You can even do these yourself.
What’s the first thing you notice when you step inside someone’s home or personal space?
Me, the layout – if there’s lots of room to move.
Next would be the windows, and how much natural light is coming in. And then probably the furniture.
I guess I’m no designer then, because apparently the observations happen way before that. 😁
“I observe the front first, regardless of whether it is a home or a commercial space,” says Allan Chee, the founder of Space Editor and manager of The Design Team.
The first impressions too. “The cleanliness and tidiness of the area tells me a lot, from the front and when I step into the space.”
And he believes he is able to absorb it all in just a few seconds. “Any space, the front, it’s like us, if we are well-dressed to impress, or don’t care. The inside will tell me the personality and character of the owners, even all the way to their physical, mental and emotional health. It’s a professional hazard,” he jokes.
Although before he leaves, he does get curious and asks about the person’s design choices – but that’s about it. “Personally, if I am at a friend’s or anyone’s space and it’s not for work, I always keep my opinions and suggestions to myself.”
However, “If it’s for clients who seek my help and advice, I am totally transparent and straightforward, as I want to give them the most accurate (information) and the best of my knowledge and experience,” he states. “Sometimes, a minority couldn’t take the truth, but overall this is what most of my clients want – honesty and someone who is out there to help them.”
It makes sense
Allan describes Space Editor as an interior design and architecture company in Singapore that specialises in building and renovating residential and commercial spaces.
“We’re identified with timeless design, and with providing good, warm and straightforward service,” Allan asserts. “We always empathise with the client – with who they are, how they want to live and resolve their needs with flair. Our belief is ‘Everyone deserves to live in designer homes’, and we always say ‘transforming spaces as if it’s ours’.”
But what if we have budget constraints? It’s still possible, he answers, “As long you are open to our suggestions and advice when we lay (everything) on the table, and weigh which things to do and to give up, or what can probably be added in the future.”
I suppose we have to be realistic as well. 😊
All is not lost, however. We can change or update the look of our homes if we do things step by step – or room by room, more like it. We can go slow, and not totally renovate everything for now.
Allan suggests five easy ways:
#1 A fresh coat of quality paint
#2 Change the lighting
#3 Replace or move furniture
#5 Tidy and clean up
We can add more, if your budget allows. Here are some that I’ve seen that could work for you:
#7 Decorate your walls
Hang artwork, framed items, photos, ceramics or mirrors. Use wall decals.
#8 Change your window treatment
Shades, blinds, drapes… even a switch of simple curtains might help.
#9 Install floating shelves
Display books and other fun pieces. Use them as open storage.
#10 Lay a carpet and some throws
Don’t forget the details
In the meantime, though, find what you love. Go online for photos and design ideas. What are you a fan of?
Allan is into modern luxe concepts, and the Japanese aesthetics of kanso, wabi sabi and shibui. These encourage you to think about “simplicity” and “finding beauty in imperfection”. With the help of the right designer (please choose wisely and get references from satisfied customers), you could incorporate the design approaches you admire later, when you’re all in for that renovation.
“Follow your heart; don’t follow trends. Something is timeless when it speaks to you and to others,” he remarks. “There will always be someone out there who’ll appreciate it and have tastes similar to yours.”
Emphasis also goes to tips #4 and #5 – because no matter how incredible your furniture is or how well-laid-out your space is, it still won’t leave a good impression if it isn’t clean and organised.
First impressions may last and may be important, but isn’t your opinion the one that ultimately counts? 🙂 But we still hope the above information can help tide you over as you stay patient for a space that suits you and your personality, and contributes to your well-being (and is not too hard on your wallet).