The Great Interior Design Challenge’s 2 Lovely Gays reveal their garden office design
We chatted with TV interior experts, 2LG studios, to find out a little more about their amazing Garden Pod design at this year’s Ideal Home Show
Image: 2LG Studio
Founded in 2014 by Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, 2LG Studio is a design practice based in South East London. Working in residential interiors, creative consultancy and product design, the business was kicked off after Jordan was a finalist on the first series of BBC 2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge.
Their adaptable, personal approach to design allows them to respond uniquely to the specific needs of each project, combining form, function and decorative joy in equal measure.
At this year’s Ideal Home Show, they’ll be unveiling their mindful workspace, imagined as a design studio space in the garden of their Victorian South London home.
Utilizing cutting-edge sustainable materials to create a playful yet functional pod that is full of texture – cork, recycled plastics, vegan leather made from waste pineapple leaf fibre, re-imagined vintage furniture and a minimal kitchen area for creative lunches – they will be bringing the outside in with a wall of plants to filter the air of the pod.
We sat down with them to discuss SS18 interior trends, how to create the perfect office environment and what tips they would give to budding interior designers.
Without giving too much away, talk us through the concepts and trends featured in your garden pod
We wanted to create a mindful creative studio space. An adaptable space that can be a retreat, a place to entertain clients, a place to get creative, hold meetings, make a healthy lunch and get stuck into some designing. We have stripped back our signature use of colour to a very spare palette to let the different materials sing.
This space is all about being inspired by the future of design and new materials. Plants are also key, purifying the air so that the space feels good to work in. And there is a luxurious soft snug with a room divider to give you a moment to break away from the team or your co-worker and read or re-focus or take a call.
The space is filled with recycled materials and new alternative leather products to add to the mindful vibes and the curved mural takes the trend for decorative ceilings to the next level. It is part of our new collection for Graham & Brown, this is an exclusive sneak peek as it won’t be released until later this year.
What design elements have inspired this year’s garden ideas?
Image: 2LG Studio’s moodboard for their garden pod at Ideal Home Show
We became vegan in spring last year, having been vegetarian on and off for a few years, so it has made us stop and think about the things we consume in a big way.
We wanted to explore some new materials that would not necessarily have been on our radar before. Plant based living is such an eye-opener and what better way to explore that, than in a garden pod.
What key interiors pieces in the garden pod are you lusting after most?
The worktops are so beautiful and are made from recycled plastic (yoghurt pots). It is an amazing way to elevate humble plastic and make it feel luxe, whilst reusing some waste material to help the planet in a small way.
We also love the curved armchairs by Love Your Home, that we have had upholstered bespoke in a new Pineapple leaf leather, such a love texture.
The lighting is very lust-worthy too. The Clam pendants above the island were designed by Dan Schofield to minimise packaging as the ball shape comes in two halves sat inside one another and the wall lights are a really inexpensive but high impact choice with a lovely ’80s futuristic edge, from Dyke and Dean.
What elements make a modern office design?
We all work so hard now and it is important for your work space, be that an office or a studio, feels like home and feeds your soul. By that we mean that you will be far more productive in a space that makes you feel good and has some of the home comforts, whilst also giving you freedom to find new ideas.
The armchair, the kitchen island/workstation, the plants to look after. These elements all help to keep you recharged and ready to go and they may stop you from getting stuck in a rut or in your own head. Work for us is a collaborative thing and this space encourages sociable work.
Can you share your office design tips and ideas for any readers who are embarking on this kind of project?
Get some plants into your office. Office plants have become a bit of a joke in years gone by, but they are a cliche for a reason, because they really do help to make a space healthier and they give you a chance to stand up, move away from your computer screen, and tend to them every now and then. We have also avoided having a desk in this space.
We prefer to work standing up as much as possible, especially when designing. We have also avoided clutter in the office with storage in the central island/workstation to house your samples etc and a wall mounted Vitra office tidy to house stationary.
Have you any space-saving solutions you would suggest using in a small home office?
Get it up off the floor. Wall mounted storage or storage on legs (here we’ve designed metal legs so the kitchen and island feel free standing). It gives a sense of space.
Also, keep circulating space free so that you don’t get locked into daily office routines and can work in different areas and move freely.
This may sound like a luxury if you are working with a small space, but saving some of that space for open movement is important.
What’s your biggest interiors trend prediction for 2018?
With the amazing rise in veganism over the past 12 months, sustainability and new materials will become key for 2018 and going forward.
We all want to live more mindfully, not just for our own wellbeing, but for the planets. Alternatives to animal products and recycled materials will be making waves.
Which key trends should we be looking out for in Spring/summer 2018?
Texture is key. We are seeing lots of natural textures – stone, marble, wood, linen – growing in popularity and perhaps that is because they are so easy to live with and create atmosphere.
We also see the return to craft growing in the interior scene. The rise of the designer maker and the a desire for objects that show workmanship and the hand of the maker.
On the colour front, with pink and the new neutrals taking the place of grey, we can see a new found bravery in homes. But colour can still be used in a minimal way by working with a limited palette.
Can you share some of your top, all-time decorating tips with us?
Get the function of each space right and the rest will follow. Allow yourself to take inspiration wherever you find it, whether that is film, theatre, fashion, shop fits, vintage ceramics, your own garden.
There is no right or wrong way to design your home. Clean lines and a respect for the architecture of your home will always help you to create a lovely home. And we have been saying this for 5 years, don’t forget your ceilings. They are a great decorative space to rediscover in 2018.
As a finalist on The Great Interior Design Challenge and subsequently setting up your own interior design business, have you any tips you’d give to budding interior designers trying to get into the industry?
We believe in being brave, creatively and in your life choices. We took a leap of faith after that aired on BBC, based on our mutual passion for design and are big believers in the idea that if you don’t do it, someone else will, so why not dive in and get started.
But it is important to know that there is no launchpad and no magic formula or overnight success. We have been asked on numerous occasions about how we started out and the truth is, it has been a lot of hard work for years. It has involved a lot of grit and determination because failure and rejection are a real part of life and your success is based on how you face those things.
There is no easy route, so if you want it, you need to just begin. Even if your first client is a small project, get going and give it everything you have because ‘courage has magic in it’.
And never underestimate the power of social media – a great image of something you have designed is worth its weight in gold.
What interiors trend are you most excited about seeing at the Good Homes roomsets?
The greens and lilacs in the bedroom retreat are gorgeous and we have just completed a project for a private residential client that uses this combo. We are sure to see more of this.
We also love the dramatic kitchen. Ikea have released a recycled plastic, black fronted kitchen and it is a classic. Don’t be afraid to be bold.