Interior design is not a singular profession, but rather a collaborative effort with the makers and tradespeople who take my ideas from the page into reality. It requires a pretty high level of trust to enter into a relationship like that, and it’s one that I don’t take lightly. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort to find the best people at every craft to form a team that I can count on to bring my vision to life and to give my clients the absolute best outcomes for their spaces. I’ve said many times that a beautiful room is not the only goal and that functionality must be a priority, and quality and craftsmanship are at the intersection of those two ideals.
Grant's design in a room by Sean Anderson | Photo by Haris Kenjar
One of those team members is Alabama-based bespoke furnishings maker, Grant Trick. Calling Grant an upholsterer or a furniture designer doesn’t quite hit the mark, though technically he is both of those things. It’s just that he is so much more. His education is in apparel design, so he thinks like a pattern maker and is an absolute wizard with fabric.
I was introduced to Grant through a mutual friend, designer Drew McGukin, and I knew that if Drew trusted him he was the real deal. With Grant, we have a truly collaborative process. I’ll send him a drawing or an idea or call him up and say “what do you think about this?” and he comes back with tweaks. We both have pretty strong opinions and ambitious ideas, so we don’t always see exactly eye to eye from the get-go, but we trust and respect each other and are always able to come to an agreement. I know that I can get as wild as I need to, and he’s right there to match my enthusiasm.
What really sets Grant apart is his unending knowledge of his craft. I know quite a bit myself after years of working under Bunny Williams, and I’m pretty discerning when it comes to details, and Grant loves he tedium of upholstery design as much as I do and wants to create pieces that are truly one-of-a-kind and special.
Grant's work in a room by Jeffrey Dungan | Photo by William Abranowicz
As if that weren’t enough, his craftsmanship is impeccable. Not only are he and his team building every part of every piece by hand, but it is being done the right way — you’ll find no cardboard fillers or wood glue in his shop! Everything is hand-tied, and he uses the best kiln-dried hardwood frames. The fabric is applied using dressmaker details and finished by hand (you can see some cool behind-the-scenes videos on his Instagram account). Craftsmanship is important because I am selling my clients on an investment, and I need to know that it will be worthwhile. These are truly inheritable pieces that your children will fight over!
Even if your budget isn’t conducive to a fully-custom space, I will insist that we at least do a custom sofa. They are the workhorse of every room whether it is a breakfast room banquette or a media room sectional. Custom pieces are the splurge item that will truly elevate your design, not only in aesthetics, but in long-lasting functionality that just cannot be replicated with mass-market goods. Even though his workroom is almost a thousand miles away, I rest easy knowing that Grant and his team are doing everything to make sure my clients are satisfied. They ship cushion options so that we can try them out during the design phase, and they have recently opened a showroom in the City so that we can see his masterpieces in person.
Meeting folks like Grant is one of the true privileges of my profession. In a time where the world seems to be hidden behind a screen most of the time, it’s refreshing to know that there are good people doing honest work with care and precision. If you are interesting in working with me and my team of trusted tradespeople, please get in touch.
Keep Reading: The Value of Custom Upholstery