Clifton in Conversation With...

James Lentaigne, Creative Director of luxury bathroom company, Drummonds

1. Why is London the greatest city in the world for you?

From a wonderfully diverse culinary scene to fantastic parks and museums, London offers the best of everything for myself and my family. London is also home to some of the best architecture, architects, designers and developers in the world and so it is the perfect hub for my work. 

2. What is your favourite building and why?

This is changeable depending on where I have just visited, however, in terms of interiors, the recent renovation of Annabel’s is spectacular. It stands apart from anything I have seen to-date. Martin Brudnizki is one of London’s best designers and his work in Annabel’s showcases the best of modern luxury and style. 

3. Who is your greatest inspiration both personally and professionally?

I am currently working on an exciting project with a top product designer, but I’m afraid I can’t reveal any spoilers. Personally, I was really inspired by a book called ‘Why we Sleep’ by neuroscientist Matthew Walker. The level of research carried out by the author is so impressive. I am always inspired by people who work hard and persevere, and this is something I try to follow in my own life.

4. What has been your most challenging project to date?

At Drummonds we offer a wide range of products and allow for a great deal of customisation, ensuring that each project is unique. This level of flexibility can prove challenging when it comes to large projects and so it is vital that the whole team is clear on what is required in order to deliver the highest level of quality and service. We recently completed a project for a luxury hotel in Lisbon. There was a great deal of work and support required to ensure the project was completed in time for the opening. Although challenging at times, the project was very rewarding, and the results outstanding.

5. Which building (anywhere in the world) has the most inspiring interiors?

I don’t think there is one building that is the most inspiring, but when I have been lucky enough to visit different cities, certain buildings have stood out. Visiting the World Trade Centre Transit Hub - designed by Santiago Calatrava - was a powerful experience, not only because of the history of the site but also because of its clean white structure and its scale in relation to its surroundings. Although not a building, I was inspired by a visit to the marble quarries on a recent trip to Carrara, Italy. The process of carving out the stone was fascinating, and the site acted as a natural gallery. You should watch the short film ‘Il Capo’ on youtube  its amazing!

6. Drummonds as a business was founded on filling a much-needed gap in the market for introducing architectural salvage to the luxury market, were does your inspiration come from and how do you keep your designs fresh and progressive?

At Drummonds we consistently strive to produce products of the highest quality. We are always looking to improve where possible, and this is something that drives the development of our products. The core of our business is centred around creating classic, timeless designs that stand the test of time.

7. Your designs are simplistic and timeless, with a world focused on sustainability, are you finding your clients are looking for the ‘forever’ bathroom and not influenced by current fashions?

There is absolutely a focus on products that last, and this suits us perfectly. Our clients are often concerned about sustainability, not only about the length of time a product will last but also about the maintenance of the product. We have built our business with this in mind. The market is becoming increasingly aware of water sustainability. Some of the strictest laws that exist in this area come from the state of California; we have designed our ranges to meet these requirements whilst still delivering the functionality that is expected by our customers.

8. Having previously lived the Rock n’ Roll lifestyle (James was formerly the bassist in early noughties cult band ‘Creel Commission’), what music are you listening to at the moment?

My go-to playlist is a bit of blues and JJ Cale, but I love Florence & The Machine – who I have just seen at Hyde Park with another great support band, The National.

9. Favourite restaurant?

On a recent work trip to Italy I was lucky enough to eat in a restaurant in Forte Dei Marmi called Lorenzo which was very special. However, Megan’s on the Kings Road by our showroom is more my day-to-day place.

10. Who or what is the next big thing in design from your perspective?

There’s something big in the pipe-line from Drummonds … coming in 2020.

11. London is a great city, no doubt, but what could you do to improve it?

Change the ridiculous stamp duty to encourage the market again, its effect is felt throughout the industry.

12. Favourite holiday destination?

The Isle of Wight with my kids.

13. What is next for Drummonds, Kitchens perhaps?

We have just launched two great ranges and hope to add more over this coming year, so great showers, taps and baths: more design classics.
Posted: 31.07.2019
Tags:  in conversation
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