There’s one place to go for the classic Austin look and feel. At Cierra, the go-to place for oversized Texas furnishings, you know when you walk in, you’ll find some Texas style pieces, local Texas artisan-inspired accessories and finds from around the world that play nice with home decor that screams “Austin.”
For example, the decorative longhorn rack may be imported from Africa, but a local artist wrapped cowhide and rope around the piece to “Texafy” it for the iconic Austin look. The lobster trap lampshades glow above huge, reclaimed teak furniture from Indonesia and textiles from Mexico. But the overall look says Austin.
Lynn, the sales person I spoke with at Cierra, explains that when people, especially visitors, furnish their vacation homes, they want the mixed vibe that says “living large,” and this popular shop is the place to visit. “This stuff would never go over in New England,” she says, partly because of the eclectic nature of the space, and partly because of the size. Rooms are not large enough anywhere else!
Though downsizing is popular, the large home trend doesn’t seem to be slacking in some of these parts. The continuing economic growth along with incoming residents from places in the country where square footage is at a premium means large homes are as hot as ever. And once you close on that large home, you have to fill it up.
Here you’ll find
- A table for ten that expands to seat fourteen.
- A pot the size of a wine barrel with basketball-sized white blooms.
- A mega mirror that would match a Velazquez painting.
- An iron flower-adorned cross made from beams of wood wider than my open-stretched hand.
Let’s just say if you’re living in an overhead apartment, you might have trouble getting this stuff up the stairs.
Not all of the furniture is large. Many pieces would work just fine in a house under 4000 square feet. Their presence is substantial though. These are country stock pieces that look like they’ve been in the family for generations. In some cases, they have… at least parts of them.
Expect for a few pieces, you can’t find many mass produced things at Cierra. Just about everything has the touch of a human hand. Carved, scraped, tied, twisted, hammered; the materials all bear the marks of their makers.
Jason Scott’s artisans carve the gorgeous handmade furniture the shop is famous for, but you never know what you’ll find. No two pieces are the same. Different hardware, different carvings, different sizes, each piece — even among similar styles — is one-of-a-kind.
A lot of things are patched together from similar materials; like beds made from different pieces of weathered, painted barn wood, or patchwork quilted fabrics upholstering a bench. Many pieces are simply crafted to a rustic finish; designers taking new materials and making them look time tested.
The retail shop at the Galleria is the last one in Austin. The owners’ latest sale includes the word “Retirement” so if you want to see this interesting collection curated by Austin owners since the 80’s, you might hurry.
2. Jason Scott