Jo is one half of award-winning luxury interior design studio Goddard Littlefair. Whether the pair and their team are working on a residential or hospitality project, clients can expect dream spaces with a holistic and narrative-driven approach.
HOW AND WHEN DID GODDARD LITTLEFAIR COME ABOUT?
Martin (Goddard) and I had worked together previously and I knew he was completely different from other designers. I saw someone who truly believed in every line he put on paper, and his passion and conviction were utterly convincing. We discovered we both spoke the same design language and that kind of connection is a very powerful one. We are both drawn naturally to different materiality, styles and colours, but when you’re able to learn from one another and combine two concepts together, then the original idea blossoms into more than you’ve envisaged in the first instance. We celebrated the tenth anniversary of the studio just a few months ago and opened our Porto office in 2020.
The Spa at Chelsea Barracks in Belgravia
HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP YOUR DESIGN ETHOS?
Our ethos is about combining aesthetic perfectionism and boundless curiosity with a team-playing, collaborative attitude. We aim to constantly evolve and create truly unique spaces that work within the context of each project. Whether it’s an ultra-contemporary new build or sensitive historical refurbishment, we are inspired by a building’s architecture, location and history. We create strong stories for our interior concepts, which users instinctively understand or enjoy discovering layer by layer.
WHAT CAN RESIDENTIAL CLIENTS EXPECT FROM A GODDARD LITTLEFAIR DESIGN?
Our residential clients can expect the same luxurious, layered and considered aesthetic that runs through the DNA of our hospitality projects. We will listen to the property, consider its context and heritage and then deep dive into our client’s needs, desires, ambitions and memories. Designing a home is a deeply personal experience and we are very aware of the fact that we are creating spaces for daily living. Our clients have children, pets, and complex needs for their home environment. Martin and I have a busy family dynamic ourselves, so we bring that personal experience to our designs. We understand the need to balance practicality when it comes to selecting materials and creating different zones – if we choose a beautiful silk, we are careful to place it in the right area so that clients can still enjoy those standout aesthetic details in their home.
HOW DO YOU WORK WITH CLIENTS TO ACHIEVE THEIR DREAM SPACE?
Every client is different and as a designer you are often bridging a gap between family members, trying to understand everyone’s perspectives and finding the solutions that stay true to the spaces you are working in. It’s easier to have fewer decision makers than we often experience with hotel design, however if the home is deeply personal the decisions can be harder. It’s crucial that we agree on the design narrative early. Once we’ve established that and have layered in the influences from the building’s provenance, the culture, the purpose of the space, and the needs of our client, then we have something that holds us all steady as we develop and create the design.
TELL ME ABOUT THE ROLE OF SUSTAINABILITY AT GODDARD LITTLEFAIR
Sustainability is at the forefront of Goddard Littlefair designs, with a focus on expertly selecting timeless, quality materials to achieve timeless designs that can be experienced for many years. Goddard Littlefair’s company culture encourages sustainability to be second nature in our designs, across the whole team. Our commitment to respecting the environment is not only something the team aspires to but it’s an approach we put into practice across all of our work. From concept
to completion, the team adheres to the highest standards when it comes to sourcing eco-friendly materials and solutions that work for our clients. Our commitment to this is guided by the use of design principles that help reduce energy consumption, pollution and waste, with a focus on increasing the lifespan of materials.
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE PROJECTS SO FAR?
We are thrilled to see the Four Seasons Istanbul Sultanahmet open its doors to guests after the completion of our refurbishment. The project was such a special experience – and a first for the studio in the region. A former prison, the property has lived many lives and it was an honour to restore it for a new era. When asked this question we also sometimes overlook the formative projects from several years ago. Gleneagles was one of the first projects we worked on as a new studio, refurbishing suites and estate rooms. We were inspired by the feeling that the Highlands gives you, that inimitable emotional uplift, and it really solidified our narrative-driven design approach.
A dramatic staircase at the Conrad, 9 Millbank
WHAT’S NEXT FOR GODDARD LITTLEFAIR?
We’ve recently moved offices into a converted warehouse in the heart of the City of London and so we’re hugely looking forward to seeing that refurbishment complete and watching our team flourish in the space. This year will see the highly anticipated Guerlain Spa and PILLAR Wellbeing at Raffles London at The OWO open, which Goddard Littlefair designed. One of the things I’m personally most passionate about
is spa design, where every sensorial element is considered and curated. This project breaks new ground in luxury wellbeing and it’s a space where guests can feel truly cocooned away from the busy city above them.