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Two Female Designers Who Know What Women Want

Midtown Gardens by Guocoland Tan Quee Lan Street Bugis MRT Station

Obviously, men and women are different, have different tastes and need and want disparate things.  It’s therefore reasonable to conclude that women are better able to understand what women want.  This very realisation has fueled the success of Metier Planner Pte. Limited.  Recently, HomeRenoGuru sat down with Principal Designer Jocelyn Shu and her sister Senior Designer Jaslynn Shu of Metier Planner to discuss their unique perspectives on interior design.

So, what are the unique difficulties and advantages of being women founders/operators of an interior design company? Upon being asked, Jocelyn answered that even though they knew it “was never going to be easy” to operate in this male-dominated field, their feminine perspective has actually helped them more than it has hurt them in this competitive industry.  Most importantly, she said that it has given them better “communication chemistry” with more Midtown Garden homeowners, especially with women clients.  Jaslynn, clarifying what this chemistry meant, explained that “As females, we know that we ourselves have endless wants and needs.”  Many times, women’s needs are never considered, or are merely ignored when home renovations are planned.  As we manage a project, “many [women] clients will step in and start telling us how much space they need…”  Jocelyn added that their personal experience with using traditionally feminine furniture and spaces, like vanity cabinets, sophisticated wardrobe closets and kitchens geared for housewives, make it far easier for women to communicate their needs to them.  At the same time, she said there are no sacrifices in skill or attention to detail made by their customers, as both male and women designers possess the same professional knowledge and dedication to excellence.

In what ways, if any, do Jaslynn and Jocelyn think women’s renovation plans are different from those of men?  Prefacing her answers by noting that these were just their personal views and professional experiences, Jaslynn said that the primary difference between men and women is that, unlike most men, females have many roles and are multitaskers.  She said, they go “from being a supervisor at work, to a caring mother and wife…back home.”  Therefore, Jaslynn explains, “female clients’ wish-lists tend to be a little longer than male clients’” and their multitasking makes it essential that “their things [are] stored in an orderly manner” so they can save time during their daily routine for family life.  Jocelyn noted that women’s wish-lists tended to focus on the bedroom and kitchen areas.  Kitchens, in particular, tend to be a lady’s domain as women are most often the in-house chefs.

At this point, you may be wondering how many women designers actually work for their company and how they are assigned.  Jaslynn answered that their design team is small and includes just three or four women.  Jumping in, Jocelyn explained that, as they make assignments, Metier Planner does not “apply specific criteria in allocating projects” and merely selects a designer based on how well they fit the particular project.  With that said, the principal designer reminded us that “all of [their] designers are professionally trained, from product knowledge to project management tactics” and their “male designers…are as meticulous as [their women] designers…”

So, what are some memorable projects completed by Metier Planner’s women designers for ladies?  Each sister remembered a different notable project done by women for women.  Jocelyn remembered how one wife changed a master bathroom plan in her family’s three-bedroom Bedok South apartment.  She had them change the room’s colour scheme to fit her monochromatic visions and create additional storage space for her facial products.  Additionally, the women designers decided “to deviate from simple wall and floor tiles…[by creating] borders to give the overall design an edge.”  Upon being asked, Jaslynn recalled the compact dresser they designed for the busy owner of a two-bedroom Telok Blangah apartment.  In order to save space, they crafted a small dresser with a “concealed…sliding tray in her wardrobe, which [could] be brought out to use” whenever she pleased.  This was a perfect place, in her limited room, for applying her make-up before work and her facial care products prior to sleeping.

What final words of wisdom do these women home design pioneers have for potential clients?  Well, Jaslynn asserts that their designers are exceedingly detail-oriented, conscientiously dedicated to all your project ideas and make “sure…there are no communication breakdowns at any point in time.”  Jocelyn, reiterating much of what Jaslynn stated, further suggests that clients have “a customised dresser incorporated into [their] wardrobe, rather than getting a ready-made dresser off the shelves.”  Concluding, the senior designer said, “Being females ourselves, we understand ladies’ needs and wants. We respect everyone’s input and will never dismiss your concerns as trivial or frivolous.”

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