Even after seven years of blogging, and being immersed in the interior design industry, I am still excited to meet new people (there are many!) and witness wonderful creativity. Most recently Beth Brenner kindly introduced me to fellow Texan and talented interior designer Mark Cravotta. Being in Texas for the summer I have had the privilege of spending time in Austin with Mark and his wife Monica. On my last trip they graciously offered me their cool guesthouse (yes, it’s available to rent).
During my visit I had a chance to see several of Mark’s projects in person (many at the Four Seasons Residences). What is readily apparent in each home is his eye for art and amazing lighting. Mark’s passion for art, coupled with his close relationships with galleries, dealers and collectors around the world, has given him access to many well known and burgeoning artists. It no surprise that art procurement is one of the key design components in his many projects.
Before founding Cravotta Interiors in 1996 Mark began his career as visual artist and jewelry designer. While best known for blending modern, vintage, and custom designed furnishings, the pièce de résistance in his projects is one-of-a-kind fixtures and carefully selected art. While several of the homes that I visited were luxurious and sophisticated, they were simultaneously warm, welcoming and comfortable. Mark’s new website went live this week, so you can see for yourself.
How would you describe your personal style?
Modern and collected with a twist. My personal spaces tend to be calm, elegant and ordered with rich textures, and earthy hues with pops of color and surprise.
What is your most prized possession?
Oddly, I’m not really attached to things. But I love to collect art and if I had to choose one piece, it would be an amazing wall-hung carving of a horse that my father made when he was in high school.
What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
Growth and connection. I know that’s two things, but they go hand in hand. I regularly need to be stretched past my comfort zone, yet be anchored to those closest to me in n meaningful way.
What inspires your creativity and designs?
That’s a hard question to answer. I suppose my accumulation of life experiences give me a unique perspective on the world. When I imagine clients are at their essence, and look past the perception, new possibilities always seem to emerge. I often ask the question, “How else could this be imagined?” It’s amazing how a new answer comes with every asking.
Who are your style icons?
For current and timeless style I like Tom Ford, Jude Law and Ewan McGregor.
WWho would you most like to collaborate with on a project?
I would love to collaborate on a lighting line with Urban Electric Co.
What books are currently on your bedside table?
‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson and ‘Story Craft’ by Jack Hart
What is your favorite luxury in life?
Sleep. I lead a life that is full, rich and widely textured. I love design and I love my family. With all the energy I put into each, sleep seems to get sacrificed on a regular basis. So on the rare occasion that I can turn in early or sleep late, I can’t imagine anything more luxurious.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Sunday brunch at home with friends and family…and doing almost anything in Paris.
Past or present who has most influenced your direction in life?
My father was in visual merchandising and created amazing spaces for boutique retail stores and my step-mother was a newspaper fashion illustrator. Despite being of relatively modest means, they always lived richly and stylishly. Our home was a canvas that was always in motion. I learned that creativity was in no way bound by money, geography, or the imagination of others. I left home with the sense that beauty matters and that anything was possible.
PROFILE by RONDA RICE CARMAN