Inspired by city living and his Western New York upbringing, Brooklyn-based furniture designer Will Sapienza combines contemporary and traditional styles into unique pieces for homes and businesses. We caught up with him on his passion for building furniture and how he brings ideas to life.

Where does your passion for furniture design come from?

My passion is within the never ending methods and options you have to create a certain piece. Sure there may be a certain material you would like to use, now you have to consider how it will be assembled in regards to joinery and what style finish. These components keep me fascinated.

What is the first thing you ever built?

The first thing I ever made was a coffee table. The top was made from a old pallet, and the legs were from a Victorian bed frame. It all came together, but not without a couple headaches in the process.

What inspires your designs?

Inspiration comes from many different places. Living in NYC the past 5 years has exposed me to many forms Contemporary/Modern work in museums and design shows, which has had a great effect on my own personal work (bringing light to new materials and perspective.) Originally I’m from Western NY, where traditional furniture is common. The majority of Early Country furniture catches my eye. The simplicity and functionality of a Shaker chest of drawers is timeless. I try and bring these two worlds together.

How do you develop a custom piece for a client?

I’ve found the best way to connect with a client starts with visual interpretations of what they want. They send me photos of styles that are appealing. Next, we decide on size and material that will be used. Once this information is agreed upon I draw a 3D mockup of the piece so we are both on the same page. If everything matches up, I get started.

What materials would you use to furnish your perfect home?

I’ve made the majority of furniture in my apartment using a great deal of reclaimed material from my hometown in Western NY. There is a great deal of pride, memories, and satisfaction that comes with it. So most likely they will not be replaced for some time. I do spend a lot of time thinking about my ideal home though.