hen it comes to design, Austin has a unique aesthetic, and we know what we like. Residents here have a clear understanding of what is visually appealing, but the city’s creative class isn’t afraid to push the envelope and try something new.
No one understands this better than Joel Mozersky, founder of Joel Mozersky Design.
The Texas native had a creative upbringing and a fiercely artistic eye, as evidenced by his degree in art history and lifelong love of design, but graduated college with little idea of what to do professionally. So, he packed up and headed west to earn an MBA in California. But the passion for design never left, inspiring Mozersky to return to Texas in 1994 and start a business staining concrete floors and designing furniture with a friend. Eventually, the duo opened a studio in an abandoned downtown warehouse, which ultimately led to their first real project: the Jackson Ruiz salon at 5th and Lamar.
But it was Mozersky’s first restaurant project, Tyson Cole’s Uchi, which completely changed the trajectory of his career. At that point, Mozersky opened one eleven design (since renamed to Joel Mozersky Design) and began what would become an incredibly successful career in commercial and residential design. Since then, the one-man shop has expanded to a team of three, and they’ve had their hands in nearly every hotspot in town, including La Condesa, The Highball, Midnight Cowboy, and NoVa Kitchen and Bar. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to spend a weekend in Austin without encountering some public space that Mozersky hasn’t touched.
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TAKE A TOUR OF MOZERSKY’S Signature restaurant projects.
With dozens of commercial projects keeping the small team busy, you’d think they wouldn’t have time for anything else, yet Joel Mozersky Design still includes a handful of residential projects in their extensive portfolio of work. No matter the project, the team stays true to its aesthetic while still catering to the individual needs of the client.
“In commercial spaces, you are designing for a corporate idea – what is the purpose of the business; how can you use materials and décor to communicate the concept of the restaurant or business to the customer? In residential, it’s much more personal – I want the space to reflect the people who live there in the best way I know how,” Mozersky says.
Regardless of the space, be it a restaurant, a barbershop, a bar, or a living room, Mozersky and his team approach every project with the meticulous eye of an artist. They believe that interior design not only helps define a person’s first and last impression of a space, but also can have a profound impact on their emotions.
“Art inspires an emotional reaction to the person experiencing it. Good interiors inspire a similar reaction,” Mozersky says. “If you walk into a space I created, and it makes you feel energized, happy, or even glamorous, and that’s the reaction I intended you to have, then that design is successful.”
“I nspiration really comes from everywhere – Uchi’s color scheme was inspired by my friend’s turquoise and coral bracelet. Sometimes it will be from a movie set I saw, or a memory of a place I have visited. Usually the architecture inspires me – once I understand the ‘story’ of the design, the elements fall into place easily.”
Tips of the Trade
What are the top three elements of any successful interior design?
1.“Understand what elements to keep and what to change, and how to do that well.”
2.“Respect the architecture of the house, and keep the redesign appropriate style-wise.”
3.“Make sure surfaces are functional for your everyday way of life.”
Writing by: Rachael Genson – @rmgenson
Photography by: Images shown courtesy of Joel Mozersky Design and Chris Perez
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