Dominic Bradbury, Journalist & Writer


Twin brothers Richard and Antony Joseph come from a large and supportive family of creative thinkers. Along with their mother and father, all six Joseph children are either architects or designers of one kind or another. Richard and Antony are particularly close, having grown up together and then co-founding their own kitchenware brand, Joseph Joseph. They now live, a dozen or so houses apart, on the very same street in Wandsworth, South London.

‘We even go on holidays together,’ says Richard. ‘Once a year a group of us will go out to Ibiza and take a villa together and then there’s a boy’s skiing trop once a year as well. We have the same social group of friends so we do go out together a lot. But then Ant goes away on holiday with his family and I go away with my girlfriend. So everything comes in healthy doses – it’s not too weird.’

Since the brothers founded Joseph Joseph back in 2003, the company – well known for its innovative and colourful kitchen products from chopping boards to dish drainers – has grown at an astonishing rate. Their instantly recognisable collection is now a staple of department stores from Selfridges to John Lewis, but is also sold in over 100 countries around the world. The company’s design studio and showroom in Southwark, which includes a workshop and test kitchen, is home to around 40 designers and support staff with the same again in their warehouse and satellite offices in Paris and New York. And there’s clearly an ambition to keep on growing.

‘We are moving into other new categories but always in the kitchen environment,’ says Antony. ‘You can probably guess the kinds of things that we have got our eye on. But we only want to launch new products when we really feel that we are offering a significant benefit to the user. It’s not just about putting our brand on something like a new kettle – it’s about how does this product actually improve someone’s day to day life?’

The brothers grew up in Birmingham, where their mother works as an architect and their father is a designer-maker, who inherited a glass components factory from their grandfather and produced a wide range of glass products from wing mirrors for Toyota to cooker hobs for Electrolux. In the school holidays, the boys would help out in the factory as best they could, doing odd jobs.

Richard studied industrial design at Loughborough University and then went to work at Dyson, where he was part of the design team that worked on one of the early cyclinder vacuum cleaners; he was also fascinated by Dyson’s expertise in branding and marketing. Antony went to Central Saint Martin’s, studying product design, followed by work at a design agency founded by one of his Saint Martin’s tutors. But then the two brothers started talking about founding their own company, encouraged by their father Michael, who helped to teach Richard all about selling product. He gave the brothers £10,000 of glass chopping boards, made by his factory, and told the twins that they could use any profit from their sales to start Joseph Joseph.

From very early on the brothers gave themselves distinct roles in the company, with Antony heading the design team and Richard running the business side, and granted one another a veto on any final decisions relating to each of the two fields of influence. It’s a way of working that allows for a lot of creativity but also offers a structure that avoids any arguments over the company’s direction of travel. Seeing how well the brothers get along, it’s a philosophy that has clearly paid off.

‘We were very competitive as children,’ says Richard, ‘but we have now mellowed a bit. We always had to be great at something that the other wasn’t so great at. So if it was sports, then I was the short distance runner and Antony was the long distance runner. So we would be competitive but there wouldn’t be too much cross over. Now we are still very close and our skills and interests really complement one another’s. We have an understanding.’

As well as being product designers themselves, they are also very open to collaborating with other designers, either in house or from outside. They regularly trawl the student shows, looking for talent, and work with design agenicies. One of their most successful early products – their folding Chop to Pot chopping board – was the result of a happy collaboration with designer Mark Sanders. The twins are also very focused on the branding and merchandising of their products, as well as their functionality, using bright colours to help Joseph Joseph designs stand out in the stores.

‘It is very exciting creating a brand,’ Antony says. ‘To have a product in a store with your name on it and your brand is very romantic, in a way.  One of our skills lies in how we communicate the brand and how it looks in a store and the colours do really help. The main focus has always been on functional ideas but we realised quite early on that if everything was just white then it would look quite boring. By adding colour it makes it a lot more appealing and it helps grab people’s attention.’

New product lines include a sleek Joseph Joseph kitchen bin – called ‘Totem’ – that helps separate out different kind of home rubbish for recycling. A significant portion of the company’s profits are ploughed back into research and development of new products, helped by advances in 3D printing and quick turn around prototyping.

Both brothers draw inspiration not just from the world of industrial design but from architecture, art and interiors. They use their own products in their own homes, testing them daily, and share a fascination in both mid-century and contemporary furniture.

Both brothers settled in Wandsworth soon after moving to London and when they started looking for larger homes they wanted to stay in the same area, where they have many friends and connections. It was Antony who first came across a house on a Victorian street that had been converted into bedsits and was ripe for reinvention into a family home. But the project looked a little too daunting for Antony and his wife Amelia, who were just expecting their first child. So it was Richard who ended up taking it on with the help of his girlfriend, Hannah Jefferson, a lawyer, and their architect Daniel Adeshile.

Steering the creative direction of the project himself, Richard ended up rebuilding the entire house with the exception of the façade to the street. Most dramatic of all is the double height kitchen and dining space at the back of the building, where six metre high glass doors slide back to create a fluid link with the rear garden.

[‘The only company who could make them that high with the thin frames was in Portugal,’ says Richard. ‘There was this big hole at the back of the house for three months waiting for the windows to arrive and then we had to close the road and crane them in. It was a bit of a nightmare. They actually put them in upside down, but fortunately they were able to swap them over.’ ]

Antony and Amelia – who worked in fashion accessories for Patrick Cox and Alexander McQueen – ended up buying a similar terraced house just along the street, shared with their children Isla, 5, and Arthur, 3. They lived in the house as it was for a year or so, but then the impulse to update and reconfigure proved too much. Using the same architect, the back of the house came off and was replaced with a large new kitchen extension, with the feel of an open urban loft, but with a strong sense of connection with the garden. Again, Antony was intimately involved in every step of the design process.

‘Richard and I are both into very similar things in terms of furniture and design,’ says Antony. ‘We have some mid-century modern pieces that work very well with the backdrop we have, but our house does feel a bit more lived in – it is very much a family house. The biggest thing was finding the right pillar to support the new extension – we must have looked at 300 salvage pillars before we found the right one. And then when we finally did find the right thing, they made us buy two because they only sold them in pairs.’

Richard and Antony – and Joseph Joseph – are living, breathing proof that family and work really can mix. It will be fascinating to see just what they come up with next. And look out for the rest of the family too. Brothers Peter and Philip have also founded their own design company together, focusing on interiors. The creative gene remains strong, all the way through the extended Joseph family.


Joseph Joseph –


Antony (with glasses) and Richard Joseph meeting with Buying Manager Chris Gardner at the Selfridges Joseph Joseph stand within the Cookshop & Dining department on the lower ground floor.

Antony and Richard Joseph passing the Joseph Joseph window display at John Lewis' Oxford Street store. MINT – Richard and Antony Joseph visiting the Mint showroom on Alexander Square, South Kensington; the artwork on the wall is by Chao Lu while the marble tables are by Agapecasa and the white resin chairs are by Studio van Pelt; the pendant lights are by Alex de Witte.

Richard and Antony Joseph with television chef and master patissier Eric Lanlard at his Cake Boy cookery school, café and coffee shop at Battersea Reach, Battersea; Lanlard is pictured using/testing Joseph Joseph kitchen products, which are also regularly used by his students.

Antony and Richard Joseph in Trafalgar Square, visiting the Pigeon Fancier's House by Jasper Morrison and Patternity's A Place Called Home installation for The London Design Festival; A Place Called Home is sponsored by airbnb.

Richard and Antony pictured enjoying lunch at Mark Hix's new Hixster restaurant, which is on the ground and lower ground floors of the same building that holds the Joseph Joseph studio and showroom.

Richard and Antony Joseph pictured buying pies and Scotch eggs from The Ginger Pig in Borough Market,

Richard and Antony Joseph having tea outside Elliot's Café in Southwark with Borough Market in the background; Borough Market is a favourite haunt for the brothers and a short distance from their studio.

Antony Joseph pictured in the design studio, examining the different compartments and containers from their new Totem refuse and recycling bin with his studio colleagues Peggy Amegbedzi and James Turner. Richard Joseph meeting with colleagues Dan Roberts and Elisa Barnard in the Joseph Joseph showroom and studio in Southwark.


Richard and his girlfriend, Hannah Jefferson. Architectural design by Daniel Adeshile of Ade Architecture – Interiors – Richard, Hannah and Emily Cove –

Akari/Noguchi light – 1.2 metre sphere, from Vitra. Kitchen – Jack Trench Dining table – Benchmark Dining chairs – Charles and Ray Eames, Vitra. Light under stairs – Plumen Low table – Bethan Gray Stools – vintage Sofa – Emily Cove

Bookcases – bespoke Sofa by stairs – vintage Chair – Norman Cherner Chair Stool – Charles & Ray Eames Fireplace – Chesney

BATHROOM - Chandelier
Italian Lighting Centre. Bath – CP Hart


Antony, Amelia and their children Isla and Arthur. Architectural design by Daniel Adeshile of Ade Architecture –

Windows – Clement Windows. Stools – Heidi stools by Sebastian Wrong for Established & Sons. Oak floors – Natural Wood Floor Company. Dining table – Staffan Tollgard. Dining chairs – Charles & Ray Eames, Vitra. Kitchen units and joinery – Andre Zulpo.

Red chair in window – Gaetano Pesce for B&B Italia Sofa – Cassina

Colour – Mole's Breath, Farrow & Ball