Name: Ben Lewis
Position within company: General Manager
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc.)
I was inspired by my grandfather’s furniture business growing up, his drive and passion for manufacturing some of the finest furniture in New Zealand gave me from an early age a grounding and foundation in an industry which I fell in love with. My first sofa I designed and was successful for production was when I was 14, which was the start of many more as I design all our furniture designs 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, 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 3 stores throughout New Zealand which house all the products we manufacture to order in New Zealand along with all our beautiful International brands we distribute from Europe. These stores are a true showcase to our interior design expertise, 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 that is set on a grand scale. A timeless classic.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I am continuously inspired each day by design, through architecture, interior design and classic furniture design where the classic detailing provided a signature style. I also enjoy, and are inspired by fashion, art and antiques. Natural materials inspire me for their unique, classic qualities, marbles, stone and the character you get from solid timbers.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I believe clients are a lot more receptive to colour and pattern now than they used to be, used in a tasteful manner can offer a design and element of interest and personality. Also, the use of brass and natural stones are a lot more apparent now through all elements of design.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
Include intriguing layers of texture, pattern and design
Incorporate colour subtly into your design
The use of 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 which sets a design apart from the mundane, normal usual.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
I believe such a competition as prestigious as this is, celebrates those who excel in interior design and gives inspiration to those who are new to the industry, a competition like this fosters growth and excitement.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, includes several high-end luxury residential properties in both Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown, a substantial holiday home in Wanaka and a private F1 track in New Zealand.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To continue presenting beautiful work clients admire, develop our retail stores within New Zealand along with exploring International opportunities.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Memories, family and life.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Aitutaki – Rarotonga + Wanaka – New Zealand
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Woodpecker Hill in Auckland + Bluebird in Chelsea
Your favourite book / film / song?
“A Good Year”
Your favourite food and drink?
Italian, Pinot Noir
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? (in no more than 25 words)
Life is short, and kids grow up too quick so the perfect afternoon would be spent with our kids enjoying every moment we have together followed by a beautiful family dinner in our cabana.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A property developer.
Anything else interesting?
I love quotes “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart, pursue those”. “DREAM BIG, THINK BIG, GO BIG”