larger, you can use a combination of ambient and accent lighting. One will create a seamless flow of light, while the other will lighting certain areas of your house. Together, these two lighting styles will definitely make your house seem larger.

(4) A Lighter Color Scheme

Color psychology in interior design dictates that darker and vibrant colors can make a space seem smaller and claustrophobic. In retrospect, lighter hues reflect light, which makes the space seem larger. So you should paint, or treat your walls in lighter hues. Recommended colors are white, beige, champaign, tan, ivory, grey, pastels and more. When applied in the right context and materials, all of these colors will look gorgeous and luxurious.

(5) Smart & Dual Purpose Furniture

Smaller homes should be furnished with smart or dual purpose furniture. This will reduce the amount of actual furniture that you will need, thus making your homes look larger. Interior design in Singapore are gradually embracing this trend. A great example of dual purposed furniture is a smart sofa that converts into a bed. Another great example is a folding chair that turns into a coffee table.

(6) Wall-Mount Shelves & Sofas

The layout of a small home is always important. It cannot resemble the space layout of larger space. The best way to create an efficient layout for a small house is to use wall-mount furniture. This includes shelving units, couches and even tables and chairs. This will keep everything from getting in the way of the circulation space, which will instantly make the house seem larger. Interior design in Singapore is currently being designed around this formulaic layout.

(7) Play Illusion With Lines

Using vertical and horizontal lines is the perfect way to create the illusion of a taller and wider space respectively. Vertical patterned wallpaper can create the illusion of a taller space, while a horizontally striped rug can make your home interiors look wider and spacious. But you should always keep in mind never to use both horizontal and vertical linear patterns in the same space. They will clash garishly, which will negatively impact the ambiance of your interior design.

(8) Looking Mirror Wall Cladding

Using looking mirrors to clad an entire wall is a very hot interior design trend in Singapore these days, and rightfully so. Using large mirror leafs to decorate an entire wall creates the illusion of ‘double’ the space. The mirrored effect is amazing, especially when combined with expert lighting. This is a surefire way to make your house look larger.

Conclusion

There are quite a few ways you can make a small space seem larger. Interior design in Singapore is gradually being directed to embrace these design techniques in order to get the best layouts and results.

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Design Inspiration Tips & Advice

The Top 5 Interior Design Styles in Singapore

One of the biggest struggles both the client and interior designer have to face during a renovation is not being able to communicate properly. This is in part due to the fact that clients have little to no technical knowledge of any design lingo, so they can never properly articulate what kind of a interior design styles they want to have in their homes. Everyone wants their home to look the absolute best! But how to bridge that gap between your designer and yourself in order to communicate properly?

Easy; educate yourself a little bit in their lingo so you can better know and tell what, how and where you want your dream home accoutrements to be!

Here’s a small crash course in all the prevailing interior design styles in both Singapore. Knowing these small essentials will help you go a long way from your starting point!

(1) Contemporary

The word ‘contemporary’ literally translates to ‘of the present.’ So the contemporary interior design styles emulate all the practices that are trending at the present moment. Many people confuse this style with modern, not knowing that they are distinctly different. Interior design and Singapore is chock-full of contemporary interior design trends. It’s ubiquitous, but many do not know its defining characteristics.

Here’s all you need to know: the contemporary style is fluid! It doesn’t have to be strictly formal and rigid like modernism. It can lean a little sideways to be flamboyant and even artsy. You can use green walls, indoor planters, accent laser lighting, unique lighting fixtures, vivid colors, graphic art and even accessories that make a bold statement to emulate the contemporary style in your interior design. Anything and everything that is trending in the here and now is relevant!

Interior Design styles_Contemporary Style

(2) Industrial

The industrial style emulates a warehouse-like aesthetic, which emphasizes raw materials and an artfully unfinished ambiance. Interior design in Singapore has become canny enough to emulate such an impactful style in residential settings.

You can evoke the industrial style in your interior design by following two simple rules; use materials with raw aesthetic, and an understated, dull color palate. The idea is to emphasize all of the raw finishes, so you can use exposed brick, hollowed-out ductwork in the ceiling and cement. Track lights and wooden accents are also a great way to imbue the industrial style.

Interior Design styles_Industrial Style

(3) Scandinavian

The Modern Movement represented societies take on simplicity in the past, and the Scandinavian Style represents our take on simplicity now. This style is straightforward and undemanding – basic at its best. But still, there is a lot of thought that goes into designing an effortlessly Scandinavian style interior design.

Interior design in Singapore is dominantly leaning towards the Scandinavian style of interior design. This style is characterized by a few major points: all-white color palate with a small bit of contrast, light wooden floors, large window openings and understated furniture/accessories. You can even incorporate light distressed wood finishes, shag rugs and subtle metallic accents. The overall impact is elegant and understated.

Interior Design styles_Scandinavian Style

(4) Shabby-Chic

Interior design in Singapore is quite all-encompassing, but the Shabby-Chic style has been decidedly prevalent. This style is characterized by soft, aesthetically worn-out furnishings that seem extremely vintage inspired – even though they are new most of the times. This style uses a light or pastel color palate that emphasizes the vintage charm of all the other features. Distressed finishes – paint, fabric, flooring, wallpapers and more – are also a key characteristic of this style. You can embellish the Shabby-Chic style with antique or vintage decoration pieces displayed in strategic corners around the room. a large amount of visual clutter is also appreciated.

(5) Minimalistic

Minimalism is not simply an interior design style, but also a way of life. It entails getting rid of the clutter in both your life and space for a better, more serene lifestyle. Therefore, a minimalist interior design focuses on simple, elegant materials that stand out on their own, regardless of the lack of ornamentation. These materials may feature matt, gloss or even smooth finishes. The color scheme is a mixture of light and earthy. Both of them combine to offer a beautiful visual contrast. Simple furniture with no decorative value is very much appreciated in this aesthetic. There is little to no ornamentation or accessories – if you don’t absolutely need it, then it shouldn’t be in the space after all. Add in large window portals that let in an ample amount of natural light and you’ll have a beautiful minimal interior of your very own.

Interior Design styles_Minimalistic Style

Conclusion

If you sit down to compile a list of all existing interior design styles, then it could go on literally and figuratively forever. But since interior design in Singapore is pretty streamlined, a crash course in these few style would be enough to better your basic understanding.

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Design Inspiration Tips & Advice

7 Reasons To Go For Local Interior Designer in Singapore

If you’re buying a new apartment or thinking about renovating an old one, then chances are that you’ll be searching high and low for an expert local interior designer. Interior design in Singapore is a budding industry that offers some of the greatest designs, aesthetics and trends in the region. Since taking on a new interior design project can be overwhelming for a rookie, it is best to consult a professional designer. They will help you understand your ideas better, give your rough ideas vision, and offer expert execution. 

It would also be better to go with a local interior designer, as they are well-versed in what works best for that particular region. If you’re still not convinced, here are a few reasons you should definitely opt for a local interior designer in Singapore.

1.Knowledge of design, materials and technicalities

Every region has its own building and construction style. In countries like India, they abide by brick masonry. In the western countries steel structures are more dominant. Similarly, interior design in Singapore and Malaysia has its own set of technical, material and design restrains, and nobody knows them better than an experienced local designer. Their skill and knowledge of these technicalities will ensure that you get the best quality of interior design.

Local Interior Designer

2. Quality control over the workmanship

The local interior designers dabble in fieldwork even during their education. Therefore, they have interminable connections with various labor unions, craftsmen and workers all over the industry. So when you consult a local designer they will provide you excellent quality control over the workmanship. They will be acquainted with the best workmen in the region, which will ensure that you get the best designs.

Local Interior Designer_Singapore

3.Knowledge of culture, traditions and vernacular

Every region has its own culture and traditions, which end up defining the lifestyle of the people. No international interior designer will ever be able to interpret your local lifestyle successfully in a floor plan. They will design according to their understanding, which might not be suitable for where you reside. In retrospect, a local interior designer understands the vernacular customs, traditions and lifestyle very well. They can design spaces that will accommodate your day to day life with no hindrance at all.

Interior Design in Singapore

4.Budgeting control over the renovation cost

A local interior designer is well-aware of the current market prices of all construction and design paraphernalia. This allows them to have a tight rein over the budget. An international designer will never know if their recommending a product with an inflamed price or not. So hiring a local interior designer will keep you from uselessly busting your budget and renovation cost.

Interior Design in Singapore

5.One-stop service – save time talking to dozens of tradesmen

If you outsource a complete design from an international designer, you will have to tackle the insurmountable madness of the renovation process yourself. You will have to hire all sorts of contractors – building works, door and windows, electrical works and many more. But a local interior designer offers you a one-stop service. You will not have to talk with dozens of tradesmen, which will save you a lot of time and headache.

Interior Design in Singapore

 

6.Personal site survey and supervision

Here’s a small secret you should know; no design can ever be completely perfect if the designer hasn’t personally surveyed the site. Without actually appraising each and every nook and cranny of the space-to-be-designed, no designer can ever fully utilize and skirt around the constraints of the site. So the biggest benefit of hiring a local interior designer is that they can ensure a personal site survey and supervision before, after and during the process of renovation. This will improve the quality of the end product.

Interior Design in Singapore

7.Easier communication

Language barrier can be a big problem, especially when it comes to something as abstract as interior design. Often times, you will find that you cannot communicate your ideas and expectations to the designer very well. Compared to that, hiring a local designer will give you opportunities to better convey your concepts in a reasonable way.

Interior Design in Singaporea

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of points that a local interior designer can better help you with. Since interior design in Singapore has very specific vernaculars, it is always better to go local rather than international with your preferred design team.

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Design Inspiration Renovation Essentials

Cost Effective HDB Makeovers

A cost effective HDB Makeover is quite a rarity. Everybody longs for those picture perfect, magazine spread interiors that seem so effortlessly pristine in those Pinterest mood boards. Reality may be a little bit shabby, but you can certainly tweak a few things to give your interior that much needed makeover.

HDB is relatively small in layout and low on space, the interior design of these apartments tends to call for unique design measures. An HDB makeover in a cost effective way might be challenging to pull off. You might not have to pull out the ‘Big Guns’ but you will certainly have to use some clever interventions to tame the old-school, small style layout of the land. Let’s look at a few cost effective ways to give your HDB’s a good, extensive makeover.

1) Go for Minimalism
Less is truly more when it comes to remodeling your HBD apartment in a cost effective way. Minimalism is all about designing the interiors in a restrained yet sophisticated way. in a space as small as an HBD apartment, the simpler you design, the better. If you choose an oppulant, grandiose theme, it will only make the space seem out of context, and your theme pretty contrived.

Image Source: roomwithaircon

2) Choose a light yet bright color scheme
When your home is as small as the spatial constraints of an HBD apartment make it, then you need to work with a light, yet bright color scheme. The light in this context means that the major ambient impact of your color scheme needs to lean towards the lighter category, while the accentuation can be carried out in bright, lively and vivid colors. This will create adequate contrast and illusory impact of a larger space.

Image source: amazon.uk

3) Clever furniture layout
Furniture layout is pretty important when you’re carrying out a cost-effective HBD apartment makeover. You have to be careful about choosing the right style; do not go for heavily tufted or otherwise ornamented stuff. Choose the simplest pieces and arrange them carefully in around the space in a way that will maximize the circulation space and contribute to the aesthetics at the same time. a good example of this idea is half-walls and step-ups between the bedroom and closet space.

Image source: HotStylex

4) Lots of natural light
Natural light has intrinsic properties that can make any space seem larger than it is. So when you’re carrying out that cost-effective makeover for your HBD apartment invest in large windows and open floor layouts to accommodate adequate flow of natural light in your homes. This kind of lighting, along with a light color scheme can make any small space seem more capacious than it actually is.

Image source: thechrisslefactor

5) Simple window treatments
Avoid frou-frou accoutrements when you’re conducting an HDB apartment makeover. This goes especially for window treatments. There are a lot of options in the contemporary market for simple yet effective window coverings, so it would be best to avoid curtains or drapes. Go for blinds, or even shutters – something straightforward that will not hinder the visual dynamics of your small space.

Image Source: scene.sg

6) Vintage chic
If you’re a fan of accessorizing and you’re thinking of investing in a cost-effective HBD makeover then this one is for you. Vintage chic is all about curating some choice pieces that have a dated, retro look, but are also partially contemporary. When you pair these up with the furniture of your choice, the simple surroundings and lots of natural light, it can enhance the beauty of your space in a natural way.

Image source: lizvivart

7) Industrial textures
Industrial style interior design is all about working with the barebones of the existing space and creating visually appealing add-ons. For a successful HBD makeover, you can definitely emulate this theme as far as the material palate is concerned. Its rough, raw textures will fit in well with the vintage chic vibe along with the rest of the small style space accentuation methods.

Image source: Dwell

8) Looking mirror cladding
The best way to double up the quality and visuals of your space in an illusory way is by large scale looking mirror cladding. This technique is especially viable for the remodel of a small space like an HDB apartment. You could clad an entire alcove, or even an important feature wall to create the mirage of extra space where there is none.

Image source: homedecorsingapore

Conclusion
As you can see, there are a lot of ways you could utilize some clever ideas to create an illusively spacious interior within a small space.

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Renovation Essentials Tips & Advice

A Must Know Renovation Cost that Your Interior Designers Will Not Tell You!

A Must Know Renovation Cost that Your Interior Designers Will Not Tell You!

If 2018 is the year you’ve decided to take on a full-scale renovation venture, then you’re definitely in luck. We’ve compiled a comprehensive breakdown of renovation cost that your Interior Designers will not tell you. It will determine your renovation cost and budget along with how certain things may end up affecting the timeline and overall look of your project. Let’s take a look:

1. Dismantling & Disposal Cost

Dismantling basically means tearing down some of the existing walls or construction works in order to accommodate your ideal interior design. It can be hard, brutal and sometimes dangerous work – especially if there is fear of any structural damage.

HDB authorizes have special guidelines for those who want to dismantle some of the existing construction in order to accommodate their new designs. In order to ensure that there is no damage to the load-bearing or sheer walls (or even the concrete structural skeleton), you’d have to hire a ‘Qualified Person’ to evaluate and submit the new designs to the relevant Authorities. Only when the design is approved can you proceed with your renovation.

Interior Designers Renovation Cost_Dismantling and Hacking Cost

2. Labour Cost for Laying Floor Finishes

There are two things that you need to know about floor finishes:-

– According to the HDB guidelines, the total thickness of your floor finishes must not exceed 50mm.

– Similarly, you have to invest in proper waterproofing in accordance with the HDB guidelines for wet areas such as bathroom and kitchen.

Both of these ventures are definitely essential and they’ll certainly add to your renovation cost.

Interior Designers Renovation Cost_Labour Cost for Floor Finishes

3. Labour Cost for Installing Wall Finishes

Some interior designers and renovators may charge wall finishes slightly higher than floor finishes work. It is mainly because it involves working at height. Same as floor finishes, it requires waterproofing works as well for the kitchen, bathroom and all other wet areas.

Renovation Cost_Labour Cost for Wall Finishes

4. Material Cost of Floor & Wall Finishes

It is important to note that various tiles from various brands have their own unique prices. It all depends on the quality and the material – ceramic tiles are usually less costly than porcelain, but definitely not as durable. Similarly, vinyl is more flexible both according to price range and durability. Note that on top of the material price, you need to add in the labour cost for laying the tiles, as shown in Picture 2 and 3.

Renovation Cost_Material Cost for Wall and Floor Finishes

5. False Ceiling

As for the false ceiling, here are a few major things you have to remember:

– The clear height from the floor finishes to the false ceiling must be 2.4m according to the HDB guidelines.

– All the materials used in the false ceiling must not be flammable.

– And lastly, you cannot design storage spaces inside the gap between the false ceiling and the roof.

Of course the cost of light fixtures, labour and installation are also going to add in this part of the budget.

Renovation Cost_False Ceiling

6. Partition Walls

Partition walls are of different types. Your renovation cost will come full-circle according to the kind you want to go for. You can make it permanent with brick-and-mortar construction. Or you can go for plasterboard as well – light, breezy and perpetually temporary.

Renovation Cost_Partition Wall

7. Carpentry Works

From the shelving design to even the media wall construction, carpentry works can cost a lot – especially if your designs are customized. This means that most of the major built-in furniture in your house is going to cost a lot more if the timber work calls for specialized labour and machinery. The cost of your wood – be it MDF or hardwood – is also going to matter when constructing a rough estimate.

Renovation Cost_Carpentry Works 1

Renovation Cost_Carpentry Works 2

8. Feature Wall

If you’d like to dress your interior designs on a different floor or wall tiles to create visual diversity, then it’s going to add to your renovation cost. Of course, the cost of your interior design will vary according to the kind of finish and brand you go for.

Renovation Cost_Feature Wall

9. Electrical Works

Electrical works include all the socket, DB, and other electrical points you need installed in your interior design. It includes wiring of the light points and fan points. The quality of your wiring is going to determine this part of your renovation cost.

Renovation Cost_Electrical Works

10. Plumbing Works

For bathroom renovation, the guide below may help estimate the installation cost of sanitary fitments. However, the price for sanitary products are varied and depends on the quality, brand, type and sizes.

Renovation Cost_Plumbing Works

A Must Know Renovation Cost that Your Interior Designers Will Not Tell You!

We hope this extensive list helps you get an idea of current market prices and how you can make a rough estimation. Always get at least 3 quotes from different interior designers and renovation contractor. Please click here to get free quotations from trusted interior designers and renovation contractors.