Art & Design Interiors & Design

How Amos & Amos Are Breathing New Life into Minimalist Design

Meet the family-run studio that’s championing a “tough-luxe” aesthetic and collaborating with rising stars of the design world

Amos & Amos’s design philosophy carries over into the renovation of its co-founders’ own London home. “It is our ode to minimalism, purity, and restraint. We have spent months engineering out anything superfluous. Skirting boards, architraves, handles, they’re all out. It will be a series of beautiful spaces, on different split levels…” says Jaki Amos, but she could be describing any of the minimalist design projects she and husband Darryl work on together.

Those range from residential developments in the U.K. to corporate headquarters in Sweden, all united by what Jaki calls a “tough luxe” aesthetic. “Our spaces are luxurious, but with an edge. We like to replace polished metals with gently patinated ones; glossy marbles with deeply veined, honed varieties.”

A portrait of Jaki and Darryl Amos who champion minimalist design
While Jaki admits that working with Darryl can blur the line between work and home, she also believes this level of immersion in their projects is what leads to the design duo’s award-winning results.

Before founding Amos & Amos in 2009, Jaki traveled the world designing for Aston Martin. Darryl began his career as a joiner, building projects for John Pawson, “the most iconic British minimalist architectural designer, who still inspires many of our design projects today,” Jaki says. “It was the level of detail and precision of these projects that inspired Darryl to retrain as an interior architect.”

One of the couple’s first projects saw them responsible for the design of the Lotus Cars global motor show and retail programme. “A few years later, we made the decision to move back to high-end residential and retail design and out of the automotive industry, but looking back it’s still one of the most exciting pitches we’ve ever won,” says Jaki.

Today, a commission begins as a series of workshops with the clients, architects, landscape designers, and the digital team. “This is to create a framework against which all ideas are tested, a foundation to ensure we retain that shared vision through to completion.

“We’re a very relaxed studio; we believe in working hard but giving the team the freedom to each work in their own way. For some, that might be office based. Others prefer to head out and immerse themselves in design. We take our inspiration from art, fashion, interiors, and architecture, and strongly encourage all our team to visit exhibitions, galleries, and new spaces whenever possible.”

A pink, white, and black minimalist living and dining room
Clean, minimalistic lines are tempered with pastel accents, bringing warmth to the living space of this apartment in Canary Wharf’s Wardian building. Image: Will Scott

Along with the architectural works of Pawson, other sources of inspiration include, “Tadao Ando for purity of form; Carlo Scarpa for incredible detailing; artists such as Richard Misrach for an incredible use of color and tone; and Jean-Michel Basquiat for his avant-garde eclecticism. But we are also inspired by the geographical location of our projects, the culture, the climate, and the clients whose passion and vision informs the narrative of our designs.”

The designers also champion younger creatives: “A huge focus of our studio is to seek out emerging talent—mainly British design talent. We love to collaborate with newcomers on the scene to create bespoke pieces.”

Their recent projects include The Wardian, a landmark residential development in London’s Canary Wharf centered around the principles of biophilic design. And, away from the residential field, a workspace—the second by Amos & Amos—for global brand AKQA. The space, situated in an old boatbuilding warehouse on the docks of Gothenburg, Sweden, has since won numerous awards for the studio and has been featured across the global design press.

A minimalist gym with large windows looking onto greenery
For the residents’ gym at a converted, Grade II listed church in Brentford, London, Amos & Amos created “a dynamic space and a tougher environment, where people go to push and challenge their bodies.”

When it comes to their own spaces, the couple splits their time between a classic Victorian home in London that’s in the final stages of renovation—the same one described by Jaki above as their “ode to minimalist design”—and weekends in a converted barn in England’s Norfolk Broads. “It has huge ceilings and open spaces, and is completely disconnected,” Jaki says. “The barn is all about time spent together as a family with our two young daughters.”

In 2022, Jaki and Darryl will launch a sister company—details of which are currently under wraps—and continue to work with clients “who put their faith in our creativity and allow us to explore untrodden paths in the search for the next big thing.”

Banner image: An Amos & Amos designed home in London’s Victoria district