Someone You Should Know: Kyle Bunting


Kyle Bunting, famed designer of amazing rugs, upholstery fabrics and wall coverings made from intricately patterned cowhides, has taken his work to the next level by venturing into furniture. You’ve seen his amazing ,intricately patterned hair on hide rugs; now you can see his furniture –  but not just furniture; furniture  in the most amazing candy shop colors  straight out of Willie Wonka.

Kyle and his team designed a limited edition of furnishings and art only available at Gump’s. Pieces include cube-shaped ottomans with matching lacquer bases, the long hair “Fog Hide” chair, tables and consoles and the two-sided curved “Neu” screen. Each piece is made to order and can be fully customized by color and finish.

The process to craft these masterpieces was so secretive not even Kyle’s own wife Libby Bunting knew exactly what he was up to until the preview earlier this summer for Gump’s. He wanted it to be a surprise when he brought her to San Francisco and walked her into Gump’s, where the store windows had been taken over by some of the most colorful objects ever made from cowhide.

My faves are  a group of six four-by-five foot hanging  art pieces made of highly detailed cowhide by Bunting and his team.

Design or Art?

In addition,, Bunting harnessed the talents of design doyenne Holly Hunt, Art Ellsworth and Marvin Wilkinson of John Brooks, Geoffrey De Sousa, Erik Hughes, Jan Showers, Kara Mann ( a Chicago fav of mine), Fern Santini, Kris Lajeski, and design team Neri and Hu, to create 10 one-of-a-kind wood-framed, lacquered chairs with custom designed cowhide upholstery for Gump’s.

Kyle Bunting’s passion is hide and the design potential of the material. Working exclusively in hide for almost a decade, his focus   is the redefinition of how hide can be used in interior applications. His collection and studio   work reflect his passion for the medium and the unlimited potential of his designs and technique.  A visit to his site to page through his lookbooks are amazing inspiration. Kyle’s company has completed thousands of projects for design professionals and private   clients throughout the world. Today, Kyle and his team of contributing designers operate and find inspiration in their design studio outside Austin in the Texas Hill Country.

To me Kyle embodies what a designer should be- passionate about his work; inspiring to other designers; generous and collaborative by nature. “We are always looking forward,” says Mr. Bunting, “and with this new collection we are exploring a new realm of what’s possible with hide—moving from floors, walls, and upholstery to furniture and art.” Will window coverings be next?

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