Kathryn Trentini

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There are always challenges in creating a space that feels like home! The mornings are growing a little chillier and the house feels so much colder … clutter crowds our living spaces, and our rooms begin to look a little outdated.

Here’s where an expert can help! Kathryn Trentini of Trentini Design has plenty of tips to make your home feel warm and welcoming, all year round!

Hi Kathryn. What’s your association with the Greater Port Macquarie area?

I’ve lived on cattle farms on the Mid North Coast since 2001 and relocated to Port Macquarie about 18 months ago. I’m really loving the relaxed vibe and community spirit that is special to Port Macquarie. Walking my dog on the beach every day, yoga practice – and all within this stunning area I get to call home!     

When/how did your interest in interior design and styling begin?

I’ve been creating since I was kid and have always loved the sense of achievement of bringing to life my vision. It wasn’t until I renovated a few of my own properties that I finally found the right creative outlet. I decided that if I was going to be an interior designer, I would need a really good grounding in the fundamentals. So, I took myself off to Sydney to study full-time and when I returned to this area, I set up my own design studio – and haven’t looked back.

What services does your business offer? 

We offer a broad range of services to suit a range of clients, both full-service and DIY clients. We have tried hard to identify services that people actually need, particularly in the changing landscape of renovations, interior design and building. Our most popular service is the full-service interior design solution. We work with our client from initial concept development, through the construction phase and then finish by styling the home. We
project manage the build on behalf of the
client, providing one point of contact; this results in great communication and reduces the stress of the build. 

Another popular service is our Essential Design Consultation. This service provides the client two hours to work with the designer on their project. DIY renovators find this service particularly helpful and practical to gain clarification on their design choices and to move forward with their project.

What have been some of the projects you’ve worked on that you’re most proud of? 

I have loved every single project I’ve worked on! I’m very invested in the final outcome and work on each project as though it’s my own home. It’s a great feeling to see the joy and happiness the final outcome brings to the owners. 

I really enjoyed the transformation of the Annandale House – it’s one of the more difficult properties I’ve been involved with, due to its narrowness and the complexities of the architecture. I honed my small space design skills on this project! 

I loved working on a Port Macquarie villa recently that we took from the ‘80s to a relaxed, modern Australian vibe. 

I played a key role in the design and build of a rural farmhouse extension a few years ago, where we managed to gain some beautiful architectural details not often seen in a farmhouse. I’m currently working on a project located in Canberra that will result in a complete transformation of the interior. I’m chomping at the bit to see the three-sided fireplace installed just in time for winter; stay tuned for that one! 

In a coastal area like Port Mac, seasons can kind of slip under the radar a little when it comes to interior design. What are some of your tips when it comes to making autumn a comfortable time of year to spend at home?

I love a good seasonal change up! Autumn is a great time to start layering textures in the home – swapping out the cool colours of summer for colours that give you that warm, hugging feel. An easy way is to add a lightweight throw rug to the end of the bed or on the sofa. Build tonally on your room through the use of muted textures, and go for comfort such as wool. If you want a pop of colour, look at using muted variations, rather than crisp colours. This will help you get ready for the cooler days ahead. 

Small homes/spaces can often present challenges. What’s the best way to work with these and avoid a cluttered look?

Small space design is one of my specialities! Whilst storage is the key to a functional home, regardless of its size, it becomes critical when you’re working in a small space. Having the right storage, in the right place, for how you and your family live is going to avoid a cluttered look. 

It’s best to put everything away and only have limited decorative pieces on display. For this reason, customised integrated joinery or hidden storage is the perfect solution to give your space that clean, uncluttered look, rather than individual stand-alone pieces. It helps the eye move over the space in a more relaxed way and reduces clutter.  

Look at every space and identify areas that are traditionally overlooked. Some areas I’ve been able to include storage include under the stairs, integrated into the stud wall and under the sub-floor crawl space. If you’re looking to improve what you’ve got without a complete overhaul, you’ll find that swapping shelving in a kitchen or bathroom for retro-fitted drawers will greatly improve your overall storage.   

What have you found to be this year’s hot trends when it comes to styles/fabrics/surfaces?

There’s a big trend towards curves in furniture, with a move towards Art Deco and away from Mid Century Modern. Bold jewel coloured solids will be seen, as well as sustainable and natural fabrics – both are great for so many styles. Clean lines and a minimalist style are key in areas of the home like the kitchen. My favourite trend is the bar cart – again, a nod to the Art Deco style and times, and one that many will embrace in their own homes! 

Where can we find out more about you/what you do?

I would love to hear from you! Please reach out to me on any of the platforms below. I can’t wait to connect with the Port Macquarie community. 


Thanks Kathryn.

Interview: Jo Robinson.

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