Hiring interior designers or a home stylist in Singapore does not have to be expensive and there are plenty of options. If you’re renting here and can’t carry out too many interior design changes there are still ways to make a huge difference to the look and feel of your home. Here are some expert tips that will help, from looking at furniture and accessories’ schemes and placement to major renovations. You can get in touch to ask them any questions and get an idea of costs.
Arete Culture – Caroline Chin-Geyler
Who should consider using a home stylist?
Anybody who appreciates coming home to a beautiful, comfortable, functional home, but doesn’t necessarily have the time, expertise nor interest to DIY it themselves. We have worked with renters, homeowners and newcomers to Singapore, and are proud to have seen some of our clients go from living in their first apartments to moving into their second or third home with their growing families!
Aren’t interior designers just for the rich and famous?
Yes and no. Hiring an interior designer or home stylist can be an investment, but that doesn’t mean it’s only for the affluent, because we all deserve to come home to a functional, beautiful living space!
Arete Culture has developed streamlined styling services in addition to our complete home makeovers. Our Magical Homes package is designed for homeowners and renters who want to give their space a much-needed makeover. It focuses on two main spaces: the living and dining room, with a complimentary balcony makeover, or the living and master bedroom, with a complimentary ensuite makeover. Valued at $10,000, it includes a trifecta of interior styling tools: interior styling, a suite of accessories and key pieces from Arete Culture (think lighting, textiles and décor), and furniture sourcing from Arete Culture and third-party vendors.
Do you have some great tips for decorating a rental that are easily reversible?
You can’t change the floor itself so laying down an area rug can add softness and help visually delineate your space. Consider swapping out overhead ceiling lights with a statement pendant light; or you could use table lamps and statement floor lamps, which are my ‘go-tos’. Functional worktop lighting hidden under kitchen cabinets is an inexpensive option.
Most landlords won’t object to a fresh paint job, but if you can’t paint your space, opt for furniture pieces in a deeper colour palette so you avoid the white-on-white effect. Blinds and curtains make such a big difference to a room – and also to your quality of sleep in the bedroom!
What do you love about your job?
I love helping our clients understand that the homes we live in have such a big impact on our lives. Having a well-designed home doesn’t just mean it looks beautiful, but that it functions the way you need it and can transform the mood and wellbeing of our clients. I particularly love moments when clients open the door to their freshly made over space – knowing we have helped them bring their dream space to life is something I will never take for granted.
Desace Studio – Kenneth Lim
How can Desace help our readers with their interior design?
We not only have origins as a furniture provider and wholesale supplier, but also plenty of experience working on large hotel projects. This translates down to our residential work, where we specialise in luxurious concepts. Our styles can range from modern contemporary and Scandinavian to glamourous and luxe.
Desace also offers a direct customer service in bespoke furniture. The company can cater for any design or size and has a huge range of materials to choose from. Customers can find a furniture piece that alights perfectly with their desired room without compromising on the design, colour and comfort level.
Aren’t interior designers and home stylists just for the rich and famous?
Not necessarily. There are of course big-budget projects that require significant work from interior designers, particularly structural. But we also work with clients in a cost-effective and simple way, for example customising specific pieces of furniture such as a sofa, headboard or bed panels. Re-covering is a great way to keep a pre-loved piece alive, and by thinking in these ways we can work with clients who may not want to spend a lot of money on brand new pieces, but still make a difference.
How does a client know they will work well with an interior designer?
Hiring an interior designer or home stylist is like embarking on a relationship, you have to make sure the chemistry is there. Always trust your gut instinct when you meet with them. Make sure your thoughts and opinions are heard and check their portfolio. Ask friends for recommendations and check reviews.
Open communication is key. Your chosen designer should not only be open to listening to your suggestions, but also explain to you why some ideas work and others do not. Honesty is always the best policy!
Interior Design Journey – Priya Naik
How can Interior Design Journey help expats at different stages of their Singapore journey?
If you’ve just arrived, we can help you settle quickly into your first home. Whether you need new furnishings or to incorporate your own furniture, we can offer some friendly advice.
If you’re moving within the red dot, we can help arrange your existing furniture in a bigger or smaller new space. We can also source additional items or consolidate current items to ensure you settle in smoothly.
If you’re a seasoned expat taking the step of purchasing your own property, we can ease your pressures and help you with all aspects of interior design to create your dream home.
I like to think my own international experience, as well as moving to and within Singapore, puts me in a good position to help clients as I’ve walked in their shoes. I’ve experienced renting an empty apartment with limited or no furniture, moving to a new space and needing to re-style, and purchasing and re-designing my own home.
Can you pass on your top tip for decorating a rental without annoying your landlord?
Choosing the right loose furnishings such as cushions, rugs, accessories and plants can dramatically transform a space instantly.
Aren’t interior designers or home stylists just for the rich and famous?
Not at all, interior designers and home stylists bring a wealth of knowledge and skills that will save you time and money! We can work with clients on all scales of projects from a one-room makeover to a full home decoration or design.
Improving a space does not always mean having to buy new and expensive furniture. Try to upcycle and refurbish any pieces that still work for you. Our services really are for those who may just need a helping hand designing their home to reflect their lifestyle and family needs. We can provide some inspiration to your vision.
What do you love about your job?
Knowing that I am leaving my clients with functional, positive spaces that capture our clients’ personalities is the most rewarding feeling. Many clients have informed us of the wellbeing benefits they have felt after a home makeover, which really makes it worthwhile.
Mara Miri – Geri Archer
How can Mara Miri Interior Design help expats at different stages of their Singapore journey?
We can guide new arrivals with our years of experience and reliable service and can custom-make almost anything. For those moving home, we offer a service to configure and plan the new space, and create custom curtains, lampshades and upholstery. For clients who are more settled, we can provide complete architectural renovations, plans and renders to give your home a new, bright, decorative vibe.
We can offer rental clients a package of $5,000 per room, which includes a mood board, colour recommendations and sourcing for the key furniture pieces. An additional fee can be discussed for curtains, soft furnishings, lighting and accessories. We also offer a daily styling package of $850, to optimise two rooms. This includes one client meeting and a mood board for ideas, for the client to source their own pieces.
Isn’t hiring interior designers for the rich or famous?
Simple affordable options can be achieved by professionals who understand balance, scale and harmony. A good designer can work to a client’s budget. Without a professional eye, clients can make costly mistakes that have the opposite effect of improving their homes, and this applies to the rich and famous too!
What do you love about your job?
The best part of my job is a happy client. I have some clients who have married in their completed homes, which is the priceless, ultimate compliment to my work. I’m passionate about all design and creativity, so I’m really lucky to have a job that is my hobby!
Looking to spruce up your indoor and outdoor spaces? Check out our huge guide to furniture in Singapore !
Or have a look through the keyhole and see into some Readers’ Homes