IT’S HERE – GMDXLG COLLECTION
After a year in the making I’m so proud to announce that our GMDxLG furniture collection is now available to purchase online!!
I’ve always wanted to do a furniture collection and it’s something that I’d been considering for some time, but this came to fruition in a really organic way. I’d been working with Sara Sugarman, the founder of Lulu and Georgia on her new Spanish-style home in LA, and throughout the design process we knew we wanted to create some custom pieces. We designed two sofas for her living room and a king bed for primary bedroom. Once they were installed, we knew we wanted to make this into something bigger, so the collaboration started from there.
We often design custom pieces for clients, as it’s a way to have fun and gives us more flexibility with colours, fabrics, sizes and styles. We’ve been doing this for a while now and I’ve always thought about offering it on my website. The infrastructure you need to have in place and the time it takes is a lot, especially for a small business, so that has been something that’s held me back from pushing it forward. It’s essentially a full-time job. Being able to collaborate with the incredible team at Lulu and Georgia seemed like an opportunity not to pass up.
As with most of my designs, I’d say they’re a reflection of my UK upbringing and my life in California. My style isn’t the typical clean, white California coastal look, as I like colour too much. That’s why I really pushed to add some colour tones that you’d find in grand, English houses. My old rental house in London had each room painted in a different bold colour. The hallway was a rich welcoming green, the living room was a deep red, and the kitchen was a dark blue. It sounds like it would be too hectic, but it actually worked and I really wanted the colour palette to be an expression of that.
Since we have a lot of colour choices I wanted to give people options and for them to be used in every style of house. For example, I could see the Hollingworth sofa in Goldenrod velvet being used in a Mid-Century style house, but then it could also work in the Jade velvet in a craftsman style. I wanted people to have fun with the pieces and colours. The red velvet is definitely a bold statement but I feel there’s a shift with people wanting that traditional English look and selecting more opulent colour ways.
We opted for 100% linen and cotton velvet for the fabrics so they’ll age and wear over time, much like metal patina. I often prefer a natural fiber to a synthetic fabric and if they are cared for properly they will last a long time. Tips for caring, NEVER rub the fabrics, especially the velvet as that will crush the pile. Always blot and use either an upholstery shampoo, or mild detergent with a clean cloth for spillages. Just be mindful that since some of these fabrics are rich in colour they will be more prone to sun bleaching, which is a problem in LA at least. Try to have them away from direct sunlight or opt for the lighter tones. And vacuum. Don’t underestimate how good removing the dust of upholstery can be.
The way the process began was that we started with two sofas for Sara’s house and made sure that they worked together cohesively. Once we had those designed it was easy enough to break them up into their own family, i.e. the Belmont sectional and Belmont side chair. We did add some pieces that I’d previously designed for clients, like the Ambleside Bed and the Grasmere Bench, but we developed those into their own family. I particularly love how the Ambleside bench and ottoman came together. Since I like to mix styles in my designs, I wanted the same for the collection and for people to be able to combine more than one piece in the same environment. That way it doesn’t feel like their room looks like something pulled from a catalogue, yet they have the ease of shopping from the same place. Same with the colours; not all of them can be combined, but I can see a lot of options working together in a cohesive way.
The process has been fairly seamless, but at times it was definitely stressful. There’s a lot at stake and what the consumers don’t see is how much time and effort goes into creating something like this. And I’m really only a small portion of the process. It’s the amazing team behind Lulu and Georgia and the workshop that really made this happen. Obviously, more than anything, I want people to love what we have created and as a designer we are our own worst critic. Putting yourself out in the world these days is something you need a thick skin for.
When the pandemic hit, we were shooting the collection at a beautiful location in Los Feliz, and the following week we were set to shoot one of the pieces in my house. Between the two shoots LA went into lockdown, so we never got the chance to do the second shoot. We also had a big launch party planned, which we had to cancel. In the grand scheme of things that didn’t really matter, and the launch was still being scheduled for April. I think the toughest part and probably the largest learning curve is that you cannot control everything. I’d be lying if I said I’d not toyed with the idea of asking them to postpone until fall (when hopefully things will have calmed down), but that wasn’t my call to make. My worry was that the last thing people want to see is someone shouting from the rooftops about a furniture launch when the world is really hurting right now. I just didn’t want to come across as being insensitive. I always try to find a silver lining in things and while it does feel strange to be launching at such an uncertain time, I really hope that people find some inspiration or joy from what we have created.
I’m proud of what we have achieved, and it would be wrong of me not to honor all the hard work everyone has put into this collection. From the buyers, to the social team, the stylist, the photographer, the people who have spent the last month developing the copy, the photo and video edits, the website uploads and probably a million other things I don’t even know about. While we can only do a virtual celebration at this time, I’ll be taking the champagne to the Lulu and Georgia office when we’re allowed to celebrate in person again!
See more of whole collection here!