If there’s such a thing as a furniture offense, custom designer Peter Moosbrugger has seen it committed a number of times.
The founder of Peter Thomas Designs has thrived in the ultra-competitive niche of high-end, one-of-a-kind pieces for clients ranging from national hotel corporations and restaurants to commercial real estate and interior designers representing homeowners and their luxurious abodes.
And, the idea of anyone feeling blah about a coffee table or bookcase really gets to him.
“The worst thing you can do is buy a piece of furniture and it’s standard, run-of-the-mill, and two weeks later you don’t see it anymore… you don’t even notice it. It becomes utilitarian. It’s a shame,” Moosbrugger says.
It’s no wonder that the native Arizonan's creations are made to resist that.
Since 2008, Moosbrugger’s firm has helped make houses, homes, and hotels welcoming havens. His clientele is a diverse collection of venues that crave his unique vision and talent to translate that into distinctive pieces that flaunt the assets of their wood and metal materials.
Marriott hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, high-end custom truck shop Lifted Trucks, and The Maggiore Group—known for its popular dining establishments including Hash Kitchen and The Sicilian Butcher—are among them.
Most of his work are custom one-offs for interior designers, whether they are reception desks for luxury hotels or private residences, like a home in Paradise Valley that features a luxe glass-top table with a beautifully formidable base crafted from an 11-foot-wide root ball found in Costa Rica.
With the stunning flowing shape that defies the standard hard-lined table base and natural wood tones that yield its swirling shades, there is zero chance this piece will ever go unnoticed or ignored.
Often, Moosbrugger takes his inspiration from his pieces’ owners.
“Furniture is the reflection of who people are. That’s the goal,” he says.
Moosbrugger’s work in the industry began when he started a company that specialized in manufacturing reclaimed wood flooring.
He loved the medium and the concept of reinventing pieces of wood that may, in the hands of others, have been otherwise discarded. But after a decade, Moosbrugger yearned to heed a calling in a different facet of the craft.
“While I’ve always loved working with wood, doing the same thing over and over was getting old and I wanted to pursue my passion for furniture design,” he says.
He left that company, and Peter Thomas Designs was born.
When Moosbrugger started, the majority of his custom work was made with the material he treasured and knew well—reclaimed wood. He channeled his zeal for furniture using 150-year-old oak dating back to the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Over the years, Moosbrugger has successfully adjusted to shifts in style and materials that have been driven by consumer preferences. Now, only about 5% of the wood he uses is reclaimed. The rest is predominantly comprised of American walnut or white oak.
And today, Moosbrugger thrives in a sought-after warm contemporary space that he calls modern industrial.
His firm continues to evolve, as well. Five years ago, his daughter Madisen Meyers joined the team as its director of business development. Her husband, Dana, was brought in a year ago, and together they handle the existing side of the company that has fueled Peter Thomas Designs’ success.
This has allowed Moosbrugger to concentrate on his longtime dream of developing Peter Thomas Collections, a line of original designs created for the everyday consumer with a discriminating eye and a desire for décor that makes an impact.
The collection features pieces like the Manhattan, a contemporary dining room table, and the Cascade line that boasts a coffee table that seemingly defies gravity with polished bronze fashioned into a waterfall that appears to flow off an American black walnut table.
While Moosbrugger is enjoying taking furniture to the next level, he continues to relish feedback from clients who are just as excited today as they were years ago when they received a brand-new piece.
“My favorite thing to hear is someone tell me, ‘You built a table for us in 2010 and it’s still our favorite piece of furniture in the house,’” Moosbrugger says. “Many people come to us because they’ve run into dead ends and haven’t been able to find someone to build the piece they want. What we do really well is turn people’s furniture dreams into reality.” PeterThomasDesigns.com