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Interview with Founder Colin & Creative Director Edwin from Renozone

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About Colin & Edwin

Colin: Renozone was established in 1998. We’ve done easily over ten thousand projects over two decades. Our services include space planning, design consultation, concept design & visualisation, cost estimation, interior architecture, project management, and we provide them for both commercial and residential. We are a design and build company, we provide both designing and contracting services. Generally, we are capable of all types of renovation, including cafeterias, restaurants, hotel, HDB, condo, landed, and more.

Edwin: I have 15 years of experience in this line. At Renozone, we focus on our design purpose. You need to be very careful and listen to the owner’s wants and needs, as well as their purpose of the design they have in mind. At the end of the day, it’s all about the trust between our clients and us, how we are able to gain their trust by delivering what we promise and also the quality of the workmanship on site.

How is the stress level in this line of work?

Edwin: It is still manageable. You have to enjoy every process. Stress is inevitable, but it’s how you manage them that matters. It also depends on how much passion you have for the job. When your passion overpowers everything, then you’ll find that there’s not much stress at all.

Colin: As what Edwin has said, the passion in this trade will overcome the stress. Whatever profession you’re in, you’re bound to encounter all kinds of stress, especially when you’re in the line of service, meeting customers. How you are able to handle them depends on the experience and integrity that you have, to tackle and resolve all problems. In the end, it’s also about the passion. The moment we hand over a house to our client, and they’re happy, it lets us feel that we’ve done our part and also lets us feel the magic of being in this trade.

Image by Renozone via Renozone Interior Design House

What is one key principle that you stick to no matter which project you take on?

Edwin: The thing about design is, every year has its own colour trend, its own trending furniture collection, and it’s always changing. As interior designers, we should follow the favourite colour or theme of the owner, then use those concepts to design their house. Trends will get outdated, so go with something that they like instead. Also, colour is the most important aspect in design. Through colours, we then fit in different types of materials, curtains, tiles, sofas, carpets, and more to accommodate the colour palette.

Where do you get the inspiration for your designs from?

Edwin: When I travel overseas, staying at different hotels, and also from magazines, social media, pinterest, really anywhere can be a source for ideas. The most important thing about being an interior designer is to look around, to read, to feel. Research on how people do things the way they do, the reasoning behind their designs. Curiosity is very important, because it will help you to gain a lot of experience. From there, you start to slowly build up your own ideas and create your own style.

Image by Renozone via Renozone Interior Design House

Aesthetics or functionality?

Edwin: It depends. They are two very different things, and we will try to mix both, definitely. It is also factored by the homeowner’s preference, because you still have to cater to their daily needs and wants. I could get you a very nice looking kitchen, but if it’s lacking in functionality and cooking is done everyday, there’s no way to maintain it. So actually to me, practicality is more important.

How does loose furniture affect the essence of space?

Edwin: If you remember, back in the 70s, 80s, or even early 90s, the retro era of Singapore, the design trend was to have a lot of built-in furniture in your house. Nowadays, on the internet, you’ll see most nice designs are with modular furniture. The reason being is that you can keep changing different furniture to enhance the space, and the space will look bigger.

Image by Renozone via Renozone Interior Design House

Which place that you’ve visited gave you the most inspiration for your ideas?

Edwin: For me, there’s no single place that defines my designs. I’ve travelled around Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Australia, and I just see everything and feel everything that is creative. Every country has their own culture, I learn and try to absorb what they have to offer, then mix and match.

Example of a homeowner keeping a personal item in their new house?

Edwin: We will find out what type of item it is, then we will find a place to showcase it. Items with a story behind it, an object with history, is an art piece. For example, I had this homeowner who had this boxy granny blanket that was made and passed down by her late grandmother. I told her to frame it up, and let it be an art piece. That blanket ended up being on display in the living room, hanging on the wall. It is a memorable item, and it is a story to be told, and overall just a nice fit for the living room as well.

Image by Renozone via Renozone Interior Design House

How important is communication in an interior design process?

Edwin: Very important, if not the most important aspect in a design process. We as designers need to communicate well, in order to understand the homeowner well. Every owner has their own expectations, their own ideas, so we need to communicate and guide them, to help them fulfil what they want and to also share the pros and cons of everything.

Do you think accompanying your homeowners to shop for furniture is going the extra mile?

Edwin: My duty as an interior designer is to design every inch of your house. Therefore, I need to take part in everything, so I will try to go with you to select your furniture, colours, materials, everything.

Image by Renozone via Renozone Interior Design House

What is one moment where a homeowner has done something for you that was memorable?

Edwin: I was invited to a housewarming, where the owner had many people over. The owner introduced me, and thanked me in front of everyone, after which everybody gave a round of applause, and that really was a heartwarming moment for me.

How would you spend your time during breaks?

Edwin: Back when it was still possible, I would go anywhere with beaches. As of now, I'm always offshore fishing. Last time, I would always go to Australia. I feel that the quality of life is very important, so taking breaks is essential is need be.

Image by Renozone via Renozone Interior Design House

What advice would you give fresh or aspiring interior designers?

Edwin: You have to be very hardworking, and you must have a very positive attitude. If you’re willing to do hard work in the initial stage, then you will make it. You’ll need to be able to handle stress, tackle problems, because these will be obstacles that you’ll face. After years go by, after gaining the knowledge and experience, it will be a totally different feeling.

Any tips for homeowners?

Edwin: When looking for designers, company background is very important. Secondly, how much confidence can the designer give you? Design wise, don’t follow the trend. Design through colour, not trend.


Colin Phua (Founder)

Edwin Hong (Creative Director)

Renozone Interior Design House

116 Lavender Street #01-07, Pek Chuan Building
Singapore 338730

Tel: +65 6292 3345

Email: sales@renozone.com.sg