sneak peek: gray pants


jonathan junker, jon gentry, and seth grizzle are the trio who make up gray pants.  they strive to come up with designs and ideas that are thoughtful and have an impact, whether it be furniture, lighting, architecture or graphics. today we have a sneak peek into their  1100sf live/work studio they renovated in the capitol hill neighborhood of seattle.  i’m loving all the raw and exposed elements, and really wishing i had my own roof top deck now that the weather is finally feeling a bit more like spring.  click here for additional images of their space. {thanks jonathan and all!}anne

[above: junker, gentry, and grizzle thankful for roof and sun access – of high importance in seattle.]

graypants invited friend and artist Mark VonRosenstiel to take over their stairwell with a colorful mural that attracts passers by on 11th ave. also shown here suspended above the stair is a “scrapelier” made of a grouping of HIVE scrap lights. (credit: marius nita)

while the building currently houses a shop in the lower level and three businesses – graypants’ studio, a combined art gallery / wine bar, and a lounge, its original use was as a distillery. the metal door in this picture gave access to a freight dumbwaiter used to handle large sacks of dry ingredients.

1100sf live/work studio in the capitol hill neighborhood of seattle. gentry, grizzle, and junker decided to renovate the top level of this turn of the century brick building to act as their office, prototyping laboratory, and sleeping quarters. the design allows the office and additional bedroom “cave” to share the large west facing window to 11th ave.

the cave shares a mixed use of office/sleeping functions, very open during the day and closed and private at night. The cave hatch is mounted to a steel piano hinge and rotates 180 degrees to be clamped open during movie nights. (photo: marius nita)

CLICK HERE for the rest of the gray pants sneak peek after the jump!

the upper landing / entrance to our studio. visitors are greeted at the top of the stair by VonRosenstiel’s paper mache dog “the ghost of papoosa” and his acrylic painting titled loneliness of my favorite internet chat partner.

flexibility was the main goal while designing our studio.  graypants’ live/work space was organized to give each of us a separated, dedicated corner of the space to retreat to. seen in these photos are two of those retreats where we can rest and focus on personal projects. the center of the space is exactly that – where we all come together to create, experiment, toss ideas around, and feed off one another’s energy.

the space acts as a gallery setting for graypants clients as well as local artists. shown here are the re-purposed cardboard BELL scrap lights showcased along the entry stairwell.

efficiency! with a direct connection to the exterior roof deck, the kitchen functions remarkably well for its size.  cookouts and potlucks happen often and have become a great neighborhood-strengthening staple.

inspired by the planets counter-rotating cloud bands, the largest scrap light JUPITER stacks a randomly twisted pattern of corrugated cardboard rings. this assembly emphasizes the striated character of each of the 66 layers. // shown here is one of their latest prototypes for a plywood chair with nested ottoman. The “slice chair” is cnc routed from maple plywood and uniquely allows the ottoman to slide out or nest within. The slice chair will be available for purchase in 2010. (photo credit: marius nita)

our studio works hard and wears a lot of hats. we’re extremely fortunate that an urban space like our studio has so much daylight. light entering from the west, north, and east in addition to multiple skylights has allowed us to recreate the space to accommodate the live/work necessities.  in a thousand square feet we’re working, designing, showing, manufacturing, living, hosting, and entertaining.

we take advantage of our roof in every way possible. we often build lights and furniture outside and even set up our desks outside. again, flexibility is key and keeps the process fresh.

  1. christa says:

    nice! i love the UNC hat, NC representing!

  2. Jill E. says:

    amazing space. can not beat potlucks and working on your roof.

  3. Danielle says:

    yeah, i like gray pants. i think this place is awesome, and well…roof top patio?!?!?! that definitely does NOT suck. I am thoroughly impressed!

  4. Lindsey says:

    The Slice chair is Amazing! i really love seeing creative minds cleverly process something so conventional and re-work it into something ingenious! Great Work Guys!

  5. rebecca says:

    I can almost picture which building that is. Rooftop decks in Seattle are absolutely the best thing in summer here.

    Love the cardboard lamps!

  6. Anjuli says:

    suuuuper cool. this has a really different feel from a lot of the sneak peeks on this site, and it’s so great to get a really different kind of inspiration!! love it!

  7. keith says:

    too amazing – i love this space and i am incredibly jealous – thanks for showing it Grace.

  8. Wow, who did all the fancy Photoshop work to make it look like we have sunny days in Seattle? They are GOOD.

  9. Jana says:

    The kitchen looks a little…stuffed, but I absolutely adore the jupiter lamp!

  10. tristen says:

    I love the functionality of everything… very inspiring indeed!

  11. Huh? says:

    Since when did Sneak Peeks become advertisements? By the way I normally love Design*Sponge. Just think this particular Sneak Peek is weak. I appreciate your work, though.

    1. grace says:


      why is this an advertisement? we feature designers and their homes (and work) almost every week…


  12. // Sarah says:

    Love this! What a great, creative space.

  13. carey says:

    This place rules. It is so adaptable for multiple uses, and feels like a great place to create. I want my place to have some of this openness and energy. Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. annie says:

    nice use of osb!

  15. Fun! I had no idea this was in my backyard. I live very close to this. Cool stuff happens on Capitol Hill.

  16. Danika says:

    Amazing. Can they all be my boyfriends please?

  17. Anna says:

    I know someone said they didn’t like sneak peaks being an advertisements, but I love it…I live on Martha’s Vineyard and love being exposed to artists and designers all over the world. When I built my house it was an amazing resource. I think that is a huge, great part of design sponge and as a non-designer, (I’m an elementary teacher) I love the “insider” glimpse I get.

  18. elle says:

    nice to see a group of young people featured. would have loved even more photos to get the full effect of how flexible the home is. very inspiring!

    1. grace says:


      there are more images in the flickr set :) just follow the link in the post above to check out the full set they sent us.


  19. Betty Mac says:

    well, hello there boys.

  20. We love their designs, especially the scrap lights (have featured them on our blog before), so it’s great to see more of their fab designs!

  21. jess says:

    Their real names cracked me up! Grizzle, Junker and Gentry sounds like the perfect design name combo — almost too good to be true. Thanks for the giggle and that amazing jupiter lamp too.

  22. Zoya says:

    they rock every single accent is superb

  23. Beth Eaton says:

    I have to say my favorite part of this whole place is how masculine it is without being boreing and dark.

  24. wow, I am amazed at how neat this place is! anywhere i’ve been with boys living there has been a disaster zone!! nice post, good to see some more masculine homes!

  25. wow, these guys are doing some wonderful things. their names made me laugh too. almost doesn’t sound real.

  26. Dominique says:

    Wonderful. Makes me want to cook something up and join the potluck. Love the lighting esp. Jupiter.

  27. Stacey says:

    love their place and majorly jealous of their roof top deck! doesn’t hurt that they’re cute too!

  28. fabi says:

    absolutely über cool! i just love to see how great design can be young, cool and unpretentious. the spaces have a great atmosphere and look really inspiring for working and living – and of course, creating! the way they use raw and inexpensive materials in a clever way makes me have many ideas – and it’s eco-friendly. livable and joyful. ONE THE BEST SNEAK PEEKS EVER!

  29. totally digging their style. It’s kinda rough and modern at the same time. Seems like a really relaxed place to live/work!

  30. awesome space. love it!!

  31. Jennifer says:

    The Flicker page is private.

    1. amya says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! It’s fixed now! :)

  32. Eva says:

    wow, what a place, and great details. I saved the pic from what seems to be the bedroom “window” in the wooden wall :-). The scrap lights are magnificent!

  33. MEliz says:

    Wonderful to see you guys doing what you love, and inspiring the rest of us while you are at it!! Keep going….


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