D5 Studio Image, the interior design firm at the heart of the Mediacorp Designer in the House home renovation scandal, has spoken out.
The firm said that Mediacorp knew that the homeowner it featured, Max, was a D5 staff as it had disclosed the relationship “before filming begun”.
D5 said it gave Mediacorp “other projects” to choose from for the show but Mediacorp chose Max’s project for its home design.
The home renovation scandal raised an uproar online after the revelation that Max was employed by D5, as many had been wondering why a young Singaporean couple would pay S$95,000 for the “minimalist” home design featured in that episode of Designer in the House.
People also questioned why the couple didn’t make a fuss about the cost coming in at about 30 percent over their budget, and the delays associated with the project.
Some speculated that this the whole episode was an underhanded form of advertising involving Mediacorp and D5.
This is D5 Studio Image’s full statement on the matter:
“Recently, we have received many comments on our episode on ‘Designer in the house’. We apologised that we were unable to timely address the matter as we were overseas.
Firstly, the program was filmed more than 6 months ago and we were unaware of how the final show would be edited and presented until we saw it on TV. Unfortunately, the show did not mention that the homeowners were actually consulted and well informed of all the prices and extended timeline throughout the renovation process. All amendments were discussed and agreed before work commenced. Furthermore, we wish to clarify that we had also submitted other projects for Mediacorp to choose for the show. As explained by Mediacorp in its public statement released recently, Max’s house was chosen by Mediacorp for its home design.
Secondly, the extended timeline was due to the owners’ last-minute request for additional mechanisms from Germany which had a delivery lead time of 3 weeks. We also had to re-fabricate new kitchen fittings to accommodate a bigger fridge which was not in the original plan. All these changes were communicated with the owners and they were agreeable to it.
Thirdly, price-wise, the owners were highly aware of the individual cost breakdown and the total cost of $95k was made known to the owners before we proceeded with the requested works. The high cost was due to the extensive carpentry and tiling works. Also, the entire house was customised and built from scratch. The only thing that was unchanged was the HDB windows. However, this was not portrayed on the TV episode. We would like to further add that we would not have proceeded with the works had we not have some form of assurance that we would be paid for it.
Lastly, there are concerns that the owner is an employee of the company. We understand that there has been a misconception propagated recently that Max was not employed at the time the show was filmed and produced.
We wish to clarify that this is an inaccurate statement .We understand that Mediacorp did not make that statement”
Indeed, the owner of the house, Max Lee, is also an employee at our company. This working relationship was disclosed before filming had begun. Moreover, Max and Michelle are our clients in that they did sign a contract with D5 and paid us for our services.
At D5, we adopt an open, transparent and 2-way communication with all our clients. We constantly discuss and update our clients on the costings and progress. Clients are also encouraged to cross compare our quotations with other companies.
In light of the above, we seek your kind understanding and co-operation to be careful and exercise discretion in reading and/or spreading any form of untrue and/or malicious statements have been made against our company. We invite you to raise any concerns that you may have with us directly and will be more than happy to address them.
We thank all our past and current customers for their continuous support. We also thank all the viewers who liked or disliked our ‘Muji’ inspired theme. We take each comment seriously and will strive to work harder to provide better services.”