Surf, shop and decorate

Surf, shop and decorate

With at least seven websites offering lists of designers and furnishing shops, renovating the home is now a little easier

Like most home owners renovating their abodes, Mr Kenneth Tan had culled ideas from the Internet.

But he had no clear concept and was looking for a reliable interior designer to work with. That was about three years ago.

Need renovation inspiration? Here's where to look

  • Open gallery

    www.renomango.com

    Calling itself the "juiciest information portal planted", this three-month-old website's selling point is its 25,000-strong list of interior design companies, furniture stores and building contractors.
    Founded by Mr Alvin Lim (right), there are a few interviews with interior designers to put a face to the creative names. There is also a section for design and property news.

  • Open gallery

    Home renovators can also send out a call for quotations from interior designers by submitting an online form, stipulating their budget, and designers in the website's curated pool can pitch for the job.
    A couple of areas, such as the Property and Hot Deals tabs which will feature listings and sales, are still under construction and slated to be up within four months.
    While informative, the site is short on eye candy: It has very few pictures of completed projects.

  • Open gallery

    www.qeeple.com

    Browsing this site - say "keep-pel", short for "keeping ideas and bringing people together" - one might get a case of room envy. With plenty of stylish homes to ogle, this picture-filled site gets the thumbs-up for sorting projects according to areas or property type.

  • Open gallery

    See an idea you like? Save it on the "Qeepboard", your personal mood board.
    The site is also helpful for those accessorising their homes. Under Products, check out the latest homeware offerings from tiles to wallpaper. You can e-mail retailers for prices directly from Qeeple.
    The interface is clean and easy to navigate, although a Facebook or Gmail account is needed to sign into the site.

  • Open gallery

    www.renonation.sg
    Renonation's review section of interior design firms, where past clients give their verdict on the services rendered, aim to help take the guesswork out of engaging such firms. So far, there are about 80 reviews.
    Also on the website, started by Mr Kenneth Tan (above), are renovation and interior design articles, on trends, policies and tips.

  • Open gallery

    A Renovation blog written by a blogger and home owner Eve has posts on wide-ranging topics such as How Homeowners Sabotage Their Home Renovation and Sofa Types And Styles.
    Seek professional help through the Ask tab: Send a question and the website's list of interior designers will answer it.
    Its interior design directory is not extensive, with 24 entries at the moment. The good thing is that you can sign up for a renovation quotation directly on the site from the participating companies.

  • Open gallery

    www.lookboxliving.com.sg

    Much like its counterpart Home & Decor Singapore, this year-old website complements the print Lookbox Living magazine published by Indesign Media Asia.

  • Open gallery

    There are about 110 projects from more than 30 interior design companies featured and interviews with 30 designers. There is also a products gallery for everything from home appliances to lighting.
    It also has an events page about launches and talks, and a news section on sales and contests.

  • Open gallery

    www.myplace.sg

    This site is good for keeping up-to-date with Singapore design news, such as product launches and new furniture stores. There are also the ubiquitous how-to-renovate articles, such as Ways To Incorporate Wood Finishes In The Home. A Style Gallery lets users search for images of projects according to themes or by rooms.

  • Open gallery

    It was set up by friends Taqin Jamil, 30, and Joey Wee, 38, two years ago. They first started a blog and then created the present website a year ago to become a one-stop shop for all things design.
    However, compared to other websites, it needs to list more options for interior designers. A new products page will be launched next month.

  • Open gallery

    www.homeanddecor.com.sg

    An extension of the 25-year-old magazine published by SPH Magazines, this site is easy on the eye and also painless to navigate.
    It does a round-up of stylish and unique local homes under the Homes tab, suggests products to buy under Products (right) and offers a listing of interior designers to call under Portfolios.

  • Open gallery

    One of the highlights is a Questions section, where design-vexed readers can write in for help.
    Most questions published on the site have responses from Home & Decor writers or fellow design enthusiasts.
    You have to sign up for an account to comment or upload photos.

  • Open gallery

    www.dreamhomes.com.sg

    If you are looking for where the furniture and fixture sales are, this site is helpful.
    Under its Promotions section, it lists discounts and sales at various retailers.
    While the site is easy to navigate, the content could be bumped up. There are just 10 featured interior designers under the Directory tab, and a design news section is scanty on the Singapore interior design scene.

  • Open gallery

    The Showcase tab has posts on furniture pieces to covet but no details on where to buy them. Clicking on the photo only takes you to a link to re-pin the image on content-sharing website Pinterest.
    E-mails to the people behind the website went unanswered.

Today, the one-time graphic designer runs RenoNation.sg, which aims to be a one-stop website for clueless home renovators like he used to be.

Says Mr Tan, 29, who found a designer to collaborate on his flat after searching for three weeks back then: "It used to be that hiring an interior designer was for those with money.

"But if you went online to search for ideas to do it yourself, there are so many websites to look at. I was confused just looking through all of them."

With RenoNation.sg, he hopes to help home owners choose the design firm that suits their individual needs best.

On the website, users can find listings of interior designers, read reviews and get recommendations on their services as well as post questions about renovating projects to the designers - all for free.

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.