S Russell Groves, the architect behind Tiffany & Co.‘s incredibly successful visual re-boot, is as charming, elegant and understated as the wares of the luxury retailer. It’s no wonder he was tapped to be the creative vision for 5 of the firms recent additions. We met through a mutual friend and fellow alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design at the turn of the millennium. Seeing how it’s been several years since we’ve crossed paths, I decided to stop by his office last Friday to catch up. I’d freely admit that aside from slightly grayer temples – and a smattering of silver in his signature scruff – he hasn’t aged a day. His design aesthetic on the other hand continues to evolve as the benchmark of American restrained glamour. We talked over coffee about his design process and his vertically integrated approach to creating space.
Everything about Russell, like his Jill Sander shirt, is crisp. His office is austere and masculine. The furnishings – all designed and produced by the exacting vendors he’s gathered – are representative of his firms style. Parson’s tables, brushed steel, frosted acrylic panels and polished concrete set a tone punctuated by ample western sunlight. It’s clear that his affinity for a broad range of design disciplines is at play. “I’m interested in more than clean architecture. Our firm pays close attention to every detail. We believe in effortlessly matching structure with interior design and furnishings, so that our client’s needs are met – and their expectations are consistently exceeded.” To that end SRG designs upholstered pieces and casegoods, chooses noteworthy vintage pieces, assists in the acquisition of art, and sources everything from lighting to accessories. On the subject of furnishings, Groves says his firm is all about clean lines pared with serene palettes. Many of the pieces he commissions might seem simplistic at first glance, so he’s careful to point out the refinements he’s come to appreciate. “It’s so often true that the most elegant and sophisticated finishes belie the time honored craft involved in their production.” Some of his current favorites include split bamboo, shagreen, bronze patina, and satin polished nickel. Precious little escapes his careful consideration on a project, which is why his firm is so highly regarded.
I’ve been lucky enough to see some of SRG’s finished work in person. His spaces are infused with an affinity for the early modernists (notably Eileen Gray by his own admission) and cultured with his incredibly keen personal taste. Visit some of the links I’ve provided to get a real sense of his work. Be prepared to be envious.
S. Russell Groves 210 Eleventh Avenue Suite #502 New York 212-929-5221