Those beautiful wooden shelves at The Mill and in Four Barrel Coffee? And the parklet outside? All are the work of Alex Palecko, a San Francisco-based woodwork designer and friend of the local businesses.
After spending five years at California College of the Arts studying architecture, he took a job at a cafe. “I could’ve worked at an architectural office,” Alex told us, “but that sounded just really painful.” He began an apprenticeship under master woodworker Dennis Hodges. He spent two years working intensively with Dennis. “He taught me everything I know about woodworking,” Alex told us of the experience.
With Alex’s business, he designs and builds out all projects, rather than just taking on one part of the work. “Contractors are hesitant about my approach. I don’t fall into either the architect or contractor camp,” Alex explained to us.
Disregarding hesitations from others has allowed Alex to take more risks with his work. “At The Mill, I was part of all design in lieu of building,” Alex explained to us, “it allowed me to just make cool things. I can turn something ugly from something beautiful.”
“I really enjoy walking through the whole process with someone, helping them visualize what they want,” Alex told us of his work. “I like to visualize it then create it for them.” Whether it be a full new set of furniture or a headboard, Alex wants his clients to be happy.
Alex is wearing the Roosevelt in Striped Chestnut.
Photos by Nick Fay