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Tag: #residential
Checking Your Brand New HDB BTO Flat for Defects: Detecting and Fixing Faults

Checking Your Brand New HDB BTO Flat for Defects: Detecting and Fixing Faults

All of the excitement and anticipation linked to finally stepping into your brand new HDB BTO flat! What’s the first thing you’re going to do? Run from room to room? Imagine where and how you’re going to place your furniture?

Actually, one of the first things you have to do is a lot less creative and much more practical.

Checking your brand new flat for defects is one of the biggest essentials that you’ll have to go through. Even brand new buildings aren’t safe from errors, poor execution or little structural defects that could potentially become big in the long run.

So, if you are looking for an HDB BTO flat defects checklist, we’ve got one for you. Based on our home interior design experience, here are some of the biggest essentials you need to pay attention to.

What to Expect from Your Brand New Flat?

Every new flat owner in Singapore is protected by the one-year Defects Liability Period.

This means that you have the right to report construction issues and defects over the first 12 months of ownership. Over the course of that period, the developer is responsible for the fixing of all kinds of construction shortcomings that the home owner has come across.

It doesn’t matter whether the problem is the result of poor workmanship or the quality of materials utilised in the construction. This is why you need to be proactive in seeking defects and reporting those to the HDB.

You should report such defects to the HDB within seven days of receiving your keys. The following section will give you a checklist you can rely on to examine every single part of the construction without overseeing anything.

BTO Flat Defect Inspection Checklist

Let’s break the process down into several essentials you will need to examine the first time you come to your brand new BTO flat.

Walls and Ceilings

Check for stains, cracks or uneven surfaces on the walls and the ceilings. Discolouration is also important to notice as it could be the sign of water damage.

Windows and Doors

Make sure all windows and doors open and close properly. Inspect the locks and the latches, as well. Doors and windows should also be screwed in properly. There should be no scratches, cracks or other signs of damage. When you put your hand against the window frame you shouldn’t be capable of detecting a draft or air movement.

Plumbing and Electrical Installation

All water taps, light switches and electricity sockets should function. When it comes to plumbing, check for leaks or blockages. Toilets should also flush effortlessly and the shower should function properly. As far as the electrical system goes, check the lights, the fuses and the power sockets. There should be no darkening, materials that seem melted or smoked.

Flooring

Depending on the flooring material, make sure there are no creaks or elements that move when you walk (for example, tiles that have not been adhered properly). Look for discolouration, chipping or scratches. Also, make sure there’s no hollow or unusual sound when you’re walking around.

Stuff to Bring Along

You may want to bring a couple of essential items to that first inspection.

A camera is a good choice to document the damage. You should also bring a notepad and a pen to draft some notes as you go through room to room and examine the property.

Some other tools and supplies that could come in handy during the identification of defects include a measuring tape, flashlight, a level, a phone charger you can use to test the electrical outlets, a ladder, wet wipes and tissues and cleaning materials.

Understand the fact that some defects will be concealed and you’ll have to look around, even in unusual places. That’s why having a ladder and some cleaning supplies could help you reach difficult spots and reveal surfaces that wouldn’t be typically visible.

Take your time and come up with a defect inspection methodology. You can break the process down over the course of two to three days so that you can maintain laser-sharp focus.

A Few Additional BTO Flat Inspection Tips

Do a quick walk-around first and photograph anything that seems interesting, unusual or out of place. Examining these photographs later on will give you a better idea about what to pay attention to the second time around.

If you don’t know where to look or how to assess your property, do seek professional assistance. Such a consultation can save you time and money in the long-run.

Remember that you have seven days to report those initial defects to the HDB. When you do, the Building Service Centre (BSC) will arrange for the defects to be examined by a qualified contractor and fixed.

Depending on how serious the issue is, rectification work can take a few days to a few weeks. When the appointed contractor comes over, you’ll get a chance to ask questions about the process.

Keep in mind that HDB will not cover issues that come to the surface after you carry out your own renovation. This is the main reason why cataloguing defects has to happen before you engage in any other property upgrade processes.

Getting to see your brand new flat for the first time will be exciting but do try to maintain a practical mindset. If you need some professional help to accomplish the goal, we’re here for you! Contact the Home Guide team and let us know how we can assist you with the interior design and renovation of your brand new BTO flat (or check out our promo packages to save some money!).

How to Create a Mood Board Like an Interior Designer on Your Own

How to Create a Mood Board Like an Interior Designer on Your Own

Singapore interior design professionals communicate ideas and concepts with their clients in more than one way. While digital technologies have contributed to some pretty impressive and innovative presentations, one traditional approach when brainstorming for a new home interior design to share is still around. This approach consists of the good, old mood board.

A mood board is a kind of visual presentation that features samples of objects, colours or textures. It can be executed on numerous different topics, including home décor.

If you’re racking your brain for an example of a mood board, you can often see such presentations in interior design, beauty and fashion magazines.

Planning a home renovation project while we are still in phase 1 of the circuit breaker on your own can benefit from the creation of a mood board. It will give you the visual and the focal point needed to anchor your ideas and put together a consistent, cohesive presentation.

So, what does it take to put together a mood board that’s reminiscent of what a professional would accomplish? Here are some of the most important rules and tips to follow.

Choose a Style or a Theme

The primary purpose of the mood board is to give you a visual representation of different items, textures and colours working together.

In the world of interior design, choices, styles and themes are abound.

Unless you pick one theme that you’re going to base your mood board on, you’ll end up with a hodgepodge that’s heavily disjointed.

So choose an interior design style or a theme (for example – a nautical theme) that the elements featured on the mood board will all belong to. When you have such a starting point, you can explore multiple possibilities that can be harmonious with each other.

Formatting and the Arrangement of Visuals Matter

To make your interior design mood board look professional, you’ll need to follow a couple of simple formatting and arrangement rules.

For a start, if you’re going to feature a lot of colour, select a white background. It will help the different pieces pop.

Putting together a colour chart is also a good idea before you even get started. Feature the main and the complementary colours in small rectangles on the side of the mood board.

Next comes product grouping.

Try to group larger items like sofas, chairs and tables together. Select images that are front-facing and that reveal as much of the respective item as possible.

For smaller items, increase their size to maximise visibility. The visual representations on a mood board do not need to be to scale. If a smaller item features lots of ornaments that will be lost if you keep it tiny, increase the size of that visual alone in comparison to everything else featured on the mood board.

If your finalised board looks unbalanced (for example, having more images on one side than on the other), try to rearrange the pieces creatively or add a few more items to the mix.

Do Your Research!

The types of visuals and the quality of the images are both very important.

You need to do your research if you want a professional quality, highly useful mood board.

That process should start long before you start putting the mood board together.

Browse through Pinterest and Instagram and save all of the images that you like and may eventually use later on. You can have several different folders that you add options to – furniture, textiles, decorations, art, etc.

The websites of producers can also give you access to product catalogues and high-quality images. Do explore many different visuals. Check out the angles and the information each picture provides. It’s best to stick to photos that feature a white background and the item of interest alone rather than in combination with other pieces.

Go Old-School and Create a Physical Mood Board!

If you’re not that good when it comes to using image processing software, you can go really old school with the creation of your mood board.

Some white cardboard, interior design magazines, glue and scissors will give you all of the essential elements.

When putting together a physical mood board, the quality of the visuals you choose is even more important because you cannot do image adjustment and editing. You cannot change the scale, the size and the colour balance. Hence, you should go through enough magazines to discover the exact images representative of your vision.

An old-school physical mood board can feature additional materials like colour samples, fabric swatches, paint chips and tile samples. As a result, you can benefit from a much more thorough and realistic representation of the interior design change you want to introduce in your home.

Once you have all of these pieces together, you can play with the arrangement of your board. Don’t hurry to attach anything permanently before you experiment with a couple of different layouts.

A good mood board features only items you love and giving your interior designer such a presentation can really help for the realisation of your vision. So don’t hurry, enjoy the research and have fun while putting a mood board together.

If you need some assistance or you already have a mood board that you’d like to share with a professional, don’t hesitate to contact us. If not, check out our portfolio for some inspiration. We’re looking forward to learning more about your idea and executing it in your home, your office or your retail space.

Home Interior Design Trends in a Post-Covid-19 World

Home Interior Design Trends in a Post-Covid-19 World

Covid-19 changed so much. We’re now spending more time at home than ever before and most of us are also working from home. We’re also employing brand new digital technologies to stay in touch with others and feel connected.

The effect of the pandemic will likely be experienced for long periods of time. According to interior design professionals, this field will also be affected. So, how has the coronavirus pandemic changed home interior design as well as office interior design and decor? Will these changes be lasting ones?

Let’s check out a few of the important new interior design trends right now.

Working from Home Becoming the New Normal

if there’s a positive thing to come out of the entire Covid-19 ordeal, it’s that entire industries have discovered how feasible and practical working from home is.

As a result, more residential property owners than ever before will look for a home office to be incorporated in their flat when a Singapore interior design company is hired.

Bridging the gap between personal and professional spaces is not easy. The home environment comes with specific challenges (noise, distractions, family members walking in and out) that need to be overcome through the selection of the right design concept. Good materials like soundproofing options will also have to be employed.

Comfortable ergonomic furniture, décor that aims to boost creativity and natural light are all essentials to feature in a home office. And interior design professionals should definitely prepare to work on more such projects in the future.

Health-Conscious Interior Design

Covid-19 has exposed many vulnerabilities, especially when it comes to the safety of both residential and commercial spaces.

Such viral outbreaks occur periodically, which is why many people are anticipated to start putting a lot of emphasis on health-conscious interior design from now on.

Proper ventilation and air circulation, surfaces that are easy to clean and sanitise, air filtration systems and the use of germ-resistant or antimicrobial materials will potentially turn in a prominent interior design trend for the future.

Smart bathroom solutions like automatic toilets and self-cleaning faucets have been in high demand for some time and chances are that they’ll become even more sought-after in the end of the pandemic.

Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions

IoT solutions can make home interior design a lot smarter and safer for vulnerable groups of people like the elderly.

The introduction of IoT in interior design allows for the automation of many home design functions. In addition, such solutions can be used to monitor the well-being of house inhabitants and alert someone of an emergency.

Internet of things can automate just about every aspect of the home experience. From temperature and light control to systems that can check a person’s vitals, thee are becoming more affordable and more essential in today’s world.

There are already buildings that incorporate temperature-sensitive cameras at the entrance that alert inhabitants of someone having a fever and trying to enter the building. Just imagine how these technologies can be expanded in the future to offer better, more integrated and much more health-conscious automatic solutions.

New Spaces for New At-Home Activities

Choosing the right room and materials for a cinema room

Most of the world had to spend months at home while lockdown and quarantine measures lasted. These measures forced people to rediscover their living spaces and find new opportunities for self-entertainment.

As a result, various kinds of new spaces have emerged.

Some interior design professionals predict that homes of the future will have a small pantry area where online shopping purchases can be dropped off and sanitised before they’re entered into the residential space.

But that’s not the only potentially big change.

How often will we be going to the cinema from now forward? To concerts or sports events attended by thousands of people?

The rise of the home cinema and entertainment corners is imminent, especially for more vulnerable social groups that will still need to protect themselves after the pandemic is over. New technologies make it possible to bring just about every audio-visual experience to the flat. The same applies to athletic and sports activities that can be practiced indoor without spending a fortune on equipment or supplies.

A Focus on Mental Health

It’s a well-known fact that many people have had a hard time during social distancing.

Lockdown measures contributed to loneliness, feelings of isolation and even depression.

Interior design can serve as a source of comfort, helping many deal with the negative consequences of living alone or having to spend prolonged periods of time without physical contact with other individuals.

Designers in Singapore will need to be more conscious of mental health when working on projects than ever before.

Lots of natural light, bright cheerful colours and greenery can all be used to make a home environment more cheerful, inspiring and optimistic. The same applies to the use of art, natural materials like wood and funky textiles.

Sound and acoustics can also have an effect on mental health and such choices should never be made by default.

You can use some of the lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic to transform your living and work spaces. Having the right interior design team to partner up with on the execution of such projects will be imperative to bring your vision to reality.

Home Guide is here to offer assistance, guide you and help you fine-tune your post-Covid-19 interior design concept. We’re eager to learn a bit more about what you’re looking for. Don’t hesitate to contact us by mail or via WhatsApp to get the process started.

Singapore Renovation and Construction Sectors Slowly Going Back to Normal

Singapore Renovation and Construction Sectors Slowly Going Back to Normal

Singapore is getting ready to exit the circuit breaker period that was enforced after the spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the globe. As a part of the previously introduced measures, construction and renovation projects were discontinued to ensure the safety and wellbeing of workers.

On May 29, 2020, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) issued a press release that announced a gradual return to normal operations.

August BTO Flats Sales Exercise Announced

HDB announced that it will be resuming customer service and operations. Construction activities are also anticipated to pick up in an attempt to compensate for the slowdown over the previous months.

As a part of the circuit breaker measures, a BTO exercise that was initially scheduled for May will be combined with the August exercise.

The August exercise will feature a cumulative number of 7,800 BTO flats in Ang Mo Kio, Choa Chu Kang, Bishan, Geylang, Tampines, Tengah, Pasir Ris and Woodlands. HDB has announced that an additional exercise of 5,700 flats in Bishan, Tampines, Tengah, Sembawang and Toa Payoh will be launched in November 2020.

Properties in Choa Chu Kang, Tengah and Tampines North currently have shorter waiting lists, HDB announced.

HDB Phased Service Resumption

In the announcement, HDB reported that it will gradually resume its customer-oriented activities and operations.

According to the latest Singapore Government announcement, the circuit breaker period will come to an end on June 1. Economic and business operations are anticipated to start and go back to normal starting June 2.

Services that HDB will resume offering to customers include the booking of flats, key collection for new apartments and rental properties, lease agreement signing, transfer of flat ownership, financial counseling and completion of resale transactions.

Starting June 8, a couple of additional services will become available. These include signing of tenancy documents and the issuing of keys for commercial properties.

The HDB Hub and branches will be servicing customers strictly by appointment starting June 2. Additional information will be provided as time progresses and measures become even more relaxed in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The HDB e-appointment system is currently non-operational. Appointments will be scheduled by HDB officers who will contact customers directly. Services that will be available via such appointments include housing inspections for ongoing resale transactions and critical maintenance work.

Safe distancing and the use of personal protection remain requirements for those who plan to visit the HDB Hub and branches. Additional information about the measures can be found on the official HDB website.

Finally, construction work will also resume starting June 2. The time-sensitive and critical projects will be prioritised, after which the construction of other projects will also be launched.

All building contractors and professionals involved in such processes will have to follow safety guidelines and personal hygiene measures. The full list of requirements is available under the Building and Construction Authority’s Covid-Safe Restart Criteria.

Whenever project completion dates are affected by the circuit breaker period, customers will be informed about the anticipated new timeline.

One thing to keep in mind is that upgrading works cannot be resumed at the time being. According to the HDB, measures are being considered to expand the range of permitted activities as soon as possible. Specific dates have not been announced yet, however.

What the New Announcements Mean for Singaporeans

As an individual, you may be wondering how these announcements affect you.

For a start, you can resume planning your application for a new flat or working on a project for the interior design and renovation of your brand new property once it becomes available. As already mentioned, the circuit breaker period provided perfect opportunities for renovation planning.

One final thing that may be important for you is that HDB announced several kinds of financial assistance packages and rebates in the aftermath of the circuit breaker period.

Tenants will now be provided with an opportunity to make rental payments via instalments. Rent reduction for financially-disadvantaged tenants will also be considered.

Late payment charges on rent have been suspended for the months from April to June 2020. The Ministry of Social and Family Development’s Social Service Office for ComCare will be the one to review these cases and appoint an appropriate financial assistance package.

Flat owners who cannot service their HDB loan will have loan instalments either deferred or reduced for a period of six months. Mortgage loan tenures could also be extended to help the property owner’s financial situation.

Rebates for commercial properties will be available for qualifying tenants in HDB shops and social-communal facilities. Options for more flexible payment scheduling could also be discussed with HDB after an appointment.

While the resumption of construction and renovation services will be gradual, chances are that both industries will catch up soon to prevent massive delays.

Being prepared and knowing what you intend to do in the future right now can also help you save time.

Whether you’ll be moving into a new flat or upgrading the one you currently live in, a consultation with interior design professionals can help you kick the process off as soon as possible.

The Home Guide team is ready to listen and help. Contact us by mail or WhatsApp if you want to discuss the specifics of the project that you plan to execute once life in Singapore goes back to normal. check out our BTO interior design and renovation services and packages here as well as our residential portfolio.

Stylish and Practical Bachelor Pad Interior Design Ideas

Stylish and Practical Bachelor Pad Interior Design Ideas

Living on your own gives you a ton of freedom when conceptualising your home space. It’s all about you, your comfort and favourite activities. Choosing the right interior design idea for the flat will depend entirely on your character, the interior design style that resonates the most with you and your budget.

Putting together a spectacular bachelor pad is possible in more than one way. Here are a few fun ideas that will contribute to the complete transformation of your living space.

Showcase Your Art

Anyone who is an art connoisseur can make that the focal point of a bachelor pad.

If you choose a more neutral and subdued overall interior design concept, you’re going to let your art shine. It doesn’t matter if you have paintings, black and white photographs, posters or you’re a graffiti artist. Your home can easily turn into an art gallery or a canvas that will showcase your favourite works in the best light.

In case you own various eclectic items, dedicate one room to each style or get the décor of that particular part of the flat inspired by the specifics of the artistic items you possess and cherish.

Think about Ease of Maintenance

Unless you enjoy scrubbing floors and tiles in your leisure time, it would be best to select an interior design concept that allows for easy and effortless maintenance.

Your home interior designer company in Singapore will help you with this specific. Together, you can examine different materials and surface options that are easy to maintain in an optimal condition.

Industrial-inspired floors, for example, are a nice choice. For a start, industrial interior design carries a ton of masculine energy. That characteristic alone makes it perfect for a bachelor pad. On top of that, industrial designs are simple and sleek. They rely on materials like concrete, metal and rough wood – durable choices that are also easy to clean.

If you want to take the industrial concept a step further and make the flat super cool, do feature at least one exposed brick wall.

Leather and Wood

Speaking of a masculine energy, there are two other materials that have become bachelor pad classics.

A leather and wood combo looks expensive and it also carries a lot of warmth.

Leather is versatile. You can have a large sofa, a chair or even a leather-covered ottoman. It comes in different shades and textures, which creates an added point of visual interest.

The same applies to wood. From nearly black to almost white, from varnished to untreated – you will discover at least one colour and finishing choice that will match the overall bachelor pad concept and work fine with the other design elements.

If you really want some heft and gravity, choose older vintage pieces. Many kinds of old furniture combine leather and wood, giving you original pieces to turn into the focal point of every single room.

Incorporate at Least One Special Space in the Design

Would you like to have a game room with a pool table and a chance to play darts while enjoying a cold beverage with friends?

Do you love making cocktails and sharing your creations with friends alongside the long, marble-covered kitchen island?

If you enjoy a specific kind of activity or you entertain guests often, make sure your flat has at least one space dedicated to your hobby and the things that you like doing.

Today, you can bring nearly any concept to reality. It’s even possible to put together your very own at-home cinema experience without having to spend a suitcase of money on the execution of the project.

Having this one dedicated space allows all the rest of the interior design to maintain its visual consistency while that separate room or corner will maintain a completely different function/ambiance.

Put Some Extra Effort on Your Bedroom

Many men who live alone do not put a ton of emphasis on bedroom design, which is a big mistake.

The bedroom is the place where your body recovers from everyday stress. It’s a place of comfort, relaxation and rejuvenation. As such, it has to be equipped with comfortable furniture, warm décor and functional choices that ensure essentials like optimal ventilation.

Obviously, the bed is the focus of the bedroom. It should be big, comfortable and supportive enough. Think about storage solutions, as well, utilising spaces like the area underneath the bed. Having a walk-in closet can also be a lot of fun, especially if you want to keep your belongings properly organised.

Finally, think about the right lights for your bedroom. At the very minimum, you need a central source of light, a bedside light for reading and some dimmable lights for the creation of a more intimate atmosphere in the bedroom.

Whether you already have some idea for your bachelor pad or you’re just getting started, you need to partner up with interior design professionals who know what they’re doing. A team that has worked on a bachelor pad project or two should be favoured.

Home Guide’s experienced designers are ready to help you out, help you fine-tune your bachelor pad project or start from scratch. We’ll do our best to understand who you are and how you like to live, which will result in the most tailored interior design choices.

Don’t hesitate to check out our residential portfolio for a better idea about our aesthetics and styles of preference. When you’re ready – contact us so that we can get started.

Important Things to Consider When Buying Curtains for Each Room

Important Things to Consider When Buying Curtains for Each Room

Window treatments aren’t just pretty. They do a lot more. Curtains can be used to ensure privacy, to block out the light and even keep heat out of a room. Thus, when doing curtain shopping, you have to go through both practical and aesthetic considerations.

There’s no strict set of rules for curtain buying and most of the decision depends on your preferences. Still, if you don’t know how to choose, the following pointers may come in handy.

Rules for Buying the Right Curtains

As any Singapore home interior designer will tell you, curtains can make or break a room. The colour, the fabric and even the texture have to work together for a beautiful finish of the décor concept.

Choosing the right fabric is probably the most important thing you’ll have to do.

The quality of the fabric will be determining both for the functioning of the curtains and their longevity. A fabric that’s way too heavy will not fold nicely when the curtains are open. Light fabrics will result in a somewhat flimsy appearance when the curtains are closed.

To test fabrics, you can do a couple of simple things. One of the best tests is pleating a larger piece of the fabric. Pinch the fabric together at the top and let it drape at the bottom. The fabric should not flare out when you pinch.

Colour selection is obviously a personal choice but keep in mind that darker tones will fade more due to the effect of the sun.

Most types of curtains are made of linen, cotton or synthetic fabrics like polyester. These have varying degrees of opacity and all of them can be dyed in different colours. Apart from the tone and the pattern, think about the opacity. It’s the one that will give you privacy.

If you want a complete blackout option that will remove all light from the room, velvet would be the best choice for you.

Keeping these guidelines in mind, let’s check out a couple of room-specific curtain selection tips.

Bedroom Curtain Selection

Bedroom curtains need to be the most practical ones. They should ensure both privacy and the complete blocking of light during the night or when you want to have a nap.

Lined and oversized curtains are best if you want a complete blackout effect. Sheer drapes are typically not a good choice for the bedroom, unless you need them there for purely decorative purposes. Heavy cotton and velvet are the best choices for your bedroom because of the heftiness and the richness of such fabrics.

It’s also a good idea to focus on the way that the curtains will be operated.

Hand-drawn curtains are most common and most affordable. To open or close those, however, you’ll have to go out of bed or you’ll need to crawl in bed in complete darkness. Motorised systems are readily available and these can be controlled remotely. To get such curtains for your bedroom, however, you’ll need to be prepared to spend more.

Living Room Curtains

Bedok Court Home Interior Design Singapore Living Room Sofa

The perfect living room curtains can be a bit more lightweight and decorative than those used in the bedroom but you still need proper function.

Medium fabric thickness is a good choice for the living room. It will ensure privacy while still letting natural light filter through the drapes. If you plan to enjoy a home cinema experience in the living room, you’ll obviously need thicker or even blackout curtains.

The type of curtain and the style are up to you. There are many possibilities to choose among – euro pleat drapes, grommet drapes, inverted pleat, pinch pleat, etc. Do a bit of research and check out visual boards like Pinterest to gain a better idea about the nature of each style.

Finally, choosing a colour is entirely up to you. It can complement the main colour scheme in the living room or you can select a contrasting tone for a bit of visual playfulness.

Kid’s Room Curtains

home interior design ocean park kids bedroom

This is where you can get really playful and whimsical with curtain selection.

Apart from the other considerations mentioned above, you have one very important aspect of curtain selection that you’ll have to account for in a kid’s room – safety.

Young kids can pull on the curtains or the cord used for opening and closing. If this happens often, the top rod may come undone. Hence, you should choose a really sturdy rod and an installation system that will keep the drapes in place.

Curtains for a child’s room should also be free from embellishments and decorative elements that could come undone – lace trimmings, beads, crystals, etc. these pose a choking hazard and are not suitable for the room of a very young person.

Other than that, you’ll simply have to select the colour and design you like the most. There are so many beautiful, fairy-tale inspired and creative choices that you’ll probably find it difficult to come up with just one choice.

Right now, you can start to conceptualise your home décor to execute after the end of the circuit breaker period. Alternatively, you can benefit from online shopping opportunities – many home décor spots have large collections of curtains that can be delivered right to your home.

If you are doing online shopping for curtains, make sure that you’ve properly measured the window or the current curtain set you’re using. Right sizing is very, very important and if you make a mistake you’ll have to pay for the additional alteration of the curtains you’ve chosen.

Do you need some additional inspiration to identify the right drapes for your home? Please check out our residential portfolio for a few beautiful concepts we’ve executed on behalf of our clients. Alternatively, reach out on WhatsApp and we’ll answer your questions as soon as possible.

Home Interior Design Tips: 4 Study Area Ideas to Embrace and Execute

Home Interior Design Tips: 4 Study Area Ideas to Embrace and Execute

We have all learned a number of important lessons during the circuit breaker period. We have had to adapt to working from home, getting our kids to do their lessons at home and communicating with others remotely.  While we’re currently adapting to the situation, chances are that most don’t have optimal conditions for conducting such important activities from home.

If your flat is lacking a good study area, chances are that you’re working from the living room or kitchen. While such a solution can work for a short period of time, it’s not optimal if work from home or a part-time telecommuting approach becomes the new normal.

The time is perfect for conceptualising the home improvements you can execute in the near future.

A good study area is definitely something you should envision for your home. Do you need some ideas to get started? We have a few fun concepts you can adapt and execute as soon as the circuit breaker measures are lifted.

Make It Clean and Minimal

Numerous studies suggest that clutter is the biggest enemy of productivity. Not only that, it causes stress and it can also reduce creativity and coming up with innovative problem solving ideas.

A good study area needs to be functional rather than cluttered.

Think of the essentials required to do your job. These are the ones to emphasise.

Check out this Home Guide study area example to gain a better idea of the concept.

As you can see, the space features a desk for two people, storage and a spot for relaxation. It’s clean, it can breathe and it’s definitely not boring.

Any interior design concept should be edited after you come up with the original idea. Chances are that at least a few elements can be taken out of the equation for a more streamlined and flowing décor.

Let Nature In

Many study area designs suffer from one and the same problem – they’re too sterile. The minimalist approach mentioned above can deprive the space of personality and colour, especially when the idea isn’t executed by professionals.

To combat the eventual blandness of living room design, let as much nature in as possible.

Placing the study area close to a window will immediately open up the space and enable the working individual to enjoy the view and the natural light. Plants can also be featured because their lush green leaves will counter the neutral tones that are most commonly utilised in study area design.

Transform a Nook You’re Not Using Currently

Even if you live in a space-starved small space, you can still benefit from a fully-functional study area. Accomplishing the goal is all about proper planning and making sure the dimensions of the concept correspond to the space that you have available.

Check out these Home Guide projects that make use of limited space to put together a great little study area.

In essence, you need one desk and a storage unit for your files and work materials.

Even if you don’t have an entire room section available, you can utilise smart or foldable furniture to “pull out” the study area whenever you need it and tuck the furniture back in when you’re done. Many kinds of pieces can be custom-made to give you an optimal opportunity for making the most of small unused spaces.

Make It Reflective of Your Personality

While most study areas are clean and minimalist, you can still put together a design that’s reflective of your personality and understanding of home décor.

A study area can be futuristic, artistic, industrial or anything else you want it to be. Just let your home interior design team know what you’re looking for.

Check out this beautiful study area that carries a distinctive vibe and personality:

It combines masculine elements with some interesting furniture and a few statement accessories to add colour. While the clean lines and the functional appeal of the study area are maintained, the design is a bit more playful than what you’d typically imagine for the space. And that’s more than ok, as long as the idea serves the home owner’s needs well.

Here’s another beautiful idea that looks modern and exciting:

As you can see, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to study area creation.

You don’t have to let go of your personality or sense of aesthetics for the purpose of functionality. The two can work really well together if you know what you’re trying to accomplish, you have a clear vision and partner up with someone who can bring that vision to reality.

So, take your time to explore study area designs and pin the ones that you enjoy. Finding inspiration in projects that have already been executed can simplify the task of determining exactly what you want.

If you need a few other great examples of what a modern study area should look like, we have a few other suggestions for you:

Finding Out What Your Interior Design Style Is

Finding Out What Your Interior Design Style Is

Should you go modern or traditional with your home renovation? Should you keep it clean and minimalist or should you feature a ton of eclectic art?

Choosing the interior design style that’s just right for you isn’t a simple task. You may feel drawn to several opportunities without being capable of determining the one that you like the most.

Knowing what your interior design style is before getting started with work will give you an outcome that’s timeless and that you’ll be satisfied with today and tomorrow. Here are a couple of important considerations that will help you determine exactly what you’re drawn to.

Ask a Few Important Questions

Answering a few key questions will help you determine exactly what your interior design style is.

The first question is do you appreciate the past or the present? If you like the past, you’ll probably enjoy rustic, art deco or boho interior design solutions. These are more ornate, more traditional and richer than modern execution.

If you like the present, you’ll be drawn to minimalist, Scandinavian, industrial and maybe even futuristic designs. These are clean, uncluttered, functional and hi-tech. There aren’t too many decorative pieces and materials like metal and glass will dominate.

You’ll also need to answer the question do you agree with the less is more philosophy? If you do, minimalism is definitely your choice. If not, go a more traditional and rustic route to enjoy a more colourful and elaborate home décor.

Do you like bright colours or pastels? Do you like fun tones or neutrals? Are you a city or a country kind of person? What kinds of homes have you lived in up till now? These are a few additional questions that will help you make the divide between traditional and modern. When you make that distinction, you can start exploring the individual interior designs that fall under either category.

What’s Your Lifestyle?

One thing that many people get wrong is that interior design choices are purely decorative. This isn’t the case. Interior design is first and foremost functional. It should be chosen to support and amplify your lifestyle.

So, what’s your lifestyle?

Are you an active person who likes dancing, exercising and chasing the kids around? Are you an art and music lover? Do you enjoy cooking delicious meals in your spare time? Are you a fan of having guests over and entertaining these people? Or maybe you prefer a bit of solitude and comfort after a busy day at the office?

Each interior design style and choice is suited to a specific lifestyle. A minimalist home, for example, will appeal to the active individual who likes having a ton of space for fun things to do. If you’re the kind of person who prefers solitude and peacefulness, a more traditional design will be good as it will make your home very, very cosy.

Check Out Your Closet

Fashion and interior design aren’t the same but checking out your closet can reveal a couple of interesting things.

Are your clothes predominantly functional? Do you like serious outfits that make you feel in control during the workday? Are you opting mainly for neutrals or is your wardrobe colourful and bright?

Your choice of clothes and accessories reveals a lot about the aesthetics that you’re drawn to. Some people like practical outfits, some people like elaborate pieces that look good. Some like a combination of the two. What kind of person are you?

Find Some Inspiration

You can judge your immediate response to interior design concepts by examining examples of different décors and observing your raw reaction to those.

Buying a couple of interior design magazines will be a nice starting place.

You’ll also come across dozens of interior design boards on social media like Pinterest. Check out as many pictures as you can. Save the ones that you like the most. Once you have a gallery, go through all of the images that you’ve favourited. Do they have something in common? Chances are that you’ll see a very clear pattern.

Do Interior Design Style Quizzes Work?

If you do a Google search on “how to find out what my interior design style is,” you will come across dozens of online quizzes.

These are supposed to ask a couple of important questions and based on your answers, they’ll let you know what your interior design style is.

To test these opportunities out, we did a couple of different quizzes selected at random. Most of them asked pretty generic questions. There were also pictures to look at and choose a favourite out of. Each of the quizzes told us that we had a different interior design style, ranging from Scandinavian to art deco.

Most of these quizzes are created to capture your email address and to eventually offer you some kind of service. You’re much better figuring out what your interior design style is on your own. The questions are pretty bland and the outcomes are generic so you can’t really count on such information.

If you are considering a new interior design and renovation of your home or an upgrade of the interior, don’t rush the process (especially if you’re going through it for the very first time).

Explore your options and gauge how you feel about each one of them. There are no right or wrong answers here. Each person is drawn to a specific visual or decorative style. Finding yours is a matter of self-awareness and a bit of conscious exploration.

Do you need some help finding out exactly what’s good for you? Home Guide’s team can help! Reach out on WhatsApp, use our contact form or use our social media to get in touch. We’d be more than happy to consult you and help you determine exactly what’s going to work for your home.

Is Interior Design Just About Arranging Pretty Things?

Is Interior Design Just About Arranging Pretty Things?

It’s very common for the work of interior designers and decorators to be misunderstood or underestimated. So many people view it as simply just arranging or buying items to make a beautiful home or office.

Interior design and decor projects, however, encompass a lot more.

They transform the spaces that we spend the most time in, our safe havens from the world. Hence, the right home arrangement can have a much more profound impact than just make the home owner feel happy with how cool and modern their flat is.

Interior Design and the Human Psyche

Home décor affects many aspects of your existence, including your psychological wellbeing.

Objects, elements and colours inside one’s house have been studied to have a very powerful effect on mood. Colours, in particular, can easily generate a certain emotional response or amplify the state of mind that we’re currently in.

The connection between colour and psychology is so strong that it has even entered our vocabularies –feeling blue, green with envy, looking at the world through pink glasses are just three popular examples. Interior designers understand these facts and they most definitely take the psychology of colour in consideration when conceptualising a project for a certain client.

The way the space is lit is another major element that can make a person feel happy and content or depressed and even lonely.

Letting in a lot of natural light allows for the creation of a cheerful, happy and inviting atmosphere. Making the most of natural light is an interior design rule 101. When this isn’t possible, interior designers rely on multiple tricks and approaches to illuminate a space properly and give it the cheerfulness that only sunlight can bring to the table.

But the psychological effect of interior design is much more profound than these two common and easily understandable examples.

In a study published in InformeDesign magazine, respondents were monitored to determine how ceiling height influenced their mood and whether a more cramped space let to the feelings of confinement.

Researchers found out that ceiling height did indeed impact an individual’s self-perception of freedom. The sub-conscious perception of interior space and one’s home environment is heavily connected to a person’s wellbeing. Those living in flats with higher ceiling were more carefree, more creative and much happier than people living in flats with low hanging ceilings.

Textures and shapes inside the house have been recognised to have a similar powerful impact, as well.

A shaggy, fluffy rug immediately increases the sense of comfort. A wall clock, metal elements and vases make a person feel strong, empowered and protected in their living space.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when planning a home interior design  and décor project. It’s not just pretty or trendy. It’s also capable of making individuals healthier and happier. Hence, interior designers have to put a lot of effort and thought in their concepts as their work can impact lives.

Interior Designers Study People

To give a client exactly what they’re looking for, an interior designer will first have to study the person.

That’s the depth and length of research that such professionals have to go through.

The extensiveness of research and preliminary work are outlined perfectly in a Tedx Talk by interior design professional Phoebe Oldrey.

Oldrey dissects the way that society views her work and the impact that such notions have had on her as a professional.

Based on feedback received, Oldrey started wondering about everything that interior design encompasses.

Eventually, she reached the conclusion that interior design is first and foremost a study of people before it turns into a study of a living space.

The psychological notions of space, colour and texture are easy to understand. Each individual, however, has their specific response to the living space. What some people will find soothing, others may consider agitating. This is one of the primary reasons why a preliminary consultation plays such a crucial role when it comes to the personalisation of the execution.

An interior designer will have to “study” their clients emotionally, physically and even visually to understand their preferences and their needs before moving on to actually making a home “pretty.”

We’re surrounded by design and we respond to it in a highly unique way. When design is good and tailored to meet personal needs, it blends well into one’s environment. Good design isn’t noticeable. Bad design, on the other hand, sticks out like a sore thumb. This and many other interesting design notions can be explored by going through Oldrey’s entire Tedx Talk.

Our View on Design and Human Nature

As a professional home interior designer company, we strongly agree that our work encompasses so much more than making a space pretty.

Good interior design promotes relaxation. It makes people feel happy and eager to spend more time in their home. It allows families to connect, it gives busy professionals the opportunity to unwind and it even supports recovery after intense experiences in the outside world.

We are amazed by the transformative power of the work that we do. This is why we spend a lot of time trying to understand our clients, their aesthetics and their lifestyles. The diversity of the Home Guide residential portfolio stands as evidence of the claim.

We can help you make your home more than just pretty. We can turn it in an actual reflection of your personality and your lifestyle. Contact us or use our WhatsApp to reach out and discuss the specifics of the ideal home that you’ve already envisioned in your mind.

Popular Home Interior Design Styles You Have to Know

Popular Home Interior Design Styles You Have to Know

Do you want a bright, clean, modern and minimalist home? If so, minimalism and Scandinavian interior design are the two choices that best match your needs. Do you want something a bit more ornate, artistic and inspiring? You should definitely check out French country or Boho interiors.

Each interior design style has been inspired by traditions, artistic movements and even cultural specifics. Let’s explore what some of the most prominent design trends are and how these differ from each other.

Modern vs. Traditional

Contemporary Interior Design at The Serenade by Home Guide
Contemporary Interior Design at The Serenade by Home Guide

Contemporary interior design is simple and functional. In time, design has evolved to be more practical and less decorative. This is the main reason why some of the newest trends are characterised by minimalism, ergonomic design and streamlined appearances.

These characteristics don’t indicate an interior design style that’s completely devoid of comfort and cosiness. On the contrary. Minimal homes and contemporary décors can still promote relaxation and enjoyment. Form and function work together to create a lovely space that the home owner would love to spend a lot of time in.

Such designs come in stark contrast with traditional choices like maximalist interior design. Maximalism is colourful, ornate, focused on art and extensive comfort. It’s often described as rich, glamorous and luxurious and it appeals a lot to people who aren’t drawn to the more sterile appearance of minimal homes.

The most fun aspect of interior design is that trends have emerged in between these two extremities. Transitional interior design, for example, is a lovely mix of modern and traditional. It’s a hybrid that brings together the best of both worlds and as such, it tends to appeal to many people.

residential interior design singapore echelon
A more maximalist style interior design at the echelon by Home Guide Interior Design

Country or Regional Interior Design

A 3D model of a Scandinavian style home
A 3D model of a Scandinavian style home

Other interior design trends have been inspired by specific countries or regions of the world.

Adopting this approach to redecorating your home allows for a very specific execution that embraces cultural and even geographic specifics of certain countries.

Scandinavian design is probably the most prominent example of such a trend. Scandinavian homes are clean and functional. They’re not minimalist per se. Rather, it involves a high level of craftsmanship and choices that aim to optimise the living conditions (for example, allowing as much natural light into the flat as possible).

This interior design style is probably one of the most recognisable and beloved across the world because it can be modified to living conditions regardless of the location.

Mediterranean design is another popular regional choice that is breezy, easy going and reminiscent of a seaside holiday.

This type of interior is very common for Italy, Greece and the southern coast of Spain. It’s light and relaxed. It embraces nature through colour and material selection. Textures, fabrics and regional motifs also boost the authenticity of the décor, depending on the Mediterranean region that you’d like to emulate in your home.

French country interiors are elegant and a bit rustic. They bring the elegance and the sunshine of the French countryside through the selection of the right materials, furniture, colours and textures. French country can easily transform your flat into a chateaux or a Provençal country house.

Again, there are many fun choices that merge and bring together different aspects of regional interiors.

Japandi interior design is probably one of the most fun and exciting examples of such a hybrid. It’s a mix of Japanese and Scandinavian interior design. These may seem like two worlds that don’t mix but if you take a look at actual Japandi homes, you’ll find out that the distinctive concepts can work really well together.

Mediterranean-style interior design
Mediterranean-style interior design

Art and Cultural Movement-Inspired Interior Design

Art Decor Interior Design Style
Art Decor Interior Design Style

Finally, some of the most popular interior design styles today have been inspired by art and cultural movements throughout history.

Art Deco is a prime example. It came into existence in the 1920s to celebrate glamour, luxury and even decadence. Its appeal has remained timeless and art deco is as prominent today as it was in the wake of the style.

Another style that originated in the 19th century is bohemian or boho interior design. Boho chic is eclectic, a mishmash of beautiful items that wouldn’t necessarily belong together. When created bya skilled interior designer, however, boho interiors bring harmony and visual appeal to the table.

Then we have choices like industrial interior design that was inspired by the Industrial Revolution and the factories of the early 20th century. Concrete, iron, stainless steel and exposed bricks work together to give the space a very distinctive vibe that some people truly love.

And these are just some of the possibilities!

Obviously, you can mix and match all of the styles that you enjoy when coming up with an idea for your home or your office. Interior design today is very eclectic and inclusive. Many rules can be broken, resulting in unique outcomes that make the best possible use of the space.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you don’t know where to get started with the selection of the right interior design concept, check out the Home Guide residential and office portfolios. They highlight many of the styles and trends mentioned above. In fact, some of the projects we’ve worked on through the years merge multiple elements together to give property owners exquisite mixes.

Your next step would be to get in touch with us and discuss the specifics of the execution you have in mind. Use the information on the Contact Us page or reach us on WhatsApp to share your ideas, ask questions and refine the original concept you have in mind. We’d be more than happy to become a part of your brand new home interior design and renovation project.