John Minshaw leads the field in classically informed interiors that successfully combine a pared-down contemporary aesthetic with traditional architecture.
John Minshaw Designs has been designing and building private residences for over 30 years. Minshaw says he came to interiors by default, but the influence of his early training in fine art is clear, his style is to buy good antiques and design bespoke cabinetry, and then put them into pared-down interiors. His work has garnered critical praise and rave reviews from clients, his interiors renowned as one-of-a-kind in artistry and inspiration.
Minshaw was only 23 when he turned his hand to making furniture and subsequently to interior design. Today, John Minshaw Designs has a staff of six. From planning and listed building consent to space planning to furnishing, it is a complete professional service of which Minshaw is proud. Minshaw favours balance, symmetry and proportion in his interiors, which he describes as contemporary and quite sharp.
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Ask for an accomplished expert in elegant restraint and the answer would surely be John Minshaw. Known for the pared down, classical simplicity of his interiors, flamboyance is about as far from his design vocabulary as chalk is to cheese. ‘We are fairly bones-y as a practice,’ says Minshaw. ‘We like to get the structure of a building right first.’ It is only when those bones are bared and made absolutely right, complete with state-of-the-art services in place, that he will move on to thinking about the interior furnishings.
His architectural and interior design practice specialises in private residential work. ‘I hardly ever do commercial because there are just too many suits in the way,’ he says, ‘and it is much nicer to build a rapport with one person.’ His projects are almost invariably listed houses, although they span different periods, from Georgian to Arts and Crafts, and they tend to be located in London and the south east, although he does undertake occasional projects across Europe. In its 30-year history, the practice has built up a singular reputation for its ability to design contemporary interiors that are in harmony with their period settings.
All the pictures are from John Minshaw own house. Feeling inspired?