Walk a few kilometres in any direction and you will probably meet an interior designer of sorts. Ask them a few questions and they will most likely bombard you with keywords like "lifestyle", "kitchenette" or "foyer"; but if they start expounding over your "personal" and "quiet" spaces without first understanding your intended use or living peculiarities, it is quite likely you are speaking to a design-savvy contractor or an interior decorator, not an interior designer.
So why do people call themselves interior designers when they cannot design interiors?
Some contractors do it because changing that few words in their business cards means they can add a premium to their contracts, while other may do it simply because the term "designer" is much more glamorous than "decorator". But really, who can blame them? Truth be told, most residential spaces in Singapore need little designing. We have our bedrooms for sleeping, our dining room for our meals, our kitchen for the refrigerator and the microwave oven, and our living room for the sofa and the television. As long as we keep to their intended use, all we need is a little decorating work to make our space easier on our eyes and more comfortable to live in.
So when do we really need an interior designer and how do we know if the people we are dealing with can design interiors?
Have you ever started working on a meal and became flustered and frustrated within the first hour of cooking?
You realised that because of the layout of your kitchen, your workflow experiences so many kinks and hicks that you eventually abandon your “home-cooked” project and instead order a pizza?
Well, that is probably because you have a poorly designed kitchen. Interior decorators are happy that all the components of a kitchen are there and together they all look pretty. However, an interior designer will actually look at your cooking workflow and make sure not only do the essential exist, they look good together, as well as play well with your cooking style so that everything comes together to help you with what you want to do with that space. They will have plenty of questions for you, as they consider the equipment you use, how you use them, the frequency of use. They will discuss issues such as the allocation of temporary and permanent spaces to make sure even those in-between uses are covered before they even make that first pencil mark on their concept paper; least show you complete 3D imageries of a fully designed space.
What us homeowners can expect, is that no company will put together a think-tank that will work out all these issues for us without charging us for it. So if you need an interior designer, be prepared to pay for their services. If you just want a few versions of how your room look like after the renovations, most interior decorators or contractors will be able to do that job without too much fuss or costs.
However, if you do need an interior designer, RADAC keeps a list of certified interior designers who have gone through training and can help with the programming of your space.
In alphabetical order, these companies are:
Absolook Interior Design Pte Ltd
Add Space Design Pte Ltd
Artrend Design Pte Ltd
Baroque D.zign Pte Ltd
Bijou Pte Ltd
Bonaventure (86) Pte Ltd
Bonzon 2000 Design & Contract
Ciseern By Designer Furnishing Pte Ltd
De Chevron Carpentry Pte Ltd
D’esprit Interiors Pte Ltd
DS 2000 – Interior & Design
G’Plan Design Pte Ltd
JSR Design & Renovation Pte Ltd
Luck Ann Construction and Renovation
Rita Metal & Wooden Furniture Construction PL
Soon Renovation Pte Ltd
Space Culture Planner Pte Ltd
Space Vision Design Pte Ltd
Unimax Creative Pte Ltd
United Team Lifestyle Pte Ltd
Vegas Interior Design Pte Ltd
Yang City Builders & Holdings Pte Ltd
In the following months, RADAC will feature each of these companies and their Interior Designers.
Check them out at www.radac.org.sg.