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Arturo Sanchez and Barry Harrison of Art | Harrison Interiors

Arturo Sanchez and Barry Harrison When a pair of visionary designers imagine the perfect item for a client’s home, where do they go to find it? If the designers are Arturo Sanchez and Barry Harrison of Art | Harrison Interiors, they go back to their studio and craft it by hand.

MDC visited the Art | Harrison studio, tucked neatly in an industrial section of northern Royal Oak, to learn more about creating a custom furnishings line.

Sommerville TableTell us how you decided to create your own custom furniture line.
We did not really consciously “decide” to create a line – it just happened organically. We have worked together for 20 years, and just a few years in we were working on a lovely Bauhaus home with a back terrace that steps down into a fern garden. Our client loved her fiddlehead ferns, so we made a special table for her with a base inspired by those unfurled fiddleheads.

Over time, there have been instances where we could not find certain items to complete the rooms we were working on. Each item in our line has been designed to fill a very specific site-driven need. If the space called out for something of a particular size, shape, or finish, we crafted what we needed for the client.

How involved are you in the production of your pieces?
Completely involved. Our pieces are bench-made items. We select the materials – in some cases the whole block of wood – and make the items by hand. Our studio is set up so we can carve, plane and finish the materials and we do those steps ourselves. It is like having a really expensive basement! I (Arturo) studied Industrial Design at College for Creative Studies and Interiors at Wayne State. Barry has an Engineering background. We love the process of touching each piece and finishing it by hand. The plan is to remain a hand-made furniture company.

Will there come a day when the furniture business will replace your interior design work?
We certainly hope not! It is our interior design work that inspires the items in our line. We are lucky to have some of the nicest clients – and we really enjoy our work. The furniture business has grown, though. We are represented at Michigan Design Center by Tennant & Associates and it is our dream to be represented in key design centers across the country.

Kling Chaise and Tray Devon Console

To view a bio and additional work samples from Art | Harrison Interiors, click here.

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