There have always been interior designers and homeowners who’ve understood the value of furniture that’s made just for them and totally one-of-a-kind. Sometimes it’s because no standard-sized, store-bought piece would fit in a certain space. Or maybe it’s because the style they wanted was so unique, only a custom craftsman could fulfill the vision. And while it may cost a bit more than what is in stores, the completed piece will be a perfect fit and worthy of heirloom status. Where to find these craftspeople? We tracked down four local furniture makers who are making a name for themselves doing it from scratch.
It makes sense that Garrett Brooks became a furniture designer—his mother is an artist and his father is an engineer. To that DNA, he added a degree in furniture design from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and worked not only making furniture, but in museums, too. While Brooks, a Michigan native, was living in California, a friend with some studio space in Mt. Vernon lured him to Baltimore.
One of Brooks’s obsessions is tables. “There’s something elegant about them, their pure functionality,” he explains, but he’s been doing quite a few custom beds of late, too. His clients generally fall into two categories: those who saw his work online and want exactly what they’ve seen, and those who like the look, but want something made to their specs.
“A lot of times, people are looking for a particular function they can’t find in a store,” he says, noting a recent commission for a couple in Manhattan who needed a dining table that could collapse down to a small occasional table.
Though he says he draws inspiration from many styles, Brooks’s own work most closely aligns with Shaker and Scandinavian modern designs. He will work with other artisans to add metal to a piece, but his studio is all about American woods such as walnut and white oak that achieve his clean, contemporary look. He will sometimes throw in a soft wood like Douglas fir or Redwood, a shoutout to his California days.
What he builds: Tables, beds, credenzas, benches, and accent pieces.
See his Stuff: goodwooddesign.com