Through three decades of work, Erika Brunson has achieved a celebrated status as an interior designer. She has an astounding client list, which includes royal families, celebrities and Fortune 500 CEOs. Originally from Germany, Brunson relocated to California and began a career in interior design. She had the opportunity to design the Beverly Hills home for a nephew of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia as well as his royal family’s entire palatial estate in Riyadh. To this day, she continues to work in this region, designing two palaces in Riyadh and another in Dubai.
When not in Los Angeles, Brunson spends much of her time traveling the globe in search of new materials and specialties. She finds accessories in India, silks in Burma and Thailand, rugs in China and handmade tiles in Portugal. After establishing herself as one of the foremost American interior designers, Brunson took the next step and began her own furniture line of exquisitely replicated period furnishings, which she dubbed Erika Brunson Couture Living. All of the pieces are custom ordered and assembled by craftsmen in Los Angeles. She engages the skills of specialists from around the globe, including wood carvers from Germany and gilders from Russia to create authentic, top-of-the-line reproductions.
Brunson seeks to preserve the beautiful design heritage of the ages. “Although I was thoroughly delighted when an alluring Versailles side table fit shiningly in a client’s home, it was also disheartening to know such a classic might be forgotten as it disappears from the market forever into a private collection,” she reveals.
Brunson’s line complements traditional or contemporary interiors. Some highlights from her line include Louis XV chair reproductions from the Charles Wrightsman collection, a console which belonged to the late Michael Taylor, chairs associated with Billy Baldwin and Kalef Alaton, dramatic, Thomas-Johnson-style pieces such as the Twig Chair and Twig Console, and a coffee table from the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Brunson uses woods from controlled forests that are replanted, and, because they are handcrafted, most of her pieces require little machine work. In addition to her environmental concerns, her personal generosity includes donations from the furniture line to animal charities. Since the 1970s, she has worked closely with the City of Los Angeles, serving twice as a Commissioner for the Department of Animal Services. She has also established an organization whose mission is to provide free spaying and neutering via a mobile clinic that operates on the streets of Los Angeles.