Q&A with our Founder Jamie Krantz

11 September 2023Q&A with our Founder Jamie Krantz

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in a small town called West Bridgford in Nottingham, which is where Krantz Designs was initially established. My first showroom was in a barn in my garden! 

I lived in London for a time, but moved to Lincoln when my kids started school. I knew that I’d want a high street presence at some point, and Lincoln seemed the perfect place for Krantz. It’s such a historic yet ‘up and coming city’ – the perfect blend of classic and contemporary. 

Please explain your relevant training/work experience?

I left school at 15 with no relevant qualifications. Woodwork was my hobby, and I was always building furniture and doing odd projects for friends. 20 years ago, a friend’s mother asked me to design and install a kitchen for her. Krantz Designs grew from there.

Please describe the highlight of your career to date.

When we opened up a new joinery workshop in Lincoln’s Enterprise Park. It was such a huge milestone for Krantz as, from this point, we’ve been able to manufacture everything from scratch, using highly sophisticated machinery as well as traditional woodworking methods. We have recently exchanged contracts on the same site for an even bigger space!

How did achieving this make you feel?

There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a drawing come to life. We do this for our clients every day, and it’s always so gratifying to hear their feedback and see how we’ve enriched their lives. To be able to do that for my team was a truly humbling experience. 

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I take inspiration from the people around me. I work with 10 incredible designers, and we have regular brainstorming sessions and R&D meetings. We’re always looking to develop products and come up with new innovations. For me, collaboration is key to this.

Our team is made up of 38 people in total – all at the top of their game – and seeing them progress and grow from university graduates into flourishing designers inspires me every day.

How do you relax and find your work/life balance?

I’m in a very fortunate position, as my work is my hobby and my passion. Even in my spare time, I’m always sketching and designing. I often go back to my roots and make odd bits of furniture using traditional techniques. 

Has this changed in recent years?

The pandemic changed everything for me. For three months, I focused solely on my own projects, and I realised just how important it is to have a home that brings you joy. When I came back to work, I created a brand new business plan that completely revolutionised Krantz’s approach.

What project(s) are you currently working on?

We’re working on several exciting projects at the moment. We have a whole house renovation underway in Nice, where we’re redesigning almost every room of the property. The team are also creating designs for some new projects in Harrogate and London. These three in particular are really exciting because the clients want us to push boundaries with our product design, so we’ve been able to create some truly innovative concepts.

Tell us a little more about these project(s)…

We recently created a pop up cocktail bar that rises up out of a kitchen island – very James Bond-esque! And one of the projects features a gorgeous wine wall. Another of our clients is a big coffee fan, so we designed a fully stocked coffee bar for them and all the projects have a mini bar incorporated in the bedroom.

Please detail any interesting areas of the design for this project(s)/difficulties you have had to overcome in the scheme etc.

For all of the above projects, the properties were old, country-style houses. We wanted to ensure we retained traditional features while incorporating modern accents.

What area(s) of the design sector do you work in for the most part?

We mainly design and install bespoke kitchens, but over the past few years we’ve been doing more and more projects that include other rooms, or even entire houses. 

Lots of people use the word ‘bespoke’, but offering truly bespoke items means you can make anything. Our team really do make everything from raw materials. Invariably, if the design team can draw it, we can make it.

Please describe the project you are most proud of to date, with reasons why this was a success?

We’ve worked alongside heritage teams on several castles and listed halls over the years. Seeing my team’s work in such old and important buildings really makes me proud.

How would you describe your work/design style/ethos?

In a word: Quality. At Krantz, we employ only the best designers, we use materials of the highest calibre, and we use the most innovative engineering mechanisms. 

What are your thoughts on the future of design?

Software and technology are changing the design industry and revolutionising our working methods. Our CNC machines are more sophisticated than ever before, allowing us to cut wood with optimal precision, and we now create digital manufacturing drawings in 3D, which has completely changed our manufacturing processes.

Please tell us your aims for the next twelve months and beyond?

Over the next year, we’ll begin looking for premises for a second Krantz showroom in London.

Which direction are you moving in from a design perspective?

Our direction has always been the same: to continue to innovate, push the boundaries of design, and strive to develop fresh ideas and new concepts.

How is your work evolving?

Our online presence has substantially improved our reach, and we’re now working with more and more high profile clients. We now cater to international clients alongside our local customer base, meaning Krantz’s designs can be found in locations such as Monaco, Méribel, and more. 

We’re also increasingly working on design briefs that include several rooms or full home renovations.

Please add any final thoughts or interesting points you would like to share with us.

Krantz Designs wouldn’t be where it is today without the many wonderful clients we’ve met over the years and my highly skilled team. I’m so proud of them and I’m pleased they’re achieving international recognition for the incredible work they do.

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