Having delivered more than 1,000 interior design projects across Malaysia for residences, office and retail spaces, and schools, Skyler Chong, founder of One Space Sdn Bhd shares in a recent interview on how he and his team aim to provide a one-stop interior design and build service, guiding clients to realise their concepts and offering customized solutions to fit.
Skyler Chong established One Space in 2009 as a sole proprietorship business, specialising in comprehensive interior detailing, space planning, project management and contracting. The company later became a private limited company in 2012.
Upon graduating with a diploma in Interior Design from the Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA), Chong secured an interior design position at one of the most successful local interior designer firms in Malaysia, which afforded him the learning experience in designing projects, from preparing proposals to scheduling and coordinating various project phases.
After working for four years, Chong set up One Space with the vision of designing and building a living concept which he calls it the “one-space philosophy”.
“One-space philosophy is a design philosophy that inter-connects various zones such as kitchen, bathroom and living room, in a home to support interaction and communication among family members,” says Chong as he starts explaining what it is all about. “For example, homemakers would be cooking in the kitchen but they need to monitor their children as well. The one-space design philosophy is used by not having a brick wall separating the kitchen from other areas in the house. Perhaps this might not be practical for a terraced or semi-detached home but feasible for an apartment. We can have the dry kitchen inter-connected with the living room that supports interaction among family members.”
The one-space design philosophy can also be applied to office space where there are no office cubicles but an open-plan concept to support communication and group discussions among employees. Similarly, One Space has used this design philosophy for restaurants where diners are able to see the kitchen space and interact with chefs.
“I was inspired by this one-space design philosophy when I was living in Hong Kong. I understood the concept of compact living and how to optimize limited space – the apartment that I stayed in was 400sq feet in size,” smiles the creative entrepreneur.
“Furniture suppliers and contractors call themselves interior designers as well but more often than not for they sub-contract the interior design services to freelancers. Clients also claim that they can do interior designing with the help of Pinterest, and as such, they are not willing to hire and pay for a proper interior designer,” says Chong.
“But to know interior design, you need to know about construction, materials, furniture, colours and paint. We, on the other hand, know all of that, and we also supply the products from furniture and curtains to kitchen and wallpaper,” he elaborates.
“We are able to supply all those products directly because we are dealers for various home products and accessories. For instance, we are one of the dealers for Signature Kitchen, and because we are dealers for many brands, we are able to provide from A to Z under one brand at attractive prices,” explains Chong.
Despite the competitive challenges in the interior design marketplace, One Space has garnered ten years of accumulated expertise coupled with an expansive portfolio. The company increased from a staff strength of ten to thirty employees, and its revenues grew from a single million digit to double-digit millions. One Space has also ventured into custom-made woodworking product as well, and has become one of the dealers for Baagus, a brand recognised for curtains, blinds and wallpaper. Additionally, it is expanding its number of outlets to Penang and Sanctuary Mall in Kota Kemuning.
“Within the next five years, we hope to become Malaysia’s first and leading E-Space Living provider. Clients will be able to submit their interior design and build plans online based on their styles, designs and budget – it could be standard or luxury range. We will then mix and match for them based on their submissions. Clients can also buy products from our website, from cabinets and appliance to upholstery and paint colours,” says the visionary Chong.