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Master of Furniture

Design Shaun Wilkerson

Photographed by Greg Miles

Wilkerson Row

Native New Orleanian, Shaun Wilkerson, opened his first carpentry business, Plantation Mantels, in 1988. But it wasn’t long before the furniture he was creating to supplement his mantel stock, eclipsed his other offerings. He opened Wilkerson Row in 1991 and today, most locals who know Magazine Street, also know Wilkerson’s name. Whether designed with rustic architectural details, period characteristics or a clean modern aesthetic (such as the cypress dining table he fashioned for a Mid-Century Modern house), his furnishings are made with indigenous woods like cypress and rooted in Southern furniture making tradition. “New Orleanians are as demanding in their furniture selection and personal taste as they are with their food, so it represents quite a challenge creating and producing a product, which will meet their demands for style, individuality and most importantly price,” says Wilkerson. Current projects include the 19th-century inspired furniture and fixtures at Grande Krewe Fine Wines, and two new furniture collections. The Urban Spice collection combines old cypress furniture styling and contemporary furniture standards and finishes; the other, still unnamed, emulates 19th-century southern Louisiana furniture. Such pieces were made with hardwoods during the 19th century, but Wilkerson reinterprets them using cypress instead.

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