Renovating your home can be stressful. Deciding on whether to hire an interior designer or a contractor is entirely up to you and your renovation needs. However, it is important to understand the 2 professions before you make a decision. Here are some tips on who you should pick and why.

Interior designer

Interior designers are the artistic professionals who will combine their creativity, and design and marketing skills to bring about attractive designs for your home. They are the project managers too since they will oversee the whole renovation project and advise you on a suitable design theme for your home. 3D drawings will also be rendered to help you visualise the proposed concept.


On the other hand, contractors usually only execute the renovation works requested by the home owners and do not offer much design advice. Thus the home owners need to be clear on the renovations to be done or the final look for their home. Depending on your requirements, the contractor may hire sub-contractors such as electricians, plumbers, and painters to carry out the works.


If you already have specific ideas on what you intend to do with the space in your home, a contractor may be the person to engage as long as your instructions are clear. However, if you need to bounce ideas, interior designers will be a better bet since they can offer suggestions on the design concept that fits your lifestyle. They can also help you with decoration and the finishing touches so that a clear theme resonates throughout your home.


If you do not have time to manage vendors or suppliers, you can rely on the services of the interior designer. They are the main touch point for your renovation project, and will manage your entire renovation timeline.

If you are engaging contractors, you will need to plan the different timelines and process. Different contractors specialise in different areas, and they do not have an overview of your entire renovation process. As such, you will need to be familiar with the sequence of works so that you will not end up spending more money to rework the renovations with the individual contractors. For example, carpentry works can only commence after wiring and piping are done.


Interior designers usually charge for their design/ consultancy services as well as the works done. They will work with you to translate your ideas into a unified look for your home. This also includes sourcing for suitable materials and the furnishing required for the design concept.

On the other hand, contractors will charge for the works that have been done and the materials used. However, if you require different types of renovation works to be done – you might need to source for more than 1 contractor.

Contractor or interior designer?

If you place priority on design and service, and may not have the time to manage the renovations, an interior designer would be a good bet. However, if you are working with a tighter budget, a contractor would work as well if the works are simple to execute, but you would need to have the time to monitor the work progress yourself. Whichever route you take do note that you should engage an HDB Registered Renovation Contractor.

Have other thoughts on whether a contractor or interior designer is more suitable? Drop us a note at and tell us via MyNiceHome Facebook page.

  • Britina Tan

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