Photos Courtesy of March & WhiteHaving set up March & White in 2010, architects and interior experts Elliot March and James White are already leading the charge when it comes to luxury design. With a portfolio including hotels, restaurants, and private and royal residencies, their work is the epitome of style, oozing creativity and individuality.
Fresh from completing two fantastic projects in London (Lima restaurant in the West End and an apartment hotel on Sussex Gardens) the designers take time out to speak to JustLuxe. They tell us about their dream project, what the luxury trends are for 2013, and give us an insightful glimpse into their own homes...
Carol Driver: How did you start to work together?
We have both been in the industry for over 10 years having previously worked for renowned design firms such as Daniel Libeskind Studio, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Stiff & Trevillion. We came together and created the company with an emphasis on designing the most striking and remarkable buildings and interiors.
CD: What’s your latest project?
We are currently working with Grosvenor in London on several mews buildings on their Belgravia Estate in London. We are using some exciting new luxury materials including hand-painted lava stone.
CD: Name drop some projects that you've worked on...
Lima, a Peruvian restaurant in Fitzrovia, London, in 2012. We aimed for the design to reflect the traditional and contemporary Peruvian cuisine created by world-renowned chef, Virgilio Martinez. Our design creates a relaxed mood and a subtle backdrop, not dissimilar to the traditional cevichería found on the streets of Lima, Peru. An injection of modern London style keeps the look current yet classic, serving-up a slice of Latin American culture in central London.
Another project we enjoyed working on was the redesign of an apart’hotel at 208 Sussex Gardens, which is a Grade II-Listed Victorian building containing 63 apartments. There is a theme for each floor in which guests can choose from studios and one-and two-bedroom apartments in styles that range from the theatrical Hollywood-inspired look of the “Glitz and Glamour” floor to the warm and modern Scandinavian decor found on the third floor.
CD: What's been your most extravagant project?
We were part of the team that worked on the incredibly successful Arts Club in London’s Mayfair. We worked on the architectural elements of the project, which included the cigar terrace. This is something that was pretty extravagant and great fun to design.
CD: Is there a process to how you work?
We don't have a house-style, but we do have a process we go through with each client to make sure we are tailoring all decisions to reflect their taste and personality.
CD: What project would you like to undertake?
A large luxury hotel would be amazing. A project that allows us to explore the relationship between private and public spaces, creating beautiful bars, spas and restaurants as well as palatial suites.
CD: What does the word "luxury" mean to you?
Defining luxury isn't as easy as some may think. Luxury is in the eye of the beholder and comes in different forms. Luxury can be in the size of the space; for example, working in a large area in Paris or London, where space is at a premium, is very luxurious. However, over the years we've realised that luxury has a lot to do with attention to detail and, in terms of design, revolves around creating bespoke spaces that fit exactly with a client’s lifestyle.
CD: If you could design something for anyone famous, what would it be and for whom?
Perhaps a luxury moon residence or spaceport for Richard Branson.
CD: What are your homes like?
The last three years has been a whirlwind and perhaps we have not paid as much attention to our own homes as we should have! Although our homes aren't on the scale of most of our clients’ residences, we are exposed to the latest materials and design techniques, which will inevitably affect how we design our own homes.
CD: What's next on the agenda for you?
We are working on a very special luxury residence in London for a confidential client. Perhaps the highlight of the designs we're working on is the very generous dressing room space. This will fuse the latest technology, using iPads to select your clothes, with traditional tactile materials such as leather and the finest woods.
CD: What are going to be the big luxury trends for 2013?
We predict, and are starting to already see, a real shift away from brash "bling" interiors towards a more considered paired-back look which still retains the use of handcrafted materials and artisans. We've also been experimenting with materials that aren't normally used in residential interiors. For example, we've been using metal-effect panelling in our residential interiors, which is normally a material that is associated with retail and hospitality projects.