Bittners, A Design Icon

Douglas Riddle.

Insights from Douglas Riddle, President & COO


By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos by Robert Burge and J. Edward Brown


As I am driving down Main Street, a series of well-appointed buildings comes into full view. All are beautiful historic structures side-by-side in muted colors with unique features. At the end is a multi-story, moss-green painted building with striking black awnings and vintage, patinated lanterns.

Here I am at the design icon, Bittners.

I am excited to explore this world of design and meet Douglas Riddle, the President and COO. His vision has taken Bittners from a Louisville-based design firm to a firm with clients throughout the country and even some internationally.

He greets me with open arms into the Design Studio. This special space features numerous showrooms with various design styles and vignettes for whatever lifestyle a client may want to live. I actually feel like I have entered into a whole new world, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

I am intrigued by how each space is so unique. The Design Studio features a champagne room, which I loved. This space is used for celebrating special events for the Bittners’ team.

Another area is Club 1854 which pays homage to the heritage of Bittners. In 1854 a German immigrant, Gustave Bittner, opened up a custom wood shop and the rest is history. 

As I continue on, room after room envelops you with unique styles featuring amazing art, textures, flooring, and furniture pieces. It evokes a sense of wanting to see more of their amazing Design Studio.

The custom wood shop lies around the corner through beautiful black lacquer doors. Inside are the master craftsmen focused on creating, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces for their clients.

As we walk and talk, Riddle starts giving me insight into design. One key point Riddle makes is that designing a client’s home is a team effort. The magic of Bittners really begins and ends with its dedicated staff of professionals whom he truly appreciates.

His words of wisdom came so naturally to him and are featured. Enjoy!

“Bittners has evolved into a true design icon.
How? Born and bred in 1854 in Louisville, Kentucky, Bittners has endured the test of time. Our dedication to quality, longevity, and timeless design blended with our history, talent, and creative wisdom makes Bittners a true icon.”

“Why is design so important?
Life is a journey. It ebbs and flows. We experience ups and downs, twists and turns, the expected and unexpected. Design takes you on that path. The spaces we design for our clients reflect those life moments and the evolution of the lifestyle that they want to live.”

“Design is the voice of everyday life.
It enriches our existence.”

“Our clients are embracing modern pieces mixed into traditional spaces and as well, traditional pieces mixed into modern spaces.”

In every walk of life, trends come and go. This is true in architecture and design. We want our clients investing in high quality pieces for a timeless lifestyle that complements the way that they want to live.”

“I am always touched by the style and beauty of imperfection.”

731 E. Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202