While Phoenix-based furniture maker Paul Jeffrey started his career in automotive design, it wasn’t long before he found himself desiring to create things far away from the bustle of the assembly line. It was that desire that led him to found Paul Rene Furniture and Cabinetry with partner Rene Cervantes in 2003. Since then, the duo have been busy crafting limited-edition furniture—from occasional chairs and coffee tables to desks and dining buffets—painstakingly built by hand in their studio. Here, the creative talent shares what’s on his radar in Arizona this season.
What’s intriguing you in design at the moment? As a furniture designer, I’d have to say I’m really interested in what The TechShop is doing. It’s a membership-based makers space that allows anyone with an idea to access cutting-edge manufacturing software and highly advanced precision tools.
One to watch: Chris Jovanelly is a fearless designer. He’s unafraid to mix patterns and textures, and the results are breathtaking.
What are you most excited about now? I feel like Phoenix will be the next Los Angeles. The draw of ASU’s new downtown campus is attracting all kinds of students and creatives, which contributes to the art-driven zone of free expression that’s full of the flavorful social interactions other big cities enjoy.
For the design-obsessed: Taliesin is, of course, a default answer. I also love the gritty Roosevelt Row Arts District. For those to whom the midcentury modern furniture trend is appealing, going into Red Modern Furniture is like stepping into the past.
Best local shopping: I’m an old soul, so vintage has quite a bit of appeal to me. The Melrose shopping district, located between Central Avenue and Indian School Road, is one of my favorite places for unique scores—from furniture to retro duds and other one-of-a-kind treasures.
Favorite piece in inventory? One of the things that I’m most proud of is our company’s 2nd Chair String series—a line of occasional chairs that are all inspired by the lyre instrument. Designing and making them was a painful labor of love.
PHOTO: COURTESY PAUL RENE FURNITURE
This story originally appeared in the Arizona November/December 2015 issue of Luxe Interiors + Design.