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top takeaways:

  • think of custom built-in not as an expense but as an investment

turning a bare unit into the showroom unit that it was

Type: 3-bedroom condo


Written by Danny Chan

Published Nov. 1, 2020


If you purchased a presale condo, chances are that you have been waiting for a few years for the project to be completed. And the time has finally come for your first walk through of your unit and you are so excited. However, many homeowners are often surprised (or even disappointed) when they do their first walk through. The first complaint is how much smaller the unit feels than what they remember from the showroom. This is because developers built the showroom in a way that gives you the illusion of space. Often there are no ceiling in the showroom. Or if they do have a ceiling, it's higher than what it would be in the actual unit that you'll be purchasing. The extra height gives you the illusion of space. Secondly, many of the interior doors are often left out so the space flows well from one room to the next.

But the most drastic difference is that these showrooms are mostly designed by interior design firms to maximize the aesthetic appeal with furniture and custom built-in units. But when you see your purchased unit at your first walk-through, what you get is actually a bare unit that has been stripped of all the furniture, wall coverings, window coverings, decorations and any built-in units. What a let down this must be because it looks nothing like the beautiful showroom. In the pictures below, the BEFORE photo is actually the picture of a showroom unit, and the AFTER photo is what the unit actually looks like at the time of possession..

Our client purchased this 3-bedroom condo unit in Richmond at a pre-sale. When they contacted us, it was still about a year away from being completed. But they knew they wanted a home like the showroom that they saw. So they wanted to begin the design process early to ensure that they will move into the home of their dream. 

Creating clearly defined zones

This is a typical apartment, where the dining room and the living room are really just the one room. But our client distinctively wanted a separate dining room. So we did a custom built-in wall unit and extend it through the length of the whole living/dining area. But to clearly define the dinning area, we custom made a banquette and tugged it snuggly into the alcove that we created with the built-in. Putting a banquette against the wall is a great space saving trick that we like to use often.

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