STAY­ING POWER

With over two decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­te­rior de­sign busi­ness, Selina Tay, founder and prin­ci­pal de­signer of Col­lec­tive De­signs, is a stal­wart in her own right. Here, she shares in­sights gained on her jour­ney.

Home & Decor (Singapore) - - Contents -

Selina Tay, founder and prin­ci­pal de­signer of Col­lec­tive De­signs, is a stal­wart in her own right.

M ak­ing a dif­fer­ence. That’s what Selina Tay of Col­lec­tive De­signs keeps in mind when de­sign­ing her clients’ liv­ing spa­ces. “I want them to feel the de­sire to be at home and to spend time with fam­ily, to en­joy cook­ing and eat­ing to­gether more of­ten,” she opines. “It’s about cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for more in­ter­ac­tion. I want my clients to feel in­spired and in­vite friends home for a meal, in­stead of din­ing out. I would also like them to feel that their home is their refuge from the out­side world!”

Col­lec­tive De­signs was founded in 1991 and has come a long way, but not with­out Selina go­ing through the prover­bial school of hard knocks. She put her­self through a year of in­te­rior de­sign school, while work­ing at a con­struc­tion and home ma­te­ri­als sup­plier com­pany for three years. “It was with this com­pany that I learnt about ma­te­ri­als and their lim­i­ta­tions, both in con­struc­tion and us­age,” she re­calls. “I did that for a year but was given min­i­mal room for cre­ativ­ity. I left soon after for a car­pen­try and con­struc­tion com­pany to start up its in­te­rior de­sign depart­ment where I was given free rein. I also pur­sued my diploma in ne arts at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts con­cur­rently. For ad­di­tional in­come at the com­pany, I did its in­voic­ing, ad­min­is­tra­tion, ac­counts and other mis­cel­la­neous pa­per­work. I learnt to run a com­pany from my ex-boss whom I re­gard as my men­tor.”

To­day Col­lec­tive De­signs is a bou­tique-size rm with a staff of 18, com­pris­ing de­sign­ers, CAD de­sign­ers, soft fur­nish­ing/ decor and pro­ject/site teams, along with a back-end sup­port team.

How did you start out?

I started out as a con­sul­tancy. I al­ready had a num­ber of clients want­ing me to de­sign their homes. I was able to see projects through from start to end as I had a lot of in­dus­try con­tacts and I was able to run mul­ti­ple projects at the same time, with the best con­trac­tors and car­pen­ters at the time.

“I want my clients to feel in­spired and in­vite friends home for a meal, in­stead of din­ing out.”

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