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A Guide To Building Your Dream Home

Part I: Introduction

Moving into a new home can bring lots of joy, but it can also be a time of uncertainty, especially when it comes to deciding on the decoration and interior design. Many homeowners in Singapore struggle with trying to make their space look its best and reflecting their personal sense of style, all while keeping their budget in check.

When it comes to deciding on the overall look of your home, it is best to lay the groundwork to know the design that you are going with. Here are four common interior design ideas in Singapore to help you get started.

1. Embracing passion

This interior design idea aims to reflect the likes and tastes of homeowners by making their interests a central feature of their home. One such example would be having a feature wall or a floor-to-ceiling bookcase to put your collectables on display. This not only sets the tone of your home, but also gives a spotlight to the singular part of the room.

2. Choosing comfort

It is every person’s dream to have a nice, comfortable home where they can relax and unwind themselves after a long day at work. This interior design makes use of soft furnishings like carpets or rugs, to create a homely feel. Having a good mix of warm and cool colours can also help in accentuating the comfortable atmosphere at home.

3. Breaking out of tradition

Instead of having feature walls or a homely atmosphere, some homeowners tend to prefer an eclectic style. An eclectic interior design brings together carefully-selected pieces of furniture and design to create a high-energy atmosphere. Contrary to the belief that eclectic designs are backed by a happy-go-lucky spirit, there is a balance between layered and collected, busy and distracting. It is ideal for homeowners choosing this design to stick to a neutral colour palette to complement the incorporation of unique elements such as neon lights or different coloured tiles.

4. Keeping it minimalistic

Minimalism is the go-to look for many homes in Singapore these days. The minimalist home design was inspired by the Japanese, focusing on the principle of less is more. People who are looking to keep their homes simple should look for light, muted tones, and furniture with designated storage spaces.

Part II: Useful design tips for kitchen, living, and bedroom

Whether you own a condominium or an HDB flat, there is no denying that the size of houses in Singapore is getting smaller. So here are some interior design tips that we have to help you create a practical space for your home.

2.1 Kitchen

Your kitchen allows you to perform a wide variety of everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, eating, and even entertaining. When it comes to designing your kitchen, the most important factor to consider is the kitchen work triangle.

 Kitchen Design Singapore

Developed in the early twentieth century, the kitchen work triangle is a theory stating that the three main work areas, specifically the sink, refrigerator, and stove, should form a triangle. The different segments of the triangle represent traffic flow within a kitchen to create a rotational movement between the tasks of cooking (stove), storage (refrigerator), and washing up (the sink). Hence, it is important to not design any external elements such as a kitchen island that may disrupt the flow and create a bottleneck in your work process.

Even though having a kitchen work triangle is not mandatory for all homeowners to follow, it helps many to design a natural flow between workstations, making it especially helpful for homes with a more spacious kitchen.

There are three main kitchen designs in Singapore for HDB flats and condominiums:

1. Galley Layout

Galley Layout

Also known as the corridor kitchen layout, this design consists of a walkway situated between two parallel walls or runs of cabinetry. A typical galley kitchen has two workstations facing each other - one side featuring cooking components, while the other consists of fixtures such as a countertop for prepping and the sink for washing. Not only is this layout ideal for smaller-scale kitchens, but it also

provides an efficient work triangle, allowing you to eliminate wasted steps. A disadvantage of the galley layout is that the design often results in the kitchen looking too small or narrow.

One interior design tip to making your galley kitchen look more spacious is to add bright lighting under the cabinets, and using as much white-coloured furniture as possible. This allows light to bounce off all the white surfaces, ultimately creating the illusion of a bigger space.

L-shaped Kitchen Design

L-shaped kitchens are one of the more classic layouts, with a flexible design that can be adapted to many sizes. In this layout, two adjoining, perpendicular walls or walls of cabinets form an ‘L’ shape. Generally, one side of the wall is dedicated to smaller kitchen tasks such as chopping, with the sink as the main feature, while the other side will host the cooktops. The L-shape is ideal for homeowners looking to have an open concept kitchen; in this case, one wall has a cooktop while the other has the sink. The refrigerator does not necessarily have to be in the L, instead, you can get an island to be placed in the centre of this kitchen design.

Because of its layout, not only does this create an ergonomically efficient triangle for many homeowners in Singapore, it also has room for you to mingle with your loved ones during cooking. With careful planning, you can even have a dining table in the corner for you to enjoy your meals with your guests. While an L-shaped open plan kitchen is an ideal choice for many due to its minimal wall constraints, there are also disadvantages such as the spread of cooking grease and odours throughout your home.

Single wall Kitchen Design

Due to the limited space available in Singapore, kitchen spaces are often small. Thus, having a single-wall kitchen can help solve the space limitation issues that homeowners face. In this layout, kitchen elements are pushed to a single wall, with many work areas being within arm’s reach at most times, allowing for increased workspace efficiency

As the kitchen is limited along one single line, there is not much space for food preparation, and thus kitchens like these are designed more for single cooks. For a better design aesthetic, you can hide your one-wall kitchen areas behind sliding doors, or have moveable islands to provide more storage and workspace.

Now that the kitchen is done, it is time to head out to the living room.

2.2 Living Room

The living room is a gathering place for most people to relax in and entertain guests. As one of the biggest rooms in your home, you may feel a little overwhelmed with putting all the pieces together to create an overall harmonious and appealing. Here we share some interior design tips and ideas to maximise the space of your living room.

Living Room Design Tips

1. Plan the layout

When it comes to designing your living room, it is ideal to plan the layout carefully, and to not purchase any furniture before you physically view your unit and determine the measurements. This way, you will know exactly how much space you have to place your furniture. Since your living room is used to host all sorts of activities with your loved ones, it is best to plan a layout that is more suited to your lifestyle.

Traffic flow is a factor to consider when it comes to planning your living room layout. Traffic flow refers to the pattern that people use when moving from one room to another, and it is ideal to keep the traffic flow patterns free from obstacles, to create a direct path from one space to the next.

2. Deciding on furniture

One common problem homeowners face is not knowing how or where to place their living room furniture. Most people tend to settle for pushing a sofa against the wall that is facing the television, when in fact, there are other factors that come into play for furniture placement. Some of these include choosing a focal point, traffic flow, comfort, and conversation areas.

The focal point refers to where people’s eyes first land upon when entering your living room, and it is ideal for it to be facing the common entry point. Focal points can be natural such as having a full-height window with a view, or it could be something that you have designed such as a feature wall. Having a focal point helps to create a symmetrical sense of order in your overall living room design.

3. Colour Palette

Lighting is one key aspect of all interior design ideas and function within the home is, and should not be overlooked. Aside from having sufficient natural light during the day, your living room should also have lights to accommodate different events and parties that take place. Before deciding on a lighting fixture, you need to consider the atmosphere that you are trying to create, with work areas being properly lit to increase focus. One example would be having decorative accent lamps or lighting to highlight a particular living room decoration or art piece.

2.3 Bedroom

A bedroom is a sanctuary for all of us, and thus should be a comfortable and calming place for you to rest your body after a long day. However, bedrooms can be a challenging place to design especially since you need to find the balance between cosiness and functionality.

Bedroom Interior Design

Keep the design of this room simple and leave space between the bed and sidewalls for ease of movement, and to not have a lot of extraneous bedroom furniture. This prevents you from having to squeeze past furniture to get to bed, while helping to create a restful and relaxing atmosphere. You can implement extra storage space such as having drawers underneath your bed if there is limited space in the room. Furnish your room with only the necessities like a bed, bedside table, and dresser. Accessories should be kept to a minimum as well, such as having only a piece of artwork, family portraits, and flowers should suffice. All of these factors help add to the serene feeling of a bedroom.

As every piece of furniture has a visual weight, it is crucial to select pieces that complement the amount of space that you have in your room. One helpful tip would be to have a wall mirror in your room, to create a negative visual weight, while giving off the impression that you have a bigger space.

Lighting also plays an important role when it comes to the interior design of your bedroom. Rather than relying on just a small bedside lamp, it is ideal for you to layer the lighting in your room, such as having different light sources that you can toggle for functionality.

Having task lighting at a corner of your bedroom is ideal for people who like to read before bed, whereas an ambient light helps to improve the sense of warmth and depth of the room while creating a welcoming and comfortable environment.

When it comes to choosing a colour palette for bedrooms, most homeowners tend to prefer calm and soothing colours. There are three popular groups of colours that are ideal for a bedroom:

Neutral colours for Bedroom

1. Neutral colours

Neutral colours are classic choices for bedrooms, and some popular colours include ivory, white, and grey. Not only do these colours act as a clean backdrop for bedrooms, but they also complement other accenting vivid colours and patterns of your bedding and artwork. If you prefer to have an overall neutral tone for your bedroom, you have layered bedding or textured accessories to create that soft tone-on-tone style.

2. Pastel colours

Pastel colours create a soft and relaxing atmosphere, and some of the best hues for bedrooms include soft blues, lavenders, and yellow. Complement your pastel-coloured bedroom with darker furnishings, or simply have lighter colour beddings and accessories to create a sophisticated look.

3. Bold colours

If you love to be surrounded by saturated colours, then it is ideal to paint your bedroom walls with bold and bright colours. Some bold colours include dark green, red, taupe, or navy blue. However, these colours tend to make a space look smaller and more cramped, hence you should avoid painting every wall in the same colour. Instead, you can choose an accent wall to paint a bold colour, and keep the others a lighter shade. We recommend getting the help of a professional interior designer in Singapore If you are still unsure of how you can incorporate your favourite colours into your living space.

Part III: Reasons why you should hire an interior designer

Interior designers may help you decide on the appropriate colour schemes and overall look for your home, but working with the right interior designer can help you bring your dream home to life. Here are some reasons how hiring an interior designer can help you make the most of your home renovations:

1. Save time

Many TV shows may make the home design process seem like a breeze, but the truth is designing and decorating a home is a long and arduous process. Combined with the hectic schedule of many Singaporeans, new homeowners may not have time to work out the interior design or renovations needed for their new homes.

When you engage in the services of a professional interior design company in Singapore, they can plan out what needs to be done and anticipate the various problems or situations that may come up. Ultimately, this prevents you from encountering any delays. Hiring an interior designer does not mean that you will lose control of the renovation process, instead, you can work collaboratively with them to come up with designs for your dream home.

2. A trained eye

The trained eye of a designer can see a bigger picture whilst focusing on the minute details such as the colour palette, interior traffic flow, and fixture options. Aside from navigating you through multiple tricky elements that go into decorating a room, an interior designer is creative enough to think out-of-the-box and make even the most difficult spaces in your home, work. Plus, with Singapore homes having very limited space, interior designers can create a comfortable and functional space by understanding your likes and dislikes, your preferred style, lifestyle, habits, as well as the people you are living with

3. Better contacts and qualified liaison

Being in the renovation and home design industry, an interior designer has access to the reliable connections that you may need, like an electrician, plumber, renovation contractor, and even furniture suppliers. In addition, a professional interior designer can furnish the renovation contractors with what they need to know, allowing your home renovations to be executed to the highest standard.

4. Save money

Contrary to popular belief, engaging the services of an interior designer does not necessarily mean that you have to spend more money. An interior designer can help you avoid making costly mistakes and reduce unnecessary spending while making design decisions to increase the value of your home.

Through careful and detailed planning, interior designers can keep your project progressing, whilst coming up with cost-effective methods such as including a renovation package for your home.

Also, if you are on a tight budget, having an interior designer can help you get the best value of your spendings, and keep you informed of where every penny is going.

How to choose the right interior designer

Choosing the best interior designer in Singapore can be a daunting process, especially if you have so many reviews and recommendations from friends and family. Aside from style, there are other factors that need to be considered when it comes to making your choice.

Important Factors to Conside

One such factor is accreditation. You can simply perform an online search to check if the interior design company is CaseTrust or RCMA-certified.

A company that is CaseTrust certified signifies that it has good sales practices and ethics, with full accountability for the listed deliverables, fee refund policies, a well-trained and experienced team, in every project. RMCA-listed companies ensure that their customers’ deposits are safeguarded from closure or liquidation of the company. Being ISO-certified provides customers with assurance in quality and consistency of work.

Another important consideration is the style of your interior design company. As different interior designers have different strengths and tastes, it is paramount to choose one that shares the same taste as you, so that they can better understand your needs. One tip is to always take a look at the portfolios of your designer and try not to ask them to do something vastly different from what they are comfortable with.

Last but not least, some interior design companies subcontract the renovation work out, while others have their own contractors. It is preferred to choose an interior design company that works with their own renovation contractors. This is to prevent the risk of having an increased fee quotation for the go-between and to also have a guarantee that the handiwork is done by qualified contractors.

Part IV: Conclusion

While it may not be easy to come up with designs for your home, taking the first step to identify your personal preferences is. Get your home renovations and interior design right once and for all by hiring an interior designer who knows what you need and want, to create your dream home.

Are you in the planning stages for your new home renovation project? YallowBox is an interior design company in Singapore that helps busy families and individuals achieve the ideal version of their dream home by finding the balance between style and functionality to suit their lifestyles. Let us hear from you today!


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