Managing Director, Oliver Laws
Guy Oliver has worked as a designer for over 20 years. His practice is known to have a balance between private residences, yachts and aircraft and niche luxury hotel projects. Most notably he has worked extensively for the Maybourne Hotel Group with a legacy dating back 70 years through his late business partner, David Laws, who designed for the group from the 1970s-1990s and Michael Inchbald, who mentored Guy and was responsible for many projects in the hotels from the late 1940s until the 1970s. Guy was lead designer during the £70m restoration and refurbishment of The Connaught Hotel, every corner of which is a testament to his dedication to detail, from the Afghan hand-carved peacock window seats in The Prince’s Lodge to the illusionist mini bars in the contemporary West Wing. The hotly publicised refurbishment resulted in The Connaught performing as lead in occupancy and rates in its comparative set, making it one of the world’s most successful hotels. Guy has also worked on a large number of suites at Claridge’s, including The Royal Suite and The Penthouse as well as the recent redecoration of the iconic Art Deco Ballroom and the 19th C French Salon and Drawing Room. He has also created parties, pop ups and events including Noma at Claridge’s (during the 2012 Olympics) and a number of charitable fundraisers for his friend HRH The Prince of Wales. Guy was then appointed to design Claridge’s new restaurant, Fera, which opened to critical acclaim in June 2014. 2015 saw the opening of a champagne bar at The Connaught and a new Private Dining Room at Claridge’s.
In addition to his work for the Maybourne Group, Guy was also consultant head of design and development for Andre Balazs and has completed refurbishments to all kinds of residential projects from modern apartments to listed Country Houses and Palaces. His firm was responsible for the redecoration of the state rooms at Number 10 Downing Street. He has also designed exhibitions for The Louvre Museum (2012) and The Chateau de Versailles (2013), each garnering over 100,000 visitors. Guy has gained a reputation for his unique style combined with an unusual level of creativity, backed by a solid understanding of diverse periods and artisanal techniques. Projects have been published in Architectural Digest, House and Garden, The New York Times, The Evening Standard, The Times, The Sunday Times, Mayfair Magazine, and The Telegraph. He has also written for Country Life Magazine and lectured on design at Sotheby’s, The Courtauld Institute, The High Museum of Art in Atlanta and The Inchbald and The KLC Schools of Design, as well as a number of British embassies and consulates around the globe. He has regularly been featured on television in the UK and the US.
In parallel to his design work, Guy has raised over £20m for several charities including Turquoise Mountain Foundation (of which he is Creative Advisor) and Start UK (two of HRH The Prince of Wales’s initiatives), as well as The Aid to Zimbabwe Trust, the UK Pattern Archive, and Save Britain’s Heritage. Recently he has advised UNESCO about forming working private partnerships to finance the restoration of international heritage sites. Prior to his design career Guy was a young Royal Naval Officer, joining the service at the age of 17. The navy sent him to university and he read History of Architecture and History of Art as part of his Masters degree at Edinburgh. He was later granted the prestigious Attingham Scholarship for his knowledge of period architecture and design. Guy began his design career at the renowned English decorating firm, Colefax & Fowler. He also worked alongside Michael Inchbald, the legendary Decorator/Designer and founder of The Inchbald School of Design, and was one of the first students to graduate from The Prince of Wales’ Foundation with a diploma in Architecture. In 1995 Guy cemented his reputation as a leading London designer by partnering with David Laws as Co-Director of David Laws Designs on Savile Row before assuming ownership in 2002, when the firm became Oliver Laws Ltd.