Tag Archives: darwin interior

Evolution of Design: Darwin Interior

Most people have heard of Darwin Interior, be it from their advertisements in the newspapers, radio or relatives. My SIL recommended Darwin, saying they were quite affordable after bargaining. Now, I’m really bad (like really bad) at bargaining so I try to stay away from such IDs but I realise that when it comes to renovations, it’s almost compulsory. It’s a thing. And you cannot accept the first quote that is given to you.

Darwin Interior

Darwin Interior

Darwin Interior

Darwin Interior

Darwin Interior

Darwin Interior

Anyway, after emailing them, one of the designers reverted promptly, asking for a meeting. We met with Velarie, a nice young designer eager to listen to our ideas. I was quite comfortable with her and we discussed the items we wanted included.

When we first received the quote on our second visit, it was considerably higher than our budget (slightly under $30,000). On our second visit, a senior designer had joined us to go through the items in greater detail. The budget overwhelmed us slightly so we told them we would consider it. Personally, I was comfortable with Velarie but I found the senior designer a little pushy and forceful in wanting us to sign with them–that was the factor holding me back. I needed to be able to express my ideas without worrying I would be pressured into something I did not want.

They offer a 3-year warranty on their carpentry, i.e. an important factor since we didn’t want our cabinets falling off their hinges etc. However, in terms of design, I would say De Style has better options. If you know what you want and don’t really need a designer to help you plan your house, Darwin is a (slightly) more affordable option.

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Renovation Ramblings: an ID or a contractor

The first thing we (dearest husband and I) had to decide on was if should hire a contractor or an interior designer (ID). For us, the main advantage of hiring a contractor being that it is decidedly cheaper. Ultimately though, since this is our first place, we decided to go ahead with an ID. And I’ll tell you that this is the best decision we ever made in this entire process. We were new to the renovating process and we needed guidance. From the process to the various house decisions, we were grateful to have our IDs’ input.

Mind you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that having an ID makes everything perfect. It was difficult to adhere to the budget set out and as such, throughout the entire renovation process, every monetary decision was discussed at great length. If you were to ask me if I would hire a contractor or an ID for the next home (if we ever move that is), I would admit I don’t know for certain. An ID comes with so many benefits but I’m itching to see if I can manage with a contractor. It frees up a chunk of money for the house and I am certainly more educated in the ways of the renovation world. But that’s all in the future.

About 4 months before receiving our keys, I had started researching on IDs. Basically, this entailed pouring over magazines and the popular “Renotalk” forum. My shortlist of IDs were based on photos of houses I’ve seen them completed (on their websites/home magazines) and advice from my family members.

1. De’Style: Recommended by my brother

DeStyle

(Image by De’Style)

2. Darwin Interior: Recommended by my brother

(Image by Darwin Interior)

(Image by Darwin Interior)

3. Fuse Concept: From a magazine

(Image by Fuse Concept)

(Image by Fuse Concept)

 4. Ideal House: From a magazine

resi-ascentiasky01

(Image by Ideal House)

5. Rezt & Relax: From a magazine

(Image by Rezt & Relax)

(Image by Rezt & Relax)

Other places that I did send an email to enquire include: Image Creative, Elementz Design, Earth Living, The Interior Place, I-Bridge and Thom Signature. However, none of them replied to the emails sent. I’m not sure if my budget was too low for them to accept (or maybe it was just not possible?) but all’s well…

Maybe in my next post, I’ll sum up my thoughts on each company.

 

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