Keep This Houston Designer On Your Radar. He’s Just Getting Started.


Designer in front of a rug

Houston designer Benjamin Johnston posing in front of one of his designs for Madison Lily Rugs.

Houston designer Benjamin Johnston’s sharp rise should come as no surprise. With a Master of Architecture degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a residency with César Pelli & Associates Architects in Tokyo under his belt, Johnston founded his esteemed interior design firm in 2016—and he recently expanded his offerings to also consist of architectural services. With managing director Erich Ploog and architectural manager Greg Roffino, the firm moved into new Houston offices while expanding business to Austin. And if that’s not enough, Johnston is now venturing into product design with collections for Madison Lily Rugs. Luxe recently reached out.

Why is your firm unique? We provide a different point of view in Texas with contemporary but livable design tailored to each client. Our homes are the best reflections of our clients, and the size and skillset of our team allow us to offer a level of service discerning clients demand. 

How’s the new office? Collaboration amongst our team and with clients is paramount and the office provides ample space plus multiple work environments where we collaborate daily. Our office is in an old 1880s textile mill with a welcome sense of character, plus has ample natural light, a connection to nature and an arrangement—with everything from fabric and tile samples to photo shoot accessories—that enables us to stay highly organized. It really is a dream come true!

Describe your rugs. My debut collection with Madison Lily Rugs is inspired by the colors of nature and features the motif of exotic plumage. Executed in wool and silk, our fine art rugs look as comfortable displayed as tapestries as they do used on the floor. Currently, seven unique colorways are available in multiple standard sizes, but customization in color and sizing is also available. We’re already collaborating on the second collection launching later this year.