Verve sits down with Ben Lewis, co-founder of Trenzseater, and begins by asking about his background in design.
Growing up, I was inspired by my grandfather’s furniture business. Form an early age, his drive and passion for manufacturing some of the finest furniture in New Zealand gave me a grounding and foundation in an industry which I fell in love with. I was 14 when I designed the first sofa that went into production, and it was the start of many more. Now I design all furniture for TRENZSEATER. I had a vision to start a high-end furniture and interior design business in New Zealand, which I did at the age of 20, to cater for a market where clients wanted something personalised, different to what anyone else had. TRENZSEATER was established with my brother Hamish, and together we have grown the business into one of New Zealand’s most prominent furniture and interior design stores. Our interior design service grew purely through industry experience, with my interior design work now being highly regarded and recognised on an international level. TRENZSEATER has three stores throughout New Zealand which house all the products we manufacture to order in New Zealand, along with all our beautiful international brands from Europe. These stores truly showcase our interior design expertise, while demonstrating our unique quality of product and manner in which we present product.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
It is sophisticated elegance. It’s a design with intriguing layers of classic textures and materials, encapsulating refined opulence, set on a grand scale. A timeless classic.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I am inspired each day by design, through architecture, interior design and classic furniture design where there classic detailing provides a signature style. I am also inspired by fashion, art and antiques. Natural materials inspire me for their unique, classic qualities, such as marbles, stone and the character you get from solid timbers.
Generally, which direction do you feel design is heading?
I believe design is moving towards interiors which are eloquently layered, providing layers of interest and personality to a design that makes spaces a pleasure to be in and enjoyed at the same time. We also see, in design, the use of matte and brushed metal finishes, brass in door hardware, and light fixtures, along with the use of a lot of natural marbles and stones.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2018 and beyond.
• Include intriguing layers of texture, pattern and design
• Incorporate colour subtly into your design
•Use opulent grand scale objects
•Use a diverse mix of materials
•Incorporate well-appointed table lamps, floor lamps and pendants in your design
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design, what would it be?
Definitely to have an eye for detail. It’s the detail that sets a design apart from the ordinary and makes it something unique and special.
What are your aims and goals for the next 12 months?
To continue presenting beautiful work that clients admire, develop our retail stores within New Zealand and explore international opportunities.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A property developer.
Anything else in closing?
I love the quotes: “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart, pursue those”, and “Dream big, think big, go big”.