Brumbaugh’s Furniture and Design created these Jolene Sky Blue Leather Swivel Chairs with floor-length leather fringe and other custom details to impart Western flair.

Designing the West: The Brumbaugh Touch

An interior desiger rarely has the luxury of a 
personal 50,000-square-foot showroom. But Sally Brumbaugh of Brumbaugh’s Furniture and Design in Fort Worth, Texas, has exactly that. 

“Because of our size, we can fulfill any and every need for a home, including all the ordinary rooms plus pool and patio, game rooms, theaters, man caves; you name it and we can furnish it,” says Brumbaugh. “We provide everything, all the way to the tabletop.” 

The Architect Sofa was designed with style and comfort in mind. A Hancock & Moore leather sofa fits with a variety of décor; wrap-around shearling enhances its look.

What began with Larry Brumbaugh selling furniture salvaged from damaged rail cars grew to become one of the largest home furnishing stores in the Southwest. Their expansive showroom, coupled with the company’s 58-year history, draws business from across the country. 

Recent clients JoHanna and Jeremy Symons had followed Brumbaugh’s for years, seeing the company’s products advertised in national magazines. When they were ready to build their forever home in Oregon, they chose Brumbaugh and her staff to fulfill their dream. The couple had collected the company’s ads, torn from magazines and filled with exquisite furnishings, and then left the rest in Brumbaugh’s hands. “I love what you do. Here’s our budget, and we just want you to do it,” the Symonses said. 

Authentic steer horns embellish a custom sofa; the seat is covered in Louisiana Dirt Leather with longhorn hair-on-hide on the arms and back. Photos courtesy of Brumbaugh’s Furniture and Design

Brumbaugh flew to Oregon for the initial consultation, and when everything was ready, she went back while her team drove the furnishings trucks. “People like knowing that when we show up, and they have nothing, that when we leave, everything will be done, including the top of the bed,” Brumbaugh says. “It’s what we do on an everyday basis; it’s our standard operating procedure.” 

“I trusted Sally with everything,” JoHanna Symons says. “She said they’d bring extra things just in case I wanted to change things out. I was floored when it was finished — I didn’t change a single thing! It was exactly what I wanted: elegant Western flair with a modern touch.” 

A carved bed from Jason Scott brings warm teak hues into this bedroom. Scott uses only salvaged or reclaimed teak that is hand-finished in a 10-step process. The wool rug is from Kalaty.

Larry Brumbaugh started the business as a neighborhood furniture store on the historic Northside of Fort Worth in 1966. After marrying Sally in 1987, the inventory began to change and reflect their current design style. Their daughter, Elizabeth Brumbaugh Quirk, who lives outside Baton Rouge, grew up learning the business and joined the company after earning degrees in business finance and interior design. She also designed a selection of furnishings called The Elizabeth Collection.

Jason Scott’s Sacred Heart Dining Table features an intricately carved pedestal base. The Bonnie dining chairs, designed by Brumbaugh’s in leather and hide, top a hand-knotted Sumac wool rug.

Over the years, the company has grown. The change in architectural styling has kept Brumbaugh’s on the cutting edge. “I call it the tip of the sword,” Brumbaugh says. “Over time, you get attuned with what is creative, and what is unique, and what is cutting edge. We’ve become confident in our design services, even with the changes in architectural styles, and fortunately, we have vendors and products to back us up.”  

Llano Swivel Chairs come in a custom-made fabric or one from Pendleton Woolen Mills.

Brumbaugh and designer Darra Dees create furnishings for the showroom and conduct large installations. They attend markets together as a team to decide on the products that fit their ideals. Brumbaugh values Dees’ skills. “She has great design taste and instincts when it comes to product and also to customers’ homes, from traditional to contemporary,” she says.

Brumbaugh’s Furniture and Design is known for their unique lines of often colorful leather, including American bison, lamb from New Zealand, and products from Italy and South America. A wide variety of leathers is available worldwide, Brumbaugh says, and one company alone sourced more than 300 leathers. “For us, we’re now using a lot of fashion colors like powder blues and dark blues, greens like seafoam greens, as well as reds and oranges. We also use imprints on top of grain leather to mimic crocodile or alligator or to create a basket-weave finish. 

Hancock & Moore sofas and Brumbaugh’s leather Rancher Chairs outfit a family room in a modern ranch home.

“Leather is interesting in that it is cross-generational; it stands the test of time,” Brumbaugh adds. “Design-wise, it can fulfill a traditional role or a contemporary role. Leather is the largest fabric we use for upholstered pieces. It could be a leather combo: leather and hair hide, or leather and zebra, or a beautifully dyed cowhide to make something look super rich. Some of my favorites are sofas where we use shearling for the arms and backs.” 

The Gus Rocker, custom-designed in walnut and leather, is a new arrival at Brumbaugh’s. Photos courtesy of Brumbaugh’s Furniture and Design

Another component the company focuses on is lighting. “We have a vendor that creates exclusive chandeliers, pendants, and sconces for us,” says Brumbaugh. “Whatever we design, they are able to create. Lighting with an organic feel made from different stones, whether hewn like granite or marble polished to a gleam, is currently trending.” Gone are the ceramic pieces of past traditions, according to Brumbaugh, while mercury glass is still in vogue as it feels timeless and can be made into traditional styling or fit a contemporary design.

A whiskey decanter and glass set includes a miniature longhorn steer atop its cover.


While Brumbaugh’s offers broadloom carpet, less and less is being sought, with one exception — many still favor carpeting in the bedroom. The most in-demand flooring today is hardwood or tile. “When it comes to hardwood floors, you’ll see everything from white stain to a gray stain, but by and large, what stands the test of time are medium to dark stained oak floors. There’s white oak or red oak; each one has a distinctive grain,” explains Brumbaugh. “Mesquite is another choice; it is generally more expensive but has a rich look unequaled by other hardwoods.” 

This handmade boot and hat rack offers a touch of rustic style.


The patio at the Hotel Drover in Fort Worth, Texas, was designed by Braumbaugh’s. It features leather swivel chairs by Massoud and decorative metal saguaro cactus.


With an inventory that includes specialty pieces such as an ornate foosball table for the game room or a leather Texas Hold‘em table, Brumbaugh’s takes pride in offering the extraordinary.

Jim Bob Salter, owner of the Lucky Boy Ranch and Currycomb Creek Ranches in Texas, relies on Brumbaugh’s for his ranches and private home. He praises Sally for her abilities and creativity in designing his West Texas African game breeding ranch. “We don’t have the typical horse or cattle portfolio that others have in Texas,” he says. “Sally was able to create our African lodge to make it feel right.” 

The whimsical Smoking Gator Accent Table is sure to be a conversation piece. Photos courtesy of Brumbaugh’s Furniture and Design

Salter has two projects scheduled for the future with Bumbaugh’s. “At our home, she did a great job on a large bar which she created to be like a Canadian bar with a huge back mirror fronted by glassware; she included a movie theater, too. Sally does a great job of bringing the latest trends to a project but doesn’t give up the principles of what you’re trying to accomplish. At the same time, I don’t feel like her designs and products will be out of date in 10 years; I feel it’s pretty timeless.”   


Sally Brumbaugh of Brumbaugh’s Furniture and Design in Fort Worth, Texas, shares tips and inspirations.

Q: Should you select leather furnishings if you live in a coastal area or tropical climate, or is there a better choice of textile? 

A: Leather is a natural, breathable product with limitless applications. Whether it’s coastal or mountains, leather upholstery is a great choice. We’ve done two coastal houses, one on an island in North Carolina and another on the Pacific Ocean. Their owners want to live on the beach but not have beachy houses; they liked Brumbaugh’s “look” and said no to the whites but liked lots of blues and greens, which we have. Leather is always a first choice; it has a timeless elegance.

Q: How does one decide on an accent color for a room?

A: It’s a matter of personal preference. Often, we might zero in on a complementary color in a painting, especially if it’s dramatic, like a great red. We will pull that out as an accent and coordinate it by popping red into a rug or a decorative pillow on a sofa. Oftentimes, it is good to bring color from the outside to the inside. Especially if the home has large windows, one might consider bringing in varying hues of green or even a dominant color in the landscape. Pull those colors into fabrics on chairs or even a wall color.

Q: If a client wants specialty items such as sculpture stands, is there a ready-made source, or do you suggest custom-built?

A: Sculpture stands are specific — literally they are like cabinetry. We produce a curated look, so we’ll design them and have them custom made.

Q: Where would you recommend people spend most of their budget when selecting furniture?

A: Most likely, I’d say the living room, as it’s where people spend most of their time. The dining room, much less; it’s not every day that you sit at the dining room table, but almost certainly, one spends time every day in a recliner or sitting on the sofa. This room is also the one your guests see first; it is how you welcome guests to your home. 

Q: Are upholstered beds still trending or are other choices more popular?

A: In the bedroom, upholstered beds are about 50/50 in popularity. Some prefer the richness of solid wood; you’ll see different kinds of wood, including a rich teak that we offer. This teak is not for outdoors as it doesn’t have a marine finish, but it is beautifully carved, making it expensive. At our customer level, when they see a beautifully carved accent piece of rich, solid wood, they see the beauty in that piece and price becomes the lesser consideration.

WA&A senior contributing editor Shari Morrison has been in the business of art for more than 40 years. She helped found the Scottsdale Artists’ School and the American Women Artists and directed the Santa Fe Artists’ Medical Fund for some years.

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