Renovation Budget: Does Small Space Equals Low Cost?

Renovation Budget: Does Small Space Equals Low Cost?

The interior designer, just like any specialised career path, has a price tag attached to it. In a very competitive industry, it is extremely hard for an designer to justify charging significantly higher than the average rates.

There are a few reasons for having a cost blow out astronomically that goes beyond the designer’s fees.

  1. Home owners have unique requirements.
    An interior designer’s job is to build a productive living area for you that is catered for your needs. Sometimes these needs and the space available make it a challenge for the designer and he has to spend nights mulling over how to be creative with what he has. The more challenging the demands, the more creative the designer has to be, and such a feat can take days of research and weeks of testing the proof of concept before execution.
  1. Expensive taste in material types
    You are a person of exquisite taste and your home must reflect that all the way down to the nails and rivets. Imported items are generally a lot more expensive because of availability and cost of shipment. Some of these products are so unique that they must be customized, and such bespoke solutions are always going to be costlier.
  1. Complicated designs.
    Love that herringbone fall tile design? Sure, it does look so stylish and chic, but such designs come with a high price tag, especially in Singapore when the tasks require manual labour. The longer the task is, the higher the price tag. Hacking of walls and retiling of floor tiles are other areas that usually builds up the cost factor.


So the next time you’re planning for a house, you know the areas to look out for that would probably bust a hole in your pocket. A small area doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to cost less. Always check with your designer on ways you can save money without compromising look and quality. Most times, it’s always easier to be forthcoming with your comfortable budget. Drop us a message if you need to speak to someone who you can trust.

The Murky Side of Interior Design – Mistaking a Bad Deal for a Good Deal

The Murky Side of Interior Design – Mistaking a Bad Deal for a Good Deal

You have probably heard horror stories about the renovation industry and disgruntled homeowners having to fork out even more money to repair the shoddy workmanship. News like these is prevalent and unfortunate homeowners are usually left with little avenue for redress but to vent their frustration on the internet. Such rampant negative business practices give all of us legit businesses a bad name.

Here are 3 tell tale signs that you are about to get into a bad deal.

  1. Lowest Cost

Who doesn’t love a good deal? The problem with deals too good to be true is that it usually isn’t. The marketplace is extremely competitive with profit margins constantly being reduced. As professionals, we immediately know something is amiss when the price quoted by a competitor is remarkably lower. This could only mean one thing – cost cutting is going to happen where customers can’t see. On the onset, you may think you have gotten a good deal, but when the faults start to appear in the months that follow, the contractor is uncontactable, and customers have to fork out another round of money for repairs.

  1. Contractor or Designer

Designers by virtue of their expertise and effort that comes from project management come with a slightly higher price tag than a contractor. You can think of an interior designer as the architect of the building. Who would you trust to handle the integrity of your renovation works? A designer know what to look out for, which measurement works, and where to lay cables and how many light points is required, etc. For customers who may not be aware of the intricacies that goes in the planning, it’s easy to fall prey to contractors who make bold promises just to close a deal.

  1. Attractive Package Deals

The way interior designers help you save cost is by providing you a template design with pre-measured fittings. That sounds reasonable doesn’t it? After all, most HDB have similar layout and you stand to gain some savings for using a common design. This would be fine if you have very simple requirements and aren’t the type to sweat a little misalignment or gaps in between fixtures. The thing about design is that, it’s the little things that make the difference. A good design is supposed to make you feel at ease, unconsciously. A badly designed room tends to make the occupant uneasy. And should you request for any changes to the package, that’s when the cost starts getting exorbitant.

If you still unsure about the deal you’re getting, come talk to us and let us help you keep an eye out for renovation pitfalls.


Vampire Energy – A drain on resources and your wallet!

Vampire Energy – A drain on resources and your wallet!

Not many people have heard of Energy Vampires or are aware of its presence at home. M3 designers not only have your interior design interest at heart, we are also concerned about helping you live effectively in the home that we lovingly designed with you. You’re welcome.

Energy Vampires is what it’s commonly called but it also goes by two other terms – standby power and phantom load. Admittedly, “vampire” sounds a lot cooler. So what’s this Energy Vampire we speak of? It’s the electric power consumed by electronic devices when they are switched off (but still plugged in).

On average, a household has about 15 devices constantly plugged in at any given time. Have a look around your house; I’m guessing that there’s a least one hand phone charger hanging off the socket and the LED clock on your microwave is still flashing.

Before you rush around unplugging everything from its socket, let me give you some quick guide to shaving off the bills without the hassle on messing around with every single plugs in the house.

(Photo courtesy of pexels)

Devices with Digital Clock

The digital clock on your microwave may look innocuous but considering the number of times you use the microwave versus the number of hours the device is left idle, I daresay it consumes more electricity powering the clock than it does heating food. Coffee makers and ovens are the other two common culprits in the kitchen.

Computers and Entertainment Devices

You probably guessed it by now that the television, the cable box, game consoles, stereos and DVD players are all huge consumers of standby power. To mitigate this energy waste, hook up your entertainment system and related to power strips connected to a master switch. That way you can easily switch the whole system off when the family goes to bed or when everyone is out at work. According to industry experts, you can save a couple of hundreds a year if you keep up with this habit.

Hot Water Heater

This is an easy one. Turn off your water heater when not in use. Though most might be aware of this energy vampire, it still bears mentioning it as a reminder.

Smart Home Solutions

There are apps and products available in the market that will allow you to remotely control appliances like your air conditioning unit so that you don’t have to leave it running all day. Smart Home systems are able to connect to your mobile devices as well thus empowering you to save electricity and money at a touch of a button.

(Photo courtesy of pexels)

Love smart interior design? Here are 6 space saving hacks for your HDB flat.

Love smart interior design? Here are 6 space saving hacks for your HDB flat.

We know: in Singapore, your HDB may be the size of a shoebox– but the quality your HDB interior design should never be compromised. Whether you’re looking to free up more space into your living room, or to declutter your bedroom for a mess-free rest, we’ve collated 6 space saving interior design hacks.

  1. Let there be light
    Feel like your room is a little too dark and dingy? Maybe it’s your curtains. Some curtains block out a large amount of light. Avoid those and swap them out for light, material that will let in the light even when they’re drawn for privacy. Adding more light fixtures will also help in making your little home feel lighter, brighter, and more beautiful.

1 Let there be light

  1. Do double duty
    Get flexible furniture that does more. In a small home like a HDB flat, furnishings with two or more functions can be a real lifesaver. Some pieces include ottoman seats that allow you to stow away any stray items, or foldaway beds that can be concealed to make way. While these might be a little more on the pricey side, consider these costs as the price for two items. The cost savings do add up, and you just might get your home dolled up for less.

2 Do Double Duty

  1. Put up your pictures
    While you might not have room to place more décor, you can certainly hang them up. Show off your personality by adding some artwork to your small space. Best of all, some hooks can be removed cleanly, so feel free to experiment without the commitment.

3 Put up your pictures

4. Pick something distinct
In a small space, décor displayed can make you feel like your home is in a mess. Cut down on the clutter and pick out a particular piece of furniture that speaks of your personality. Maybe it’s a bright red couch, a slouchy beanbag, or maybe even an avant-garde lamp.

Related: 5 Frugal Ways to Decorate Your Home

4 Pick something Distinct

5. Don’t fear heights
Floor space is always restrictive in a small HDB interior design flat, so turn your attention upwards. Attach shelving to your walls to display any mementos and books. Or they could serve a more practical purpose like keeping Fido and Felix’s treats out of reach.

3d cable shelf

6. Tiny spaces make for great storage
Have an odd space you don’t know what to do with? Slot a skinny spice rack in that awkward gap between the fridge and the kitchen sink. Lay a ladder against a wall to hang up your clothes. Don’t be afraid- be creative and make use of dead space that could bring your home to life.

Eco atelier interior


4 Simple and Unique Study Area Designs to Inspire You

4 Simple and Unique Study Area Designs to Inspire You

Finding the perfect place is to study is a huge task for many. A room should be conducive enough for you to focus on whatever it is you wish to absorb in your study session. Without the proper elements, you just might be wasting your time trying to concentrate. It is also important that room not be too cozy, especially if sleep becomes difficult for you. You don’t really want to end up snoozing in your attempt to seep knowledge. If you’re looking for a perfect study room & living room interior design in Singapore, these rooms should inspire you.

1. Most homes may not have enough space to have their own study room. Even though this is the case, setting up a study in your own bedroom is definitely not a bad idea. With this table set up facing the window, this position lets natural light in while you studying. This prevents strain on the eyes which artificial light is known for. Although there are some that may feel the table space is not enough, this will help you focus more less table space means clutter, reducing distractions.

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2. Draw inspiration from is this incredibly creative use of small space. With a few square meters available, elevating the bed on a platform had given the designer a chance to utilize the remaining platform area into a study corner. Having more table space means you won’t have difficulty fitting books and a laptop as compared to the first example. The light colors are positive reinforcement to stay awake during those long nights of hitting the books. Having blinds instead of curtains also helps in controlling the amount of natural light in your room for when you want to stay alert and when you are ready to rest for a bit.


3. People have different ways in concentrating. While some need total peace and quiet, some are able to focus more when they aren’t confined in a room. If you feel that open spaces are more your thing, then this study space might be for you. An area set-up on the balcony allows you to take as much fresh air as you need during breaks of heavy reading. Studying in open spaces also helps prevent you from dozing off as you are further away from the bed or the atmosphere of your own bedroom.


4. If you’re lucky enough to have a room that you can dedicate to studying and working, then you might want to have this design on your inspiration board. With a table going around the entire room, you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of space for your books, papers, laptops and even a desktop. A set-up like this is also great when you want to host group studies as there is enough room for everyone to focus on their own and exchange ideas with as you are all seated in the center of the room. The cabinets are great storage options to keep your study/work-related items within reach in your productive space.LoresClover 05

Budget-Friendly Upgrades for Your Home

Budget-Friendly Upgrades for Your Home



Is your home getting too old or some parts of it are falling off? Well, if that’s the case then your home certainly needs an upgrade to make it look fresh. However, upgrading your home can sometimes cost a fortune, right? If you say yes then that’s the part where you’re wrong because an interior design company in Singapore has come up with some ideas that will surely benefit your home but won’t cost your wallet that much. Read this information below to find out.


Refresh each room with paint – You can get rid of your wall’s washed-out look by bursting a brilliant depth of paint can on them. This is the best thing about a coat of paint because it will help rearrange your reality. It is sometimes overlooked by many homeowners but it sure is one of the best when it comes to bringing in something new-like to your home.


Install a low-cost stair runner – Is your stairs getting too old that you can no longer get a good grip on it and it feels too slippery? Well, you should try installing a DIY stair runner. Instead of getting your stairs carpeted for about $2,500, you can always go for something cheaper like an off-the-shelf woven runners along with a couple of supplies from a home center. This will surely give your stairs a non-slippery upgrade and it will also help conceal its former weary look.


Related: Upgrades That Can Add More Value to Your Condo


Conserve water by installing a dishwasher – If you’re baffled by this idea then it can be easily forgiven because old dishwashers can really cost havoc both on your water and electricity bills. Perhaps it is time to replace it with a new Energy Star-certified dishwasher since it can help reduce the cost by as much as $30 and save 500 gallons of water. If you don’t have a dishwasher yet then make sure to buy one now since washing dishes by your hand consumes 40 more percent more water.


Add shade and privacy by using interior shutters – Sunlight streaming through your windows is a great source of natural lighting but it can sometimes be an annoyance in certain situations. Apart from that, you can be easily spotted by your neighbors or even by someone walking on the street since you let your windows be wide open. The only option that you probably might have thought of is to install shades but you can actually try swinging wood shutters instead since it makes the cover even more beautiful. In fact, interior shutters were originally hailed as “window treatments” and even up to now, they’re still a great addition to historical and architectural detail.
Provide some new finish to your kitchen cabinets – If you feel that your kitchen has got a cave-like vibe then it’s probably because that your dark kitchen cabinets has taken the light away from the room. However, going for a brighter makeover will suffice it instead of replacing it with all-new ones. This alternative is really cost-effective because you will only be using a fresh, brighter coat of paint instead.

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