Austin interior design firm expands, adding hotel, restaurant work

Jan 22, 2015
Austin American Statesman

A local interior design firm is spreading its wings and taking on more commercial jobs after years of focusing primarily on residences

Mark Cravotta founded Cravotta Interiors in 1996 and has, over the years, handled hundreds of projects, including work in several of downtown Austin’s residential towers such as the Four Seasons Residences. Clients have asked many times if he’d be willing to take on bigger assignments, Cravotta said, which led to the decision to expand the business

They’ve already landed a couple upcoming “significant” restaurants — Cravotta said he wasn’t able to identify them just yet — and are hoping to get involved with some of the many boutique hotels on the way to the Austin area

“The activity right now is unquestionably hot,” said Jill Fanette, operations and accounts manager for Cravotta Interiors. “Everyone’s working on exciting stuff right now — all the architects, all the designers. It’s a really exciting time to be in Austin.”

Residential or commercial, Cravotta said he strives to be known for “delivering a more cosmopolitan style to Austin.” The firm typically handles 10 to 15 projects at a time, he said

“I like to take the time to figure out who the client is, what their essence is and what will be the best way for them to be expressed in the world,” he said. “It’s my job to excavate the gold in there, to find out what it is that makes them special.”

Rather than focusing all his energy on look-but-don’t-touch showpieces, Cravotta said his goal is to make every piece of furniture he designs functional. That, he said, has helped set him apart from competitors

“No matter how nice things are, I want them to be used,” he said. “Whether it’s a public living room or a private living room, we always have our eyes on durability and wearability. We want our creations to be around 10 years from now, if not longer.”

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