Q&A with 2LG Studio
Founded by Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, 2LG Studio is an Interior Design Studio based in South East London. The creative duo have built a diverse practice that offers residential and commercial interior design services, design consultancy and styling services.
The award winning practice is known for its signature use of colour, working closely with their clients and for looking both to the past and future for inspiration. We are thrilled to introduce 2LG Studio as the hosts in our next in our series ‘Top 5 Picks’.
Jordan and Russell, thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. Firstly – tell us a little about your backgrounds and how you came to work in the design industry?
For the first 10 years of our professional careers we both worked as actors, in London’s west end and on tv, having trained at the Royal Academy of Music (Russell) and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (Jordan). This is how we met and gradually we facilitated one another’s passion for design in our spare time. We began small, whilst still acting full time, with a textiles and home accessories business, designing and making our own pieces. In this time we taught ourselves to screenprint and fell in love with it. Our designs caught the attention of some big brands and a small boutique hotel in Kent, who asked us to help design a suite for them. They loved it and then brought us on board to design the other 18 rooms in the hotel and the reception/bar/dining room. It was a sink or swim moment and we were still performing (8 shows a week). So we had a crossroads and design came out on top. We set up our business the following year and haven’t looked back.
What was the inspiration behind setting up 2LG Studio?
The idea that everyone deserves to live in a wonderful, thoughtful space, that helps them to grow and enables them to be the best version of themselves. People are our biggest inspiration since we trained in getting into a character and observing people and telling stories. In turn, we inspire each other massively because we come from entirely different perspectives and we find that challenge very exciting. It’s incredibly freeing to work with someone you love and to constantly be surprised by their inspirations and to find that your ideas are just as surprising to them. It creates a real tension. In theatre tension is a very good thing, so we embrace that in our designs. There is also something incredibly freeing about a second career. In our first careers we had done everything ‘by the book’ and had been very hard on ourselves and rigid with the way we built our careers. In design, we apply the same level of work and intensity of vision, but we have freed ourselves from any rules and we take ourselves less seriously. The design work is taken very seriously, but we are kinder to ourselves now and more open to opportunity.
Are there any stand out projects you are especially proud to have in your portfolio?
Our latest project (a luxury brutalist apartment in the heart of London’s Waterloo) was featured last month in a 6 page spread for Elle Decoration. This was a milestone for us. Elle Decoration was one of the magazines we looked forward to reading together every month when we first got together as actors and so to be in it did bring a tear to our eyes. We are deep in the middle of our own Design House Project too – a very personal interior that is all about us taking a slow approach to expressing our aesthetic. Last year our pink bathroom design went viral and received a lot of press so that has been wonderful. It is a beautiful space to live with. Our first ever project as 2LG, a mews house in Islington, is also a special one because it was a leap of faith for everyone involved and it shows what can be achieved with bravery. It is still to this day one of our most shared projects.
Are there any interior design projects that you would either love to have done, or would like to do?
Sketch is a wonderfully theatrical and evocative space that still thrills us. We wish we had designed that. And anything by Dimore Studio. They have been a big inspiration to us. We love the idea that one day our own design house will have their level of precision, vision and atmosphere. A hotel would be on our list too. We would love to return to that and create a hotel now. We do not believe in boxes. Creativity is creativity just as love is love.
You recently won an EKBB “Outstanding Digital Contribution” Award. How important do you think social media and a strong online presence is for developing a business?
Vital. We would not be doing what we love today without social media. It is an incredible part of the new digital world. We started our business with nothing but heart and grit. We didn’t have any cash and certainly not for marketing or PR. So we had to get our name out there ourselves. Social media has been a wonderful part of that and we are very grateful. Winning the EKBB award was a wonderful validation of that and has spurred us on to keep pushing that side of our business in new exciting directions.
How did you choose your Top 5 Picks?
Our top picks came partly out of pre existing relationships, which are so important to us on a human level, choosing suppliers and specific designers who appear in our portfolio of projects already. But also, we found it wonderfully surprising how varied the options are in Chelsea Design Quarter. We’ve opted to go for items that have bold colour at their hearts and a playful sense of luxury. Memphis is another influence too and that is present in our choices. There is a growing bravery in interiors for using lots of colour and we want to get behind that because our use of colour is something we have become known for.
What do you think will be the defining feature of the most recent decade of design?
A return to craft. A return to colour. Mindfulness. Texture. But above all, a period of questioning the status quo. Looking at what has gone before and finding new ways to move forward.
What does 2018 hold for 2LG Studio?
We have already had an incredible start to the year with 5 projects in play right now. We have a big project nearing completion with a celebrity client and we also have our second wallpaper collection and our first furniture collection launching later this year. Plus lots more writing and who knows, we may be appearing on your TV screens again very soon. But we are also looking forward to the next enquiry. It is always so exciting to begin a new project. We just love to be designing and we feel very lucky that we get to do what we love.