How I came to choose my Interior Designer/ID – Fauzie

Collaboration with Icon Interior Design
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Been so busy monitoring the progress of the reno for #FLNHOME that I forgot the most important thing.. that is to introduce my ID! Thus, this post. 🙂 Sorry wife, for taking up your blog space!

How it started

On my birthday this year, while taking a break in Krabi, I got a message from my friend, asking if I was interested to collaborate with an ID company.  They were looking to work with potential new homeowners and I thought, “why not just give it a thought..”.  I haven’t planned anything yet and this could be a potential collab.

Once I came back (KRABI WAS AWESOME AS ALWAYS, HAVE YOU ALL TRIED THE BANANA PANCAKE, WHAT?NO?!), we met up with the ID, Shafee from ICON INTERIOR DESIGN just to see what we can work out and also to see if we can “click”  with each other. Haha. First impression lasts mah and somemore this is an important project to me lah!

My working relationship with Shafee 

If I were to be really honest,for  the first few times, we were still unsure if we had wanted to settle with Shafee and Icon Interior Design. We were still undecided of what we wanted for the look of the house and and whether they are able to keep to our budget. (This is super super important to me!) To me, in every aspect of the things I do, the most important thing for me is the professionalism and our level of communication. BUT I’m also the the sort that don’t really like to be given too many options. HAHA!

After a few meetings, and presenting of ideas, and my thousands of screenshots from various reno sites/Instagram/Pinterest boards.. we decided to settle because Shafee was able to take my ideas and then simplify/modify it to suit our budget and also the small space. (BTO space is incredulously small for something so expensive. Basket.)

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lovelove took this because she can’t be bothered with the reno plans. (except her walk in wardrobe.)

My experience and relationship with my ID is interesting. The first few times, during the meetings, I got abit annoyed coz I felt my ID could not focus as he was always on his phone and always seem to be busy with other projects.
I would often be ignored during certain parts of the meetings whenever he was on his phone. I honestly felt like my project was secondary and not important. After a short while, I realised something.
It’s not that he was not focused.  It’s not that he did not prioritise my project. It’s just that he could not multi task! AND I could empathize because I’m exactly the same!  (Ask my wife. :P)

You know, we need people to be patient with us, the people who cant multi task. (Hint to the wife again. 😛 )
And I did. So, the best way is if another call or message came in for him, i would just stop or pause whatever we’re doing. When he’s done, we go back to our discussion right where we left them. Realising this about my ID has made us avoid potential misunderstandings and has helped smoothen our journey a whole awful lot. It’s true what they say, it takes one to know one. Hee.

And also, if your ID has a few projects under him, that only means that he’s been doing a good job, no? Yes.
But of course, a little push once in awhile wouldn’t hurt, to keep your ID on their toes. (Sometimes I feel guilty for messaging Shafee at 12midnight when I suddenly remembered something. He would message me right back with the answer. I am grateful 🙂 )

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me and my never ending questions and changes. 😛  

And always take down notes of your own too so that you don’t forget minor details that might have been left out during the numerous meetings. Do not just leave the responsibility to your ID.

Its your home, your house. Take ownership and steer your own ship. And your ID will be your co-captain. Chey, Fauzie.

What I learnt through my reno journey.

When working with your chosen ID, keep in mind that you are dealing with an experienced person who is an expert in what they do. (They do this for a living leh! And on a daily basis too. Their ideas and opinions do matter. )
Yes, you may think that you have your own ideas but if you are very sure of what you want in the first place, I don’t think you would engage an ID. That’s the reason why some people just engage contractors.  So be open & flexible with your ideas, when you do decide you need help.

Trust your ID.

Their job is not to say no,or to hard sell anything but rather, to bring forward better options and advise you on what works and what basically doesn’t. They will evaluate the references given and incorporate their own ideas and perspectives based on their experience.

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this was after 5 hours, i think. That day was a loooooong day. Haha.

BUDGET!
One thing that I was very clear about from the beginning was my budget. I think it is very important to set a budget within your means. It took a few meetings and A WHOLE LOT of tweaks here and there (and a bit of  hair pulling too! and midnight convos ahhaha) but we managed to meet in the middle. ONLY settle for a final quotation that you’re comfortable with. I was quite firm on what I want, and need. (Thanks Shafee for scaling it down ahahha!)

  • Spend within your means.
  • Be realistic.

If certain things you need/want are just too expensive, simplify your ideas and remove certain ideas.

BE PRACTICAL.

Not everything we see on Pinterest or reno blogs/IG/magazines are suited for BTO flats. (My heart hurts when I have to discard about 80% of my screenshots and saved Pinterest pins.:( )

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Like I said, Nurul left all the reno ideas to me. She really can’t be bothered. 😛

This is the part where you will work closely with your ID. Don’t forget to factor in other miscellaneous costings that is NOT included in the contract (lights, furnitures, feature pieces,air-con installation, cement screed etc etc). Set aside money for that too so that you won’t be too shocked with the final amount you will be spending. Again, KNOW YOUR TOTAL BUDGET AND DO NOT OVERSPEND.

And the No.1 advice I would give to people is to NOT listen to rumours or feedbacks and see and feel for yourself. Visit showrooms and shortlist a few IDs.

  • Do your research, thoroughly
  • Trust your gut feel
  • Know what you want and not be fickle. 

That will determine the flow of the whole process. It’s very easy to point fingers when certain things get delayed or things don’t go your way.

But if you are sure of how and what you need, your ID will not disappoint you.

Work closely, and always keep each other in the loop. Make sure your ID gives you regular updates on the progress of your house, especially if you can’t make regular trips down to your unit due to distance.

Build that trust and professionalism from Day One. Be firm but be understanding too.  I couldn’t be more thankful for mine and the way my reno works is progressing, and large part is due to our ID. 🙂 Thanks for helping us along Shafee, and Icon Interior Design.

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Shafee “sweet-talking” his workers to work faster, because we kanchiong spider/s.

Here’s looking forward to more midnight messages! (Sounds wrong tho’ ahahah!) Good luck in finding your ID guys!

And we’ll be sharing more of our house progress! Ask away if you have any questions. My wife will be more than happy to answer. (SORRY I SABO YOU. :p)

Fauzie signing out. Here LOVELOVE, take your blog back. 

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