Heirloom-quality furniture usually starts with a set of fundamental elements. These include structurally sound methods grounded in old-world style, sustainable materials with timeless longevity and a distinct intrinsic flair. For Chicago furniture designer Jason Lewis, it also includes a hands-on, made-to-order approach. Introduced to woodworking by his father early on, Lewis later studied under Berthold Schwaiger, a local expert who ran an apprenticeship for aspiring woodworkers. “I wanted to do something tangible, and I just stumbled across Berthold one day,” he admits. Arbitrary or not, the year-long experience gave Lewis the push to break out on his own, which he did in 2002 when he opened his first shop in Oak Park. Today, his trademark style—sculptural flowing lines, smooth transitions and unique joinery—brings a more polished, restrained feel to his custom furnishings. “There’s a simplicity of form, quality of execution and attention to detail at the core of my work,” says Lewis. “And each of these elements creates something special, unique and beautiful, without being overly done.”
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