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Creating a better home and tasteful living SPACE, regardless of age, size, budget & lifestyle!

Creating a better home and tasteful living SPACE, regardless of age, size, budget & lifestyle!

[编辑 Editor 吕大人   英译 Translator 刘大人   部分照片提供 Images by JIDA]


CONGRATULATIONS! So you have bought your dream house. Now, how do you transform the house into a home? Making the dream come true requires thorough planning, so start your research well in advance, from the big picture to the little details and look into every possible aspect from the start to the finish. By the time you get around to following our checklist and starting work on it, you should be a bit of an expert in the field.

Everyone will have their own reasons for choosing either a new or older building but ultimately, it’s about finding the home that’s right for you. Moving into a newly built property gives you a clean slate to fit your first home with everything you desire but it may prove harder to start afresh without considerable work. Resale homes may have the potential to become a comfortable abode after renovation, but that can turn out to be a costly endeavour.

Homes also come in all shapes and sizes, which can translate to different costs. So, there isn’t one fixed figure, it really depends on the amount of works you would like to do. Build in about 10-20% of the purchase price for renovation with your ideal lifestyle in mind for the next 2-3 years. With proper planning, the keys to your dream home are within reach.

新屋 (new property)
From basic to breathtaking!

There’s less hassle with an empty house, and It’s natural that you’ll want to enjoy your home and get as much use from it as possible. Even though there are no immediate defects to the house, you may want to put in 1/3 of your budget for extra storage or restructuring to create a larger space for your children; while spending another 1/3 on new furniture and household appliances. Think long term and avoid any last minute changes to the design plan. As always, have a contingency fund to accommodate any changes or hiccups that may occur along the way.


二手房(Resale property)
From seasoned to modernity

Resale houses can represent real bargain potential and can prove an excellent way to stretch a budget and get more home for your money. Buying a resale property (say over 10 years), unlike the new one, usually need major repairs from time to time, therefore be prepared to fork out your own money (up to 30%-50% of the purchase price) for inspections and repairs. Working with an interior designer helps you to “visualise” what your biggest expenses are and rationalise your needs. You can then determine whether you can afford a major renovation or live with light enhancements to the existing property. If you have a limited budget, focus on the essential items in dire need of fixing like changing the new electrical wiring and plumbing system.


Not sure how much you should set aside for your new home? Here’s an example

●  For new property, set aside a renovation budget between 10%-20% of the purchase price (RM60,000 to RM120,000)

●  It will take up to 24 months for new landed developments before you get to collect your house keys, start making preparation in advance by setting aside between RM2,500 to RM5,000 monthly (over a 2-year period)

●  With new high-rise developments taking up to 36 months for completion, now is the best time to set aside between RM1,670 to RM3,340 monthly (over a 3-year period)

●  For resale property, consider a budget between 30%-50% of the purchase price (RM180,000 to RM300,000)

●  As the delivery period varies between resale houses and new developments, it’s advisable to start planning in advance while gathering inspiration and reviewing your budget before making a decision on the style and features that you’ll want in your dream home!


In conversation with ID

Getting the keys to our new house or resale property is exciting but giving it a makeover can be stressful. Be it the creative interior designer or a resourceful contractor who are both fully equipped with knowledge or experience to help us make our dream home come true,  it is important that we find the right people to work with.

If we are starting from ground zero, we are better off going with an interior designer who will get to know us better in terms of our lifestyle to come up with an ID concept that best suits us. Some will even go all the way to help us with the decoration and the finishing touches so that a central theme resonates throughout our house.

Need help in connecting a trusted home professional? We’ve rounded up a panel consisting some of JB’s best interior designers in So-En (Team BJ), Silver (Rice Design), Ken (DAA) and Calix (Telford) to offer you some valuable insights!



I came across a design I really like and want my interior designer to do the same. Is that OK?

So-En // TeamBJ: Professionally, it’s not ethical to copy completely. As a designer, we should educate the client on this matter and try to understand what the client likes about the design. We can then interprete it and translate the key ideas into the client’s space, which may then suit them even better!

Silver // Rice Design: 我觉得身为一名设计师,每当客户向你叙述一个概念方向时,反而会比较容易了解客户的需求,我们需要站在他们的立场去设想整个方案,学会不预设立场。面对客户,我们永远需要及时对话、了解整体架构,运用观察力并设身处地为客户着想,以便能为客户设计出最适合他们运作的设计。

Ken // DAA: 对DAA而言,每个空间都有其特性,而设计师的职责则是通过对其进行多方面的规划,探讨及构思,打造出最适合客户的设计。换句话说,也就是让空间符合「以人为本」的设计理念。因此,当被提供一些室内图或样本图时,设计师并不会做出一样的设计,而是先对其进行详细深入的讨论,了解其设计意义,美感及整体概念。再通过与客户沟通,对话与改进,从而定制客户满意,适合且兼具整体空间美感的设计。

Calix // Telford: Basically ‘No’.



My interior designer and I have ideas that clashed, what should I do?

So-En // TeamBJ: AS a client, I would explain my requirement in a logical and objective manner without getting too personal and without affecting the designer’s integrity of the design. In this professional manner, the designer should be able to understand.

Silver // Rice Design: 作为一家设计公司,我们比別人更用心的地方在于我们真的投入了很多时间去了解我们的客户。以「人」为出发点,人如何与空间对话,是我们最想要去了解的事情,所以作品跟人的沟通最终仍会摆在第一位,以顾客的生活习惯和便利为第一准则。人们需要空间以产生链接、得到休憩、获得新的启发等,我们应当为这些很人性的事项来着手设计。

Ken // DAA: 其实「设计」二字看似简单但却极其复杂。何谓设计? 设计即是对人造事物的构想与规划。简单的说,设计是一个过程,而这样的一个过程往往是建立在沟通的基础上。明白人各有其需求与想法,所以设计师必须对不同的要求与意见进行深入探讨,通过与客户双向的沟通与相互了解,制定完善且适合的设计。因此,从以上论述可以了解到若设计师与个人的想法有所不同时,业主可尝试与设计师进行深入的双向沟通,通过相互了解及整合各自的想法,找出问题的来源与解决方案。

Calix // Telford: “Discussion”. Have to find out what’s the problem and come out with the solution.



How do I balance budget versus wanting your dream home?

So-En // TeamBJ: One can work with the designer to design a dream house, at the same time, one can inform the designer that the renovation will be carried out in stages to accommodate the budget. Work with the necessary items first.

Silver // Rice Design: 以往顾客给我们的创作空间还蛮大的,但最主要还是预算的问题。通常我会先与客户进行整体沟通,以致了解哪方面的设计概念较吸引他们,在对话过程里我们大概就能掌握顾客的预算和喜好。再说,一个好的设计也不单只是利用昂贵的材料才能呈现出来,我们也会拿捏在符合的预算里,也能带出整体环境效果的设计。

Ken // DAA: 在预算与设计两者间取得平衡不仅是许多人一直以来面对的一个艰难抉择,也是设计师在设计时常面对的一个难题。虽说设计师在设计初期能根据预算进行适合的设计与规划,但无可否认,预算依然是影响设计的一个重要因素。因此当设计与价格无法平衡时,建议可针对设计的需要性,功能性及美观性进行考量。通过以上三点,在不影响整体下对设计进行修改及构想,以平衡预算。此外,若想完全保留相同的设计,也可对所使用的材质进行评估与筛选,或使用相似的替代材质以达到预算与设计平衡。

Calix // Telford: If the design is over budget, we will try to cut down or replace the proposed material with other alternatives to achieve similar effects.



Why does my house look nothing like the proposed sketch/design?

So-En // TeamBJ: The process of documenting the design development stage is highly critical to ensure minimal miscommunication and to prevent an unexpected outcome. Request for designers to give you a full set of key plans and a material mood board. With these, clients will have a clear understanding of what to expect.

Silver // Rice Design: 只要依照图纸方案施工,通常不会发生有太大的误差。除非是间中客户有进行较大的变动才有可能导致设计图与成品的偏差较大。

Ken // DAA: 最终成品与设计有所出入一般上最常见的原因是因施工现场环境的限制。好的设计在设计的过程中就必须对空间进行详细的规划与构思,减低成品与设计的出入。设计师在设计初期必须先对所设计的空间进行深入了解,尽可能地顾及空间的特性,如此才能打造适合的设计。而在施工时,若设计师发现因施工现场环境因素将造成设计上的出入,设计师应预先与业主达成协议。而如果是在没有达成协议下,最终成品与设计图有所出入,业主有权询问设计师其修改原因,从而决定是否要接受最终成品。而无原因的擅自更改已批准的设计则是不可接受的。

Calix // Telford: Normally, we will review the final design. If the outcome is better than the prior design or we think we can improvise to make it even better, we will inform the owner. However, if the finished product is below par, we will redo the entire item.



I want to renovate my home but I want to do so by sections. How should I go about this?

So-En // TeamBJ: Do let your designer and contractor know this beforehand so that the stages can be carefully planned with minimal inconveniences and disruptions.

Silver // Rice Design: 可以,我们会建议屋主先进行较多灰尘的部分,把重要的事项先处理好,家私和布置摆设的部分延后皆可行。

Ken // DAA: 分段式的装修在有计划的安排下实际上是可行的。但在进行分段式装修时,空间分段与工程分段必须取得平衡。考虑到施工进行时会产生的粉尘,噪音及污垢,业主或设计师必须对要分段施工的区域进行详细的规划,预先把会造成整体环境污浊的工程完成,如敲打工程,水电工程或粉刷 工程等等。而其他较为简单或无需现场施工的组装工程则可在日后才进行。除此之外,设计师与业主 也必须就分段装修明确的规划其动线,以防已装修的区域动线被阻碍或工程被已装修的区域限制。

See Also

Calix // Telford: Yes. Normally, we recommend starting from the “top” item first such as electrical, air-con and ceiling, before we work on the finished items like flooring, carpentry and etc.



Can I add or remove some elements halfway through the renovation?

So-En // TeamBJ: Yes, however, do consider your designer’s advice very seriously. If it involves major amendments, it will incur additional expenses and disruptions. However, if both parties are agreeable, then perfect.

Silver // Rice Design: 可以,只需双方沟通妥当。并没有任何问题。

Ken // DAA: 若先摒除更改的设计是否会影响整体设计概念或空间特性等因素,在设计图确定后,中途更改并非无法达成。但除了设计师与业主必须在更改的原因与意见上达成共识外,最重要的是其对工程的影响。简单的说,若工程尚未进行或更改的内容不影响已施工的工程,那这样的一个更改是可行的。但若更改的内容会造成拆除或重新施工, 那设计师必须清楚的让业主了解到更改将会牵扯到的工程内容与费用,从而寻求可行的方案,以免日后造成不必要的 纠纷。



My renovation delivery has been delayed, what should I do?

So-En // TeamBJ: Understand the real reason behind the delay. Get our designer and contractor to work out a catch-up plan in black & white and follow through it. If this does not work, impose a late penalty fee.

Silver // Rice Design: 我们会进行审核是哪方面出了问题,也会与业主跟进此事项的问题。以便能尽快解决并交屋给业主。

Ken // DAA: 造成逾期完工的因素有许多种,根据不同的因素则 会有不同的解决方案。一般而言,工程在进行时,业主与设计师必须密切的沟通,预防逾期完工。尚若不幸发生逾期完工,业主可针对工程的安排及规划与设计师进行协商,了解造成逾期完工的原因从而寻找解决方案。



What is the typical defect and warranty period after renovation?

So-En // TeamBJ: Between 6 months to 1 year.

Silver // Rice Design: 我们都会给予我们的顾客一年的保固期。

Ken // DAA: 保固期视设计公司合约而定,一般上约为12至 18个月左右。

From conception to completion (checklist)

Thinking of renovating your home but unsure of how to go about it? The following checklist covers the fundamental information you’ll need to renovate your home. Happy renovation and happy new year!

Pre-renovation: Check for defects, take measurements, research on your budget, explore financing options, apply for renovation permits

Design & planning: Create a mood board, explore various design ideas, decide on your style and renovation budget

Find a trusted interior designer: Meet (a few) interior designers, ask for references, compare costing and scope of work, sign contract

Shop for fittings: Shop with your ID for key elements such as your flooring, cabinets, doors, windows, wall finishing, lighting & furniture

During renovation: Confirm your renovation schedule, get your utilities up and running, foundation and structural fix, electrical, plumbing, flooring, carpentry, fitting, interior painting, wallpaper, surface finishes, lighting installation, electrical appliances, furniture. Constantly check on progress, and of course, keep your home safe

Final clean & move in: Joint inspection, check for defects, make rectifications, list out warranties, make sure works are done according to plan and budget, clean up and plan a housewarming party. Home sweet home!

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