Thomas J. Story

Meet the makers, craftspeople, designers, and artists making the West a more beautiful place

Sally Kuchar and Nena Farrell  – March 4, 2020 | Updated March 10, 2020

Welcome to Sunset’s first annual Emerging Designers of the West, a celebration of the people pushing design forward in architecture, crafts, furniture, and home decor. For well over a century, Sunset has given readers the freshest and most inspiring home design ideas: we’ve covered the birth and rebirth of mid-century modernism, tracked color trends, touted tiny homes, and predicted prefab. This award is the evolution of that mission, and a way to honor the people who are changing the way we live today.

For our inaugural awards we’re focusing on California, where makers and seekers have long headed to experiment and create. That spirit is embodied by designers Ray and Charles Eames who road-tripped to California for their honeymoon after getting married in Chicago in 1941. It was in their L.A. apartment kitchen that the couple began experimenting with bending plywood, which birthed the iconic LCW chair and Eames Lounge Chair. What started as an idea in a Los Angeles kitchen turned into some of the most important furniture in America’s history. Or take Cliff May, the designer of Sunset’s first editorial campus and father of the modern ranch house, an architectural style that continues to be constructed around the country. These innovations were born of Californian innovation and continue to have an impact on how we live. Here are the designers carrying that tradition forward today.

Meet the 2020 Class

Entler Studio

Entler Studio

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Jonathan Entler of Entler Studio

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Type of work: Ceramic lighting designer

Established: 2015

Based out of: Los Angeles

Read More: Designer Jonathan Entler’s Ceramic Lighting Is Like Nothing We’ve Seen Before

Concrete Collaborative

Concrete Collaborative

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Concrete Collaborative

Type of work: Family-run concrete and terrazzo tile company

Established: 2004

Based out of: San Clemente, California

Read More: Concrete Collaborative’s Tiles Are Taking the West—And the World—By Storm

Noz Design

Noz Nozawa

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Noz Nozawa of Noz Design

Type of work: Interior designer

Established: 2014

Based out of: San Francisco

Read More: Interior Designer Noz Nozawa Is Becoming the Queen of Colorful Interiors 

Elworthy Studio

Elworthy Studio

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Kate Miller of Elworthy Studio

Type of work: Wallpaper and textile designer

Established: 2015

Based out of: Half Moon Bay

Read More: Designer Kate Miller On Why Non-Toxic Textiles Are So Important For Your Home

And And And Studio

And And And Studio

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Annie Ritz and Daniel Rabin of And And And Studio

Type of work: Architects

Established: 2017

Based out of: Los Angeles

Read More: Architects Annie Ritz and Daniel Rabin on How to Do an Architecture Project on a Budget

Sara Bendrick

Sara Bendrick

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Sara Bendrick of Sarita Landscape Design

Type of work: Landscape contractor and and designer

Established: 2012

Based out of: San Diego 

Read More: Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Yard, According To a Landscape Designer Sara Bendrick

Taylor Donsker

Taylor Donsker

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Taylor Donsker 

Type of work: Woodworker 

Established: 2012

Based out of: Santa Monica 

Read More: The Most Innovative Woodworker in California is Taylor Donsker 

Angel City Lumber

Angel City Lumber

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Angel City Lumber (Todd Cooper, Charles DeRosa, Jeff Perry, and Brady Zaitoon)

Type of work: Salvaged lumber from fallen Los Angeles trees 

Established: 2015

Based out of: Los Angeles 

Read More: Angel City Lumber Company Creates Reclaimed Lumber From Fallen Los Angeles Trees 

Sheldon Ceramics

Sheldon Ceramics

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Peter Sheldon of Sheldon Ceramics

Type of work: Ceramist 

Established: 2014

Based out of: Los Angeles

Read More: A Ceramicist’s Tips on Choosing Your Perfect Ceramics 

Stefan Bishop

Stefan Bishop

Stephen Kamafuji

Name: Stefan Bishop

Type of work: Experimental artist and designer 

Established: 2012

Based out of: Los Angeles

Read More: When Furniture Is Art: How This Furniture Designer Goes Experimental 

The Design Advisory Board

Sunset tapped several outstanding luminaries in California’s architectural and design community to select the next wave of noteworthy designers.

Douglas Burdge, AIA

Founder Burdge Architects, owner Buhaus Built

Sally Breer & Jake Rodehuth-Harrison

Cofounders of interior design firm ETC.etera, interior designers of the 2019 Sunset Idea House

Breegan Jane 

Interior designer on HGTV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” 

Natalie Myers 

Principal of interior design firm Veneer Designs

Catherine Kwong

Principal of interior design firm Catherine Kwong Design

Regan Baker

Principal of interior design firm Regan Baker Design

Stephen Kenn

Furniture designer  

Marie Turner Carson

Interior designer and cofounder of M. Elle Designs