"If you look in the dictionary, under which entry would we find you?” we asked furniture designer Judson Beaumont in our Summer 1999 issue. “Wacky,” he responded. As anyone who’s toured 1000 Parker Street in Vancouver knows, the first time you stumbled into Beaumont’s studio, Straight Line Designs, was a trip.

judson beaumont
Credit: Robert Kenney/Western Living Summer 1999

The name itself was the cheeky antithesis of Judson’s designs—his furniture was all glorious curves, all how-the-hell-did-he-make-that-by-hand playfulness: cartoon-like chests of drawers, the grandfather clock that’s more grandfather than clock, the coffee table that appears to lift one of its legs to piddle on the carpet. 

judson beaumont bad table

The designer, who passed away at the all-too-young age of 59 in February 2020, created a dreamscape of designs that delighted kids and adults alike. “My rule is: if you can draw and design it, you can build it,” he said on the Straight Lines website. “I love it when someone tells me, ‘You cannot build that’ or ‘No one would want that.’ These words only encourage me more.”

judson beaumont tearaway bench

To read about more great people, designs, homes and innovations that shaped Western Living, click here.