Tribeza Talk: Interiors
An insider’s guide to what’s buzzing around Austin
by Nicole Beckley
Utilizing bold, bright colors, artist Robert Warenoff creates paintings that make rooms feel vibrant. His geometric patterns create the illusion of depth — imagine a cross between a Tetris game and a Magic Eye poster. First sketching a design by hand, Warenoff coaxes each acrylic-on-canvas piece to pop with modern flair. His love of color, structure and symmetry makes each highly-livable painting as surprising as it is logical.
When Gil Moreno and Lindsey Culpepper, two El Pasoans turned Austinites, first started working on a design project, they didn’t know how quickly it would escalate. “It just kind of snowballed,” Moreno says. In 2014 they officially opened Transmountain, issuing a run of custom-built mini-record credenzas, made from pecan and meant to hold 150 records. The aesthetic that emerged felt like a rebuttal to a more opulent style. “That’s kind of our philosophy — how can we use less and get the same [results]?” Moreno says. While they’ve done commercial work, including the giant barn doors at Barracuda and the banquettes at Nickel City, their real love is building custom furniture. See their work, on display at Northern-Southern gallery through January 26.
Carving a Path
Over a decade and a half ago, Michael Wilson was working as a sushi chef in Los Angeles when he and his wife moved into a serious fixer-upper. “It was, like, a literal teardown,” Wilson says. After working to refurbish the house, Wilson decided to try his hand at making furniture, inspired by “The Soul of a Tree,” George Nakashima’s book about woodworking.
With a few projects under his belt, Wilson promised to give himself a year to see if he could make a new career from his work. “After a year, I just never looked back,” Wilson says. He began doing custom work for high-profile clients, like actor Orlando Bloom and lighting designer LeRoy Bennett, before relocating to Wimberley in 2008. Since then, Wilson’s gorgeous woodwork has taken shape in tables at the Fifth & West condos and the beautiful bar inside the Line Hotel and found its way to galleries. “It started more as functional furniture in the beginning and now it’s become quite sculptural,” Wilson says.
Snug as a Rug
The brainchild of Alli Pozeznik, Austin Rug Co. specializes in vintage floor coverings, including unique pieces like goat-hair blankets from the 1970s and floral-patterned Turkish rugs from the 1950s. Working with rug purveyors in Turkey, Pozeznik sources rugs with distinct patterns, vivid colors and intricate geometric designs to make any space feel like home.
Something borrowed, something blue — but what’s a wedding without flowers? With a knack for high-concept floral design, Bella by Sara’s Sara Mulder approaches events with an artist’s eye, utilizing flowers as a source of color and life. Floral centerpieces and garlands lend a unique vibe, and the result may be an event that feels whimsical or traditional, romantic or tropical. Since 2009, Mulder has created floral backdrops, flower crowns and over-the-top bridal bouquets and now has a studio in Dripping Springs where she can gather floral-loving groups for special events.
Whether your room needs a few new throw pillows or a complete design overhaul, MADE by Milling Around Interiors aims to please. The showroom, which held its grand opening in October, serves as both a fabric store and consultation space. Pick the perfect pattern for a new pair of curtains, peruse the extensive collection of Annie Sloan chalk paint and talk to an expert about bedding, window treatments and upholstery.