3 Colorado Furniture Makers To Have On Your Radar

ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN | BY | February 5, 2019

Luxe previews three furniture makers creating buzzworthy pieces out of their own Colorado studios.

PHOTO: MERNE JUDSON III

In 2018, after nearly a decade in the custom table-making business, furniture maker Donnie Criswell partnered with his wife, Lindsey Price Criswell, to develop a customizable collection of tables, seating, case goods and accessories with a fresh, modern sensibility.

Handmade from a palette of hardwoods, leather, marble and steel, and inspired by the iconic designs of Florence Knoll and Charles and Ray Eames, their inaugural collection “combines rugged materials made modernly beautiful,” says Donnie Criswell. Highlights of the ready-to-buy inventory include the triangular, puzzle-piece-like Ziggy nesting tables; the sleek-yet-roomy upholstered Keystone sofa; and the wood-and-concrete Summit table (shown).

Designs can be tweaked to fit each client’s needs or made from scratch for any residential or commercial space. In keeping with the Criswells’ roots, the duo’s custom tables are made from spectacular, live-edge slabs of wood. Up next: a Denver showroom that’s set to open in January 2019. denvermodern.com

PHOTO: THOMAS BRENT TAYLOR

Striking, streamlined and simple–Denver-based furniture maker Garrett Brown’s designs check all the right boxes for collectors of functional modern art, but the handmade furnishings displayed on his shoppable website are just a preview of his capabilities.

Since launching his design and manufacturing company in his small apartment just four years ago, Brown has moved into a 3,500-square-foot studio in Westminster, assembled a team of wood- and metalworkers and fabricators, and created custom designs for a wide array of residential and commercial clients.

New technologies, from three-dimensional printing to laser-cutting, allow Brown to seamlessly incorporate unexpected materials into his designs–the Erebus table’s top merges slabs of wood and marble and the Eros bench (shown) features one metal leg that can be finished in a rainbow of bold colors–but his focus is steadfast: honoring the natural beauty and movement of wood. garrettbrowndesigns.com

PHOTO: DAG LARSON

Those well acquainted with Denver’s bar and restaurant scene have likely encountered the work of Black Hound Design Company, which has designed and fabricated decor and furnishings for hot spots like Hearth & Dram, Punch Bowl Social and Tivoli Brewing Company, to name a few.

But restaurant decor is just part of what founder James Hixson and his wife, Kate, as well as their team of metalsmiths, woodworkers, fine artists and industrial designers, can do. Their Arvada workshop turns out custom pieces–from live-edge wood power desks to sleek coffee tables with modern hairpin legs–for homes and offices across the country, and, drawing on Hixson’s formal training as a sculptor, striking art installations too. Character-rich wood stars in most every design, with cool industrial materials playing bold supporting roles.

One of Hixson’s favorite creations: Denver restaurant Vital Root’s room dividers, which combine whitewashed, live-edge Australian pine slabs with modern metal grating reclaimed from an old post office. blackhounddesigncompany.com

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