Home Buying & New Homes, Home Decor & Inspiration

How To Choose An Interior Designer In Singapore

Interior Design Firm ID Guide Tutorial BTO HDB TOP

With the many available interior design (ID) firms in Singapore, it may be hard to decide on the one you want to trust your renovation process with. That’s why we decided to put together a guide to help reduce your renovation headache!

These pointers should help you narrow down your choices while making your decision-making process as comprehensive as possible.

When Do I Engage An ID?

To avoid a tight and stressful schedule, you should choose and engage an interior designer (ID) firm at least 3 to 6 months before collecting your house keys. This gives you and your ID time to create a design plan, choose suitable materials and make changes before moving into your home.

1. The Research

Woman calculating and writing on paper, Woman doing research, Style Degree, Singapore, SG, StyleMag.

When it comes to doing research, focus on Style and Budget – two of the most important decisions when it comes to designing your ideal nest.


It is important to know you and your partner’s aesthetic preferences. Are you going for a minimalistic Scandinavian look? Or do you prefer a retro-looking Victorian touch?

Discuss with whoever is involved in the renovation process. You’ll eventually have to come to a compromise as you’ll both be living in this home.

Also check out on StyleMag: HDB Interior Design Styles Young Homeowners Love (Other Than Scandi) 

Obtain interior design inspiration from websites such as Pinterest, Home & Decor Singapore or even home decor accounts on Instagram. It will be good to collate pictures of wall colours, flooring, patterns, carpentry and furniture you want in your home. Compile them into a mood board to visualise the overall look and feel of your designs. 

Get started with our handy downloadable mood board template

Mood board template singapore interior design, style degree

Mood board free template by Style Degree


While there is no need to splash an exorbitant amount of money to get good results, money is still a determining factor.

After factoring in the house’s downpayment, decide on how much you’ll cap your renovation expenses at. Don’t forget to factor in future loan repayments too. As a market benchmark, an average 3 or 4-room full home renovation will typically cost between $30,000 to $60,000.

Note: Be prepared to exceed your project’s cost estimates and set aside a buffer amounting to at least 10% of your renovation budget. You may encounter unforeseen circumstances like pricier substitutes for out-of-stock materials.

Use your budget as a yardstick to see which Interior design firm is able to give you the most bang for the buck.

However, you should be cautious and not automatically go for the lowest quote. Their low rates may be due to only using lower quality materials, or you may not be allowed to make changes to designs. 

Also check out on StyleMag: Ultimate Renovation Guide In Singapore (With FREE Excel Budget & Expense Tracker)

2. Reviews & Credibility

CaseTrust RCMA Interior Design ID FIrms Guide Review Style Degree Sg Singapore

Remember to look out for these 2 logos!

Firstly, check that the firm is CaseTrust and Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Supplier Association (RCMA) certified. These two accreditations should ensure that the firm has transparent prices, accountable deliverables and a good track record.

Also, if you are engaging a contractor to perform work on a HDB unit, you can only engage contractors listed in HDB’s database of Registered Renovation Contractors’ Scheme (RRCS).

Interior Design Review Platform Website Guide BTO HDB Renovation Style Degree Sg Singapore

Image Source: Qanvast

Next, look up the reviews on interior design platforms such as Renopedia, Qanvast or Homerenoguru. Read through past customer reviews, photos of past work and price quotes. You can also get personal recommendations from friends and family members who have hired interior designers before.

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3. Visit IDs’ Showrooms

To get first-hand experience of their customer service, head over to the firm’s showroom for a chat. Get to know about their past projects and ask questions you might have about their work process. 

To determine if this ID firm is for you, below are some questions that will help.

How many years of experience does this interior designer have?

This is a sure way to determine if an interior designer is the right one for you.

Some designers in Singapore may not have received formal education on design concepts. Designers in sales roles usually pick up interior design knowledge and skills from internships as they go alone, with their aim to close sales rather than understand your needs. Thus, they might not be experienced enough to provide design advice for you.

With a more experienced and educated designer, you can trust the renovation process in their hands given their expertise and knowledge. 

Can this interior designer work within my budget? 

Ask the ID whether your budget will be feasible with the services they provide. They should help you make the most out of your budget to get your dream home. Choose a designer who can provide good quality work at a price you can afford. 

Does this interior designer propose refreshing and practical ideas?

If a designer says your ideal designs might not work, listen and understand why they think so. Designers typically have expertise in space concepts, texture and colour coordination. Thus it’s their job as a professional to provide feasible alternatives and offer quality solutions for renovating your space. 

If they are unable to justify why your design won’t work, this interior designer might not be the one for you.

Make sure you are comfortable with how they interact with you as you’ll be working together during the renovation process!

4. Clear Expectation and Understanding

Now that you have narrowed down to a handful of ID firms, it’s time to iron out the details with them.

Inform them about your:

  • Budget
  • Overall style
  • Timeline
  • Your quality expectations

Some ID firms might come across as too “salesy” and might want to close the deal before fully understanding your needs. In such cases, don’t be afraid to walk away!

Once both you and the ID firm are aligned, you can be confident in signing on the dotted line, knowing that you have made a well-researched decision!

Know what else you should prepare for your first meeting with an interior designer here!

Get inspired with our other interior design articles on StyleMag!

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