Entries in Southwest (2)


Southwest Native American Entertainment Centers

For most of my commissions, the people involved in hiring me agree on the style they want in their home. But once in a while I meet a couple who have very differing opinions on what they want in the way of design and style.

I met one such couple who had recently moved to Rancho Santa Fe, California, and were remodeling the home they had just purchased. He is French, recently moved here from the Czech Republic, and he imported computer technology for a living. She is from England, and was a fashion model. Here comes the design problem: He loved very contemporary styles and she was fascinated by Native American Indian and Southwestern styles. My solution was to design contemporary furniture and built-ins with carvings of Native Americans and Southwest motifs. I started with one piece and went on to make six pieces of furniture along with their entryway.

The first piece, pictured above, is a TV stereo cabinet in the master bedroom The border is solid macassar ebony, the doors are solid birdseye maple, and the Native American woman is in solid maple. I used concealed hinges and a touch latch so no hardware would disrupt the feeling of the woman walking away to some unknown place. The contrast in the ebony and birdseye is stunning. 

The second piece, pictured below, is the entertainment center in the living room, made of solid Australian lacewood and Honduras rosewood. The Native American woman, sitting deep in thought in the lower right corner, is carved in Honduras mahogany. Also note the inlayed arrowhead design in the doors just below the top. The tambour doors in the middle cabinet allow the TV to be viewed from any part of the room since the doors don't block the TV. And the very top section was designed for artwork, in which my clients placed a beautiful Native American pot.

It can be challenging to accomodate more than one design style in a single piece of furniture, but I am always up for a challenge, it's what makes my job and my life interesting!


Contemporary Southwest Style Entry

When meeting new clients one of the things I have to do is understand what type of design, materials, and finishes my new clients like. I try to see from their perspective and then decide on how to best achieve that feeling, look and concept. People come back to me again and again over the years because I use my experience and abilities in many types of materials to get what they are looking for.

In some cases the husband and wife have completely different tastes and styles, which is somewhat challenging to come up with a design that blends the two or more styles in a pleasing manner. This particular entry was such the case. The wife was from England and loved a rustic Southwest style. He was from France and loved contemporary design. The home in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, was a Spanish style home. I came up with the idea of an Indian helping a coyote, but carved it in a very clean, smooth and stylized work. 

The wood is a combination of pecan and merbau with a natural contemporary finish and a simple etched glass with clouds. I went on to make several other pieces in their home keeping the same concept and style, and you can see those photos below.

Above: Entertainment center, birdseye maple with macasar ebony border.

Above: Entertainment center, lacewood from Australia with rosewood detailing, with a carved Indian woman in the bottom right corner.

Above: Wet bar, merbau with rosewood inlays.

Above: Wet bar, lacewood with rosewood details.