Renologist: Top 50 Interior Design Award 2021/2022
United by a Shared Vision
Renologist was established in June 2018 with a clear vision: to provide clients with an excellent renovation experience that is both seamless and professional. Started by two friends Gabriel and Wayne, Renologist has made a name for itself in the increasingly saturated Interior Design market in Singapore. Gabriel has over a decade of experience in the field, having worked in some of the biggest ID firms in the country prior to starting up this venture. His previous background was in the IT industry, but he found that being an interior designer gives him a lot of space to exercise his creativity. When he was still in the previous ID firm, Gabriel happened to be renovating Wayne’s house, whom he met through a mutual friend.
Wayne started off working in the banking field, specifically in relationship management, for over six years. Over time, he began noticing the different gaps in the ID industry. “For example, we noticed that there is often a communication breakdown between the ID and the clients. Also, first-time homeowners may have little knowledge in the renovation process and could use more guidance from the ID,” he says. Wayne had always wanted to be more hands-on, build something with more direct impact, and start a company with its own corporate culture. The shared passion and vision between the two then led Gabriel and Wayne to join hands and started Renologist together.
With his years of expertise in the ID field, Gabriel oversees the operations and creative direction of the company. Wayne, on the other hand, uses his financial knowledge to take on more of the financial and management side of the business. The two feel that their combined strengths and experiences help them to stand out and offer something beyond what your typical ID could, and their company’s name reflects just that. “Renologist is derived from the words renovation and -logist, which indicates an expert in the field. Just like how a surgeon, for example, is the pinnacle in the medical field, we want to be known as the best in the industry, offering a renovation process that is done both with precision and professionalism,” explains Gabriel. Their perfect 5/5 star reviews across multiple online platforms seem to be the testament to that goal of theirs.
Renologist operates with four pillars of core values in mind, which they refer to as E.P.I.C: Ethics, Professionalism, Innovation, and Communication. “Ethics refers to how we prioritize transparency and integrity in everything that we do, in order to gain trust from our clients. Professionalism means we give nothing but our utmost best from the start to finish, including pre- and post-renovation services, and deliver in a timely manner. Innovation refers to our commitment to continuously explore new and better designs and ways to improve our offerings to our clients. Lastly, we regard effective communication as an integral part of the business, where we truly listen to our clients’ needs and honor them,” shares Wayne. They also make it a point to always provide transparent pricing to their clients and work within the budget, including providing economical alternatives that will not compromise on the design and quality.
The ongoing global pandemic has posed many unprecedented challenges to businesses all around the world, and Renologist has learnt a thing or two about overcoming it. “Just like the other ID firms, we were definitely affected by the sudden hit of Covid-19. In the beginning, we struggled with rising material cost, delays in shipments, as well as shortage of manpower due to limited cross-border mobility, as many of our workers are from Malaysia. This resulted in delays in projects, which definitely inconvenienced homeowners. During the lockdown, we could only communicate with our clients via online means such as Zoom meetings. We even had to find alternative sub-contractors to complete the projects,” shares Wayne. “Things are definitely better now, but there is still an ongoing shortage of manpower which results in a longer renovation timeline. Thankfully, our clients have been really understanding and supportive, and we continue to maintain good communication with them. Being financially savvy prior to the pandemic has also worked greatly in our favor, as that put us in a position to withstand the storms at the start of the outbreak, and not have our revenue negatively impacted. In fact, our revenue has doubled almost every year, and that is an achievement that we are all really proud of,” he concludes.
Going the Extra Mile (Or Two)
“We also do not hesitate to go the extra mile in order to satisfy each and every one of our clients,” adds Gabriel. For example, land scarcity is a common issue faced by homeowners here in Singapore. In order to counter that, innovative design and appropriate furniture choices play a huge role in maximizing the space. Beyond just the usual technique of using brighter colors to give the illusion of a bigger area, they also often research what type of furniture or decoration choices that can be incorporated into the design that will offer both pleasing aesthetics as well as functionality. “Sometimes the choices can be limited to what is available in the market. However, we also import hardware from overseas, or sometimes try to mimic and build one ourselves if the mechanism is hard to obtain or not fully developed yet. There may be some risks involved in terms of wear and tear down the road, but we work closely with the clients to see what we can do to turn their dream homes into reality as much as possible,” says Gabriel. Other than designing residential spaces, Renologist is also well-versed in commercial designs and has taken on various F&B, retail spaces, offices, and industrial projects.
Speaking of future plans, Wayne and Gabriel are both excited and confident of the path that is ahead of Renologist. “We are in the midst of setting up another showroom that is double the size of the current one. Our team has also grown over the years to a team of 20 employees now. In terms of revenue growth, it has steadily increased and we continue to be on track to meet our target. Overall, we believe in organic growth and focus our efforts to continue building a solid team of experts and a positive corporate culture,” says Wayne.
“We are also working on Renologist Bespoke, which is a premium service that we hope to roll in the next year or two,” adds Gabriel. “The concept of this service is basically to reverse engineer the current workflow that many IDs offer. Instead of working with an existing budget from clients, we want to create exclusive designs without any budget constraints. This will include furniture selection and comprehensive curation of the space. We also want to offer value-added service for our premium clients by sourcing furniture directly from the supplier and offering them at the same price to clients, essentially providing a one-stop solution from start to finish. We believe this will provide our clients with not only top-notch design and premium selection of furniture, but also the convenience and the ease of having all their renovation needs taken care of.”