Meet the designer: Ryan McNeish

Ryan McNeish brings his eye for design to the fore in his beautiful Gregor Ryan furniture range for Jarrolds.

How did you get started in furniture design?  

I studied Fashion Design and worked in fashion as a product buyer. I then by chance became a furniture buyer for five years and arrived at designing furniture later. I was employed by Halo Creative and Design originally as a product manager and I sketched up some ideas and worked on products in my free time, which they loved, and it opened the door for me to design furniture. My career has grown from there.

Where did you grow up and how did your formative years influence your design ethos? 

I grew up just outside Edinburgh in a small coastal town and always had a creative outlook on life. I loved designing my own bedroom or working with my mother who has a creative flair and wasn’t frightened of being bold. Edinburgh is full of history, so that influenced my younger years. It’s a cultural city with international festivals which got me excited about the history of design and culture.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My aesthetic is to blend pieces from different periods in design. I like mixing collections and use references from periods across the 19th and 20th centuries. I always advise investing in statement pieces that last and refer to the past but offer practical and beautiful solutions to customers, but versatility is key too. Modern homes need to work so hard to fulfil their roles as places to relax, work and play and furniture plays a huge role in this: office pieces can also be beautiful console tables with accent dining chairs that can work in various spaces throughout the home and show your personal style.

What is your best home styling advice?

Investment pieces should be able to transcend different rooms throughout the home. Over time these can be placed in different rooms and locations in the home as you invest in more.  That’s why I think a reference to design classics is always essential and using materials that are mixed across each piece also creates interest: I personally think matching everything becomes dated very quickly. The trick is to keep to three or four materials and colours or finishes and don’t match everything in style or shape – keep your colour and material consistent. Don’t be afraid to embrace your own style: some unique pieces such as the Gregor Ryan furniture collection for Jarrolds can help make your home stand out.

What do you think is the next big interiors trend?

Mixed materials, interesting finishes, and a return to a natural colour is a key trend for the second half of the 2020s. Bronze, beautiful stone and natural-coloured woods with white accent marble are coming to the fore. For a truly outstanding look I love glass lights or reflective finishes in lighting to add atmosphere in any room. 

See the full range of furniture in store on floor two and online.