$20 Designer-Copycat Chairs? Comedian Elliot Tan's 3-Room Bedok Flat Looks Like Mini "Taobao Showroom" - 8 Days Skip to main content

$20 Designer-Copycat Chairs? Comedian Elliot Tan's 3-Room Bedok Flat Looks Like Mini "Taobao Showroom"

Despite spending $1.2K to replace some damaged goods (not these chairs!), he says his $5K Taobao haul was worth the overall savings.

$20 Designer-Copycat Chairs? Comedian Elliot Tan's 3-Room Bedok Flat Looks Like Mini "Taobao Showroom"

Comedian Elliot Tan, 31, and his wife (he declines to share her name) are the ultimate bargain hunters. Bargain hunting, as 8days.sg finds out, takes effort and appetite for risk. Painstaking research? Check. Price comparison? Yes. Gamble on poor quality or damaged parcels? Oh yes. But as Elliot affirms to us later, it’s worth it for him to save some 40 per cent on certain furnishings.

They had set themselves a seemingly unrealistic home budget of $320,000, which included the cost of the home, renovation and furnishings. And they managed to stick to this budget, starting with the 3-room HDB resale flat in Bedok which they bought for $295,000 last April. How they managed to save money on the reno and furnishing is an inspiring tale.

First, and perhaps most significantly, there was the $50,000 in grants they received from HDB’s Housing Proximity Grant and Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme (Elliot’s wife is Vietnamese) which left them with more cash to spend on the $48,000 reno.

Renovations for the 40-year-old 775 sq ft flat, in its original condition with a squatting toilet, were extensive and took around six months to complete. The couple knew exactly what they wanted, as Elliot’s wife, who has a background in graphic design, designed the space and even did the 3D drawing herself.

They then engaged an interior designer to execute their vision. “My brief to the ID is ‘My wife has 3D pics’ and I just passed him the finalised design,” says Elliot, whom you might remember from YouTube channel TreePotatoes and meWATCH series The Breakup List.

“The original plan was to find a contractor, but project management would be an issue ‘cos the contractors we spoke to were all very Chinese-educated. My Mandarin is not the best, and my wife is Vietnamese, so we were afraid we couldn’t translate our ideas to them properly,” adds Elliot, who is also a creative director of an interactive marketing digital agency.

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