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Designer in Profile: Gray Davis, Co-owner of Meyer Davis

Name: Gray DavisGray Davis
Company: Meyer Davis
Position / Title: Co-Owner of Meyer Davis, Designer
Website: Meyer Davis

Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I am a native of Tennessee and a graduate of the Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction. I have lived and worked in New York City for more than two decades where I have worked for two renowned designers, the contemporary classicist John Saladino and trendsetting Thomas O’Brien of Aero Studios, to then go on to team up with my now business partner Will Meyer and create Meyer Davis Studio in 1999. For both private and public commissions, we collaborate closely with clients who include art collectors, international hoteliers, fashion designers, restaurateurs and celebrity chefs. Meyer Davis has won numerous awards, including Interior Design Best of Year Awards for W Chicago Lakeshore and 1 Hotel South Beach, and Gold Key Awards for St. Cecilia and 1 Hotel South Beach. In every project, I push beyond the familiar to create buildings and interiors that are distinctive, imaginative and site specific.

 
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
My personal interior design style is more eclectic and quirky compared to my professional design style which is more tailored and edited.

 
Where does your design inspiration come from?
My design inspiration stems from my business partner, Will Meyer and my office. To be able to work with someone who has the same long time goals and vision in design is something I feel truly grateful for. Our office is filled with such creative and gifted minds, it is impossible not to be inspired.

 
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Design right now is branching off in such great ways. Whether you have classic style, modern style, there’s something out there for everyone. Now a days there are so many successful designers inventing new taste and innovators pioneering in the industry.

 

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in the future:
1. Sustainability- Sustainability in design is a core theme to be able to improve the environment and celebrate the beauty and natural characteristics of materials.
2. Technology-With the fast paced and technologically advanced world, it’s important to incorporate that within today’s design.

3. The Client-The client is always our number one priority when designing a space. We design seamless physical experiences tailored to our client’s individuality, combining principles of great design with a clear vision for the experience they seek to create.
4. Timelessness-We believe that great design works on multiple levels, weaving together bold design moves and striking details to ensure that when completed, each project makes an immediate and lasting impact of timelessness.
5. Innovation-We are interested in ideas, not ownership; our team is always on the lookout of new sources of inspiration and consistently adjusting our learning curve to perpetuate growth and evolution.

 

 

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design, what would it be?

My one advice when it comes to product design is permanence. It’s important to think about not what is trendy but what has everlasting value. (Obviously, you also need to work with vendors you like and admire.)

 
How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
What I admire about the International Hotel & Property Awards is they set a high bar and are truly looking for talent. They operate strictly on merit, not popularity.

 
What projects are you currently working on?
We are currently working on a Crown Hotel in Sydney, two Four Seasons in Greece, Little Dix Bay and a Four Seasons in Costa Rica, a restaurant at the Parisian hotel in Macau. We just finished a Loft for Jenna Lyons, the Creative Director, of J.Crew and the headquarters of Snapchat in New York City.

 
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Our goal for the next 12 months is to complete the fore mentioned projects and we are excited about any new potential projects in 2017. We are so thankful for the successful year we’ve had and the clients we’ve been able to collaborate with.

 

Final thoughts – tell us a little more about yourself…
Your most treasured possession?
1947 Chris Craft Boat, Splinter
Your favourite holiday destination?
St. Stefan (Sveti Stefan) in Montenegro its fishing village converted into a resort
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
It is hard to choose just one favourite hotel/restaurant/bar, but my favourite hotel right now would have to be the 1hotel in South Beach, which we finished in March of 2015. Vaucluse is my current favourite restaurant, and as far as my favourite bar goes the Remedy Bar in Vail, Colorado is definitely a favourite of mine.

Your favourite book / film / song?
Other than MADE TO MEASURE (our book that was just published with Vendome) my favourite book would have to be The Most Beautiful House in the World by Witold Rybczynski. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, Her Lover by Peter Greenaway would be my favourite film. For favourite song, being a child of the ’80s I’m a big fan of The Smiths’ How Soon is Now.
Your favourite food and drink?
Authentic New Mexican Food and a good margarita.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Tooling around Copake Lake in my 1947 Chris Craft on a hot summer afternoon.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
What would you be…Oh, maybe a race car driver. I’m an excellent driver (if I say so myself), which usually leaves Chase, my husband, a little white-knuckled.

Meyer Davis