Hunziker, new in our vocabulary | Design Commerce Agency

A new adjective for our vocabulary

September 24, 2015
Seattle-based designer Terry Hunziker brings his globally-appealing style to Design Commerce Agency.

When design writers reach into the desk drawer for words to describe the work of Terry Hunziker, it’s hard to find exactly the right term. Northwest? Minimalist? Asian-influenced? Rational? Organic?

We’re just going to go with “Hunziker-esque” to describe our newest DCA client. Since establishing his own practice in 1984 in Seattle (see his profile), the Washington native has worked all over the world, often partnering closely with noted residential architects on new homes or apartments. He’s been widely covered in design magazines, and for 25 years has made the Architectural Digest 100 list of top interior architects and designers every time the magazine has put it together.

For fourteen years, Terry worked for a celebrated Seattle designer, the late Jean Jongeward. Minnesota-born Jongeward came to Seattle as an Army wife during World War II. Self-taught, she defined style in the Pacific Northwest for the last third of the twentieth century. “Her interiors are a personal, non-nonsense, no-frilly-accessories interpretation of her clients’ tastes and lifestyles,” The Seattle Times wrote in 1995, when her work was the subject of a retrospective at the Bellevue Art Museum. “She custom designs furniture to be precisely right for each space, and each client.”

Thanks to working with Jean, “I have known nothing but custom furniture my entire professional life,” Terry says. “Forty years ago, there really wasn’t a lot of product that was appealing, so we were forced to design for our clients. I still don’t see a lot that’s just right for me.” Most of Terry’s interiors are made up largely of his own pieces, with selected accents by designers such as Holly Hunt or Christian Liagre.

It helps, Terry says, that Seattle is an “incredible” place for craftspeople, whether upholsterers, cabinet-makers or metalworkers.

One of Terry’s first projects on his own, an apartment for a prominent local family in a downtown high-rise condominium, came to the attention of House & Garden magazine editors. Their coverage placed him on a global stage, and he’s stayed there since, completing residential projects as far afield as New York, Texas, South Korea and New Zealand. He’s just completed a renovation of the Presidential Suite at Singapore’s Ritz-Carlton Millennia Hotel, a Roche/Dinkeloo-designed tower with an extensive art collection including works by Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and the Pacific Northwest’s own Dale Chihuly.

Terry says there’s nothing particularly “regional” about how he approaches a project, but he notes that Jongeward’s well-known “Northwest look” of natural colors pairs well with the art-collecting taste of many of his clients. “Seventy-five percent of my clients are art collectors, and they don’t want color in their furniture,” he says. “To me, the world is just international now.”

Terry has designed several collections of furniture. He’s excited to be working with Design Commerce Agency – and we feel very much the same way. In his desk drawers are many beautiful designs for pieces – particularly dining tables, coffee tables, occasional tables, many combining wood and metal elements – that because of client decisions and other choices have yet to be made. “I would really like to get some product out there at retail that I would buy.”

We look forward to helping Terry make that happen.

  • Hunziker, new in our vocabulary | Design Commerce Agency

    The designer’s own apartment

  • Hunziker, new in our vocabulary | Design Commerce Agency

    Many clients collect, so a color palette with Northwest roots works everywhere

  • Hunziker, new in our vocabulary | Design Commerce Agency

    A downtown high-rise

  • Hunziker, new in our vocabulary | Design Commerce Agency

    Custom furniture is “a natural,” the designer says

  • Hunziker, new in our vocabulary | Design Commerce Agency

    A house in Austin

  • Hunziker, new in our vocabulary | Design Commerce Agency

    Master bedroom with a custom headboard in an Austin home

  • Hunziker, new in our vocabulary | Design Commerce Agency

    A guest bedroom


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