To the person reading this, congratulations to you for getting your own house! Right now is the most exciting time to start finding home design image inspirations on Pinterest and a trustable interior design firm for your new home.
It might sound overwhelming, but let’s not get confused by all these chores and check the list one by one to make your dream home come true eventually.
Choosing the best interior design firm for you:
The first and most crucial part of the renovation is to find the right interior design firm for you. There are many interior design firms out there, but here are a few things you should take note of:
Should not pay for renders before renovation:
This is because renders are only from a certain angle; it doesn’t really help at the beginning of the process. At the beginning of the process, we should have a more thorough discussion for each space.
Try to find out what’s essential for you to have and what’s less important. There will be a long conversation and a lot of back and forth between you and the designer, to figure out what’s best for you, in which fancy render images can’t really assist us much.
Should not pay for the design only:
When they tell you just pay for the design from the designer and find your own contractor, and it will be much cheaper; well, this is right and wrong at the same time, right because you do save money at the beginning, no because you do not know what’s ahead of you.
When the designer gets the job only to do the design, they often get pretty excited; no doubt there will be some fantastic design outcome from them, but is the design truly affordable to you? And let’s say you hire a designer online from another country; what happens if the material is not accessible in the country?
The problem might be resolved if the designer offers a fuller package that estimates the cost and does the material resource search for you beforehand.
Another thing you should consider is, do you know how to manage contractors? Often we forget how much things might get out of control; the contractors you hire might take your money and disappear.
Design firms usually employ the same contractors to do many of their projects; thus, they have a deeper relationship than you, who only hire contractors to do one job.
And since they have many projects together, they will have more leverage on them than you; this ensures they won’t just take the money and disappear out of thin air.
Talk to not just one interior design firms:
Talking to different firms does not mean you should go around asking everyone to do free design for you or try to take someone’s design to ask another firm if they can do it cheaper for you.
Here it means you should go talk to some different designers to know how their company policies are, how they solve crises during renovation, and see if it’s a comfortable environment for you.
Sometimes the best design firm is not the one do the fanciest looking design; it is the one that listens to you and cares about your feelings, and adjusts to your need along the way.
Do not trust online reviews solely:
Although we depend on online reviews a lot nowadays, there are still chances that the company bought those comments. Remember to trust the vibe you are getting from the company when you do face-to-face discussions with them.
Take a closer look at their studio/ showroom design details:
We forget about this thing most of the time: pay attention to the design and build-in carpentry quality.
Most of the companies would use their contractors to build the interior design for the studio, high chance they will be using the same contractors to build your home. It’s an excellent chance to see the quality of their work.
How to select the right images from Pinterest:
How to select the right reference images to let your designer know what kinds of vibe you want for your home?
Same space configuration:
I’m sure right now you already have photos of the existing condition of your new home; try to find images that have similar space configurations; for example, if your living room has a double volume ceiling and a full-height window, try to find pictures with similar space.
Specific color or material:
If you see some certain color and material that you really love, show them to the designer during the discussion for them to come up with a design that’s closer to what you like.
How to make a list before ID discussion?
Before you attend the discussion, remember to make a list to talk about with your designer, you can list out the things that are most important for you, and your future planning, things like if having a kid is on the horizon, and your living habits, let the designer know if you cook a lot every day.
Secondly, list out the colors, styles, and materials you love or hate. This seems trivial but helps a lot in their design process while shortening the back and forth conversation if they can figure all these things out early.
How to save money on the renovation?
Less build in carpentry:
Build-in carpentry or any build-in kitchen appliances might look sleek at first, but the thing they won’t tell you is how annoying the future repairing fee is going to be.
Try to minimize the build-in carpentry to the minimum. Only build the necessary ones like kitchen top and bottom cabinet, wardrobe, or bathroom vanity. This will save not just the renovation cost, but will also save you a lot of troubles in the future.
Buy your own aircon and engage your own aircon fixer:
Do not let the design firm to get the aircon for you, it is better to purchase your own and just hire the people to help to install; the only thing that needs a designer in this whole AC process is when you want to conceal AC trunking, this part will require your designer to plan.
Engage your own window fixer:
The window is a pretty straightforward item in the renovation. Changing or fixing a window do not require a designer to do, to save money, please get your own window fixer to change to repair your window and not through a designer.
Buy limewash paint and DIY:
Limewash paint is this kind of trendy new addition to the renovation world, it is quite expensive to hire other people to paint for you, but the good news is, this kind of texture paint is fairly easy to DIY on your own, just purchase the paint and spend a few days and you will have your nice textured wall.
Avoid wall hung W.C.:
The wall-hung W.C. concept is similar to build-in carpentry. It looks sleek initially, but it is a lot harder to fix than regular W.C. In the worst case, you might need to hack off that wall, take out the toilet system, and redo it again.
Use partition wall instead of hollow block wall:
The partition wall is safe to use in places that do not constantly expose to moisture. The cost is a lot cheaper than building a wall with hollow block, or concrete.