Maison Interior Design: SME Excellence Business Award & Top 50 Interior Design Award 2022/2023
Founded in 2018, Maison Interior Design started off with a strong suit in the residential sector specializing in home designs and renovation. The owner, Mr Roland Ng, initially founded Maison Interior Design as an investor with another designer cum partner out of goodwill. When his partner decided to leave the company, Mr Ng took over and continued to expand Maison Interior Design based on his observations about the potential of both the company and the industry in Singapore.
While Maison Interior Design first got their name from Maison, which is the French word for ‘home’, ever since taking over the reins of Maison Interior Design, Mr Ng added his experience in dealing with retail outlets and allowed Maison Interior Design to expand, now taking HDBs, private estates, and even commercial spaces as part of their portfolio.
With housing prices increasing gradually, Mr Ng observed that homeowners started having higher requirements on their home’s housing standards
and quality of life. No longer are simple necessities a norm for new homeowners, but the increasing demand for visual and luxurious vibes among them has sparked a new direction for many interior designers to jump on.
Mr Ng’s passion for interior design was fueled by every successful project, pushing him forward to learn from the mistakes made as well as create learning points for further improvement. Even when starting as an investor, Mr Ng was not one without the relevant skills or experience for the industry, with hobbies like photo-taking and familiarity with 3D-designing programmes, and trusting other areas of expertise for the experts to handle. For example, Maison Interior Design currently works with established designers, outsourcing the design work to present a work that is up to standard and beyond for customer satisfaction. It also allows not just a small pool of ideas by inexperienced designers, but actual expert opinion to maintain quality proposals and works for the clients.
Mr Ng’s journey with Maison Interior was never smooth sailing. Initial difficulties faced include a small client base, which Mr Ng overcame with marketing, and kept a lookout for potential customers through friends and personal connections. To spend less, Mr Ng also used his home as an office to conduct his business. It proved to kill two birds with one stone, as over the years several cases of interior designers running away using the listed company as a shell were reported in Singapore. Hence, using his home office gave assurance and guarantee for clients to
know who he was and where to find him without the fear of a vacated office. Now as the sole business owner, Mr Ng handles most of the initial meetings with clients, following up on referrals
and enquiries, handling proposals and quotations. With the design phase left to the experts as stated earlier, Mr Ng could focus on his strength in project management to provide that one-stop solution for Maison Interior Design’s clients.
Mr Ng describes his personal strength as a former partner with well-known brands in Singapore, allowing him to help commercial spaces lookout for their branding. Not just a contractor or an interior designer, Mr Ng explains that his experience in retail can allow him to take care of businesses’ branding image. With Maison Interior Design outsourcing design projects to a large pool of designers, Mr Ng sources and matches specific designers to a design requirement. Mr Ng also explains that with the rise of smart homes in Singapore, Maison Interior Design’s future direction includes incorporating smart technology and design into their portfolios.
How Maison Interior Design retains their clients depend on a series of quality control, keeping a disciplined schedule for the involved staff to take ownership of the project and be prepared to answer to the client. By providing accountability to the client as well as proper after service, they can not only resolve projects that aren’t perfect but can guide the client through any needed corrections. Mr Ng explains that this quality control assures return customers for future projects as well as referrals, and they could keep a healthy profit margin with their quality, instead of having potential clients choosing the lowest bidder.
Mr Ng shares that their marketing remains strongly on the referral basis, with quite a few enquiries from social media like Facebook and Instagram. Some of their achievements include handling the project of renovating a Jimmy Monkey branch and renovating the entire kitchen within four days on an extremely tight schedule with bureaucratic red tape in the way. However, with proper planning and reliable subcontractors, they managed to pull off the project in time.
Mr Ng shares that his character of seeking the drive of others, motivation and demanding the best is vital to the running of a business. Perseverance and practical aims while balancing how the staff views him are important as well. His main motivation is a comfortable life for his loved ones, and being able to provide it for them while balancing his work-life balance as an interior designer. In future, Mr Ng seeks established designers to collaborate with, as well as builders as Maison Interior aims to expand into the landed property renovation business.