Oct 15th, 2015! Johnny Grey in Seattle for our Oct Kitchen & Bath Month Chapter Meeting @ Abbrio showroom!


Johnny Grey trained at London’s Architectural Association where he wrote a design manifesto to pioneer a new way of linking the crafts, design and architecture. On graduation in 1977 he set up a workshop in his parents' Sussex barn making and designing furniture. His aunt was Elizabeth David, the doyenne of British food writers also became his mentor giving him a lifelong desire to communicate the pleasure of food, design, craftsmanship and eating in no particular order.

Johnny was turned on to kitchen design after an encounter with a friend who wanted a gothic kitchen. With punk as a key youth culture of the time, Johnny fused punk with gothic. Over time he blended his youthful rebellion with his design manifesto ideas leading to his first national publicity in The Sunday Times in August 1980 with the headline ‘Why this awful fixation with fitted kitchens?  This produced enquiries for a decade following.

In 1987 Johnny's concept of the Unfitted Kitchen made with furniture, was licensed to Smallbone of Devizes, catching the public mood for more freedom of expression in kitchen design. Hidden ergonomics blended with traditional furniture gave kitchen planning a more relaxed and British sensibility, the opposite of fitted kitchens.

Johnny has been described as ‘the world’s best kitchen designer’ by the New York Times. House & Garden magazine has listed him as one of the UK’s most influential designers of the 20th century. In 1997, Johnny due to demand, opened a showroom in San Francisco.

Johnny published The Art of Kitchen Design in 1994. The Hard Working House and The Kitchen Workbook in 1997, the latter published in eleven languages. Kitchen Culture came out in 2004. He has sold over 300,000 books worldwide in fourteen languages.

He has worked as consultant and media spokesperson for American, Swedish, Australian, New Zealand and German appliance companies, regularly speaks at key industry events around the world. His interest in the expanded role of the kitchen can be seen in the blog he writes with his wife Becca. It covers all issues affecting home design and living well.

He currently runs a design studio in Rogate, West Sussex, UK designing kitchen for discerning clients around the world, adapting houses for contemporary living around sociable kitchens, making original and friendly spaces, linked to our instincts. He has lost count of the number of kitchens he has designed, but thinks it may be in excess of 500.

Johnny is currently Visiting Professor of Design and Kitchen Culture at Bucks New University, where he has set up the first degree course in kitchen design. A part of his remit is to improve communications between universities and the kitchen industry, encourage innovation and spread the word about new ideas in kitchen design.

He recently presented a paper at the Global Furniture Conference on behalf of the university entitled The Rise of Kitchen Furniture. He also involved in an initiative with the RCA, Bucks New University and Newcastle University’s Centre for Ageing and Vitality to research and develop the multi-generational kitchen or what he describes as The Long Kitchen.

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Published on July 21, 2017.