Saturday 22 October 2016

Designer notes... from Robert Trench

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 28/02/2016 | 02:30

Robert Trench
Robert Trench

After many years working in the interiors sector, Robert Trench set up the multi-disciplined design house Studio Trench in 2013. With a workshop in Carlow and a studio in Dalkey, Studio Trench designs and manufactures bespoke cabinetry, wardrobes, book cases and home office furniture.

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Scandi design with an Irish twist

My mother is Danish and I inherited her design genes. My childhood design influences were the Persian carpets and period furniture found in the grand old apartments of my relatives in Copenhagen - my aunt is a painter, and my cousin is a set designer. But my designs don't follow the typical Scandinavian style of bare woods and white floors. My style is classical and practical.

Make the most of your room with smart built-in storage

Pre-made cabinets never really "fit" a room. They rarely match any ceiling heights or room dimensions, so you're almost always left with gaps which collect dust and end up wasting space. From a functional point of view, built-ins use all the available space, and aesthetically you have full control over how they look in the room.

Bespoke cabinetry doesn't have to be a life-long commitment

Although the cabinets are custom-made and fitted, they can still be removed and taken with you if you ever move, which is often a concern for the client. Ultimately built-in cabinetry complements the interiors style and allows you to achieve harmony in the room.

Walk-in wardrobes aren't Just for luxury homes

Many women dream of a walk-in wardrobe, and there are a lot of men who would love to have the right hanging space for their suits and shirts. When the wardrobe is bespoke, every available centimetre is used so the amount of extra storage that is created allows you to store so much more. You don't always need a completely separate room either. I'm working with a client who has a small bedroom, so we are splitting the room in two. When you enter, you pass through the walk-in wardrobe area to get to their bed. All you see when in bed is a lovely bedroom and no cabinets.

Inject warmth with copper and brass

It's the contrast of finishes that I love when you mix metalwork with woodwork. There is something so welcoming about brass and copper compared to chrome or aluminium. My skill is being able to create designs and resolve the technical combination of the metal and wood.

Avoid turning your spare room into a dumping ground

Every house needs a dumping ground - but one that is at least organised. The key really is using the vertical space of a room: shelving all the way to the ceiling can accommodate so much and still be quite shallow in depth, so you could still have it as a presentable spare room and see some carpet space.

Studio Trench is among the exhibitors at House 2016, showcasing the very best of homewares and interior design at the RDS, from May 20-22. For more information, visit

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