Confessions of a Wannabe Home Designer

Being one of the co-founders of Recommend.my, I consider myself “in the know” when it comes to home improvement and maintenance.

Hey, we survived the 7-year itch, a few Covid-19 lockdowns, I could maybe call myself the expert at all things home interiors. Can, right?

When I had to design my own home, I realised that everything I knew about decoration and interior designing was WRONG. I did not have a CLUE about home decoration, and I didn’t ask the right questions or make the right trade-offs at all, because I forgot that I had to house 2 monsters (that are my loving children) who destroy my dream home every day.

If only I could turn back time and make the right choices, I would. Instead, I’m writing this article in the hopes you’ll live a better life.

Paint colour

What I told the designer: I would like a taupe colour for the walls, reflecting the sun’s warmth during the day and glimmering with a cool silver sheen as the evening melts into the night.

What I should have told the designer: Give me water-proof, pencil-proof, paint-proof, curry-proof, and pee-proof paint. Doesn’t matter what colour, it will all turn out grey.

Children scribbling on walls
The state of my walls except it’s way worse

Sofa selection

What I told the designer: I would like a comfortable sofa with a modern tuxedo shape, with low backs and European natural self-breathing fabrics in calm neutral tones.

What I should have told the designer: Make sure the spring can withstand 20kg weight jumping on it at least 10 times a day, shouting “Bounce bounce bounce!”. And make sure the bottom canvas cannot be ripped to pieces by a bored toddler pretending to be a cat. Make sure the covers can be spun in the washing machine without shrinking because they probably have stains from God knows where.

Design of kitchen

What I told the designer: I would like to be Jamie Oliver – when I bake cookies, I would like to place them on the open counter where the smell will waft through the house, creating a wonderful scent of a happy home. Please create an open-kitchen concept.

What I should have told the designer: Close it up; close up the kitchen! Who needs sambal belacan smell all over their house while they are trying to watch TV. Also, install a safety gate to keep the monsters out!

Design of living room

What I told the designer: I would like the finest crystal table, which reflects the lights of the chandelier hanging above. All the furniture needs to have sleek clean lines.

What I should have told the designer: Just make sure the corners can install those child-proof corner protector things from IKEA so that the monsters don’t bump their heads.

Corner bumpers from IKEA to keep from children getting hurt on the corners
These corner bumpers from IKEA are a lifesaver (literally)

Design of bathroom

What I told the designer: Granite! Marble! I want to take baths, surrounded by the smooth shine of natural stones dug out of 1,000-year-old hills in Turkey and transported here just for me.

What I should have told the designer: The tiles on the floor; make them so rough that a slimy snake also cannot slip on that floor. Otherwise, need to install the rubber flooring mats you find in KLIA2 toilet.

Granite tiles for bathroom
Anything that will keep these little kids on their two feet. Source: Niro Granite

Stairs

What I told the designer: I would like circular stairs that curve gracefully up towards the first floor, like the trajectory of my life. Each stair must be graceful and narrow, just like the paths of success.

What I should have told the designer: Safety handlebars, safety handlebars, safety handlebars…

Staircase with handrails
Forget pretty tread lights or glass railings, THIS is what I need

Home colour palette

What I told the designer: I love monochromatic designs, see whether you can do a 1980s black-and-white theme, everything shades of calm grey…

What I should have told the designer: Just make sure my home decoration colours can match Lego Creative Brick Box set. Because these pieces will be on the table, on the floor, under the couch, behind the door, in my kitchen cabinet, EVERYWHERE.

Lego set for kids
I’m immune to how these feel on my feet now…. Source: Lego.com

But most of all, I wish I had an interior designer that already knew this. That understood what I needed in a house filled with frenzied children that’s practical, durable, and long-lasting, or at least until they grew up and learned not to rip up the couch.

One interior design firm on our platform actually specializes in designing homes for young families, which is R.Works Interior Design. They’ve got multiple projects working on homes with toddlers and little kids that fit the lifestyle of these families.

If you’re looking for such designers to help with your family home, search them up on Recommend.my because I most certainly would have!

Design a home made for kids
Connect with the best yet affordable interior designers across Malaysia that have served family homes, rental units, commercial outlets, and more. Design your home according to your requirements and desire! Submit your details and start receiving multiple quotations in no time.

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