Selecting an Interior Designer (ID)
We started looking for an ID, 2 months before key collection. We decided to go with an ID and not a contractor because of two reasons: 1) We do not have time to coordinate and supervise 2) We felt that an ID can better grasp the concept and idea that we had in mind. Having said that, there were so many interior design firms out there that we felt lost. We decided to turn to renotalk. Similar to Renotalk, you simply input the type of home, the concept/theme and the budget. The website then takes the request and passes it onto their team, and they will try to match you up with up to 5 interior designers. This was done quite well, they actually gave me a call to ask whether I prefer to work with an ID that is based near our home. We thought that this was quite a thoughtful gesture, as we do not want to travel to Jurong just for a meeting. Likewise, we also do not wish for the ID to waste his/her time by travelling all the way to the far end of SG to supervise our project.
Anyway, we were given 5, and I will provide a short review about the interactions and our overall views about them. Ranked according to choice, with 1 being the most desirable and 5 being undesirable. We chose Darwin Interior (Tampines Branch).
1) Darwin Interior:
Manfred was assigned to us. Similar to ***, he also took initiative to ask us for our floor plans as well as our list of wants. When we met up with him, we felt that we were able to "click" well with him. Very positive interaction. He was also very professional and was able to advise us on the placements and the limitations. He took the effort to draw, sketch on the floor plan that we brought. We felt that among all of the interior designers that we met, he best understood our requirements. He also provided us a tentative quote, the following day after we met with him. All in all, great effort. During our second meeting with him, he also gave us a discount of a few % and was able to swap certain items (free hob etc) which we do not need for something else that we wanted. Very flexible. We signed with him after the revised quotation was given to us. The company was also accredited and had a relatively good reputation, which were plus points. If I had to give a negative, it would be that he is relatively new!
2) *** Interior:
Cathy was assigned to us and she was one of the three that actually bothered to give us a call and request for our floor plans. She also asked us for our list of wants and concepts. When we met up with her, she was able to show us some samples of her previous works and seemed very experienced. She was also able to advise us on materials and could also advise us on the limitations of our wants. However, we did not pick her company, because the timeframe that she gave us was too long for our liking (8-10 weeks).
3) Albedo Design:
Quite a lovely showroom. It was relatively large. However, I could not find any reviews about them, and they appear to do more commercial projects. Price was also on the high side. However, some of the designs were quite innovative. I.e. space saving furniture that they customized in-house.
4) Le Interi:
Just beside Darwin Interior in Tampines. We spent close to 2 hrs here. However, the lady who was assigned to our project did not email us a quote, even 2 weeks later. She was also quite adamant about her ways and ideas, i.e. we wanted top hung glass panels for the study room area, and she insisted on using framed aluminum ones that looked very dated. We did not consider this ID firm, as we felt that our goals did not align.
5) Hue Design:
Did not get back to us.