September 14 2011
Adam Bray, an interior designer and bespoke furniture designer, has undertaken ritzy commercial projects, including the nightclub Annabel’s and private members’ club George, as well as swish residential ones in the UK and Morocco. In his interiors, patterns jar a little – mattress-ticking stripes are teamed unconventionally with kelim rugs in earthy hues, ikat fabric wall hangings with elaborately veined marble fireplaces – but this unorthodox style makes for a highly stylish aesthetic.
Bray’s taste is influenced by his heroes – 20th-century designers Jean-Michel Frank and Billy Baldwin – and by his own former career as an antiques dealer selling “a wide range of things, from Italian oak furniture to French 1970s design”.
Bray, whose studio is in St John’s Wood, London, custom-makes the furniture for all his projects. And he sells a collection of his characteristically striking pieces, which can be altered to suit different tastes. There’s his crescent-shaped Castaing console (named after Parisian interior designer Madeleine Castaing), which normally has a black lacquer finish but can be colour-matched to any Pantone shade (£5,520). And a Sheepskin chair whose arms come in pale oak or can be lacquered (first picture, £2,340), or Sofa One, which can be upholstered in any fabric (second picture, £4,320).
Bray usually visits clients initially at their homes to discuss basic ideas, then creates moodboards to give an impression of the design. Once this is approved, the final design is agreed on. Bray draws on a network of highly skilled craftsmen in London, and likes to use oak or walnut from sustainable sources.
Sofa One is undoubtedly his most memorable, eye-catching piece – especially when it’s upholstered in a linen-mix fabric block-printed in outsize terracotta and cream zigzags like the one used on the original sofa created for a house in Morocco. Anyone wanting to inject some of Bray’s true style into their home will surely plump for this one.