Meet the Members: E J Studio
E J Studio is a family affair. Brother and sister duo Lizzie and Ed have been making waves in architecture and design since they launched in 2017, with their latest accolade of ‘Residential Interior Designer’ winner at the Bristol Property Awards 2021 well deserved.
We caught up with the pair at Cigar Factory, where they have been members since April 2021. We heard about Turtleneck Tuesdays, what it is like to work with family and what they love about the process of design. E J Studio share a studio space in Southville with fellow creatives Zachrisson-Smith and Adam Legg Audio.
Can you tell us what you do and what an average workday looks like?
We’re an architecture and interior design practice specialising in residential projects for individual clients in Bristol, the South-West and beyond. Our work ranges from smaller scale extensions and internal refurbishment projects to one-off new-build houses. We manage a project from beginning to end. From concept design and planning, developing a full technical design, finding a builder and providing support to deliver the project on site.
Lizzie is an architect and has been running the practice for over 4 years. Ed joined a year ago and is currently juggling work with studying for his final exams to become fully qualified.
No day looks quite the same. Lizzie’s often dropping in and out of the studio between site visits and new business meetings, whilst Ed can be found getting stuck into producing drawing packages and 3D visuals for clients. The job is so varied, we both manage several projects at a time, all at different stages of the process. This means we’re switching regularly between the bigger picture and the detail, it often requires some serious head scratching and alternative thinking! Some days can be tough but this is balanced out by lovely clients and the joy that comes from being able to design and transform their homes.
How do you find working as a sister/brother team?
Interesting! There are real benefits of working with someone who knows you inside out and who you’re able to be very honest with. Running a family practice has always been at the back of our minds, our sister is also an architect, so it has been great to put it to the test this year. We’ve come to realise we do have slightly differing tastes, but this only enriches our designs and leads to some healthy competition when presenting alternative designs for clients at the initial stages of a project.
What are you listening to/watching at the moment?
We’ve been enjoying the latest podcast series of The Drop Out ‘Elizabeth Holmes on Trial’, a must for Turtleneck Tuesdays in the studio. TV-wise we’re always up to speed on the latest Grand Designs and are currently eager to find out who wins this year’s RIBA ‘House of the Year’.
The process of seeing designs and details come to life on site after months of hard work is pretty amazing.
What excites you most about the creative process?
Probably the initial concept design stage; lots of ideas are thrown about as we take the existing building plan and treat it as a puzzle that needs solving. The process becomes almost addictive as we work out how to use space efficiently and find clever ways to open up to views, light and create functional or playful features. Our ideas and thoughts are woven together to create a space that is unique to the client and their home.
The process of seeing designs and details come to life on site after months of hard work is also pretty amazing. Even working on projects on the scale that we do you have to be incredibly patient, but it’s really rewarding when the final output is so tangible and can have such a long-lasting impact.
What kit/tools can you not live without?
Tracing paper & pens. Tape measure. Tea (with proper milk 😉 )
Anything you’re working on at the moment that’s exciting you?
We’re working on a new 2-bed compact dwelling in the heart of Clifton Village which will be the practice’s first completed new-build. The narrow site has meant we’ve had to explore off-site fabrication methods and carefully consider every aspect of the building’s fabric and interior design to make the most of every inch of space. We’re also excited to be integrating sustainable technology with this house, which we hope will be more common in all our projects moving forward. The project has been going for a couple of years now so it’s great to finally see it taking shape on site!
We’ve also got some bigger renovation projects and a couple of new-build houses in the design pipeline which we’re really excited to get stuck into, as well as a beautiful oak extension in East London which is currently mid-build.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Bristol?
You can’t go wrong with Cotham Hill – Muino, Bravas, Pasta Loco and FED are a few favourites, then onwards to a cocktail at Crying Wolf.
Why did you choose to come to Gather Round?
Emerging out of lockdown earlier this year we were keen to get back to a more social setting for work so we teamed up with a couple of other individual creatives (Adam from Adam Legg Audio and Matt from Zachrisson-Smith) to take on a studio space together. It’s fantastic to feel part of a wider creative community and always have someone to bounce ideas off.
Thanks for the catch-up Lizzie & Ed! If you’d like to check out some of E J Studio’s work head over to their website or Instagram. Join us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to get to know all things Gather Round and meet more of our creative members.