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Interior designers often spend a lot of time and effort on interior design, but they don’t focus on carpentry at the same time. Wouldn’t it be great to have carpentry skills that aren’t just used for building furniture, but also for making the rest of the house look good?

Building furniture is something you can learn as an apprentice or a journeyman. But learning to make your own timber furniture is not an apprenticeship: it requires specialised training and knowledge. You can only learn this if you start by hand-crafting everything from scratch, from sawing materials to getting them dry-milled into boards and then sanding them down to shape. And once you have that experience under your belt, then you’re ready to move on to building your own furniture in a factory environment.

Some Important Facts about Interior Design and Carpentry
Interior designers and carpenters are the two most important professions in the world, so it’s important to know a bit about them.

The interior design industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in Singapore. In essence, interior design as “the art and craft of designing and constructing a home, office or other building to meet specific personal or professional needs, often with an eye toward creating an aesthetic balance with other elements in that environment”. In other words, it involves everything from furniture selection to lighting design (and even how much stuff you need).

One thing that these professionals seem to lack when moving into interior design is experience.

Carpentry is a fundamental aspect of making something look good and is incredibly important to the way we live in our homes and offices. Not only can it be a big chunk of your home design budget, but it also has an important role in the way you interact with your surroundings. Whether you are designing a room in your home or building a house for someone else, if you build something that looks good and fits together well, you will be able to present a unified space that is easy to use and understand, which will make your users want to stick around longer. You will also be able to hide or disguise things from the view that need attention or might otherwise make them feel awkward (like sculpture).

In my opinion, there are three main reasons why interior designers should consider carpenters as an essential part of their team:

  • Carpentry/woodworking skills are everywhere in people’s lives — and if you know what tools you need for the job, then it would save you money to hire someone who can help you with it.
  • Carpentry is great for making things look better (as well as helping us get around better), but the real value comes from the way it makes our lives easier and more pleasant (and less complicated). That’s where carpentry really shines — by making us look better when we go through our daily routine and by getting us through life with fewer conflicts than we might otherwise have (like how furniture doesn’t make all the difference between two rooms).
  • The last reason is more emotional: carpentry is a fundamental part of healthy relationships between people. If we don’t combine our lives into pieces that everyone can use, then we won’t know how to solve our problems because we won’t be able to empathize with people around us. Ultimately, this means that every time someone comes over wanting something new or different from me (or my partner!), I have another problem solved!

So while I will always love carpentering skills because they let me feel like I am contributing something positive to society in some small way (I think about this every time I build something), I also hope one day these skills will not become obsolete in Singapore.

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