The husband and wife team behind a studio creating high-end bespoke objects, with clients including Glasgow School of Art, Burberry, Land Rover and Johnnie Walker, has opened the shutters on a furniture shop in Linlithgow.
Marisa Giannasi and Callum Robinson, an architect and designer, and second-generation woodworker respectively, have unveiled M74 – located at number 74 on the High Street – with items made less than three miles away at its workshop from locally sourced, native materials.
The store will showcase a new collection of its furniture and cabinetry, as well as vessels and bowls turned from local timber. It will also exhibit figurative wood carvings by East Lothian master-woodcarver David Robinson (Callum’s father) and undertake bespoke furniture commissions.
Callum Robinson told The Scotsman that the move comes amid the “revitalisation” of Linlithgow High Street. “We just though it was a nice opportunity for us to design some furniture and to engage a bit more with the local market [and] community.”
He also said it is a more accessible location than their design studio and workshop, located in the old Sawmill at Beecraigs Country Park, which they restored after it closed and fell into disrepair.
And the venture taps into Robinson’s background in and passion for designing furniture. Design is of paramount importance to the couple, whose work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy of the Arts in London as well as the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh.
But Robinson also looks at M74’s local provenance. “I think it is really, really special to know that three miles from where you’re seeing this piece of furniture, somebody who lives very near you made this from wood that came from ten miles away and it may end up being in your house, which is in the local area.”
The two will continue to run Method Studio, which started out in 2009.
Its commissions have included handcrafted trunks for Jaguar Land Rover, tailor-made travelling trunks made from a single oak free to house everything to create John Walker & Sons’ signature blend. Other clients include jeweller Hamilton & Inches, Bentley Motors, Estee Lauder, and Fortnum & Mason.
Exports are a possibility further down the line, but “really, this is more about trying to engage locally”, says Robinson. He added: “We’re trying to build a market for ourselves and do that through design and quality. In terms of ambitions for [M74], it’s just to hopefully be able to do another collection and then another collection – and build a local following”.