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Showflat Tricks That May Fool You & How to Avoid Them

The Antares Condo

Showrooms are designed to impress potential buyers with their tall ceilings, well-planned rooms, and open spaces that clearly demonstrate where everything should go. However, it's important to be aware that not everything is as it seems. Show flats often use common tricks to create a false impression, and it's important to know how to spot them to avoid being deceived.

1. Rearranged Layout to Conceal Any Awkwardness

Some showrooms have an altered layout to some extent, which makes the space appear much larger. However, this can make it difficult to assess the amount of renovation required to achieve the same result. By rearranging the floor plan layout, the inefficient corridors, uncomfortable corners, and even unrealistic bedroom sizes can be concealed with restructured rooms.

Therefore, it is essential to get a copy of the floor plan because it allows you to see the unit in its raw form, without any embellishments. By examining the floor plan, you can easily identify any inefficiencies in your potential home-to-be. For example, are there any awkward corners or long corridors that may be problematic?

2. Walls & Doors Brought Down

To create an illusion of more space and brightness, showrooms often feature an open-concept design where some walls are removed or glass walls are used instead. All showflats have no doors to further enhance the open-concept design and create a seamless flow between rooms. Doors create physical barriers that can make a space feel smaller and more confined. Without them, the space feels more open and natural light can flow freely throughout the room, making it feel brighter and more inviting to the potential buyer.

When inspecting a showroom, pay attention to the markings on the floor, which reveal the actual location, thickness, and width of the walls or doors.

Referring to the image above, the floor markings are where doors would be. In showflats, they are removed to create an open space. Picture the space with doors instead. This will help you gain a more accurate understanding of what you're getting.

If you're particularly fond of the showroom's layout, you can also consider removing non-structural walls in your actual unit. Keep in mind that this would involve hacking works and may require professional assistance.

3. Material in Perfect Condition

Showflats are designed to make a strong impression, which is why it's safe to assume that everything (including surfaces, fixtures, and fittings) will be presented in excellent condition or showcased in the most favorable light possible. However, it's important to consider how long these elements will remain in pristine condition once they are installed in your own home.

When considering the materials used in a showflat, it's important to keep in mind that they may not be the best choice for your own home. While genuine marble might appear more attractive and resistant to heat, faux marble is less expensive and has the added benefit of being non-porous. Therefore, it's important to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of what is presented in a showroom and to explore alternative options. If you're uncertain about which materials to choose, don't hesitate to ask for advice.

4. Entice With an Extensive Selection of Appliances, Fittings and Fixtures

Developers may use a wide range of white goods, fittings, and fixtures to distract potential buyers and make their showrooms more attractive. However, it's important to remember that what you see may not be what you actually get.

It's crucial to check with the developer to ensure that you know the exact model of the white goods you'll receive and the specific fittings and fixtures included in the unit. Sometimes, developers may only provide partial fixtures or fittings, such as only providing the bottom row of kitchen cabinets. By getting a clear list of what's included, you can avoid any surprises and ensure that you're getting what you expected.

Besides that, it's also recommended to scrutinise the finishing quality, especially if the showflat has been on display for a while, to assess wear and tear. Checking all fittings and fixtures helps to manage expectations before moving into your new home.

5. Tailored Space-Saving Furniture for Compact Areas

To optimize the limited space, developers often use custom-made furniture in small areas such as bedrooms and dining rooms. Make sure to move the furniture around, especially the dining chairs, to accurately determine the available walking space. You may find that there is not enough clearance to move around comfortably. Also, pay attention to the size of the mattresses and bed frames used in the showroom bedrooms to ensure that standard sizes are used.

6. Mirrors Are Installed To Make A Space Look Spacious

By strategically placing wall mirrors and utilizing a light interior design scheme, even a small space can appear more spacious. Additionally, installing ceiling to floor mirrors in the dining or living room can reflect natural light and enhance the overall brightness of the space. This will make the room more visually appealing.

7. Increased Ceiling Height to Create an Illusion of More Space and Depth

A high ceiling is one of the most coveted features in a home, as it creates a sense of space and depth, and this is often showcased in showflats. However, it is worth noting that not all units in a development have the same ceiling height. For example, a ground or top-floor unit may have a ceiling height of 3.5 metres, while a regular unit may only be 2.9 metres tall.

Developers may want to showcase their show flats with the highest possible ceiling, but as a potential homeowner, it is important to inquire about the ceiling height of the specific unit you are interested in, to avoid any potential disappointment.

8. Private Enclosed Space (PES) Gives the Impression of a Bigger Unit

When comparing a ground floor unit to a regular unit, you may notice that the former typically has a larger Private Enclosed Space (PES), which is essentially a patio that is bigger than the balconies of units on higher floors. Showrooms often showcase these larger PES areas, which can give the impression of having more outdoor space than you will actually have. As a potential buyer, it is important to verify the actual size of the balcony for the unit you are interested in with the developer.

9. ID Treatment

In a showflat, every aspect is carefully designed to highlight the unit's best features and conceal any imperfections. While it can be visually pleasing, it's important to pay attention to labels that indicate "ID treatment," "interior design purposes," or "showflat treatment" so that you can differentiate what will be included in your unit and what won't.

Here's a breakdown of what to expect in your actual unit:

Flooring: The living room, dining room, corridors, and entrance will likely be tiled, while bedrooms can be tiled or timbered. Bathrooms and kitchens are also typically tiled, usually with marble or a similar material.

Walls: Unlike the lush wallpapers and feature walls often seen in showflats, your walls will likely be blank and white. However, you can hire an interior designer to customize this to your liking.

Bathroom: The main vanity mirrors, cupboards, sinks, taps, shower heads, shower, and glass doors will be included.

Kitchen: Most cupboards, stove, ovens, countertops, fridge, freezers, washers, and dryers will usually be included. However, it's best to check with your property agent to confirm what is provided, as different unit types may have different packages.

Bedrooms: Built-in wardrobes and air conditioners are included. Be sure to check inside the wardrobes to ensure they have adequate sections, shelving, and drawers to meet your needs.

Furniture: These are not included.


In conclusion, while showrooms are designed to impress potential buyers with their stylish interiors, it's important to be aware that they often use tricks to create a false impression. By being aware of these tricks, buyers can make informed decisions and avoid any unpleasant surprises when moving into their new home.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us should you have more questions!

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