When you design a house for a client, it's a totally different experience. You are the interpreter of another person’s taste, wishes and dreams. It's going to be their house but just nicer, more comfortable and functional. This process is much less stressful for the house owner when an interior designer is there to help guide the way and make the best use of their resources.
If we start at the beginning, one of my friends (whom I met during a course here in Singapore) visited my house and was very impressed with the decor. I then showed her the photos of the house when we first moved in and she was flabbergasted at the difference. She then asked if I could help her design and decorate her apartment for her. I was very happy to accept as it was a chance for me to experiment and also learn more about interior design with practical experience.
My friend’s apartment is in one of the most prestigious and expensive areas in all of Singapore. She stays in the Marina Bay Residences which is right next to the Marina Bay Hotel. The views from the house are breathtaking, however, my friend was not happy with the current arrangement of the house and the furniture that came with the house. As she is renting the place as a fully furnished apartment, we had a lot of challenges as we could not throw or replace most of the items and furniture that came with the house. I then visited her house for the first viewing to plan how we could beautify the place and make it look cohesive with the existing items as we could not replace most of them. There were a couple of things which she bought herself for the house which we decided to replace and add some new elemants to elevate the space. Thus began our home styling journey.
The pictures above were taken on Day 1, before any changes were made. It took nearly 3 months to finish the entire project. We went to a myriad of places, searching for unique items through many different sources. If we wanted, we could have simply walked into any major design showroom and picked out all the necessary items at one go. Instead, we were patient in searching and waiting for the perfect item to show up before we committed to a purchase. Every item was thoughtfully selected and purchased with the overall theme and budget in mind. The item not only had to fit all of those criteria, but also had to fit the taste of my friend and her husband as well.
Sometimes my friend would choose items that did not fit perfectly from the design perspective. However, when I saw that they really liked and wanted that item, I would give preferences to their choice and made some tiny changes to make the item fit. At the end of the day, it is their house and they will live in it, thus their preferences are more important than the perfect design choice.
I was incredibly happy as they gave me the full creative freedom to design and take the lead in most of the matters. Also, my friend's husband is an incredibly nice and helpful man as he helpped me a lot in most of the physical tasks that needed to be done.
Ladies and Gentlemen, below are the fruits of our labour.
If you are interested in the full process, stay tuned for the upcoming posts which will break down the details for each of the rooms.