Thursday 12 June 2014

Showroom Magic

Sometime ago, a friend of mine visited a number of new property launches around Singapore and was amazed at the effort put into the showrooms. It looks almost like a dream home and she was almost prepared to pickup a unit!

But comparing the floor plans to the showroom revealed a very different story. What you see is not what you get!

Glass panels instead of walls
This trick is rather common and I have seen them in various showrooms around South East Asia. By making the walls transparent, small units appear spacious.

Mirrors placed in strategic places
Mirrors have always been a favorite of magicians. Place them in strategic places and rooms will appear larger than they really are.

Room doors removed
Single leaf doors take up much more space when they swing open.

High showroom ceiling
This is an optical illusion to give grandeur first impressions. Looking on the bright side, your low ceiling unit does save you some money on the air-conditioning.

Balcony area enclosed
This trick was rather cleaver. I almost fell for this one before I noticed that the designer placed the sofa across into the balcony. The whole balcony area was enclosed in a larger glass panel and air-conditioned. This created the illusion that the balcony was part of the living room!

Fortunately in Singapore, the government has taken note of various showroom tricks. Since 2013, developers are required to follow the exact structural dimensions approved in the building plan. For other countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines, there are no such regulations.

Showroom magicians are experts in recreating showrooms to look warm and inviting. However, observing how they create showroom magic allows us to spruce up our own homes! Here are some tips:
  • Keep walls white or brightly coloured
  • Ensure rooms are brightly lit and allow as much natural light as possible
  • Use vertical stripes on walls to make the ceiling look higher
  • Place a large mirror on one side of the wall
  • Remove clutter – less is more
  • Use transparent furniture
  • Use double leaf or sliding doors for rooms and closet

So the next time you visit a showroom, be sure to watch for the showroom magician’s slight of hand!

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