James Swan

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Episode 315: Benjamin Johnston

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Benjamin Johnston is known for creating distinctive, layered spaces that are luxurious reflections of his clients’ personal tastes and histories. Taking inspirational cues from a variety of cultures and time periods, Ben blends new and vintage pieces to create contemporary spaces that feel curated over a lifetime. He accomplishes this tasteful mix while adhering to the classic design principles of balance and simplicity, through the application of clean lines and tailored details—timeless sensibilities he credits to his previous study and practice of architecture. He often utilizes tone-on-tone palettes to create a harmonious balance and then punctuates them with unexpected moments to delight and surprise. Each of Ben’s distinctive spaces operates beyond pure function to create a desired mood and ambiance, while still embodying his unmistakable sense of style.


Benjamin Johnston Design, launched in 2016, is the latest incarnation of Ben Johnston’s interior design practice and lifestyle brand. He has spent a lifetime pursuing artistic expression as a designer, artist, teacher and tastemaker. From the emerging cultural hotspot of Houston, Ben has pursued various endeavors focused on bringing beauty to the world around him and enabling others to do the same.


Ben earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Texas A&M University and his Masters of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. During this time, Ben also studied design philosophy and classical painting in Italy and traveled extensively throughout Europe, Northern Africa, and Japan. He was honored to be the first American student selected to complete a design residency with the prestigious firm Cesar Pelli & Associates – Tokyo. Upon returning to Houston, he launched his first design business and served as a Professor of Interior Design at Houston Community College. Although no longer in the classroom, Ben continues to share his knowledge and passion, appearing as a design advice contributor on various syndicated television programs and as a frequent speaker at design events and conferences.


Ben’s work has appeared in many lifestyle publications including: Modern Luxury Interiors, Luxe Magazine, PaperCity, the Houston Chronicle, and most notably, the coffee table book for Stark Carpets entitled, Designing with Carpets: A Fine Foundation. He has been named a ‘Rising Star of Design’ by the Decorative Center Houston and a ‘Leader in Design’ by the Houston Design Center. Ben has also been recognized with design awards from PaperCity and Modern Luxury Interiors, including ‘Best Transitional Designer in Texas.’

Visit Benjamin’s Website here

Check out Benjamin’s book recommendation, Furniture: World Styles from Classic to Contemporary by clicking here

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