By Gregory Daurer | Nov 16, 2020
Interiors and furniture
"We design and fabricate custom furniture, interiors and architectural elements for commercial restaurants and hotels," says Jones of LVTD (pronounced "elevated").
On the company's website, LVTD lists more than 60 different projects on which it's worked its fabrication and design mojo: e.g., eye-catching wooden seating for the Park & Co. restaurant in Denver; sleek, modernistic cut stations for Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare in the RiNo District; and oak counter paneling with charred touches, meant to call to mind the java's roasting process, at Thump Coffee.
For Great Divide Brewing Company's taproom on Brighton Boulevard in Denver, Jones utilized reclaimed material from the building's previous interior and environs, in order to create new elements for the space: old wooden beams were used to make the bar; train tracks became kick rails; and discarded steel was utilized in the creation of the tables.
Jones calls LVTD's design aesthetic "modern rustic," with some additional mid-century modern elements as well.
"We work with interior designers all over the country," says Jones. "They reach out to us for custom stuff, whether we're shipping it to them -- or, if it's a local project, where they're reaching out to us for an install."
Last year, the company built wall shelves, coat racks, and organizer units for a new, 162-room hotel, The Wayfarer, in Los Angeles. And there will be four permanent pieces by LVTD in the Denver Art Museum's brand-new Sie Welcome Center (which is connected to the Gio Ponti-designed Martin Building), according to Jones, who can't disclose just yet what they are.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company began putting energy into its own interior line of custom goods. The company will flat pack its coffee tables, side tables, and "Homework Desks" off to customers, or arrange for no-contact pick-up. "We ship desks all over the country, almost every state," Jones says.
Jones will even send a desk off -- unsolicited -- to someone he thinks ought to have one.
When Jones heard Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show say he didn't have a proper desk at home -- where Fallon began working at the dawn of the pandemic -- Jones tracked down his address and sent off one of the company's larger "Homework Desks" for Fallon and a smaller one for his kids. Jones didn't get a response directly from him, but apparently they were well-received: Fallon is seated at his LVTD desk on the cover of the May 18, 2020 issue of People magazine.
After a humble start in his garage while still working as a graphic designer, Jones now runs a company occupying a 5,000-square-foot space in Denver's Overland neighborhood. There the company operates a combined showroom/office space, a steel shop with welding capacity, and a wood shop with table saws and belt sanders. And there's CNC machinery for steel and wood as well.
But it's not like Jones has totally abandoned the primary tool he used during his previous graphic design work. "We design a lot on the computer," says Jones. Take the 3D-modeled ceiling design that Jones collaborated on for Blanchard Family Wines in Denver. The overhead wooden structure is meant to resemble rows of grapes in a vineyard running up and down a hill; the design then extends down one of the walls and serves as a wine rack.
"We use a lot of different types of American hardwood, steel, concrete," says Jones, adding that acetylated wood material Accoya is becoming more widely utilized for, say, outdoor patios. "We'll build [with just] about anything that we get our hands on." (Except, that is, tile and quartz work, which gets outsourced.)
Given that his grandfather was a woodworker and carpenter, and his father ran an auto shop, Jones says, "I was always building things as a kid." When his wife's friend saw the work he was doing in his garage, she asked him to construct the interior of her new restaurant. Soon enough, Jones was able to quit his job, in order to focus exclusively on his design business.
And he still has a soft spot for that type of client. "I love going to a finished space -- especially restaurants," says Jones. For him and his crew, taking their families and sitting down "in a room that we built, and eating really good food, is one of our favorite things."
Challenges: With so many projects, Jones says it's always a challenge "trying to keep it all balanced." But so far, so good, on that front.
Opportunities: Jones says the big opportunity is going "more nationwide" by "launching a full furniture line." He adds, "It's one of the things we've always wanted to do."
Needs: "If we're going to keep growing as we have, maybe doing marketing," says Jones.