From his childhood days growing up on an estate in Ireland, James Grogan started his path to home renovations and design. He built the foundation of skills by watching, learning and working with his father on their own property.
"People ask me where I learned to do what I do and when I answer, 'I grew up on a farm,' I don't think they understand what I mean," said Grogan.
With a property that was more than 200 years old, there was always a need for updates, and as it was on a farm, you did the work yourself. Projects ranged from building whether it was building a new sheep house, re-plastering a bedroom after running new pipes to the bathrooms, and making crown molding forms for repairs to, building new stable doors, designing and executing the design for the formal gardens, welding up new railings, and reroofing a cottage with a slate roof.
While the physical labor aspect of his journey began with his father, the keen eye for design and style came from his mother. She was ahead of her time in terms of interior home design with painting furniture decades before it became a trend, using architectural hardware on cabinetry to add a unique flair to a kitchen and accenting rooms with her signature antiques. Because of his parents' influence, James was a child that was constantly sneaking his father's building materials to nail wood together and was always seen with a sketch pad in his hand—dreaming up new creations.
Although the seeds of woodworking and design were planted at home, James refined his interest and skills in school. At about 10, Peter Wilson, his woodworking teacher and well known craftsman, became the largest influence in his life in terms of woodworking and furniture making. Wilson gave James a turn-of-the-century woodworking book that inspired him and fueled his interest in making and designing furniture.
James, along with his conventional studies, studied interior, furniture and industrial design from age 13 to 22, completing his education at College in Thame. At 21, he took on his first major project by repurposing a 250-year-old pigsty/cow house into a two-bedroom cottage. He worked from the foundation to the decoration of the home. James fell in love with the art of renovation and transforming a dull, rundown space into a beautiful home with unique elements that reflect the style of the owner.
As an established furniture maker trained in Europe, James brings his years of experience of renovating old homes into the success of PanGro Development. He began his journey to starting the company when he came to the United States and purchased his first home. After completing his own renovations, he began doing other home renovations as side projects. At the urging of friends who saw and recognized the quality of his work, James turned his passion into his livelihood as well.
James' family home in Ireland.
James' years of expertise bring a certain knowledge and skill set to all of his projects that sets PanGro Development apart from other companies. He knows what can be reused and what needs to be replaced. James' years of growing up in a home from 1718 and homes even hundreds of years older, are reflected in his traditional, classical style he creates for clients. His love for simplicity is not only seen in the design aspect of working with PanGro Development, but also in the process of home renovations. He helps streamline and simplify the process for clients so it is not completely overwhelming or stressful.
In the spirit of family, which the roots of the business have grown from, PanGro Development stays with the client for life. Clients who have work done on their main home can take PanGro with them to do work on vacation or second homes throughout the world. The company is steeped in old fashion approaches to service where the client should carefully be listened to, should end up with a beautiful renovation that reflects their style and should have a positive experience with workers employed by PanGro.
James still has a passion for creating unique pieces of furniture, but the hustle and bustle of day to day life doesn't always allow for that. Therefore, his creativity and desire to create one-of-a-kind pieces is carried out on projects—to the benefit of the clients. PanGro Development clients will always be left with something custom and unique to their home.
Tradition is not just a word used to describe the company's style, but a way of life for James and his employees. With a family of his own now, James is continuing the tradition of home renovation and design with his two young sons. As his mother and father did with him, James is instilling in is boys the love and appreciation of hard work, building projects with your hands and using your mind for creativity and uniqueness to make it even more special. The family values are part of PanGro Development as well.
James and his team are passionate, educated professionals who carry on traditional values and style in the modern world. Experience PanGro Development and fall in love with your home all over again.