These 8 Downtown Artisans Are Rethinking Traditional Furniture

by Fara Illich
Arts & Culture Business Development Featured Travel, Shopping & Leisure Fara Illich July 23, 2015

Tucked away inside studios and large warehouses, artisan furniture makers are setting up shop all over the Valley, and many of them are located right here in Downtown Phoenix.
These furnishings are more than your ordinary coffee tables, chairs and dressers.
These businesses and individuals have taken the common household item and made it into a piece of art, albeit art you can sit, sleep or eat on.
Each company has a distinct specialty and style, but all share a love and passion for their craft as well as a craft product.
Porter Barn Wood – 901 S. Seventh Street

(Photos: Porter Barn Wood)

(Photos: Porter Barn Wood)


Just three years old, Porter Barn Wood is a fast growing company that supplies reclaimed barn wood, and also builds custom, handmade items out of barn wood, tree slabs and other salvaged materials – think vintage gun and tractor parts. From tables and chairs to light fixtures and doors – projects start off inside the design lounge where they display work and consult with customers to create one-of-a-kind products.
Their work and barn wood can be seen all over the Valley, including in downtown establishments like Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, Lucky Strike, The Vig Fillmore, The Corner and more. Porter Barn Wood has big plans in the works, like building a warehouse with a traditional 1920s redbrick facade – made out of reclaimed red brick.
Modfire – 1213 W. Pierce Street
(Photos: Modfire)

(Photos: Modfire)


As the name would suggest, Modfire designs and fabricates modern outdoor fireplaces, which are inspired by Phoenix mid-century modern architecture. With clean lines and a sleek design, the fireplaces come in various vibrant colors (as well as black and white) and have several fuel burning options, including wood, propane, ethanol and natural gas. Brandon Williams and Marty Young are the masterminds behind the company, which was founded in 2010. Each fireplace is still manufactured by hand in their original steel studio on Pierce Street and Grand Avenue.
Tuft & Needle – 605 E. Grant Street
(Photos: Tuft & Needle)

(Photos: Tuft & Needle)


Founded in 2013, Tuft & Needle has taken the mattress to the next level. With a sleek website and a custom mattress, the start-up has made the purchasing process easy, straightforward and affordable. The idea materialized after co-founders John-Thomas Marino and Daehee Park were dissatisfied with the high markups and lack of transparency in the mattress industry. Tuft & Needle mattresses come in a variety of sizes (a queen starts at $600) and ship free in a convenient, small box.
Vintage Industrial – 1301 E. Jackson Street
(Photos: Vintage Industrial)

(Photos: Vintage Industrial)


Vintage Industrial specializes in crafting one-of-a-kind pieces of industrial-style furniture for use in homes, offices, restaurants and much more. Some items include pieces of reclaimed barn wood or metal while others are distressed for a vintage flair. Each item is handmade with supplies and parts that are often sourced domestically. Fun fact: When the company has to cut down a tree for a product, it plants at least ten more.
Carbon Footprint – 920 E. Madison Street
(Photos: Carbon Footprint)

(Photos: Carbon Footprint)


Using sustainable and recycled materials is the philosophy of Carbon Footprint, which designs and fabricates custom outdoor furniture from wood, steel, aluminum and other materials. Each table or chair is unique, whether it’s desert-inspired, industrial-style or mid-century modern.
Industrial Craftsman Furniture – 1427 E. Polk Street
(Photos: Industrial Craftsman Furniture)

(Photos: Industrial Craftsman Furniture)


Artist Bill Hemphill builds beautiful custom furniture by hand out of reclaimed wood and steel. You may even recognize some of his work, like the outdoor tables at Welcome Chicken + Donuts or even the door handles at Monarch Theater.
Heckler Design
(Photos: Heckler Design)

(Photos: Heckler Design)


Nestled inside the historic O.S. Stapley building on Grand Avenue, Heckler Design designs and builds modern, minimalist products out of stainless steel. Started by Dean Heckler, the company officially launched in 2007 with the OneLessDesk, a two-piece nesting desk, and has since expanded to include point-of-sale cases and cash drawers for tablets.
Arizona Iron Furniture – 1209 Grand Avenue
(Photos: Arizona Iron Furniture)

(Photos: Arizona Iron Furniture)


Launched in 2009, Arizona Iron Furniture creates wrought iron outdoor furniture and patio accessories. While this family-owned shop has several stores in the Valley, its sole manufacturing location is on Grand Avenue, where they build five different lines of customizable furniture.

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