The scale, choice of material and quality of craftsmanship is vitally in the board room because it represents the face of the company to visitors, investors and suppliers. Recently we were asked to design boutique offices for Arkbe, an investment company based in Mayfair.
On four floors, it included a director's office, boardroom and satellite offices. The results were relaxed, comfortable spaces with a stylish modern accent. The boardroom table takes your breath away with metal legs that look as if they might take off.
The trend towards offices having a domestic atmosphere is expressed by furnishing them with freestanding pieces, like you would a living room or kitchen. We design desks, credenzas, bookcases, tables and welcoming counters, along with co-ordinating entire office spaces together to make them exciting but well planned places to work. By custom designing key
items of furniture we can create any height, length and scale of furniture, using any woods or materials that seem appropriate from black oak, cast glass, Ebony Macassar, hand crafted stainless steel with a sand blasted electrolytic surfaces. This reduces the need for cleaning as is fingerprint free. Lacquer surfaces can be made strong and fabrics for chairs both stylish and hard wearing.
Johnny Grey Studios undertake single commissions for discerning individuals. Nearly every house has rooms with architectural quirks, recesses and odd spaces where finding an appropriately sized piece of furniture seems impossible. For those who want something beautifully made and created to a particular set of uses, from an extendable table with specific number of place settings
to a dressing table with hidden compartments or a super tall bookcase we will design something unique. Design fees start at £750.
The extendable circular Wood Henge Yew Table has five legs, is 1600 mm in diameter and was made for a client who first commissioned a kitchen 28 years ago. It is being put up for a Guild award.
Johnny Grey studios regularly advise householders how to get more out their home. Adding storage space, particularly in the bedroom is a regular request. Few bedrooms are large enough to cope with built-in wardrobes without consideration for scale and the overwhelming impact they can make, leaving the bed squeezed between walls.
Our instinct is to use freestanding pieces, (even if they technically are built-in) so as provide as great a feeling of space as possible, leaving corners free and breaking up cabinetry into different depths and heights, as well as in the choice of woods and finishes. This means that you can move them to another room or take them with you if you move house.
We look at the occupation of a home as satisfying two emotional requirements - sociability and sanctuary. The bathroom is the key personal space for withdrawal and renewal. For many of our clients there is a move towards wet rooms, essentially a generous shower room, and a more relaxed furnished bathroom complete with freestanding bath, comfortable chair
and non clinical furnishings.
JG studios have an expert in bathroom design on the team. It is a space full of pitfalls that benefits from a designer's expertise, especially if it is a small space where every inch needs to be thought through to obtain maximum benefit.
Along with eleven international designers, we transformed a 19th century townhouse in Gramercy Park, New York into a home for characters in six Showtime series: Dexter™, Californication, The L Word®, The Tudors, United States of Tara and Weeds.
Revolving around the murderer-cum-vigilante Dexter Morgan, played by actor Michael C. Hall,
designing the kitchen turned out to be surprisingly painless. Who would have guessed that a kitchen for a serial killer would cause so much mirth?
The theme was interpreted with a light touch. Ironic, hand-crafted furniture with a sensuous curved countertop in bright and dark woods reflect the ambiguity of the viewing experience.
In a private residence on Russian Hill overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge we were asked by the committee to create a radical idea for a living space that was not a kitchen but more of a room to retire to, to be inspired by, with flexibility of use. The phrase 'A Room for All Reasons' was coined with Agnes Bourne, the nationally respected designer whom we used as the mentor.
Library, all- Gender boudoir, café, study and kitchen combined together. Kevin Hackett, our design director worked with Agnes to commission artists and craftspeople from all over the USA to produce items for the show. Electrolux generously supplied the appliances.
Grand Designs exhibition team asked us to contribute to the show with a design that makes cooking pleasurable. Our circular, all round vision island kitchen created a lot of interest, as cooking becomes a sociable activity and so encourages care and less hurry with food. Slow cooking was beginning to take off during that summer.
Brian Turner, the celebrity British chef set us a brief and did live interviews and book signings from the stand including his (then) new book Favourite British Recipes. His love of English cooking was tested by the design team later when we had a superb lunch at his restaurant in Mayfair.
Electrolux was keen to continue with Johnny's studios to show their appliances. This time the new Icon collection was our focus. Kevin Hackett and the design team created an imaginary Kitchen of the Future, using new materials and daring shapes, turning conventional kitchen furniture into sculptural pieces that helped you enter into a future world.
Dazzling craftsmanship, curved wooden countertops were mixed with new materials such as Sensitile that reflects light anyway but straight, plaster tiles on the walls that evoke shapes and textures from fabrics and Proma, a recycled plastic that makes a eye catching, translucent food bar top.
Electrolux asked Johnny to help promote their new professional style appliances to USA designers and architects by designing the ultimate sociable kitchen experience. Along with Kevin Hackett, USA design director at the time we created a sweeping, multifunctional island with places to perch that formed the centre of their booth.
With ghost walls to soften the larger appliances, and surrounding them with stylish cabinetry and display, the whole booth was set off with a moving lighting show. In the end no one wanted to leave, especially when the hospitality was in full swing. www.electrolux.com