Delighted to include this beautiful interior design studio and showroom in the South East section of the Interior Design Toolkit Design Directory. Definitely ‘Luxe’ in style, I interviewed the owner, Tobias Trigg, about his work and his very special set up.
AG: Please tell me a little about the USP of Tobias Oliver Interiors what makes you different?
TT: I wanted to bring a little bit of Central London to Berkhamsted. We have a showroom that resembles an apartment with a living area, a bar, a study, an art gallery, a show kitchen and a bathroom. We specialise in tonal interiors, offering seamlessly elegant designs, with a hint of quirk. We are one of the main UK retail showrooms, aside from their HQ at Chelsea Harbour, for Porta Romana lighting.
We hold regular events and involve local suppliers. For instance, for a cheese and wine evening we would invite a local cheesemonger and sommelier. Our art exhibitions show almost entirely local artists. There are so many talented people nearby!
AG: Tell me a little about Berkhamsted?
TT: Berkhamsted is a pretty market town in Hertfordshire, only thirty minutes away by train from Central London. It has been voted best town to live in the UK 3 times over the years by The Times newspaper. It has a wonderful sense of community, I was brought up here and my family and friends have been super supportive. All the staff are closely linked through the community
AG: What drew you there?
TT: I went to school at Berkhamsted Boys and most of my family live and work in, or close, to the town. It felt natural for me to move back to the area as it is a wonderful place to live, whilst also being close to my family. I have had a close affinity with the building, which is now the showroom, since I was a child. I used to sit on the front door steps waiting to be picked up from school. The building was built in 1865 and has a huge amount local history to it – we are humbled to be a part of that.
AG: Where did you train as an interior designer?
TT: Firstly I carried out a foundation course in art at the Chelsea College of Art and Design. I then went on to study interior design at the American Intercontinental University on Marylebone High Street, London (now known as the Regents University). I chose this course as it gave the students the opportunity to study for an extra year (four in total) to receive a American Degree as well as the British Degree. This means that I can work around the world with the correct accreditations. This is required by law in certain countries – hopefully one day this one too. I didn’t want to place any restrictions on my career so this felt like a necessary decision. Fortunately it has already come into good use.
AG: With no regard for budget or current Covid19 restrictions where would your dream holiday destination be?
TT: My dream destination is a little known place called Palawan in the Philippines. From what I read and hear it is mostly unspoilt and feels like paradise on Earth: a total escape where I can completely unwind. Although I typically find myself sifting through markets in places such as these; where I love to find treasures I can bring home and use in my design schemes!
AG: Your favourite restaurant?
TT: A long standing fish restaurant in Soho called Randall & Aubin. I am a loyal and regular customer.
AG: Your favourite ‘meal in’?
TT: Seared tuna steak in a Chimichurri sauce – never fails!
AG: Your favourite tipple?
TT: Vodka Martini – no hesitation – I am very set in my ways!
AG: Your favourite product from the showroom and why?
TT: My favourite product? There are so many, it is difficult to choose! But these two I love, from The HAAS Brothers collection in the showroom. Scottish clients often purchase them as they remind them of highland cows and sheep.
Lynda is an exquisitely decorated yet secretive creature, who likes to hide treasure in her belly. She rewards anyone brave enough to come close to discover the surprise of what she keeps within. Designed to create an unforgettable serving ceremony. Available in black or white porcelain. Also available in 24K gold + pink – limited edition of 500.
I also love the HAAS Monster Incense Burner
The L’OBJET Haas Brothers collection is a meeting of imaginative minds and skilled hands. Inspired by the otherworldly landscape of Joshua Tree, Los Angeles-based artists Simon and Nikolai Haas worked in close collaboration with the master craftsmen at L’OBJET to create a collection that spans tableware, home décor, textiles and fragrance. Together, they have brought to life a family of characterful creatures with the highest quality of finish and function. These are objects to be cherished. In using them, everyday moments become memorable; the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The monster incense burner produces a delightful experience – a light incense is concealed under the monster’s porcelain torso, as the incense smoulders, it’s fragrant smoke will be released through the creature’s brass horns. The deeply sculpted hair on this vessel pushes porcelain to its limits creating a texture that is both sophisticated and wild.
Toby has very generously offered a 15% discount to subscribers of the Interior Design Toolkit blog, the Great Scottish Indoors, for purchases over £100 for 6 months. Just get in touch!