A Fellow of both the Chartered Society of Designers and the British Institute of Interior Design, Anthony Paine is renowned for using classical architecture in a contemporary context. Coming from a successful building family, he trained as a builder before switching to surveying, and then to architecture and interior design, setting up his own design practice in London at the age of 27.
This unusual background in construction and design triggered the passion for classical and traditional architecture which has characterised his work for the past 35 years. Elected to The Art Workers Guild in 1990 when his Rotunda Bookroom won The World of Interiors Award at the British Interior Design Exhibition, Anthony served as Honorary Secretary of the Guild from 1993 – 2004, and as Master of the Guild in 2015.
As well as designing, remodelling and extending private residences, Anthony’s work has included a hotel in Frankfurt, an extended farmhouse complex in Provence, Georgian shops in Spitalfields, a new traditional chalet in Gstaad, and a folly beside the Baltic. On international projects, Anthony’s focus is on the conceptual and aesthetic design, using local architects to project manage while he maintains close scrutiny of the building process and implementation of his designs.
Anthony is also known for his work for the bespoke tailors, Gieves & Hawkes. In 1994, he won a limited competition to re-design their flagship store in Savile Row with such success that he went on to design over 100 stores throughout the UK and worldwide including Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo and Dubai.
With his studio now based in a fine Regency house in Bath, Anthony’s work over the past ten years has moved away from interiors to architecture and garden design. Projects range from single rooms, outbuildings, or swimming pools, to the design of new build classical houses and sometimes entire environments including houses, gardens and ancillary buildings, recent examples including a Kasbah in Morocco and a lakeside classical villa in Bavaria.
Despite the size of such international projects Anthony has always kept his practice small, giving all clients his individual attention, and producing all the designs, drawings and illustrations himself. Everything he does is driven by his passion for classical and traditional design. His work is noted for its recognisable blend of find detailing, humour, surprise and beauty, all underpinned by the principles of good design, namely composition, proportion and harmony.
Anthony starts any project with a Brief from the client, which evolves through investigation and discussion, to development sketches. These rough sketches help many clients clarify their own thinking – what they do and do not want or like – better than any discussion. Following this, plans, elevations and visuals of anything from interiors to landscapes are produced for client approval before they are passed to the client’s Project Architect.
The Project Architect deals with local consents, regulations, builders’ appointment and general project management on site. However, Anthony remains in overall charge of aesthetics (ie. everything which is visible), but works closely with the Project Architect to solve any problems which may arise eg. unexpected structural variations, services requirements, site characteristics, and /or unavailability of materials. Where a problem requires a compromise between aesthetics and construction realities, the client is always consulted.
These working methods may seem unusual but over the years they have proved very effective. By delegating all on-site project management, and concentrating only on aesthetic design, Anthony has been able to tackle very large projects all over the world from a small office, giving clients individual attention and very good value for money. Clients enjoy instant access to the designer they initially commissioned, rather than seeing their work diluted in a large project team.
“A gifted genius with the designer’s pen who can concoct dreams that are nonetheless totally capable of turning into reality.” (Matheos Los)
“Anthony’s unbelievably creative mind has never ceased to please and delight me.” (William Woodward-Fisher)
“He is a delight to work with – completely reliable, pragmatic when it’s needed and the very best of company.” (Mark Henderson, Chairman, Gieves & Hawkes)