And when functionality is served, simplicity naturally follows. Whether it’s an office space, a bar or a stool, Gareth’s work is unsurprisingly described as simple, with a clean aesthetic and a fresh, easy going appeal. His Privacy Chair was recently launched at Design Joburg and intrigued visitors with its embracing high back and sides and open metal work frame. It’s a statement piece and one that Gareth honestly describes as: “a Marmite chair- you either love it or hate it.”
With work spanning the country, his last four projects have been: a corporate head office in Johannesburg “which was huge”, a bar and brewery in the Midlands, a hardware store in Richards Bay and a project for the fantastically talented digital agency Hello Square in Durban. Currently though, he’s expanding on his bathroom accessories range which already includes contemporary basics such as toilet roll holders, towel rails and shelves- sought after everyday essentials with designer appeal. He’s also busy at work on a restaurant concept “for one of South Africa’s most innovative brands,” but he’s keeping tight-lipped on specifics.
It’s hard to say which of his interiors makes the top of our list, but Drop Kick Murphy’s features highly for its gritty and authentic pub feel, as well as the brooding and dark interior he did for The Stock Market, a men’s outfitter’s with major appeal. His favourite types of space to design though, are those on the small end of the scale, hole in the wall spots where the challenge is to eke out maximum efficiency from minimal square meterage, a challenge which he says gives his team a kick. And his dream commission? “There are a couple,” he admits, “but a boutique backpackers (to which we came close with Curiocity Backpackers in Durban as they specced some of our furniture) and a 5 star game lodge… that challenge would be epic.”
Asked what a total stranger to a GIH Studio interior might experience he answers “I’d love for them to say they were in an original space, and then the second thought would be that it’s curiously simple.” gihstudio.co.za