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American designer Brenda Houston has long been captivated by the allure of gemstones, crystals and minerals, and in her opulent tables, lighting, wallcoverings and decorative accessories, she gives them pride of place. Working with a select network of sources throughout the world, she locates exceptional specimens, showcasing them in her handcrafted custom furnishings. She recognizes that ??nature??s artworks?? have seduced since ancient times, and will continue to do so, sidestepping passing fads to be coveted for generations.
Some of the minerals Brenda incorporates into her pieces are more than one hundred million years old. She marvels at the juxtaposition between the rocks?? rugged, nondescript exterior and the gleaming luster within. ??You never know exactly what to expect before a rock is sliced open,?? she notes; ??it??s a surprise every time.?? The serendipitous aspect of working this way is key to its attraction for her. ??Only after cutting it do you know if there is beauty inside; a door magically opening to a whole new world.?? Once the interior section is visible, she lets the unique veining, color and silhouette of the cross-section suggest what the slab will ultimately become.
Brenda traces her minerals passion to a childhood obsession with pearls. Growing up in Dallas and summering in San Diego, she requested one for every birthday, graduation and holiday. ??Each pearl was a different color and shape. No two were alike; the variations were endless, and each time I looked, I saw something new.?? That discernment led her into visual merchandising, a career that began at Bloomingdales and continued at Barneys New York and I. Magnin. Among the brands she conveyed through visual display were Issey Miyake, Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan, until a shark-diving accident in Palau precipitated a pause. After two years of rehabilitation, she began designing jewelry store interiors, first for Bailey Banks & Biddle, and then for David Yurman.
Longing to be more involved in residential and hospitality projects, Houston launched her namesake design studio in 2008 with table lamps whose bases were formed from rare minerals. The next year she added small treasure boxes and decorative side tables. As she built a couture following, she won numerous awards, was lauded in the press, and invited to open a store-within-a-store at Barneys New York. She closed the boutique in 2011 to concentrate on new designs and expanding the collections.
Brenda??s growing roster of clients includes A-list interior design firms, celebrities, royal family members, and luxury hoteliers throughout the world. She is proud to produce all of her collections within the US.
Houston balances her time between Dallas, Los Angeles and New York; her retail collections are available at PIRCH stores nationwide and Bergdorf Goodman New York. Couture furnishings are available to design professionals at Allan Knight and Associates and through www.BrendaHouston.com.