After about 4.5 years of waiting, we finally received news that our HDB flat will be ready in the second quarter of 2022. It was a delay of 12 months to be exact and up till now, we have not gotten our keys to the house yet. To be honest, we were quite tired of waiting because we couldn’t live together after we got married and I can’t wait to move out of my current house as well. But while waiting, we decided to embark on our home renovation project so that when we have collected the keys, our interior designer and contractors can start the renovation work right away.
But at the very least, we’ve engaged an interior designer for our upcoming home and are in the midst of finalizing our designs. At the same time, I’ve started a home renovation series on YouTube to document this whole renovation journey. You can check out my latest videos right here.
1. Pick a theme of your home
Once you’ve purchased your home, it is important to pick a theme for your home so that it is easier for you to create the colour palette and mood board for your home. There are so many themes to choose from but these days, most go for Scandinavian, Minimalist for Modern-luxe themes.
For us, it’s a mix of brutalist and wabi-sabi. Both design themes are minimalist styles which are currently quite trendy right now. It feels as if the world is starting to appreciate the beauty of living minimally with little clutter. I believe that this trend will go on for a really long time and besides, I am personally a minimalist and dislike clutter. My husband, on the other hand, is learning how to live with little but this is still a work-in-progress.
More importantly, we hope to maintain the house and keep our home in excellent condition. We aren’t sure if we will be living in this flat for long but most likely, we will shift out and move to a bigger flat if our family grows in size.
2. Look for an interior designer or contractor
In Singapore, most new homeowners would hire an interior designer from a reliable interior designing film to manage their home renovation projects. There are also homeowners who prefer to work directly with contractors to do up the house without engaging an interior designer. But for us, since we are both new to this, we decided to engage an interior designer.
However, it was slightly challenging for us to look for a suitable one that would meet our needs, requirements, and budget. Due to COVID-19, many house renovations are delayed and thus some of the interior designers’ hands are tight. We approached a couple of designers who actually rejected us because they were either unable to take on more projects or they are only taking projects which are worth more than $40k.
I would say that if your house is huge and has a complex layout, you might want to hire an interior designer to help design and plan out the space. But if your house is small and has a fixed HDB layout, you can easily look on Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration and just hire a contractor to help you do up your house.
3. Work out your renovation budget
It’s important to set aside a renovation budget for your new home. You would not want to overspend especially if you don’t plan to stay long in your house. Based on my experiences, the house will start to wear out after five to ten years, and even if you are not shifting out, you might want to renovate or just touch up the house with a fresh coat of paint.
After all, a home is just a home for you and your family. You might want it to look perfect so that it looks great in the eyes of others but at the end of the day, your home is not a hotel or a rental home for others to live in. All that really matters is that you and your family feel comfortable and safe living together under one roof. With each home, you get wiser and smarter in creating a home that truly matches your lifestyle and personality.
4. Create a colour and texture palette
I find that this is often overlooked. In my opinion, creating a colour and texture palette is even more important than deciding on the theme of your home. Because once you have fixed the colour and texture palette, you can start looking for tiles, furniture and appliances. Colours do play a huge part in making your house look more cohesive.
You can also use colours to add some character to your home just by adding a few accented colours that bring out a contrast with the colour scheme of your home.
5. Don’t aim for perfection but enjoyment
For most of us, the home renovation project is probably one of the largest and most expensive projects we would ever be engaged in. As such, it is only natural that we would put in tonnes of effort to perfect our living space. Sometimes this can lead to added stress or pressure on us. I, myself, couldn’t stop thinking about home renovation stuff and sometimes the differing opinions between me and my husband added strains to our relationship. I have to consciously remind myself to step out of it for a while and enjoy the process of planning with my husband. And if things don’t work out well, we can always turn out mistakes in learning points for others.
This is why I decided to document my whole renovation journey on YouTube as a way to share my renovation woes and provide useful renovation tips to future homeowners. You can watch this home renovation series here!