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Christine and John Gachot

Mixing experiences, work, and married life – which includes two children and a dog – Christine and John Gachot have been able to work out a healthy and harmonious lifestyle.

L’Amour & Lines

gachotstudios @gachotstudios

“We set our egos aside and involved our entire team on the project so that everybody could offer their best”

says John Gachot.

Mixing experiences, work, and married life – which includes two children and a dog – Christine and John Gachot have been able to work out a healthy and harmonious lifestyle. This, in turn, has allowed them to create more than just a company – but a true common life project. The pair have complementary work styles.

Christine takes a broader view, seeing the entirety of the project from above, while John gets enmeshed in the details. While Christine has more experience with hotels and restaurants, John has done a tremendous amount of work on home-oriented projects. Seven years ago, their complementary careers and the desire to be closer led the couple to create Gachot Studios. At John’s office at 594 Broadway in New York, the pair are developing strikingly modern projects, such as the interior design for the Glossier flagship brand store and Shinola Hotels‘ Detroit unit – a taste of how they can tell a historical story through design.

John is wildly creative and always an inspiration. I learn so much from him, we’re best friends

“We always think about how the individual who sleeps in that hotel or shops in that store uses the space and everything that surrounds it before starting a project. Our projects have a lot to do with lifestyle, they’re not there just to look beautiful,” adds Christine.

“Our projects have a lot to do with lifestyle, they’re not there just to look beautiful”

You both worked together a long time ago and then followed separate careers. How is it now, to have your own studio and work together?
It’s fun! I often say that my job comes with fringe benefits!!!! John is wildly creative and always an inspiration I learn so much from him but I simply like him, we’re best friends! We also have the absolute pleasure of working with many of our friends from our past careers so we all know each other. The support is amazing.

Does it affect your personal life?
We get to spend so much more time together, which is AMAZING! I feel like we spent half of our adult lives in separate parts of the world. As we all know traveling for business sounds very glamorous but it can get lonely. John is a great plane partner, his crossword game is on and he knows my take- off cocktail spec! The extra bonus is that on many occasions clients have been generous enough to invite the boys, that has been incredible for us all!

What is Gachot Studios DNA?
We say this all the time and we really mean it — our approach is project and client-specific. We don’t try to replicate a signature style for every project; it’s not about us. It’s about creating the best space for the situation and for the client. That being said, we definitely have design principles that influence the way our projects look; when you insist that spaces feel comfortable, welcoming, human — that creates a connective tissue throughout different projects.

In an interview, you said something about having a collaborative workspace, with everybody having ideas and no space for ego. For that to continue, do you have to stay the same size? Or do you both believe that the same energy will be present if the business grows?
When you bring new, disparate voices to the table – when you lift up a new talent and give credit where it’s due – everybody wins. A larger team means more perspectives, and that’s a good thing. Of course, you need to edit. You need to guiding vision. But size is definitely not an inhibitor of innovation or good, collaborative design.

Do you consider Gachot Studios somewhere between an art company and a more traditional design firm? Not so wild, but not so standardized.
We employ creatives across a range of disciplines. There are many talented designers and architects, but also art directors and branding people. Having lots of different expertise under one roof informs the product — rounds it out. It also makes us more efficient at communicating our ideas to crucial partners in the design process, and the client themselves.

How do you both see design these days?
CG: Collaborative and Social Awareness comes to mind! Clients are so knowledgeable, design and architecture have become familiar in our language. What I enjoy the most about what I do is the interaction between people, the team, the clients, our peers so opening up the forum is very exciting. It’s certainly holding all far more accountable. Developers care, they’re not just putting up a building, they’re investing in the community, the skyline and hopefully in the global environment!

Photos: Aline Velter