Kitchens work hard. They are places where cooking meets sociability and space can be tight. Johnny’s design philosophy is based on over forty years balancing practical demands and aesthetic choices, bringing architecture, ergonomics and happy home life together.
We start by finding the room’s sweet spot and placing dedicated work surfaces within it. The table is positioned to catch sunlight as it moves across the room. Our planning technique locates cooking logically, with minimal distance between the hob and oven (or Aga), the prepping, serving and washing up areas and access to storage. The sweet spot gives the cook eye contact with others in the room and, often, a view of the garden. We generally place a central island in front of this and a sink cabinet behind it, with areas to perch nearby.
Applying neuroscience principles, we design spaces that make our clients feel comfortable, relaxed and safe. We have solutions to the problems of not enough space or light, or a room that is too large for a feeling of intimacy. Different age groups’ needs are met with, for example, a lower surface for children’s cooking and seating for older people preparing food. Teenagers can do their homework in our kitchens while the dog snoozes near a heat source.
Trained at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, Johnny founded the studio in 1976 after graduating. As a student he previously ran a furniture workshop. The author of four books on kitchen design he is now Visiting Professor of Design and Kitchen Culture at Buckinghamshire New University, UK.
Kevin Hackett received a degree in architecture from the University of Plymouth, UK. He returned to his native Ireland to work for international architecture firm Murray O'Laoire. While completing his Postgraduate Diploma in Humane Architecture, Kevin was a founding member of Freeform, a design group focused on the evolution of ergonomic furniture. Now based in San Francisco, Kevin is Design Director for Johnny Grey Studios USA. He is a firm believer in green design solutions wherever possible.
Our senior designer Robert is a graduate in architecture from Krakow University of Technology. He has worked in the kitchen sector in the UK for eight years. Before that he spent a period as an apprentice jeweller with his father, acquiring some of the skills he uses to refine our furniture and interiors.
Jessica graduated from the University of Florida with a masters in education. While interested in design from an early age she did not practise this professionally until after a spell in Namibia in the Peace Corps. She works as a designer for us in the US and helps with marketing. Her enthusiasm helps us find creative solutions to sometimes complex problems.
Barbara runs the studio on a day-to-day basis as administrator. She has held everything together since 2008. She made the move from the office of London National Theatre architect Denys Lasdun to our kitchen design studio in the Hampshire/Sussex woods.
Barbara runs the studio on a day-to-day basis as administrator, as well as doing the accounts. She has held everything together since 2008. Barbara never makes coffee but there is always humour when she is around.
John is a highly experienced craftsman who manages our installations department. He is master of a wide variety of skills including fine woodwork, plumbing, metalwork, electrics and coordinating with the trades required to install complex kitchen interiors. In addition he reviews all designs before they leave the studio. He's a great communicator with our clients who tell us he also has a secret design gene. John supervises all our installations, including in Europe.
Richard trained as an interior designer and an artist. He has been producing visual representations of our designs since the early nineties. The creative system that brings emotional intelligence and personal touches to our designs involves deft imagining of colour, texture and the balance of massed volumes and shapes, plus a sense of humour. Richard’s personality and skills as an artist are key to making this work.