Douglas Funkhouser grew up in New York City and, at an early age, studied under Japanese acrylist Nori Yamato. He later attended Lester Polokov's Studio and Forum of State Design in Greenwich Village, where he developed skills in set design, paint and costume. He gained entrance to The United Scenic Artists Union and pursued a career in the theatrical arts.
After more than a decade of work in theater, Douglas decided to apply his craft to residential interiors. He produced hand-painted finishes, textiles and wall coverings for such notables as Bruce Gregga and Michael Smith, and collaborated with Rose Tarlow in the development of the Melrose Collection.
He comes to the printed fabric world naturally. From the scenic arts to the decorative arts, his disciplines have informed him to create this fine handcrafted line. The evolution of the line is a reflection of the master finishes and custom murals that grace his portfolio.
"I learned how the techniques of theater could be used together to create an overall atmosphere for the home."
Douglas has since developed le gracieux, his own line of hand-crafted hemp textiles. He borrowed the term from an essay by French author Montesquieu, in which he discusses the many degrees of pleasure contained within the arts. le gracieux (the gracious) was listed among them, meaning "that which is refined and beautiful." Douglas says, "It's important for my textiles to possess an ageless sense of beauty and a hand softened by time."