Rustic Furniture

  • Know More about Reclaimed Wood Furniture

    The main reason behind the popularity of reclaimed wood furniture is due to its sustainability, history, aesthetics, and price. According to the United Nations Environment Program, there are presently twelve special trees on the endangered list. The majority of these are common choices to make musical instruments, cabinets, furniture, and many more products; that are used by humans. Around 40 million acres of the Earth’s forests are chopped down every year for this purpose.

    Becoming Eco-Friendly With Reclaimed Wood Furniture!

    As well as reducing energy consumption, going paperless and recycling as forms of going eco-friendly; another way is to furnish your home using reclaimed wood furniture. Instead of going to waste, we gather old wood from decommissioned buildings and homes. These are then refurbished, harvested, and given a second life in the form of a dresser or coffee table.

    Environmental Benefits

    Further than the protection of virgin trees, using reclaimed wood can have extra environmental benefits. As well as using natural oil finishes, many builders also use paints and non-toxic glue. The main goal behind it is to create a beautiful product! One that is high quality and at the same time affecting the environment as little as possible. Reclaimed wood furniture provides a touch that is both stylish and rustic. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine whether a piece of furniture is not brand new. However, evidence such as saw blade marks or old nail holes are intentionally retained; in order to provide a well-worn appeal and antique touch.

    The History Behind It

    The furniture is also surrounded by a sense of secrecy; as you do not know what it may have been used for in the past. For example, your nightstand may have come from a historic school house or from a turn of the century barn. Alternatively, it could even be taken from a neighbor’s unused sundeck. Whichever way, it still has a historical story behind it.

    The Price of Reclaimed Wood Furniture!

    The one thing that is very attractive to buyers of the furniture is its low cost. Even though handcrafted furniture tends to be expensive, materials that are reclaimed are usually cheaper than brand new ones. Wood that is reclaimed is usually cut and treated, which, as a result, reduces expenses.

  • Questions to Ask Before Ordering Barn Wood Tables

    First Question about a Barn Wood Table

    First, how is the top made? This is probably the most important question; because, many woodworkers are just now finding out about the popularity of barn wood tables and barnwood furniture. So, they are just starting to use this kind of wood for the first time. They have yet to experiment with its nature and how it will adjust to different humidity levels in a customers’ home. They will make many mistakes as it is much different to work with when compared to fresh cut wood. If they are gluing a barnwood top together, then there is a high probability that it will crack; and, not the normal little cracks that add character. However, it will be the large, ugly cracks that won’t blend in! No doubt your eye will go right to the spot each and every time.

    The barn wood has been outdoors for a hundred years and been subjected to the driest and moistest of seasons. Barn wood is conditioned to adjust to the different season’s moisture levels. Gluing it and bringing it indoors will almost always result in cracking issues. Woodland Creek Furniture’s barnwood table tops are made with a special patent pending “floating” top. The barn wood planks are tongue and grooved and rest on a substrate wrapped in a thick outer solid barnwood beam. The top can “float” and adjust to the season’s and home changing moisture levels.

    Your eye may never notice the slight swelling or contraction of the wood planks; however, with over 3,000 dining tables made and delivered all over the U.S. and Canada over the past eight years, you can feel confident your table will do what it is supposed to do!

    The Second Important Question link to a barn wood table

    The next question to ask is how old is the barn wood? Why would the barn wood’s age be an important question? Because many companies are using barnwood that is only 25 to 50 years old. This is simply not long enough for the wood to develop the patina and texture that gives the barnwood its warm rustic charm. It takes 100+ years to develop the sought after character. It is much easier to take down younger barns. The process goes faster and “faster” means it takes less man hours saving money.

    Some companies have given up on the time consuming and painstaking effort of reclaiming barn wood all together; and, just simply take fresh cut wood and attempt to make it appear to be barnwood. Through the use of sawing, burning, sand blasting, grinding, wire-wheeling, planing and texturing techniques; they attempt to replicate the appearance of barn wood. A person that works with barn wood every day can recognize the difference in a split second; but, the untrained eye or furniture buyer can be fooled into believe it’s real barn wood. Fuzzy, poor quality photos make it even more difficult to tell whether the wood is real reclaimed barnwood or fake barnwood.

    When you place man made barnwood next to real barn wood; then, the differences are noticeable as real barn wood’s character is much warmer and aesthetically appealing. Woodland Creek Furniture will demonstrate the difference when you visit one of our showrooms. Visiting customers always pick authentic barnwood tables and furniture over the lower quality reproductions.

    THE LAST QUESTION

    The third important question to ask is – does the barn wood table or furniture have a finish on it? Many companies are opting to not use a finish on the reclaimed wood. Why you ask? There are two main reasons. First, applying a quality finish takes a lot of time and skill – adding the manufacturing cost to the product. Each time a coat or layer of finish is applied you must let it dry and then hand sand between coats. Hand sanding take a lot of physical labor which in turns makes the barn wood furniture more expensive to produce. There should be a coat of sander sealer followed by three more coats of high quality finish; to seal the wood’s pours to prevent staining of the wood.

    You would be surprised at the thousands of complaints against some of the large national companies. Companies that are selling unfinished reclaimed wood tables and furniture. Customers tell stories of having the table a week only to spill a glass of wine, and their expensive table is permanently ruined. The salespeople at these stores will tell you that you can “sand the stains out”. Not true. Wine, juice and other liquids penetrate too deep and the table becomes a blotchy mess. Even the natural oils from our skin will darken the wood over time.

    Woodland Creek Furniture’s barn wood tables and furniture have a quality handcrafted finish on them ensuring decades of daily use. Once barn wood has been properly finished and sealed it is very easy to touch up scratches with a tinted wax. If you decide to order a barn wood table; you will pass it down to your kids and then their kids.

    We invite you to look at more barn wood tables!

    I invite you to visit one of our showrooms and see the quality difference in person. Custom made barn wood tables and furniture is Woodland Creek’s specialty. Don’t see the design you need from one of the 1,500 unique designs on our web site? Call or email us today with your ideas and measurements, and let’s design it together.

    Thank you for reading this blog entry.

    Sincerely,

    Rob Evina
    Founder/CEO Woodland Creek Furniture

  • Live Edge Tables

    There is no double that live edge tables are popular. Woodland Creek Furniture is receiving more and more requests for custom made live edge dining tables made in all sizes. We recently had a request for an eighteen foot conference table; which, we are working on finding the right slab right now. Why the sudden popularity in live edge tables? After you see one in person you will immediately understand why. A large, natural live edge slab has a warmth and presence that just draws you in. You cannot help but want to rub your hand over it just to confirm it is real.

    This was never in doubt as it is impossible to replicate the look; but, because they are rarely seen you just have to touch it to make the experience “real".  You will find yourself running a finger over the unique grain pattern that it nature’s artwork. At Woodland Creek Furniture we encourage “touching” and “rubbing” of our live edge tables. If you didn’t, we may well be offended (smile). Rubbing and touching is the highest compliment. Much like the Italians encourage a good belch after a meal to compliment the chef; we at Woodland Creek consider a light rub down the highest form of flattery.

    Woodland Creeks Quality Live Edge Tables

    Live edge tables by Woodland Creek Furniture are some of the highest quality in the marketplace. Woodland Creek Furniture is located in northern Michigan surrounded by some of the finest hardwoods found on this wonderful planet. We have black walnut, maple, ash, elm, cherry to name just a few indigenous species. Trees are a wonderful natural resource and if managed properly will be around until the end of time. Woodland Creek Furniture practices sustainable furniture crafting.

    The vast majority of wood used in our live edge tables come from Mother Nature herself! This means that a good storm here and there by Mother Nature downs enough trees to supply us with wood for the year. We also get logs from various tree services that are hired to remove them; because, a piece of land is being cleared for construction. Or, because one has grown too large and threatens a nearby residence. We are careful to use every part of the tree down to the scraps. Woodland Creek Furniture’s original retail store and workshop are heated by two outdoor wood boilers; so, we burn the scraps to heat our buildings – nothing goes to waste.

    Variety of Styles

    Live edge tables come in many different styles. You can pair a live edge table top with a modern stainless steel base and the resulting table will add character to any Manhattan apartment or mountain modern home in the Rockies. Take a live edge table top and use a traditional farm base; and, it will fit nicely into a country or farm home décor.

    Woodland Creek offers a large variety of hand forged metal bases giving certain designs an industrial style. We have organic, natural log bases; which, when matched with a live edge table top will add warmth and character to any log home. Live edge tables may be the most transitional furniture design available. The type of chair also steers the style. We have seen our customers use modern leather chairs to rustic log chairs around our live edge tables. The design opportunities are endless.

    Woodland Creek Furniture strives to offer the highest quality live edge tables at the fairest prices. Our wood is kiln dried slowly. This is important because larger operations rush the wood drying process and this causes degradation of the wood. It also increases the chances of the wood cracking or splitting; after being in your home for a period of time. Like all things – when you take your time and do it right – the end product is much higher quality. Woodland Creek believes in the “take it slow and do it right philosophy.”

    Our Offered Styles of Live Edge Tables

    Woodland Creek Furniture offers three types of live edge table tops.

    Firstly, we offer Plank Style Live Edge Slabs. Solid slabs of wood are laminated, glued together, with the outer edge planks providing the live edge. Each piece of wood is carefully picked for its grain pattern and color. Our guys hand pick the planks so that the grain patterns blend into a slab of natural art. I personally feel the plank style tables have the most character and are the best value (personal choice).

    Secondly, we offer Book Matched Live Edge Slabs. The term book-matched means that two sequential cuts of a log are paired together. Each slab receives a straight edge and when flipped the boards are almost identical; creating the appearance of mirror grain pattern.

    Lastly, we offer Solid One Piece Live Edge Slabs. This is a table top made from one piece of solid wood. The size of the tree dictates the size of the slab. There are still some big ones out there, and Woodland Creek gets them all the time. Be sure to check back in a few months; and, see the giant slabs of burl wood we have coming in. The largest we have coming is seventeen feet long by five feet wide. One solid piece of wood with the most incredible grain pattern found in any species. We will have hundreds of one pieces slabs in just about any size you may need.

    A Wow Factor for Years to Come!

    All three styles of live edge slabs are beautiful, and there are no bad choices. It comes down to a personal choice – the style that makes you go “wow” and fits your budget. We invite you to visit our workshop! You can hunt with us through the hundreds of live edge slabs we have in stock. If you live out of state, rest assured we craft and ship hundreds of live edge tables every year! We can craft and deliver a beautiful live edge table to you anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. Call or email us today to discuss your project.

    Thank you for reading this blog entry.

    Sincerely,

    Rob Evina
    Founder/President
    Woodland Creek Furniture

  • Handcrafted Rustic Furniture by Woodland Creek

    I often get asked how I got started in the rustic furniture business. With arguably only 1% of the active furniture buyers willing to purchase rustic furniture for their home, cottage or cabin finding the right person seeking furniture for this lifestyle is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Notice I said “willing to purchase”? The percentages are much higher if you measure those that “like or appreciate” the uniqueness and aesthetics of rustic furniture. But these folks’ homes may not be rustic or a spouse doesn’t share their passion for rustic furniture so they admire it, but they are not willing to mix it into their traditional or country home. These opinions are based on what I knew about rustic furniture 14 years ago (1998) when I first started Woodland Creek Furniture. The rustic furniture business is changing, and I will talk more about this is forthcoming paragraphs. I am referring to very traditional rustic furniture - furniture that is primitive; furniture that incorporates natural bark, hair on hide, wildlife carvings or canoe silhouettes into the furniture’s design. This type of traditional rustic furniture is often referred to as Adirondack furniture, Molesworth style furniture, lodge furniture, cabin furniture, or log furniture. Woodland Creek began as a local source for these styles of traditional rustic furniture. Now, the how and the why?

    I am not sure if anyone will ever read this blog entry. I am writing it because I have read countless articles by marketing “experts” which state people like to know the story behind the business. I know that I enjoy learning how and why people started their business so there may be one or two others out there that think the same way. If no one outside of family ever reads this, at least it will document some of the history for my kids to one day understand their father a bit better. Anyway, there is a gene in our family that encourages (even demands) risk taking and nonconformity. I inherited this gene from my father who got it from his father. At the time of writing this I am not sure if I hope this gene has been passed on to my son or daughters. Entrepreneurship is not an easy path. It is an exciting path, but not for the faint of heart.

    Approximately 20 years ago, I was at a crossroads in my life. I was 29 and not sure what I wanted to do for a long term, stable career. That gene I referenced earlier had caused me to enter into a variety of different and often risky businesses – some were profitable and others we not so profitable; thus, I have been forced to start over several times in my life – usually from rock bottom. I knew in my heart there was something out there that would be personally gratifying and allow me to provide for a family. I really wanted this next business to afford a creative outlet, allow me to travel and experience other cultures and allow me to meet interesting people. Great wish list, but what was the business that would allow this?

    For years I had been reading business magazines and cutting out articles that either told of new technology to help a small businesses gain a completive edge, articles on interesting new trends and/or niches, or articles spotlighting interesting startups and their founders. After years of reading and clipping, I had accumulated several, neatly categorized boxes containing a wide range of articles. My quest for the right business continued.

    In the fall of 1996 a high school friend was having some personal problems (a difficult divorce), and it was affecting his business. He was (and remains) a very talented carpenter, but his organizational and managerial skills were not his strong suit. He had helped me through some personal lows so I felt comfortable working with him. Thus, we entered into a partnership in his home remodeling business. I very honestly explained that this would be a short term proposition for me (2-3 years) as I planned to one day pursue a different path. For now it fit for both of us as I could refine my marketing and management skills and still have the freedom to study and research future opportunities. I focused on creative marketing for our home remodeling business. Some of these ideas paid off and the company expanded to a point where we had multiple crews working on simultaneous projects, and we were booked sometimes 4 to 5 months out. This cushion allowed me to take short trips to research business ideas.

    Life’s happenstance led me to meet an interesting person named Fred. Fred once lived and studied in eastern Europe. He was there right around the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union. His stories of import and export opportunities titillated that that pesky entrepreneurial gene to the point I could hardly sleep. Fred planned to return to start a business in Budapest, Hungry. Fred extended an invitation to visit and show me around eastern Europe. I did not procrastinate. A trip was planned. I forgot to mention that Fred was a collector and seller of military memorabilia. He had done quite well for himself buying and selling World War II vintage collectables to collectors and museums around the world. Fred would use my trip and other future trips to also search out things of value for his business. We were both on the hunt for opportunities. We took the train out of Budapest and traveled throughout eastern Europe ultimately ending up in Moscow. Fred took some law classes at a University in Moscow years earlier so he knew is way around pretty good for a foreigner. Fred even shared a story with me that Boris Yeltsen (at the time the Mayor of Moscow) once was a guest speaker at one of his classes. Fred also said he was there the day the tanks advanced on Parliament and Boris Yeltsen stood in front of the advancing tanks and persuaded them not to follow the orders of the communist government. That historic day ultimately led to Boris Yeltsen becoming the first elected president of Russia. I share this as Fred was quite the personality. He also had the “gene” and was a risk taker. Sorry for the digression, but I thought the story shed light on the time and opportunities. The entire country was trying to adjust to capitalism - shedding the shackles of 80+ years of communism. The country was struggling to adjust which meant there were opportunities for risk takers.

    Fred and I traveled from small town to small town via a train. Under Soviet times, the leaders planned the economy. They essentially decided what town would manufacture what product. Meaning there was no competition so there was one car factory, one underwear factory, one dish factory, etc. Each town had assigned industries. Citizens were basically given aptitude tests and were assigned life-long jobs based on their tested skill sets. I could write volumes on what this did to the human spirit and psyche, but those thoughts are for another time.

    Fred and I walked through all kinds of factories – glass factories, foundries, art studios, etc. Every business was hungry for business. Two Americans represented opportunity to expand beyond their present customer base (which was virtually non-existent as the country was teetering on collapse). The Russians were always gracious and answered all our questions. Anyone of these businesses presented a valid export opportunity, but none to this point felt like the right fit. I do not remember exactly how the topic came up, but I believe Fred and I were casually talking and I asked Fred what other products or talents were the Russians known for? Fred explained to me that under Soviet times it was considered the most noble profession to be an “artist” – even more so than a doctor or politician. If you were in the arts – music, painting, acting, sculpting, carving, etc. and were good at it – you were revered and at the top of the status ladder. Thus, kids were encourage, if not pushed, into the arts. The one example he stated “carving” caught my attention. I asked him what he knew about it. He said that he had read that one of the finest carving institutes in the world was in a town name Bryansk. I told Frank I would like to visit this institution, and even thought it was several hundred kilometers from where we were off we went.

    Why did carving interest me? Well, a couple of years earlier I had read and cut out an article in Forbes Magazine that spotlighted the CEO of a company that had started a small carving business out of the back of their bait & tackle shop. They were hand carving fish, birds and other wildlife. They had grown the business from a two man operation to over a hundred employees with 6 or 7 million in annual revenue and projected to grow. The interviewer asked the CEO, “what his biggest obstacle to future growth was?” The CEO stated that “carving” was a lost art here in the U.S. They could not find enough talented wood carvers to fill the jobs. They were forced to bring in duplicating machines that did a mediocre job, and they were also looking at setting up overseas in other countries. Well, hearing from Fred that there was a whole town of talented wood carvers out of work made my mind kick in to high gear.

    Bryansk, Russia. I remember getting into town on a chilly fall evening. We had just enough time to take a walk through a local park before checking into a hotel. The entire park had large, beautiful wood carvings. Some of the carvings were abstract art; others were creatures of Russian folklore. There was no doubt there was talent in this town. Were the carvers still here? Did they all leave to seek work in western European factories like we had heard at some many other places we had visited? It was a long night, but morning did come. We went to the famed carving university, and from the very moment we walked through the doors you knew you were in a special place. There were relief carvings of incredible detail on the walls, 3-D carvings of all size including a massive, scowling 8’ bear. The detail on the bear was unlike anything I had seen. Our guide took us to an area where carvers were actively carving. There were still carvers studying and after talking with the guide he informed us that there were plenty more around town that had not yet left who would surely be interested in working.

    I really think I have to start to condense the chain of events or this blog article will turn into a thick book so here goes. We meet and found many carvers anxious to use their talents and earn money for their families. I returned home and purchased the rights to many different carving designs. I brought the samples back and showed the carvers. They basically laughed at me and said “who is going to buy these goofy looking carvings?” I mean to tell you several of them had a good laugh, and I could not understand why? I asked the translator to help me understand. He then explained that everything carved under Soviet Union times was serious or based on history or culture. I brought back smiling bears, fish, nautical figurines (usually smiling) and they could not believe that Americans would want, let alone “pay for” these figurines. As a side note, I am using much tamer wording than they used because after they stopped laughing, then then began to mock the carvings. Anyway, I told them that is what I wanted and what my dollars were buying, and this terse statement brought them back to reality as I was holding the money. We lined up a local manager who happened to be a local police officer. He was in charge of overseeing the carvers and taking what they produced to a warehouse until we had enough to export. I returned the following month, and the samples were better than perfect. I returned home to set up channels of distribution. I returned the following months to find a nice collection of carvings. The formation of a business was taking place. Again, there are dozens of interesting events between these trips, but in my attempt to keep it succinct, I will keep it to the important parts. On one return trip I, Fred and my mother (I took my mother to experience the culture) were waking in a hotel room after a long train ride. I turned on the TV to listen to the International News. The announcer was explaining that overnight the Russian Ruble had collapsed, and the currency had lost 50% of its value overnight (best recollection of value loss). I turned off the TV and Fred and I discussed what this meant. Fred knew instantly what it meant. It meant Russian people barely living off of a modest government pension were not going to be able to sustain themselves. I went down to the lobby and out into the streets and the best example I can give as to what I saw was seeing hundreds of thousands of people walking “numb”. It was that look you see at a funeral on the faces of the immediate family who just lost someone close to them - just numb and blank. You could cut the fear, anxiety and stress in the air with a knife. It was that palpable.

    We took the train up to Bryansk. We introduced some new designs and planned to export our first container in 3 or 4 months. I returned home and several weeks later the reports of violence and kidnappings in Russian increased. These things always went on before, but now they were becoming more and more frequent – the country was disintegrating, and the criminal elements were doing whatever it took to survive. I remember my heart falling when Sergei (our Manager) emailed me saying he got word that the local mob planned to kidnap me the next time I returned and hold me ransom to my family. I had to reread it several times as I could not believe what I was reading. I had my whole savings in this business venture, and it would be devastating to lose it. Why would they want me? I knew the answer. I was one of the few Americans coming to this town. They did not know if I was a small business guy rolling the dice of life with what little he had saved or some rich American business person. They got wind of me coming to town, hiring people, paying people – I was a quick and easy way to get $50,000 - $100,000 in hard cash to them. I skipped much in an attempt to shorten this article, but I learned early that the value of life in this part of the world was low. You could have anything done to anyone for little money. The laws of the jungle trumped all. I saw things happen right in front of police and military and knew that the mob was really in control during this period of Russian history.

    I took the night to contemplate Sergei’s email. The following day I emailed him and told him to set up a meeting with these guys. I asked him to explain a long term scenario – one that instead of a quick payday they would get them monthly money for providing a “service”. They would hire them as our “security” – watching and safeguarding our products out of Russia and safely into Hungary. Call it a security expense; call it a tax; call it whatever you will I was looking for anyway to protect my investment. Sergei wrote back saying he had explained everything like I asked. He said they listened “stone faced” (like most Russians do) and then they said they “agreed.” Sergei ended his email by saying “he did not trust them and he could not guarantee my safety if I returned.” I knew that I could not return as it was a 50/50 chance of them understanding the long term plan, and I like my ears and fingers so I did not return. I ended up losing tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of time in this venture.

    After licking my wounds and having a short pity party, I found that entrepreneurial tenacity and decided to take one last trip to eastern Europe to see if anything else tickled the gene. Fred, our translator and I traveled into Romania this time going from village to village visiting cottage businesses. There were some interesting prospects, but they needed a lot of time and capital to develop. I just didn’t feel it. We were on our way out of the country - it was late afternoon or early evening and Fred, Sergei (not Russian Sergei, but translator Sergei) and I were hungry. We couldn’t wait to hit McDonalds in Budapest (you would understand this statement if your only choice for food was borscht soup or hard cheese & bread while traveling). We were driving very fast (Sergei always greatly exceeded the speed limit as $5 American money got you out of any ticket) when I noticed a small road side stand and something caught my eye. We flew by it at such great speed I could not make it out. It appeared to be interesting furniture. I told Fred and Sergei that I would like to go back and check it out. Sergei dismissed my request with a derogatory remark saying “it was just Romanian @#&% (insert expletive here)”. I had to remind Sergei that I would soon be paying him and his tip. He started cursing at me in either Hungarian or Russian, but none the less he turned around (quietly swearing at me all the way).

    We pulled up to this road side stand, and my heart started to pound. In front of me was crudely made furniture, but the table tops were 3” to 4” thick burl wood slabs. The table tops were 36” to 48” wide by 120” to 144” long - one solid piece and burl throughout the entire slab. I did not mention this earlier, but my uncle in Alaska built log homes and rustic furniture when he was not commercials fishing. Years earlier I had written a business plan for a family fishing lodge. It was then that I realized I had an affinity toward wood and the rustic lifestyle. Anyway, right in front of me one some of the most beautiful solid wood I had ever seen. I was not a woodworker, but I instinctively knew we had nothing like this in the U.S. Again, I could write paragraphs about events that happened between this point and importing the wood, but the bottom line is this wood species gave me the motivation to come home and beg and borrow the funds I needed to start a rustic furniture business.

    I knew in my heart that this wood would give us the competitive edge needed to enter the rustic furniture business. There were hundreds of good woodworkers in my own state – how would we stand out and differentiate ourselves? This unique wood started conversations with other rustic furniture builders at shows all across the country. I would often trade our wood for their wood. Friendships were made; business relationships were established. Woodland Creek Furniture, a rustic furniture store, started. Woodland Creek Furniture now imports natural wood slabs and logs from a variety of states and countries. Combining a wood from Romania with a wood from Utah or California gives you a look that no one else has. The rustic furniture business has been a blessing for my family and I. We enjoy creating functional works of art for people who like the rustic lifestyle. I thank you for taking the time to read this and hope Woodland Creek will have the opportunity to work with you and your family to design and build you rustic furniture that will become a family heirloom.

    Rob Evina
    CEO
    Woodland Creek Furniture

  • What is the Definition of Rustic Furniture?

    I have recently been surprised at what some people categorize as rustic furniture. Fourteen years ago when I began in the rustic furniture business, my definition of rustic furniture was furniture made from hand peeled natural logs and then combined with wildlife carvings or natural antlers. I have lived in Michigan most of my life and the cabins and cottages I visited as a kid had traditional rustic furniture made from pine or cedar logs usually adorned with a primitive bear or pine tree carving. This style furniture was called Northwood’s style rustic furniture, and it could be found in cabins that dotted the Au Sable or Manistee Rivers or cottages on the west side of the state from Leelanau to Mackinaw City and back around the eastern side of the state from Rogers City to Alpena. Really, it was found throughout the state as it was ubiquitous and basically the only Midwestern style of rustic furniture at the time.

    I have recently realized that what I feel qualifies as rustic furniture is not what the next generation may call rustic furniture. Recently, I was working in Woodland Creek Furniture’s showroom, and a customer came in looking for a unique rustic dining table. She specifically said “unique rustic dining table.” I showed her to an area of the store that had some very nice handcrafted barnwood and log dining tables. She said “no, not cabin furniture; I would like rustic furniture.” We walked around the store for a bit, and she stopped at a table that I would not have considered to be classified as rustic, but to her it was the perfect rustic table. The table had a traditional X trestle base design with a distressed solid wood top in a white wash finish. Yes, there was some distressing, but this was basically a table design that just twenty years ago would have been called “traditional”. We just enhanced the look by distressing it and giving it a twenty first century “urban chic” finish. This got me to thinking “maybe other people have a different definition of rustic furniture. The term rustic furniture is a broad term and maybe my definition was wrong. So what is the correct definition of rustic furniture?

    Rustic furniture has been around since the first people came off the boats and landed on Plymouth rock and started pushing west. Yes, these early settlers may have had more refined furniture in their western European homes prior to departing, but they did not initially have the fancy equipment to produce this style so they fashioned furniture from logs, branches and whatever else they could find. The cities on the east coast grew as did the western settlements. Furniture styles changed, but an enduring love affair and respect for the rustic lifestyle remains. This is evidenced by the great lodges and camps built in the Adirondacks. Some lodges date back 150 years. These lodges and camps are full of handcrafted rustic furniture made in a distinct style now called “Adirondack furniture”. Adirondack style furniture was and continues to be made with real birch bark, twigs, and branches usually in designs have had incorporated arched doors or curved trim. Many people collect this style of rustic furniture. Prices for a handcrafted Adirondack style sideboard can range from $800 to $35,000 depending on the artisan who made it and the amount of detail.

    Thomas Molesworth made a distinct style of western furniture using hides, natural wood and animal horns. He is credited with creating a style of furniture that is today called “cowboy furniture.” Molesworth operated the Shoshone Furniture Company from 1931 to 1961 in Cody, Wyoming. Mr. Molesworth’s furniture is also sought after, and original pieces bring some very high prices when they can be found.

    A recent trend has been to recycle and utilize the weathered wood found on the thousands of barns that dot the back-roads of Midwestern America. These barns provided shelter to the animals and equipment that fed America while it was struggling to find its identity and economic engine. Tens of thousands of aging barns have wood that dates back 100 to 200 years. The wood exhibits the worn character of a maturing nation. Barnwood makes excellent furniture. The elements and oxidation give the wood a wonderful textured, aged patina. All the woodworking tricks in the world cannot replicate the look that Mother Nature slowly and methodically created over time. When salvaged barnwood is sanded and finished properly its character jumps out at you. Now take that “aged, weathered texture and combine it with refined moldings, copper panels, frosted glass, and milled mullions, and you have a distinct style of rustic furniture – or, its own recently coined category called “barn wood furniture”. Woodland Creek Furniture offers hundreds of barnwood designs including barnwood dining tables, barnwood coffee tables, barnwood sideboards, barnwood console tables, barnwood end tables, barnwood chairs, barnwood bar stools, barnwood beds, barnwood nightstands, barnwood chests, barnwood dressers, barnwood vanities, barnwood kitchen cabinets, and much, more. Every barn wood furniture design can be customized to fit your home or office. In addition to a quality piece of rustic furniture you are also getting a piece of American history. If only wood could talk we would hear wonderful stories of how life was on the farm over the past 150 years.

    Log homes became very popular and almost mainstream over the past 25 years. It’s hard to know the exact number of log homes built, but I remember hearing a report on Public radio a few years after 9/11. The report basically spotlighted how New Yorkers were reevaluating their high paced city lifestyles post 9/11. The report stated that over 5,000 log homes had been built in the 2002 in New York state alone. The report suggested that many living in the big city wanted a more natural, earthy and tranquil home life after the tumultuous events of 9/11. Thousands of city dwellers sold their city flats and townhouses and opted for a hand hewn log home nestled in the pristine mountains of upstate New York. Whether this was their primary home or just their getaway camp, the thought of having a tranquil sanctuary outside of the concrete jungle became much more appealing. Tens of thousands of additional log homes went up all across the U.S. Sizes ranged from cozy 600 square foot cabins to enormous 15,000 square foot homes. This interest in the rustic lifestyle fueled the burgeoning log furniture industry. Log furniture is the most primitive and primal of all rustic furniture designs. Log furniture is usually made using mortise and tenon construction. Natural logs are hand peeled and the ends are then given a tenon and fitted into an adjoining mortised log. Log furniture is made from many different species of wood. The most common species are white cedar, red cedar, aspen, hickory, and juniper. Woodland Creek tries to differentiate its log furniture through its distinct designs and by personalizing customer’s log furniture with handcarved bears, moose, deer, raccoons, and birds. The customer can tell us their favorite animal or scene, and our carver will hand carve a one of a kind piece of log furniture or log mantel for the fireplace.

    I am sure many other style of rustic furniture will surface in the years to come. I know the artisans at Woodland Creek Furniture are constantly pushing the limits of design by mixing in new elements. Right now we are experimenting with adding concrete tops to many of our rustic style bases. Of course not just ordinary concrete tops as our expert finishers have found ways to make concrete look like stucco, granite, natural stone using hand crafted artisan finish techniques – all available in a wide range of colors. Photos will be coming soon so for now this is just a tease.

    On behalf of the entire Woodland Creek family we thank you for your interest in our handcrafted rustic furniture. Please consider this an open invitation to visit our workshop for a complete tour whereby you will see the talented woodworkers crafting and designing one of a kind rustic furniture. You will also see thousands of pieces of reclaimed and exotic woods from all over the country and world. We promise you an experience unlike any other and rustic furniture unlike any other.

    Sincerely,

    Rob Evina
    President
    Woodland Creek Furniture

  • Why Our Barn Wood Furniture is The Highest Quality Available?

    Last year I took a trip overseas and visited China and Indonesia. During my trip I noticed that the vast majority of furniture designs; that I saw in hotels and even some of the residential homes were modern. Most of these furniture designs combined glass, stainless steel and shiny. Almost plastic looking laminates for a very linear and sterile furniture style. I couldn’t help but think to myself “how could the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia be trending toward furniture designs made with reclaimed barn wood planks, timbers, and beams and the entire other half of the world could care less?”

    My Personal Theories on Barn Wood Furniture!

    I have a personal theory on this. Our country went through the industrial revolution and all the fads that came with prosperity decades ago.  Asia is just now getting a taste of disposable income. We saw the metal cabinets and porcelain fixtures of the fifties, all the crazy George Jetson furniture in the sixties, the shag rugs and wild patterns of the seventies, and the eighties brought our fascination with modern. Now, there are still many people that enjoy the retro looks, modern and everything in between, but the newest trend is to decorate with furniture made with real wood and real character.

    Whats has the most character?

    What has more character than a piece of naturally weathered wood that has been providing shelter to farmers’ tools or their animals for the past 100 to 150 years? I am talking about barn wood siding, barn wood beams, and barn wood timbers. Mother Nature has been throwing her best at the barn’s wood with harsh cold winters, humid hot summers, and moisture laden rainy spring & fall days, and the barnwood seems to only get better looking with time. The sun bakes the moisture out of it, and the blowing rain wets it back down. Now, picture this happening several thousand times over the last century. Some of the barnwood used in our furniture is 150+ years old – that is 54,750 days.

    What happens to the barnwood after fending off the elements for that many days? Well, it gets the most beautiful textured patina that only comes with this slow, aging process. We have tried (and so have countless other woodworkers) to take fresh wood and use certain aging techniques on it to make it look old; and to be very honest, it does not even come close. How can we expect fresh wood to look like naturally aged barnwood; when it took 54,750 days for Mother Nature to methodically work her magic? It is not possible. Yes, there are some companies out there that still try to artificially age it. However, up close and personal, you can tell. Some companies will swear they are using old wood, but the discerning eye knows the truth.

    Mother Nature does it Best!

    Woodland Creek Furniture decided a long time ago to give up on trying to do what Mother Nature does best. Woodland Creek and our select vendors only use premium, select barnwood planks, timbers, and beams in our barnwood furniture designs. We have been approached by dozens of new startup companies offering less expensive barnwood furniture to carry their furniture; but, we always pass on it. Yes, I will admit that some of it looks good in the photos, but up close and personal the wood used does not have the same character and the finished product does not have the same soft luster and feel (I could write another page on construction quality differences, but we will not address that today). With our barnwood furniture you can run your hands over it, and it is soft to the touch.

    Our competitors’ furniture is rough. It feels almost as if it came out of a saloon. Some people may like this, but we feel barn wood furniture should walk a fine line between rustic and refined. Yes, our barnwood furniture is definitely rustic as the natural dents, divots, & weathered texture leave no doubt it is rustic and will fit comfortably into any cabin or camp décor. But it is also refined and will work in many Tuscan, Old World, Cottage, Ranch and even traditional homes. Barnwood furniture may be the perfect transitional furniture. I have even seen some of our customers mix it into modern home settings. Modern chic?

    Why does our Furniture looks so Good?

    We often get asked why our barnwood furniture looks and feels so much better? Well, we cannot reveal all of our secrets, but one simple difference is the amount of time that goes into final sanding. Hand sanding is labor intensive, and labor always adds cost to any product or service. Our competitors do not want to incur this cost so they do the bare minimum (some don’t even sand it all all). Other details that add to the aesthetics of our barnwood furniture are the thick, solid wood handles.

    Even these are sanded so they are soft to the touch. The mitered, wrapped corners exhibit old world craftsman ship. And then there is the clear coat finish. We only use the highest quality clear coat to seal in the wood’s character and beauty. We could probably save $35 a gallon by using a cheaper line of finish, but we refuse to skimp on the quality.

    Our hope is to Inspire!

    We hope our barnwood furniture designs also inspire you. The mixtures of reclaimed barnwood with tree bark panels, reclaimed metal, reclaimed copper or just contrasting color woods create designs that are distinct in design and style. Add some clavos or hair on hide accents, and you give the barn wood furniture a western flair. Mix in a little live edge and you have a rustic chic design. It is endless. Woodland Creek welcomes custom barnwood furniture requests. About 95% of what we sell is custom made to fit our client’s homes of commercial offices so I guess it is safe to say that we do not have any standard sizes as everything can be made to fit your space. Don’t see a layout you need? Let’s discuss it as all barn wood furniture designs can be made in custom layouts.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this blog entry. Woodland Creek will continue to strive to offer the finest handcrafted barn wood furniture on the market. We will work hard to make you a lifelong customer.

    Sincerely,

    Rob Evina
    President
    Woodland Creek Furniture

  • Rustic Bedroom Furniture for Your Home

    Why is our rustic bedroom furniture the best fit for you?

    Endless Questions for Rustic Bedroom Furniture.

    If you have ever meandered through the seemingly endless walkways of big box bedroom furniture retailers; then you might have started to notice a very particular pattern. Aside from color schemes and design tweaks, there is not really all that much variety. Also, you might notice that the floor models are wearing down from the limited use of other passersby; who ran a test run on the furniture before they bought it. One feature that might stand out because of this is that there is a consistent lack of durability and quality. It just doesn’t seem like these types of retailers are offering quality and comfort; however, they over simplified and generic standards of production.

    That is where we draw the line, and where you will find the answer to that question! Rustic bedroom furniture from Woodland Creek Furniture is the best fit for you; because, it is the answer to all those other issues! Furthermore, it tops it off with its unique and elegant look and feel to boot!

    Reclaimed Barnwood for Your Furniture!

    We make our rustic bedroom furniture from reclaimed barnwood, farmhouse wood, logs, and other sorts of reclaimed wood! Which we source from local areas. The wood we use is typically over 100 years old! This gives it a sense of antiquity and history unmatched by other department store catalogs. With our professional craftsmen quality work; we can create rustic furniture that will not only outlast the alternatives but outshine them as well. With a wide variety of rustic bedroom furniture options throughout our two giant showrooms, the toughest decision to make after having this question answered will be choosing which one is the right fit for your bedroom!

    Woodland Creek Furniture is Traverse City, Michigan’s premier producer of fine rustic bedroom furniture. People from around the state, country, and the world visited us and made the decision to furnish their homes with these natural and elegant pieces. We proudly invite you to stop on by and see for yourself!

  • Rustic Log Furniture For a Unique Touch

    Perfect Symmetry in Rustic Log Furniture!

    We totally understand the appeal of symmetry. In nature, symmetry can be found in all shapes and sizes! From the symmetry of our bodies to the seemingly symmetrical leaves of a birch tree leaf; there is no denying that there is a special sort of magic to these natural designs. However, as beautiful as symmetry may be! There is also a lot to be said about the naturally asymmetrical quality of individual natural bodies as well. Mountains, crashing waves, meadows, landforms, clouds, and even fallen tree branches can shine as their imperfect twists, turns, and features stick out; in asymmetrical contrast with themselves. Something about the natural disarrangement of things makes them feel like they have a unique place in the limelight! It will be ready to be recognized as yet another beautiful mark on the world.

    At Woodland Creek Furniture, we pride ourselves on our collection of rustic log furniture pieces. A quick overview of these items on our web page will give you an idea of what we are talking about. We take logs that have fallen, and we help them back up, rearranging them into truly unique, asymmetrically elegant pieces of log furniture that will add a complex yet naturally stunning look and feel to any room, whether it is for your family’s summer cabin or the rustic home decor of your private residence. Not only can you depend on having a piece of furniture that is unique; however, you can also depend on the quality craftsmanship that we have built our entire business upon.

    A Vast Collection!

    Our vast log furniture collection includes; bed frames, burl wood coffee tables, hickory log dining chairs and log dining tables, floor lamps, rustic entertainment centers, and much more. Stop by one of our two massive showrooms in Kalkaska or Traverse City! Visiting our show room allows you get a good look and feel for the log furniture items! Items that we have ready for you to take home! Furniture you can make a part of your rustic interior design! Our friendly and professional customer service team will help you navigate through your options and decide what will be the best addition to your home!

  • Contemporary Rustic Furniture for a Unique Blend of History and Modernity

    Contemporary rustic furniture is a style that is starting to make waves in the interior design community. As many of the urban stylings have recently swept over the tastes of the current generations. Furthermore, many people have grown tired of the static, plain look of modern stylings; and,  have sought comfort in the designs that reflect a more natural look and feel. Woodland Creek Furniture proudly crafts contemporary rustic furniture.

    What is Contemporary Rustic Furniture?

    This style offers a beautiful and naturalistic feel to the piece itself; while simultaneously, presenting the owners with a taste that harkens back to times when life was more simple. A time when people appreciated the beauty that surrounded them! So much so, that they wanted their indoors to resemble their outdoors as much as possible. Still, there are many people who are caught between two worlds of design. They want to have that modern, contemporary look and feel, yet they want to stay somewhere in the realm of rustic, antiquated, and homely. While we talk a lot about our reclaimed wood pieces, we also would like to mention honorably, the lineup of contemporary rustic furniture that helps these kinds of folks find their equilibrium when they are caught between these two worlds!

    An overview of our website or walkthrough of one of our two large showrooms; will give customers some amazing insight into the variety of rustic furniture pieces we have available. We have skillfully blended contemporary design elements and features into the reclaimed wood pieces that we are renowned for crafting to create the contemporary rustic furniture that you have been longing for. Among our many items, you will find:

    • Dining tables
    • Sideboards & sofa tables
    • Coffee tables
    • End tables & nightstands
    • Chairs
    • Beds
    • Bar Stools
    • Entertainment Centers
    • Dressers

    As you can see, we have everything you need to find that middle ground; between history and modernity, where the wood meets steel, and where style bursts out with grace and strong character. Let us help you step up your interior design; by getting you closer to owning your very own piece of contemporary rustic furniture today.

  • Cabin Furniture for Your Cabin in the Woods

    Cabin life. It really is something else. The fresh air of the forest or mountain emanates through the rooms and hallways. Natural light flows in through the precisely positioned windows. When the night falls, the natural light is substituted with some of the light of the crackling fire, with the strong scent of a hearty meal sneaking into all rooms from its origin in the kitchen. You relax on your finely crafted cabin furniture, that, if selected right, perfectly complement the look and feel of your surroundings.

    The concept behind a well-designed cabin is that there is a seamless line between nature and abode. The cabin dweller might be indoors, but they will still feel like they are outdoors with all of the naturalistic design elements that surround them. The next best thing to being in the great outdoors is being indoors, away from all the bugs, beetles, and bears, and inside a cabin that feels like you are still right outside.

    At Woodland Creek Furniture, we specialize in crafting cabin furniture that is perfectly suited for the task of creating that outdoorsy look and feel on the inside of your cabin. Using reclaimed wood, the design and quality of our cabin furniture are unmatched and just what you need to tie together the decor of your cabin. With a broad selection of options to choose from, our warehouses are sure to contain just the right piece or pieces you are looking for to furnish your getaway!

    We offer cabin furniture for bedroom, bathroom, lighting fixtures, office, patio, storage, dressers, and more. With our wide selection of handcrafted, reclaimed wood cabin furniture sets, you can relive your dream of connecting the inside of your cabin to the outside by giving it the stylistic, elegant, and natural look that it deserves to stand out as a comfortable getaway that you call your own. Come into Woodland Creek Furniture today, check out what our huge showrooms have that will fit your cabin furniture requirements, and start picturing what your cabin is going to look like from the inside, out!

81-90 of 98