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Publication Date: 2015-03-09

Behind the Design

​Born to the Trade: LA Designer Michael Felix's Handmade Furniture

Michael Felix's grandfather worked as an upholsterer out of his Los Angeles garage—and then went on in 1959 to found an upholstered furniture company that his father now runs.


"I was really into design in my early twenties, but didn't know which direction to go in, so I apprenticed at my dad's business," says Felix. "I worked with the sample makers and learned the process from the ground up."

A year ago, Michael Felix opened his own LA design studio, specializing in modernist upholstery, built for comfort and made "for a lifetime of use." It's all fabricated by hand back at the family factory and highly customizable.

Above: The 70-inch Goddard Daybed has a frame made of FSC-certified wood and powder-coated steel legs; $2,600. All of Felix's pieces are available with leather or fabric upholstery.

The Standard Chair "manages to be both modern and nostalgic," says Felix, who cites Italian design from the fifties to the seventies, and the work of Noguchi and Brancusi as his sources of inspiration. The chair has down-wrapped cushions and a frame of FSC-certified wood; $2,500. The leather is available in black, gray, and brown, and the base in FSC-certified walnut (shown), oiled white oak, and honey oak.

The companion 83-inch Standard Sofa is $4,500.

Felix describes the 70-inch Fortuna Bench as "an updated version of a classic modernist daybed." It's shown here with a walnut base and is also made in oiled white oak and honey oak.

Article by Margot Guralnick

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