October 4, 2015

2nd Phase Design, Singapore…The good, the bad and the downright ugly of 2nd Phase Design

My attempted home improvement became a couple of months of health destruction (ie stress levels at an all time high) as I placed my hopes and dreams in the hands of a self-proclaimed professional, but seemingly amateurish designer, who lacked any sensitivity to people’s aesthetic tastes.

In the end we ended up liking a fair amount of the changes we got in and the overall result was fine- meaning we were okay with how our apartment ended up looking but the process could have been a lot better.

Eview wasn’t hard to work with;  he was patient and listens well. His design recommendations were ok, but they didn’t seem to fit what we were looking for. We went as far as doing our own online research to explain the type of aesthetic we were looking for with examples of coloring, furniture products, and feature walls. Yet, he kept coming back to these designs that were so off and seemed much more about him than us.

His team (with the exception of the carpentry) particularly the electrician was pretty incompetent. Things were wired wrongly, misaligned and at one point it caused a short circuit. Quality of workmanship of the wiring and paint job leaves a lot to be desired. Our existing furniture and floor were not properly protected.

And the downright ugly? Three follies – foolery, fluff and fuzziness. Playing with his words, he’d given us the perception that we needed an additional telephone line which costs $120, when upon checking with the telco, we didn’t. He’d said at the onset that he has an IT specialist who can help boost our internet connectivity and strength. All the while his mastery of the obvious, buzzwords and generalities are substituted for substance. Nearing the date of installation, his “expert” solution was to install a modem and a power point on the ceiling of the passageway to the bedroom for $550. I sought my company’s IT folks’ advice and fixed the problem at no additional cost whatsoever and without having an unsightly modem and power switch hanging upside down in full view in the middle of the passageway. Eview’s greatest sin is treating this job as a transactional sale but not as one which would result in a mutually beneficial business relationship. A long-term relationship requires thinking ahead and reasoning back. There is a big difference between a coordinated series of steps to accomplish a well-defined goal and a disconnected set of things to do – one is clear; the other is fuzzy. He is ultra defensive when confronted with issues and questions, even though his team was the one who’d made a mistake which resulted in the issue. Only after some robust conversations, did he investigate, realised the error and rectified it.

Overall it was a frustrating experience. I would say if you are looking for a designer, get in your due diligence. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…


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