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5 breakout Austin home and furniture designers

Meet some of our superstars

We’ve been paying so much attention to the macro of Austin development, we thought it might be time to narrow our focus a bit on the micro (or moderately micro)—the local captains of creativity who make the real, personal, human-scaled part of Austin design happen.

These photos of some of the exquisite work done by some of our best local makers (and remakers) of furniture, home items, and the odd structural item are just a few of our evergrowing community of unique artisans, of course; please lead us via the comments to more wonders to behold.

Mark Macek, Macek Furniture Company

Macek has been designing and making unique, gorgeous furniture and other things in Austin, as well as for people and cities all over the world, for quite some time; he has an architecture degree from UT as well as an education in construction trades, and he also exhibits work as an artist. His stuff started off great and just gets better.

Stereo cabinet by Mark Macek Furniture
Stereo cabinet by Mark Macek Furniture
Leon Alesi/Mark Macek Furniture Facebook page
Dining table by Mark Macek Furniture
Dining table by Mark Macek Furniture
Mark Macek Furniture/Facebook

Keith Kreeger, Keith Kreeger Studios

Kreeger moved to Austin from Cape Cod in 2009 and soon enough was making a huge splash with his fantastic porcelain ware. Beautiful and distinctive, his work embodies clean, modern design that ups the pleasure factor considerably in great restaurants, hotels, and homes around the world—and, especially, in Austin.

Keith Kreeger vases, white with black lines
Gramercy bottle

Michael Yates

Yates has been designing and producing custom furniture, structure, objects and cabinetry in Austin since 2003, and his brilliant work can be found all over the world. We especially like that he solves eternal problems, like how to make a dog crate not only presentable, but a work of art.

Amanda Brown, Spruce

A lifetime of updating and reusing castoff furniture and an upholstery classes at Austin Community College led Amanda Brown to a complete career change and the creation of Spruce in 2007. Since then, Brown and her staff of "Sprucettes" (ladies and gents, just so you know) combine a wickedly inventive and keen sense of design and mad upholstery skills to create a completely fresh look for interiors and furniture that might have otherwise been headed for the trash. Spruce’s onsite upholstery shop and exquisite fabric supply ensures quality and allows her to spread the gospel by offering upholstery lessons; she has also written a book on the subject, recorded instructional DVDs, and writes for Design Sponge on a regular basis, a gig that includes a monthly upholstery column. We suspect she’s found her true passion.

Drophouse Design

Drophouse actually makes a lot more than furniture—it’s a full-on design, fabrication, and construction business—but what they do is so inventive and cool and high-quality that we’re including them in this roundup anyway. As a business, it’s only four years old, but it has already made a significant and lasting impact on the city’s design sensibilities.