Bespoke Buildings by Boon

George Mayes from Boon talks about how he started his business, the inspiration behind his unique designs and the importance of the finishing touches.

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After running a building company in London, George Mayes from Boon now designs bespoke, high end modular structures for a range of clients. His builds have a real architectural difference while keeping sustainability in mind, and have been featured on Airbnb’s most wish listed properties.

How was Boon born?
Coming from a creative family my dad was a boat builder – I've always loved designing and creating.

After studying Architecture at University I went to London and set up a building company, dealing with all aspects of building projects there for about 15 years. Noticing flaws with onsite construction, had me thinking of ideas and ways to be more efficient. I saw a gap in the market for high end, bespoke modular buildings and it meant I could set up work in my own workshop, use quality and make something really exciting.

That was about three years ago and since then I’ve kind of just carried on!
What’s your overall interior inspiration?
My wife is very much into fashion, travel and current trends and my sister is in interior design, so as a pair they have very much influenced the feel of boon.

Glamping is seen as a seasonal summer activity but we wanted to create a structure that can be used all year round. Who doesn’t love a roll top bath and being cosy by the firepit!

Which of your projects has stood out for you and why?
The Pigsty was my first ever project and will always stand out for me. It all started when my friend at Vale Farm in Winchester let me use an old grain barn as a workshop to create a curved building that I had been designing. Fortunately, he liked the look of what we were doing and went on to buy the building and set it up on the farm. 

We worked closely with Vale Farm to keep the specification exactly as they liked it. We made tweaks throughout the project, so it was a pretty personal affair. We took architectural cues from surrounding barns and the natural environment and incorporated them into the design, enabling us to seamlessly merge the hard lines of steel with the softness of the wood.

The Pigsty went on to be voted Airbnb’s most wish listed stay for 2021 which was such a huge achievement for my first project. It’s now fully booked most of the year.
Why are the architectural details so important?
We put so much effort into our builds, but the details are really what gets noticed. People always say, “I like that light switch” or “I like that door handle” - it’s the things they touch and feel for themselves.

It’s always worth finishing something properly as it gives every project a much more premium feel. There’s no point working so hard on a build just to finish it off with cheap, poor quality fittings.

What made you go for Bronze and Antique Brass fittings?
I loved the Bronze finish as it’s slightly slicker and the modern feel it gives is perfect for the Pigsty. Whereas the Antique Brass looks great in rustic interiors, so it’s better suited to our Potting Shed build - the contrast between them is beautiful.
Where did the name Boon come from?
We were inspired by a road trip through California where we stumbled upon a boutique hotel nestled within the redwoods of the Russian river valley. It was a cross between a hotel and a campsite and focused on high quality, locally sourced materials and produce. They had a corrugated tin shower block within the trees. It was so peaceful. After much local wine tasting we made a pact with each other that we were to make something like this one day.

What do you like about Corston products?
I love that Corston is an established brand and is consistent with finishes across every product. Before I found myself buying switches and sockets from random companies and you don’t know if they’re going to match anything else or if you’ll ever be able to buy them again – but Corston are really on it.

Also everything arrives quickly which is great when you’re working on a project with tight timescales, and the perks for trade customers are definitely worth applying for.