With this mantra in mind, the owner of Shop curated his showroom for contemporary furniture, lighting and rugs in the Decorative Center of Houston, where collections from roughly a dozen internationally recognized brands – that would otherwise be unrepresented locally – are on display.
From the Canadian design firm Bocci to the German manufacturer Walter K. to the French-Italian textile company CC-Tapis and more, Cook caters to design professionals and sophisticated consumers alike. Guiding people away from the disposable culture of replacing a sofa every handful of years, he encourages clients to invest in lasting, high-quality pieces that may be passed down from generation to generation.
By doing so, he confronts the common misconception that his inventory is purely comprised of ultra-high-end opulence, and he places the lifetime cost of a product, as well as its unique storytelling nature, at the forefront. The intricate craftsmanship behind Zanat’s creations, for instance, embraces tradition, featuring a hand-carving technique that is a part of the official Bosnian cultural heritage list and holding within it a meaningful history that is priceless.
“I like to push back against the assumption that everything needs to be expensive; it just needs to look expensive overall,” said Cook, who strives to offer luxurious options at every price point. “Modern should always feel warm, inviting, cozy and tactile.”
Cook began his now decade-long journey in the industry by working part-time at Sunset Settings while pursuing a dual degree in entrepreneurship and architecture at the University of Houston. This education provided a strong foundation for his success when he opened Shop in 2018, hosting the launch party on the birthday of his largest supporter, his late grandfather. Since, he has continued to fill the gaps in the city’s saturated marketplace.
Coming soon, Shop will debut a new partnership with the Copenhagen-based design house Gubi, which boasts a harmonious mix of timeless archival designs and contemporary classics. Plus, throughout March, Cook has scheduled a series of presentations in honor of Women’s History Month about Swedish designer Greta Magnusson Grossman, an icon of mid-century modernism who moved to California in the midst of World War II.