20 Under 30: Deni Cooper

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

Photo Kevin O'Riley

Co-owner, Grain

Born: October 14, 1978

More than anything, Deni Cooper likes to work with people. Curious, then, that she makes her living working with that most inanimate of mediums—wood. But Deni’s dreams and reality are closer to jiving than you might think.

Deni, along with her husband of seven years, Steven, owns Grain, a cabinet- and furniture-making company. Together, Deni and Steven design and build interior pieces—even entire rooms—for a number of big local clients. The couple cut their teeth in the high-end markets of San Francisco and Las Vegas, and moved back to Springfield two years ago to do their thing in the Queen City. One of their projects is the home of local developer Matthew Miller, in the Meadowmere neighborhood, which is slated to appear in Better Homes and Gardens magazine later this year. Deni is also designing cabinetry for the South Pier lofts downtown, on South Avenue.

Deni runs the design and “people” end of the business, working with the customer to come up with a comprehensive plan—sometimes moving beyond mere woodwork into interior decorating—for the entire house. On a recent Wednesday, as Deni walked through her current project in the Southern Hills neighborhood, she couldn’t take three steps without pointing out a piece she designed: A zebra-wood bathroom cabinet here, a dark bed platform and headboard there, an entire kitchen and curving separating wall over there. And, as much as she loves working with people, Deni also loves the wood. “The research is fun,” she says of the ultra-difficult wood market. “In Las Vegas we could get anything, but here it takes longer and costs more [to ship]. You have to be smart when you shop.”






What’s your favorite:

The Salton Sea

TV show?
I don't watch TV

The Kooks

Childhood cartoon character?

Sports team?
Springfield Cardinals

Adult beverage?
White Russian "YUM!"

Local bar AND restaurant (name both)?
Galloway Station, McSalty's Pizza

Kind of wood?
Macassar Ebony

Portion of your arm-length tattoo?
The upper outside—it's a tree in a pumpkin patch




What’s the first website you check every day?
My Yahoo for the weather

One night, no consequences, whom do you seduce?
Sean Patrick Flanery... don't tell my hasband!!

What’s the best thing about being younger than 30?
Being eligible for this award!!!



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