About John Strauss Furniture Design

About John Strauss and Carisa Marie

about John and Carisa portrait

John Strauss Furniture Design is driven by the creative talents of John and Carisa Marie.

John has over thirty years of experience creating and manufacturing furniture for designers and architects. He has worked with top designers from around the country to fabricate their custom designs, has created works for sacred spaces, and created a line of his own designs. He takes his inspiration from the Mid-Century and Art Deco masters. In the last eight years, interior designer Carisa Marie has joined forces with John to heighten the artistic appeal to the high end market.

Born in Chicago, John grew up in the "furniture world". His Great-Aunt was Mabel Schamberg, the interior designer of the "House of Tomorrow" at the 1933 Chicago Worlds' Fair. She was a memorable character who lends her name to Strauss's first design line. His father owned a high-end furniture showroom in downtown Chicago that is still remembered as a pioneering establishment and his mother was an interior designer.

John Strauss trained as a sculptor with an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Masters of Fine Arts Degree from City University of New York. John moved to New York City for a fellowship with the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He worked in the Brooklyn atelier of master furniture maker Gabriel Giuntini as his main assistant.

John resides and works in Ohio, where all of his furniture is made. He has close relationships with master craftspeople who help create his designs, including glass and mosaic artists, metal workers and many wood specialists in the Amish community.

Carisa Marie has twenty years of experience in the Interior Design field. She has spent her life on the West Coast, being raised in Oregon and getting her design education in California. Carisa also has extensive knowledge and experience working with stone and marble from years at a company fabricating kitchen and bath installations in Oregon. She moved to Seattle 15 years ago and has worked with many exclusive clients who are the tops in their fields at companies like Boeing, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Carisa has strong instincts for color and has been recognized by the High Point Market in citing her showroom designs in their marketing materials.

About CMJSCreativ

Carisa Marie and John

CMJSCreativ is a design partnership formed by John Strauss and Carisa Marie. John's experience in craftmanship and materials has been brought together with Carisa's interior design experience and her unique urban West Coast sensibility to create a dynamic team. The duo have created lighting and light hearted sculptural accessories and versatile furniture pieces that have been extremely well received from their debut at the High Point Furniture Market. Their work has been featured in several publications including Interior Design and Home Accents Today and clients have been clamoring for their custom lighting ever since. Original conceived as a manufacturing arm of Strauss Furniture, today CMJSCreativ is available to handle design projects in Ohio and across the country. Contact us for more info on how we work with clients.

The Creative Process

All of the work that John Strauss Furniture Design, Ltd. manufactures utilizes the best that modern technology has to offer with the traditional jointery and finishing skills that are necessary to craft heirloom quality furniture.

John works with several craftspeople in an atelier to produce the kind of works of art that cannot be found from a factory made furniture company or in those shipped from overseas. These works, made here in the United States, are created uniquely and in limited editions which insures that each piece gets individual attention. The finished piece is marked with a brand heated by fire of the John Strauss Furniture Design logo and dated to insure its value and origin for years to come.

Much of the solid wood that John Strauss Furniture Design uses comes from the Appalachian Hardwood Forest near the Amish region close by John's Ohio Workshop. Passing horse-drawn carriages on his way back to the studio with kiln-dried lumber to create timeless works of furniture is a secret pleasure of the trade in his part of the State.

Green Products

We use "Green" materials such as wood fiber panels from recycled wood that also doesn't contain formaldehyde. This EPP (Environmentally Preferable Product) may contribute to LEED points. We use veneer whenever possible as the surface of furniture is all the client sees anyway and veneer gets the most use out of a tree. When produced properly, a veneer based piece of furniture is equal to or exceeds a solid wood piece of furniture for longevity. All our products are built to last for generations, not to be put into a landfill when they fall apart. Our carbon footprint is small -- we produce in the US and buy locally harvested wood from an Amish lumber yard that is a member of the Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc. (AHMI) Verified Sustainable program. Most of our Harwood lumber comes from the AHMI's 344-county territory Sustainable Hardwood Forest. All other materials are as regionally obtained as possible and over 90% come from the United States and Canada. All of our finishes are low VOC or VOC free finishes. Our standard finish is totally HAPs free, ultra low formaldehyde and meets European E1 Standard.

We are proud members of the The Sustainable Furnishings Council which is a non-profit balanced coalition of industry players created to promote sustainable practices among manufacturers, designers and consumers alike. SFC has a public tagging program to identify good environmental choices.

Feel free to call or email us if you have any questions about our product or its environmental qualities

Testimonials

"After visiting the John Strauss Furniture Showroom during the fall 2013 High Point Market, I knew I would specify their quality products when the right client and project came along. That client presented themselves very soon in fact. I worked with John on several different custom pieces for this project. From a live edge vanity for a total spa room to exquisite lighting and a show-stopping custom cerused oak dining table, my client was thrilled with the one of a kind unique pieces and stunning quality that custom product design can provide. All pieces were delivered in a timely fashion and I highly recommend both designer and consumer to work with John. I would not hesitate to collaborate or call on John again in the future for another project!"

Patti Johnson, Patti Johnson, CID, IDS, DSID
Owner- Patti Johnson Interiors

John Strauss has skillfully and faithfully executed my furniture design for liturgical and institutional installations. This was no easy task as my designs are typically complex and challenging.

Martin Jacobson, Principal
Jacobson Associates Liturgical Design.

John Strauss and I have collaborated on many projects of the last several years, in both contemporary and traditional design aesthetics. His eagerness to experiment with new techniques and finishes helps me to come up with original designs. Construction proceeds smoothly and he ensures that my clients and I are thrilled with the end result.

Lorraine Murphy, designature

Ten years ago, upon my commission, John Strauss Furniture Design created what I refer to as a contemporary arts and crafts desk. It remains an amazing work of art that continues to garner interest and positive comments from my clients. When I recently moved offices, I asked John Strauss Furniture Design to build additional matching office furniture that ergonomically addresses the way I conduct my practice today. Being an avid collector of antiques, I have no doubt that what John Strauss has created for me will be coveted generations from now and will have great market value. The artistic design elements inherent in the products of John Strauss Furniture Design, the precious woods and veneers that he employs, and the quality construction which are evident in all of my furniture are not only a source of pride to me, but evidence the work of a master in his field.

Robert Roland, esq.,

We asked John to design a one-of-a-kind coffee table that would complement our living room's clean lines. Instead of simply delivering a piece of furniture, he included us in each step of the creative design and complex production process. The result? We are quite attached to the carefully crafted, beautiful, and functional piece of art John produced for us. It is destined to be a family heirloom.

Leslie & David Nelson,

"I want to thank you for the beautiful work you did in creating the night stands for our California project. They are fabulous in the master bedroom. The finish could not be more perfect . . . We were very pleased with the process, the design, the quality, the packing and shipping and the final outcome."

Charise Buckley,
Full Circle Design Group

"Dear John, - Thank you so much for the sustainable furniture presentation. We were so impressed by your knowledge and experience and found the information covered quite valuable...Thanks again for taking the time to share your wisdom with our office.

, (Chicago Design Firm)

Timeline

  • The Beginning

    1960's


    Born in Chicago, John grew up in the "furniture world". His Great-Aunt was Mabel Schamberg, the interior designer of the "House of Tomorrow" at the 1933 Chicago Worlds' Fair. She was a memorable character who lends her name to Strauss's first design line. His father owned a high-end furniture showroom in downtown Chicago that is still remembered as a pioneering establishment and his Mother is an interior designer.

  • Art Training

    1970's

    John Strauss trained as a sculptor with an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Masters of Fine Arts Degree from City University of New York. John moved to New York City for a fellowship with the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

  • Working with the Masters

    1985

    His Key development was a five year period in the atelier of fine furniture maker Gabriel Giuntini in New York. There he was introduced to "Old-School" craftsmanship and hand tool techniques. Giuntini also appreciated Art Deco furniture making which inspired the reproduction of a Jacques Emile Ruhlman roll-top desk. Clients of Giuntini's included Mark Hampton.

  • An Evolving Furniture Designer

    2000

    John utilizes his understanding of the craft of furniture, learned from a master, together with an eye trained in art, to focus attention on the details and insure quality of work. There is the artist's touch in John Strauss Furniture pieces, from carved and shaped details to careful sanding that can only be accomplished by hand, to the beautiful finishes that John has mastered

  • Beyond 2020

    2020

    John utilizes his understanding of the craft of furniture, learned from a master, together with an eye trained in art, to focus attention on the details and insure quality of work. There is the artist's touch in John Strauss Furniture pieces, from carved and shaped details to careful sanding that can only be accomplished by hand, to the beautiful finishes that John has mastered