art rodriguez


I was 16 years old and a new driver in my 1969 Pontiac Firebird. Needing to install a stereo that would not fit, I built a console that would hold it. I padded my creation and even sewed the material to make it work. It turned out really nice! I didn't know at the time this action would change the course of my life.

In my senior year of high school, my wood shop teacher gave us the option to learn something different since we finished the course entirely ahead of schedule. As a class, we all agreed to give upholstery basics a shot. I may have persuaded the wood shop guys a bit. Not to mention my brother Russ wanted an interior in his 1956 Chevy and he liked the outcome of the console in my car. This was another seemingly small decision that would shape my future. 

Employed as a machinist after high school, I still remember thinking to myself, I cannot come home this dirty everyday. This isn't for me. Looking for cleaner work, I found The Country House in Lake Forest which rebuilt antique furniture. As an apprentice, I learned the basics and took the knowledge with me. The days of home furniture repair are long gone but I have been an upholsterer ever since. 

My passion is working on cars and building custom interiors. This is our specialty at Rod's Designs. From simple repairs to large projects, we've seen it all!