How to select and purchase the PERFECT products for your home - With Angel Tan from the ‘The House Directory’

Episode 29,   Feb 25, 2022, 12:30 AM

This month we talk to design professional Angel Tan, MD of The House Directory about how to source products for your project; We explore further the ‘Buy it’ stage, where will define every item which goes into furnishing and finishing your home, while making it come within your budget.
Angel has a background as an Architect and Interior Designer and so, not only does she have a company which provides direct and qualified products for the residential fit out market, but also knows the personal cost of getting it wrong!

Buy Cheap - Buy Twice
Angel and Abi talk about how undertaking this project is most likely going to be the second biggest amount you spend in one go - coming in after the purchase of the building you are extending and/or refurbishing.  We talked about understanding the temptation to save money here or there.. but how that ends up costing in the long term!

3 most important things to know when you source products

1 - Design Decisions.  
Make as many design decisions as you can at the start - which will ensure you can create a full and realistic budget
2 - Suppliers for Budget:  
To create a REALISTIC budget, contact suppliers immediately to get those quotes in for the REAL costs of the items which are in your design decision list.   It’s better to know the real cost from the start and if you can’t afford everything, you can make a considered compromise.  The larger cost items are the most important to consider.  Kitchens, Bathrooms, Window and even window dressings. 
3. Remember manufacture and delivery times:  
Look at lead times and deliveries - things now take a lot longer than before Brexit and Covid for items to arrive and if your builder is going to install / apply it for you - you could be left with a bill if you don’t supply the material inline with the build programme. 

Its better to know the real cost from the start.  If you can’t afford everything - you can make considered compromises

Angel Tan, MD The House Directory

Remember access!
Don’t fall into the trap of seeing a bargain and snapping it up quickly before you have thought about the practicalities - can you fit that sofa in your sitting room?  Can you get the bed up the stairs?  Will the headboard fit through the bedroom door?  It can be a very expensive mistake to wait weeks and weeks for furnishings only to find out that it doesn’t fit in the building.

If you don’t know the cost - have a guess!
If you have done your list of all the items you want to purchase but you are going to wait until later to specify the EXACT product - put a guess price in. You can put in £50 a meter for fabric which allows you to create a realistic budget but without specifying the exact pattern and supplier.  It is better to be generous with these ‘guesses’ because, in life, items always cost more than we guess - even us experts find this.  

Don’t forget a contingency
5 - 10% is highly recommended because there is ALWAYS something you have either forgotten or which goes slightly wrong.  

Abi and Angel lament that we see such long lists for the items they are going to purchase, all fully detailed and defined, but have forgotten the cost for shipping and deliveries. Those £50 here and £9.99 there soon add up!

When do I use The House Directory?
The moment you have defined your design (using Pinterest or Insta) and you need to start working out the cost, look at The House Directory.  You will find both suppliers and experts in the industry to help give you a realistic estimation for that item.  You know by using the House Directory you are looking at products, available in the UK and available now - it’s very easy to use just Google for research and when you go back to purchase realise the items were out of stock / out of production or the shipping cost more than the item.

The House Directory has been around for 20 years, developed from a seasoned Interior Designer and House magazine editor - there is a vast amount of information on there already, from knowledge through FAQ's to product manufacturers, suppliers and designers.  It is a recognised source for Industry professionals and home owner led refurbishment projects alike. 

For more information
The House Directory can be found at and on Instagram under the @TheHouseDirectory .For more information on this podcast and other episodes please visit and for more essential information on delivering exquisite residences that delight with Iconic form, an Incomparable finish and exceptional function, please see www.AbigailHall.Design and @AbigailHallDesign on Instagram.

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