Jonathan Browning Studios

Photo by Sharon Risedorph

Jonathan Browning Studios
San Francisco

Firm Description
Jonathan Browning Studios offers full design services for residential and retail clients. With a body of work spanning 30 years, past projects include flagship retail stores on Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue, as well as residences on the East and West Coasts. Important work includes a penthouse on New York's Sutton Place and a historic family compound in Pacific Heights, San Francisco. In 2004, Browning founded his eponymous design company producing high-quality cast bronze lighting as well as furnishings.

Approach to Residential Design
For Browning, residential design begins with the client and the architecture. Gaining a clear understanding and vision from the client at the outset is paramount. Equally important is the existing architecture, which impacts the interior design. Many of the studio's projects are period or historical buildings, and the interior detailing is heavily informed by the architecture, as is the overall aesthetic. "You cannot hope to create a satisfying environment of beauty without clarity of the client’s desires, dreams, likes and dislikes," he says. "The end goal is always beauty; the process is understanding history and client’s lives."

Distinguishing Characteristics
Rather than establishing a recognizable style, Browning deploys his curiosity to explore the varied movements in design and to express them in a new, fresh and contrasting style in order to make the work feel relevant and modern. The designer enthusiastically embraces the past while expressing the elegance in modernism. All projects are highly personal in their aesthetic expression.

Work Influences
Browning is an eternal student of architecture and particularly admires Claude Nicolas Ledoux for his groundbreaking classicism in the 18th century, Madame Gres for the clarity and resoluteness of her design, and Pierre Chareau for his industrial designs in the 1920s for achieving outstanding beauty within an extremely limited palette.

Year founded: 2004
Number of employees: 12
Services: Lighting, furniture, drapery hardware, sculpture

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