The craft of joinery meets interior design. | Mercedes-Benz Vans

The craft of joinery meets interior design: tradition meets modern.

Bernd Gruber designs modern room concepts. The youngest master joiner in Austria dared to take the plunge and become an interior designer.    

Traditional handicraft and modern design.

The mountainous panorama across the Kitzbühel Alps is a real eye-opener with its sheer beauty which stretches for miles around. The fragrance of pine forests mixes with a fresh breeze and pleasantly adds to the feeling of well-being which emanates from the calm atmosphere of the surrounding nature. Directly in front of this unique backdrop is the studio and production area of interior designer Bernd Gruber. Now the Managing Director, he took over his father's carpentry business in 1992 and has developed the company into a high-quality interior outfitter. Bernd Gruber combines a total of 60 years of experience in carpentry with contemporary interior design and, in doing so, doesn't just focus on trends, but dedicates all of his time to finding new concepts. The company's philosophy is best described in Bernd Gruber's own words: "Our designs are very peaceful and contemporary. We try to give tradition a modern stance and to interpret it in accordance with our own way of thinking – no pomp and no flashiness."

Room design for and in collaboration with the customers.

An ideal room concept can only be achieved through the close collaboration with the customers themselves – after all, everyone's personality and rooms are unique. That's why Bernd Gruber tries to take food for thought from outside the sphere of daily life and to inspire his customers with new ideas. He and his Creative Director Philipp Hoflehner haven't set themselves any design limits. The pair take into account both the location and the person to create an individual living experience. "Many ideas work on paper but not in reality because the personal factor wasn't taken into account. It's a matter of proportions which need to be optimally suited to one another," explains Philipp Hoflehner. What's more, light and open spaces play a major role in the conception phase – they convey freedom and homeliness.

Functionality takes priority.

"With art, you can do what you like – it doesn't even have to please people. Art is a purpose in itself and doesn't have to fulfil a specific function. However, design and styling are different – without function, they cannot exist." Creative Director Philipp Hoflehner adheres to this principle in his work: a room must first and foremost fulfil a purpose. Art is a subordinate component of a design and serves to enrich the overall concept with unusual looks which stand out from the crowd. The ideas of the designer are implemented in the joinery workshop where the former carpenter's assistant and present-day Head of Production Alois Steger has had his workplace for the past 25 years. He's been on-board for the entire duration over which the small village carpentry business transformed into the present Bernd Gruber brand and is impassioned by his job because he has the opportunity to create things with his own two hands. The quality and durability of wood is especially important to him as the basis of his trade.


No pomp and no flashiness.

"We try to give tradition a modern stance and to interpret it in accordance with our own way of thinking."    

Bernd Gruber Kitzbühel: hand-made interior design.

Finding a balance between the materials and the concept.

If the team are working on a project in an older house, it's about finding the ideal combination with modern elements to ensure that the room concept has the desired effect, explains Creative Director Philipp Hoflehner. Wood is, for example, generally associated with tradition. But to ensure this material can be optimally accentuated, there needs to be a contrast present. The aim is to find and implement the right balance between the individual materials and the overall concept.

Bernd Gruber only makes use of natural materials such as natural stone, wood, lime paints, leather and other high-quality fabrics. The materials, designs and furnishings are transported using the company's own fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The employees use two Sprinter vans and a Citan to visit their customers around the Kitzbühel area.

At work with a panoramic view of the Alps.

From Bernd Gruber's office, he has a panoramic view of the Alpine landscape.    

The Citan as a good all-rounder.

The Citan is used on a daily basis for transporting materials. 

Perfectly equipped.

Two Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans and a Citan in front of the production workshop at Bernd Gruber.

Spoilt for choice.

The designers use fabrics and other material samples during the room conception phase.    


Julian Reitner, Bernd Gruber

More links to discover:

Bernd Gruber -, @Instagram, @Facebook

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