When I learned that Grant K. Gibson – one of Elle Decor’s Top 100 A Listers for 2018 – was launching a book entitled The Curated Home, I assumed we must be bosom design buddies. I mean, clearly this had to be someone with a passion for the thoughtful design process behind personalized spaces, right? Well, spoiler alert: Grant is as refreshing as the spaces he designs, and I’m thrilled to be able to share our recent chat with you alongside images of his beautiful new book.
Sarah Walker: You’ve lived in several major cities across the United States. How has each of them influenced your design perspective?
Grant Gibson: LA gave me a casual SoCal feel to my work while moving north to San Francisco led to embracing a more traditional vibe. Moving to the east coast has allowed me to bring an airiness, warmth and a more relaxed, comfortable ease to the tendency towards an otherwise stronger sense of tradition. That said, I always take from the personality of each city and marry that with the client and infuse it with my own design direction.
SW: I know from your book that we share a belief in telling stories through design. What unwritten design story are you dying to tell?
GG: I used to think that my ideal client would be one who gave me carte blanche, a blank cheque and a set of keys and said they’d be back in 6 months! After doing this for awhile, I definitely prefer collaborating with a client who is passionate about the products and the end space that is created specifically for them. We are always customizing a lot of pieces to tailor them just for the client’s needs and aesthetic. A client who likes to do things a bit outside the box and not like all of their friends’ spaces is what I’m looking for. Without collaboration, there is no feedback which leads to fear and doubt. I love seeing how a client responds and seeing them light up at the details. That’s what leads the process for me.
SW: What is one of your signature design moves that would tip us off to the fact that we’re looking at a Grant K. Gibson-designed space?
SW: What historical design period do you love the most and why?
SW: How do you feel about design trends? Any loves/hates of the moment?
GG: I try to avoid trends and be a bit more timeless and lasting with my designs. I can’t think of any trends that I’ve jumped onto, but clients definitely come to me with trendy items and I always try to tread lightly on that. You might think that animal print is fabulous today, but might not in a couple of years. So for example, rather than upholstering an entire chair in a leopard print, let’s do a pillow so that we can easily shift gears if and when that trend disappears. This is how I approach kids’ bedrooms as well. Rather than theming them around a celebrity like Taylor Swift or a favourite animal, I create a more neutral base with accents that can evolve as the child grows.
SW: Tell us 5 things every beautifully designed room should have.
Fresh flowers, a candle or a scent to appeal to our sense of smell.
SW: Five essentials we’ll always find in your bag when you’re traveling?
SW: How do you define luxury?
SW: How long are you willing to wait to find the right piece for a space?
SW: What is one of your favourite unexpected design details?
GG: Wallpaper. It completely transforms a space. It’s hard for clients to envision what a small sample will look like, but I think the impact it has – from a powder room to a dining room – can change the whole feeling of a room.
SW: Tell us about the one designer who has influenced you the most.
GG: My influences range from Miles Redd to Albert Hubley depending on the client project. I’ll always pull out design books that speak to the specific space I’m working on, but those two are definitely go-to’s for me.
Grant’s beautiful book releases TOMORROW at all major booksellers both online and in stores, and signed copies are available through Grant’s website. Be sure to get out and pick up your copy for some delicious design inspo to fuel your need for beauty!
And for those of you loyal readers who are looking for an update on our little backyard makeover, be sure to check back in the next couple of days for details on our project progress. Can’t wait to share more with you!