Renovating your house can be stressful – even before construction starts. Its crucial to find the right people to work with whom you can trust and afford, but how do you choose? The search to engage reliable interior designers is further muddled by the lack of clear distinctions between designers and contractors, along with a new breed of design-and-build setups that tout for services they may not be fully equipped to provide.

Being able to discern renovation/design setups will prevent a nasty working relationship and rude shocks during the process. They may describe themselves as everything from “interior renovator” and “renovation contractors” to “design consultancy”, but these phrases can only be guidelines to the kind of services offered. Do remember that renovation is not just about the end product – the process is just as important to preserving your sanity and preventing rude shocks after you hand over your cash.

After trawling renovation forums and blogs, and talking to many interior designers and homeowners, we have uncovered these differences that can help you differentiate and determine what kind of services you are engaging and should expect.



Do be clear on your priorities. Is it time, budget, design or quality? This will help focus your search. Always, always do your research. Start early. Ask those with experiences, both good and bad. Trawl forums and reviews. Keep in mind that everyone’s needs are different – even those with raving reviews might not be able to meet your expectations, or be who you fell most comfortable with. If you have shortlisted a few, meet up with all of them personally. Ask detailed questions and clear all doubts before you commit to one.