Douglas David is an artist. But he has also established a business in custom furniture and decor items, stemming from his hobby of shopping flea markets, where he finds interesting objects that he can repurpose and sell to homeowners looking for something vintage that has a practical use.
For the next month, some of his product line can be seen at the Jewels on the Bay Designer Showcase in the Denton home on the patio. And he sells through his Web site, www.douglasdavidcottage.com. His original art is available for purchase through paintings - www.douglasdavid.com. For more information on the 2012 Jewels on the Bay Designer Showhouse, go to www.DesignerShowhouse
Q: When did you come to Sarasota and why?
A: I first visited Sarasota when I was a child with my parents in the 1960s. I came back in the 80s for business and have been coming to Sarasota as often as I can, ever since.
Q: Is the wood you use repurposed?
A: Yes, the wood we use on the Adirondack chairs, ottomans, barstools and side tables are all from vintage water-skis. The bar is from scraps from the water-skis, a section of a salvaged butcher block counter top and the sides from a college lectern. These items are at the Designer Showhouse through Feb. 19.
Q: What is your background?
A: I have B.F.A. from Herron School of Art/Indiana University. Additionally 11 years of summer study with master painter, Frank Mason (d. 2009) of the Art Students League of New York. I spent 15 years in advertising and marketing before transitioning into my art business roughly 15 years ago.
Q: Are you a furniture designer or interior designer?
A: I like to say I am an artist.
Q: Where do you live?
A: My home is in Indianapolis. I spend a great deal of time in Florida in the winter; Chicago and Michigan in the summer.
Q: Whats your house like?
A: Its very eclectic and a reflection of my lifes work, travels and experiences. I find it relaxing and motivating.
Q: Are you a collector?
A: I am a collector, right now of vintage pottery and paintings. But my collections are ever-changing and I like to think that is what keeps me current. I feel collections are past, present and future and that is what makes collecting so much fun.
Q: What inspired you to design and produce furniture and accessories?
A: Spending summers the past few years in Michigan and winters in Florida. I have been close to the water, painting landscapes and seascapes and selling to various folks and thus seeing their homes. This lead to the development of these unique pieces of furniture and home accessories as a new second business.
Q: What kind of homeowners are your clients?
A: For the most part, my clients cover quite a broad range of ages, and in many regions. For many of them, they are buying for one of their homes, as many of them have multiple homes.
Q: Would some of your pieces work in a contemporary setting?
A: When a concept is strong it bridges styles and works well in varied settings. I wholesaled my artwork for years to a large national furniture store chain based on the southwest coast of Florida and they would place it in various areas and settings.
Q: Whats the price range of your creations?
A: I have some small accent lamps that are $75. My prices range up to $1,000 for a handmade Adirondack chair. My paintings range up to $6,000.
Q: Where do you find the wood and objects that you convert into original design pieces?
A: I have pickers that buy for me but I love to hunt at flea markets and swap meets, too. Finding quantities to meet the demand is getting tough. Most of the skis come from Michigan and northern Indiana where the summers are beautiful and the lakes crystal clear. I can find a few in Florida.
Q: What design trends do you see for Florida in the coming months?
A: I saw many wonderful gray color palettes showing up in Chicago last year and I see it appearing in Florida this year. I think this gray color trend will continue to grow with various accent colors over the next couple of years. I see the recycled and repurposed concept continuing to play out as well as the big demand for made in America quality goods.
Q: When a homeowner is selecting a piece of furniture for a room, what are the three or four primary factors to consider that would make the process easier?
A: I always say, dont overthink it. Allow yourself to enjoy selecting the pieces. Go with your gut. If you like it and it makes you happy, it will probably be good in your home. If you have to analyze and worry, then dont buy it.
Have an idea of the space you are filling, so you can shop intelligently. But, good finds will make the experience memorable and exciting.