One of the great things about our job(s) — whether we’re selling a home, building a new one, or consulting with our clients on a renovation — is the opportunity we have to collaborate with some very creative people and curators of wonderful wares, whom we will excitedly introduce you to over a series of Q&As. In our first installment, we present Bryan Feld, a very talented artist/designer/craftsman. In his own words, he’ll tell you about how he contributed to one of our recent projects — a client-commissioned home we designed and built on N Alfred St in West Hollywood — which, at the time of this publishing, is almost complete.
Q:Bryan, would you kindly describe for everyone what your business is currently about and what your background is?
Bryan Feld Design is a custom furniture and fabrication company here in Los Angeles. I received my BFA in Product Design from Otis College of Art and Design. I’ve always been a maker and appreciated the physical aspect of building with and understanding materials. After a very short work period designing commercial consumer electronics, I went back to woodworking and building projects because I missed the gratification I received from working on a project from start to finish and physically bringing it to life.
I love to design and build unique, or one-of-a-kind furniture pieces especially working with live edge lumber (NOTE: Live edge, or natural edge, is a style of furniture where the furniture designer or craftsperson incorporates the natural edge of the wood into the design of the piece. Live edge furniture often incorporates gnarly wood, such as Alligator Juniper, mesquite, Vachellia nilotica and salvaged wood that could not be used in conventional woodworking). I also work with clients to bring their own project visions to life. Whether it’s just a concept that needs to be worked through or a fully-developed design that just needs to be made, we can make it happen. This is usually achieved through sketches, CAD, rendering, and prototyping.
Primarily we work with wood and metal in our shop, but have the capability of working with other materials as well. If a project calls for unique materials, we also work with other local companies to outsource parts.
Q:Could you talk about the work you’ve done for C&D Homes and how the process played out, both in terms of the back-and-forth communication with us and how it worked for you creatively, and in the procurement of materials?
We worked on three different projects at the most recent build at the N Alfred St house in West Hollywood. This consisted of built-in reclaimed shelving in a few areas of the house, planters for the master bedroom balcony, and a vanity frame in the master bathroom.
The reclaimed shelving was pretty straight forward. The house was designed for shelves in these spaces and they knew they wanted the rustic look of reclaimed wood, so for us, it was just a matter of taking the measurements and choosing the right material and finish. We went to a local reclaimed lumberyard and sifted through the stacks, carefully choosing the pieces with the most character and applied the appropriate finish to the wood and metal brackets that were made for the space.
The balcony planters had overall dimensions of what was needed and we understood the requirements from the landscaper of having them all drain to one specific corner to keep the beautiful terra-cotta tiles clean from muddy water. Thus, we designed them in sections that all fit together seamlessly on site and used finishes that complimented the materials used elsewhere in the bedroom to keep it cohesive.
The vanity frame required some back-and-forth and we worked through two iterations. They knew they wanted to frame the piece but weren’t set on any particular vision. We decided to try out a a more organic gold-leafed frame, so I drafted up a render and provided some samples of finishes. When I brought it in for the test fitting, we decided it wasn’t quite working the way we thought it would so we shifted directions. After some thought, Craig and I agreed on a more simple and modern frame built out of beveled mirror strips.
Q:Who are your ideal clients and how would you, ideally, like to work with them? Level of gratification working with home designers/builders?
Right now our current clients are mostly individuals and homeowners, or small businesses looking for something unique for their space. Craig and David were wonderful to work with as developers/builders and we would certainly enjoy working with them again. Since a lot of our work is on one-off pieces or low-quantity builds, these types of clients work well for us.
We really enjoy working with developers/designers/builders, and are looking forward to more projects with developers — and would even enjoy taking on something larger such as projects for a hotel. I mention hotel projects as a source where our creativity into custom designs such as furniture, lighting, or other wooden accessory items can be custom made to a specific location but produced in slightly larger quantities.
We really enjoy the collaboration aspect that comes from sitting down looking at a space and envisioning how to bring form, function and beauty to it.