McCray & Co. was founded in 2011 by Chris McCray and Grace Hall. Our studio includes a team of exceptional designers, movers, and shakers who share a respect for creative design, defined processes, and the highest level of craftsmanship. Alongside our network of architects, builders, artists, and makers, nurtured through a decade of collaboration, we’ve built a reputation for visionary, concept-driven work and a thoughtful, collaborative approach to design.
As partners in business and life, our relationship with one another and to our work has always been about collaboration. Chris focuses on the big concepts and the elements that draw people into a space. Grace concentrates on the nuts and bolts and the soft textures that pull it all together. In a decade of working side by side, we’ve created a shared aesthetic understanding and a process that allows for the full expression of our respective strengths and talents.
For us, a successful space is one that tells a story – using materials, objects, texture, and color to create a dynamic, three-dimensional narrative. Rather than focusing on what’s on-trend or imposing a pre-defined aesthetic, we draw inspiration from our clients’ vision, experiences, and personal collections.
Whereas many designers stick to tried-and-true manufacturers, you’ll find us hunting everywhere – antique shops, hardware stores, and on our travels – for inspiration and the unique items that will help convey the story our client wants to tell through their space. By layering elements old and new, local and global, high-end and pedestrian, each space we create reflects our collaborative partnership – in work and in life.
As a designer, Chris McCray is known for his ability to synthesize concept and experience, creating spaces that are at once fresh and innovative, soulful and personal. His greatest strength is in his unexpected and layered design sensibility, derived from his constant attention to surroundings and actively seeking sources of inspiration.
Chris also has a strong sense of how things go together. As an undergraduate at VCU, he apprenticed under a custom furniture maker and developed a deep appreciation for good craftsmanship. Following his studies, he spent several years designing kitchens and bathrooms for a high-end cabinet shop, which led to him founding Chris McCray Designs in 1998. Over the course of nearly a decade, he grew the firm to a 12-person team and made a name for himself designing contemporary homes, custom and production furniture, and bold restaurants, shops, and workspaces in Richmond, Virginia.
In 2006, Chris closed his studio to pursue a master’s degree in industrial design at the Rhode Island School of Design. It was there he realized that, rather than working with mass-produced goods, elevating extant materials and designing custom elements created more soulful spaces – and more interesting design opportunities. This work led him on a path to Austin and to co-founding McCray & Co. alongside his wife, Grace Hall.
Grace Hall has a keen ability to focus in on the details while keeping the big picture top of mind. Her professional career as a graphic designer influences her process and informs her ability to compose individual design elements into a harmonious and comprehensive experience.
Grace earned her BFA in communication design from Virginia Commonwealth University. Following graduation, she held positions as a graphic designer with advertising and design agencies in Richmond, and as an in-house designer with a startup in San Francisco. Grace moved to Austin in 2008 and quickly found her niche as a freelance designer, practicing solo for the next decade. During that time, she worked with businesses of all sizes to create thoughtful and impactful graphic design solutions, from branding and advertising to packaging and web design.
Working in tandem with Chris, Grace focuses on the softer elements of each project, including textiles and furniture selection, and serves as concept editor and project director, ensuring each phase of development aligns with the client’s budget, time frame, and vision.