A review

It honestly doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago that we tying up all the loose ends in the office for a well deserved christmas break.  It’s only now that we have both feet firmly into 2017 that we can look back on 2016 and review what a busy but successful year it was.

We worked on some fantastic projects with some great brands including COS, Carl Hansen, French connection & Elle Decoration. 2016 was certainly a year for racking up the air miles too with Jobs in Poland, Denmark & Milan as well as two trips to the USA to style for Herman Miller.

We are also now represented in New York by the fantastic Pat Bates agency which is super exciting.

Working on such a varied range of projects allows us to meet and collaborate with all sorts of wonderfully creative people. Here are a few of our favourite pieces from 2016…

Volta Paris

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Images: http://volta.paris/en/

We first came across Volta Paris back in March when we used some of their fabulous mobiles as propping for a stand that we designed for Carl Hansen & Son at the Milan Fair.

Elkeland

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 Images: http://www.elkeland.dk/

Samantha Totty 

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Images: http://www.samanthatotty.com/

CommonRoom

“CommonRoom want to make high-quality contemporary art accessible to the many rather than the few.  They do this by commissioning fine artists to design original wallpapers.

We LOVE their design below ‘Stony Point’ (1972) 2016….

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Photographs by Claire Spirit c/o Louisa Grey.  Wallpaper Design: Stony Point 1972 (2016) at CommonRoom. Jug by The Grantchester Pottery.

Liza Giles

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 Image(s): Liza Giles http://www.lizagiles.com/new-gallery/

Artist Liza giles creates stunning Contemporary pieces of art, both her use of colour and spacial awareness is exceptional, which can be seen here in the above pieces.

So far the beginning of this year has been exceptionally busy for us here and at this rate we will be wrapping up 2017 before we know it!…

For the second year running we are lucky enough to be working on designing a space for this years design fair in Milan which takes place at the beginning of April.  The design is very much in it’s infancy at the moment but we are super excited to see the final design come to life and we will be able to share the final look with you mid April once it is launched.

In the coming months we will be able to share various campaign shots.

Carl Hansen case study

So as a small company it can be hard to keep up with all elements of the PR side of the job. We are constantly being contacted to be interviewed on projects or trends we see breaking through and it is hard to know unless the journalist contacts you to know if the content has been used. So after being interviewed over a year ago it was very lovely to see the final article as a case study at Carl Hansen. This was a project we designed and are very proud of so are thrilled that it was used as a case study . It was photographed by the super talented Jake Curtis .

We are looking forward to showing some new interior work in 2017.

 

What makes a good assistant

Behind most stylist’s is a rock star assistant and over the years I have had the pleasure of working with some lovely assistant’s. I always look for a stand out CV one that catches my attention and the writer has used some creative process to stand out from the rest. This makes me think the person will be ready to push boundaries and use common sense.

Assistant’s can lend a helping hand with anything from simple administrative support, preparing mood boards, budgeting, to running round town sourcing props and of course, general shoot day assisting. 

But what makes a good assistant? It might seem obvious but the most basic and honest traits can take you the furthest and a love of bubble wrap and sellotape…

Organisation:

A stylist’s job is fast-paced, with many responsibilities. It’s essential to stay organised and manage our time and workspace effectively.  House of Grey, normally work on  at least two or three jobs at once and a good assistant will help balance the workload to make sure we meet key deadlines.

Shoot days:

On shoot days the photographer, stylist and client will have their hands full getting the best shots that they can from the shoot and liaising with the client to make sure all the brief is being fore-filled.  A huge part of shoot co-ordination is problem solving.  On occasions, assistants don’t alway’s work with much direction, so judgment, or an ability to make good decisions without supervision, is always helpful ( this comes with experience).  Shoot’s can be very busy so assistant’s need to anticipate tasks or recognise problems and always come with solutions rather than problems will definitely take an assistant far . This coupled with being hands on and jumping in can get you very far in this industry. The role covers so many areas and anticipating what a stylist needs next is always super helpful and very recognised by stylists.

Teamwork:

Assistant’s are such an important part of a team and the best assistants will do any job big or small. Making a good round of tea & coffee is a great way of establishing and maintaining relationships (& moods) on the shoot’s. (making sure the team are looked after really helps with keeping the shoot moving, no one likes to be hungry). It also gets you remembered by the team!  Assistant’s who see themselves as ‘partner’s’ to their stylist have the best shot at improving their skills, getting more/repeat work and moving forward on the job….

Freedom to Exist

I was flattered to have recently been asked to become an ambassador to new watch brand ‘Freedom to Exist’.

The brand has been co-founded by 3 like minded London creatives who wanted to create timepieces free from fast fashion and passing trends. Products that honour the classic detailing that make vintage watches truly timeless. 

“We believe freedom is the freedom to choose, to fall in love, to wear what you want, how you want to.

That’s why we created a collection of affordable, design led timepieces that celebrate our freedom to exist…” These are stocked at some of my favorite stores being   twentytwentyone, Scp, Skandium. If you would like to purchase one and you  love the design then please use the code :Greyhouse20 for 20% off these stunning pieces.

Here is the 30edition in black and gold watch which I choose  to shoot on the knock out table from friends and founders for the dynamic graphic shapes on our recent shoot.

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Milan Design week 2016

We have just returned from a fabulous trip to this year’s annual Salone Del Mobile in Milan. The fair is in it’s 25th anniversary year and it was ridiculously the first time for House of Grey. It certainly didn’t disappoint. 

Our primary focus for attending the show was for a client project. We were lucky enough to be able to design & collaborate on a two floor stand with Danish furniture brand Carl Hansen & Son.  Work began designing the stand back in early January, developing custom concepts, researching potential themes, briefing artisan craftsmen, sourcing props and materials for usage within the stand. This became a full interior design project with House of Grey selecting all the fabrics, finishes and visualising all the room and furniture layouts. so furniture could be made especially for the show. All whilst working closely with the client to successfully deliver a stand that encapsulated an on brand aesthetic that would also inspire and be a talking point for the press and sales team at Carl Hansen.

The Final concept was ’ Global Trends’, each room showcasing emerging trends: Organic forms, Colour Blocking, Grid and Pastels. We spent several days checking out various design districts which where so inspiring and confirmed our global trend prediction where very much inline with other designers

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Photographs by Louisa Grey. Design and Concepts: House of Grey.

As well as the 22 halls at the Rho Fiera, Satellite shows take place across Milan, with the Brera design district right on our doorstep we were perfectly situated to explore the city and take in all that the fair had to offer. inspiration was on every corner.

A fabulous afternoon was also spent in the courtyard of ‘Spazio Rossana Orlandi’, a concept store, restaurant and event space by Milanese visionary and champion of contemporary design; Rossana Orlandi.  During design week all eyes are firmly on Rosanna and her various events around town are considered by many as the highlight’s of design week.

‘Having worked for more than 20 years in fashion, for labels such Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan, in 2002 she decided to transfer her passion for design as a private collector into an innovative gallery, a platform where to showcase her personal idea of design and lifestyle…Her constant research worldwide has made her one of the most influential figures  in forecasting young and upcoming designers.’

Quote from: http://rossanaorlandi.com/about/

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 Image: Rossana Orland. Photograph by Leslie Williamson, August 7, 2012. originally published in Designers At Home.

Emerging trends at  the fair:

Terracotta:

As seen at &Tradtion,  Spazio Pontaccio and Dimore Studio.Photography by Louisa Grey

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New stand out pieces that we LOVE here:

Credenza, A new collection designed by Patricia Urquiola + Federico Pepe.

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Elle Decoration

We were absolutely delighted to be featured in Elle Decoration UK ‘Kitchens : Your Essential Guide 2016’ as part if their April issue.

The generous double page spread showcased our launch project,  a collaboration between House of Grey and Blakes London.

The overall aesthetic takes inspiration from Scandinavia’s minimalistic design approach, which form a core foundation to the signature ‘House of Grey ‘ look. 

The kitchen design is built on a function but with a minimal appliance impact so these are  all integrated that give a clean, sleek and seamless finish. The custom designed island is the focus of the room, mounted on castors and movable at a moment’s notice. Originally 4 separate rooms combined to make one large flexible space for both casual dining and entertaining. 

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Photograph with thanks to Malcom Menzie

On the horizon

The beginning of the new year has truly been a busy one for us here at House of Grey and has seen us collaborating on some very exciting project’s. In the coming week’s we will be able to share campaign shots we have styled for COS, French Connection Home and Armadillo & Co. It is always a real highlight here in the office when we see the final images and recap on all the hard work that brings the projects together. We are just waiting for the clients to give us the go ahead, once they have released the images themselves, we can use them on the website.

We have been so fortunate this year to have worked with some super inspiring brands and very lovely people.

I have been lucky enough to visit Copenhagen twice in the last fortnight to attend client meetings and I can honesty say with every visit I love it even more. The light is wonderful and I always pop in to Oliver Gustav which I find such a wondrous, serene place. He chooses such divine pieces. The fragrance of the space is truly encapsulating. The Terre Noire room scent by Mad et Len is a must to be purchased if you crave a heavenly aroma to your home.

Now to finish packing the prop bag for the next shoot…….

Christmas party

It is only when I actually have some breathing space that I realise that I have not updated the news section of  the website. We finished last year with some wonderful projects and we should be able to start updating the website in the coming weeks, once we have the go ahead from clients. We have just landed back from a very cold shoot in Poland which was busy and very short lived. We flew, we shopped, we styled, we returned….Boom welcome to the world of styling in the fast lane.

For a number of years we have worked hard to help organise the christmas drinks for the freelance collective. So last year House of Grey where very pleased to co-host the 2015 freelancers christmas drinks and this year’s venue was Blacks, a fabulous dog friendly members only club in Soho, London.

Blacks is an amazing Georgian townhouse located on Dean Street. Built in 1732 by John Meard Jnr the apprentice to the highly acclaimed English architect Sir Christopher Wren, it was also once home to Charles Fortnum of Fortnum & Mason.

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Image from http://www.blacksclub.com/club/

“The Club” was first formed in 1764 as a supper club where members would meet and discuss the issues of the day with fine food and wine. We therefore thought it would be the most appropriate venue for our christmas drinks.

In 1992, “Blacks Club” was founded. It was named Blacks Club as the antithesis to White’s Club, London’s oldest gentlemen’s club and over the next 20 years would become a famously ‘louche’ bohemian drinking den.

In 2014 Blacks Club was bought with the aim of restoring the building back to its original Georgian heritage, as well as revitalising the club’s 18th century roots as a supper club.

Blacks has a refreshingly relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.  The criteria for membership is simply that you are “extraordinarily interesting and interested…Blacks is a place to leave your career and ego at the door; it’s a place of simplicity, elegance and honesty, where members can congregate to set the world to rights while enjoying the setting of a beautiful 18th century townhouse “

  The evening itself was a great success and a great way for the freelance collective (stylists, photographers and set builders) to get together and celebrate a busy but successful year. Drink’s were flowing and the canapés divine, we can highly recommend the melt in your mouth Quail scotch eggs.  Just Yummy.  A good time was had by all and we have to thank Adam and the team at Blacks for being so accommodating.

We used this social event as an opportunity to do a little fund raising to give back to people in need at this time of goodwill. Our Charity of choice was CalAid. This is a charity close to our hearts with my sister working tirelessly long hours to support the huge exodus of refugees trying for a better life and human condition. 

“CalAid are are a group of volunteers collecting urgently needed donations for those living in the Calais refugee camps. We believe that no person should be without access to basic human rights like shelter and warmth, and by collecting donations we can work to improve these conditions.”

For anyone who didn’t get a chance to donate on the evening and would still like too; please see below for the link: Any donations would be very appreciated…..

https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/calaid

Trends 2016

Trend research/development goes hand in hand with successful styling and plays a key role in pulling together creative concepts.  We invest time keying into trends that we see emulating and forming through culture, press days and private views.

Organic forms:

We have noticed there is a bold new wave of design emerging in interior’s: Organic forms. These softer edges are a welcome change and stand in contrast to the harsher mechanical forms we often see in traditional interior/product design.

A stand out piece and great example of this is the ‘Roly Poly Daybed’ by British designer Faye Toogood, which draws on spherical shapes for inspiration.

The daybed was recently showcased as part of an installation we press previewed called  ‘The drawing Room Collection’ at Somerset House as part of London Design Week 2015.  All of Faye’s pieces are handmade by traditional artisan’s and have a real honesty and rawness to them.

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We particularly admired Faye’s limited edition ‘Pots’ collection for Tokyo’s E&Y gallery. The three vessels, each differing in proportion but unified by there rounded aesthetic, are made from dark Hagi stoneware and coated in a thick chalky white glaze.

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Images from Fayetoogood.com

A wonderful gallery that we admire and enjoy following the progression of is Willer, based on Holland Street in West London, they have an exceptional collection of beautifully crafted ‘Organic” objet for the home. The gallery represents a select group of creatives such a esteemed ceramicist; Paul Philip’s. Paul strives to create an atheistic in his pieces that appear “ to have been discovered rather than made”.

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Images from Willer, Top image: Micheluzzi glass, Davolio ringed form, Philp pot and slab; Chadwick ltd. edition candelabra. Bottom image: Ceramics by Paul Philp.

Paul’s pieces have a sculptural feel and are reminiscent of the work’s from sculptural great, Constant Brancusi:

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More visuals that are adorning our walls…….

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Image above from Washed Space

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Above image from Minimaliste.

Madame Figaro

We at House of Grey thrive from working with International clients so when we where contacted by Gaelle Le Boulicaut, it was incredibly exciting. We have been following her work for a number of years and where thrilled to be invited to collaborate on a project with her and Madame Figaro.

The commission was to showcase the impressive new fabric and wallpaper collections from Matthew Willamson for Osborne and Little along with a selection of  handpicked British Designers .  After extensive research we choose these following talented artists to work with.

 

Nigel Coates

Bethan Gray

Max Lamb

Lee Broom

Katie Walker

Tom Dixon

H Furniture

Rachel Whiteread

Naomi Paul

Barber 7 Osgerby

As Madame Figaro is only available in a few outlets in the UK we have included the images below. All these photographs where used as DPS (which in industry terms means double, page, spread)…Which also means impact when you open the magazine so we where pleased with the final use of them.

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