How Interior Design Adds Value to Your Property with Jin Chen, Ecru Studio
Taipei-based interior designer Jin Chen @ECRU.STUDIO is known for his minimalist touch with a hint of wabi-sabi sensibility. Started out as an antique furniture dealer, the self-taught designer expanded his aesthetic ideas into his own F&B projects such as restaurant Xiang Se and membership bar Staff Only. While the bar interior is prominently inspired by Art Deco glamour, the space of Xiang Se and his overall approach denote a subtle interplay of contemporary and vintage pieces in an unfurnished, rustic space that has become Chen’s signature spatial language in the capital of Taiwan.
Relationship between Interior & Property
1. Why is interior design and home styling important to selling a property?
These two occupations are just like brand consultants of space. No matter how much you would like to sell your property for and to what kind of clientele, leave it to the designers and they will accurately translate your requirements into tangible, visual results using a spatial language. This will allow your target clientele to resonate with the softwares and hardwares of this space and feel enticed to it. Simply put – designers can attract the clientele that you want through their works.
2. How does interior design add value to a property?
An interior designer’s job is to create feelings: bright, tranquil, rustic, minimalistic – these are all feelings. How people feel and resonate with what the designers want to get across, and how to spend the budget on the most crucial aspects of creating these feelings, are the key for interior designers to add value to a space.
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3. From your experience of working with homeowners, what are the common features they often look for and request?
Storage, storage and storage. There really are plenty of things in a home that need to be stored away. Adequate storage space can keep things tidy and out of sight, yet if there is too much storage the home will become less spacious and the traffic flow less efficient.
4. Top tips for home styling that can help upgrade home and sell a property for a better price.
Definitely comfort, tidiness and artisticness. I would pay more attention to the textiles and artworks. Softer fabrics can easily convey the happiness of home, while the placement of art pieces such as hanging a painting on the wall or displaying some sculptures can give your home a profoundly artistic and luxurious look.
5. If the budget is tight, what should we focus on getting it right?
Focus on the ceiling, flooring, texture and colour of the walls. I think when the budget is tight, these are the most important parts. As long as you get these right, you don’t need to do too much design or install many fixtures; just pair with good quality furniture and you will achieve wonderful results. In fact, this is what our studio has been doing – we simply do it more assiduously.
6. Common misconceptions about interior design and home styling that you'd like to debunk.
Absolutely do not follow trends. Don’t invest in those same designs and furniture because you have seen them recently in magazines, on Instagram or Pinterest. Soon after when the next trend comes along, what you have done would seem really outdated and foolish. Understand how the ceiling, flooring, walls, colour scheme and materials can work together harmoniously, and spend more time studying classic furniture pieces. A home should be timeless.
Work with Interior Designers
7. What do we need to be aware of and pay more attention to when working with interior designers?
Usually clients and designers stand at the poles of rationality and sensibility. Of course both want the design to be both beautiful and practical. Though from my experience, the clients tend to be more rational and concerned with practicality, whereas the designer would lean towards being sensorial and driven by aesthetics. Entrusting interior design to professionals is actually an opportunity to review your habits and way of living – identify the most essential everyday functions and storage needs, discuss the rest with the designer thoroughly, then let the designer do his or her magic. I believe this is the most viable way to achieve results that are satisfying to both parties.
8. One of your specialties is antiques. How do antiques enhance home styling? What kind of pieces would work well?
Antiques can accentuate home interiors like the icing on the cake. They bring an entirely different mood to the home, adding warmth and a sense of life; the extraordinary colours of antiques would pop among the new furniture. If you are an advanced furniture enthusiast, consider using antiques to set your home apart from the others. Every piece of antique is almost unique, as opposed to new factory-made furniture. My suggestion is start with dining tables, coffee tables or side tables and acquire pieces one by one.