Too many of us live without enough storage, hence homes are messy, piled high with stuff in desperate need of a sideboard, a shelving unit, or at the very least a table. So when we're introduced to clever storage it can be a life-changing revelation and we wonder why we didn't invest in some earlier.
Treku, which has a loyal following in Spain and increasingly overseas, makes high quality modern furniture for sitting rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and home offices. And a lot of its designs are devoted to storage – so shelving systems, capacious sideboards, media units, modular storage boxes and tables.
The word 'storage' tends not to conjure up anything terribly exciting, but rest assured Treku's storage products are anything but utilitarian and uniform. Company manager Gorka Aldabaldetreku says not only does one size not fit all, but one colour, one material and one finish does not fit all; and one of the reasons for Treku's success lies in its ability to modify designs to customers' specifications.
They might want a certain length of sideboard, a green detailing on the interior shelves, a walnut finish, steel rather than wooden legs....being able to give people real choice is a key strength in the competitive home furniture market, says Aldabaldetreku.
A third generation member of the family that founded Treku in 1947, he believes Treku's success lies in its knack for combining form, function and quality into products that are in the mid-price range. Customers say the furniture is a joy to use and a pleasure to look at. 'Our ethos is to make products that are of the time but timeless, and of very high quality. We build to last,' says Aldabaldetreku.
The company thinks in terms of collections and this year it has launched the Lauki range by Ibon Arrizabalaga and added new pieces to the best-selling Aura collection by Angel Martí and Enrique Delamo. Lauki offers a range of elegant individual storage boxes in different shapes, sizes and colours that can be wall-hung in configurations to suit particular rooms. Aura is a modular collection of sideboards and storage pieces that have minimalist Nordic references, but with the added warmth of colour accents and styling details.
Aura perfectly illustrates Treku's commitment to customer choice: it offers an app that allows you to personalise your sideboard; to specify dimensions, the number of drawers and dividers you want, choose your style of base and select from deluxe finishes including walnut, oak and 16 coloured lacquers.
Aldabaldetreku says Treku benefits hugely from having its own manufacturing plant and not outsourcing any production: 'We have our 12,000m2 factory in Zarautz in the Basque Country. And we have our own R&D department, so can roll out new technical solutions when we want. And it's because we manufacture on our own site that we can offer customers so many options to personalise their furniture.'
Treku, which has a workforce of 50 people, uses a lot of solid wood and plywood in its furniture, with wood coming from local managed forests. Varnishes and lacquers meanwhile are low in formaldehyde, and state-of-the-art machinery ensures wastage is minimal.
Aldabaldetreku says the design work is balanced between the in-house team and independent designers: 'We always work with outside designers because they bring fresh oxygen into the company.'
The main export markets are France, Germany and the US, and Treku is pleased to report that sales have been growing at 15 per cent annually over the past few years. 'And we're it's confident that growth rate can be maintained,' says Aldabaldetreku