Custom Reclaimed Wood Speaker Design

 

 

May 28, 2015 by Riley Rea

Keeping It Neutral - Furniture That Works for Both of You

One of the many things I appreciate about Croft House furniture is how it can be translated into any space. Whether your home has a rustic vibe, or minimal and modern, there is a piece of Croft House furniture for you. 

My personal design aesthetic is eclectic with a mix of clean lines and vintage finds. However, my partner on the other hand, likes a stark "hotel living" sort of style. Making decisions on furniture can sometime be daunting and could lead to months of finding that perfect side table that we can both decide on. Below are my favorite neutral Croft House pieces that make decision making easier without the battles of compromise. 

CHAMBERS DRESSER 

The Chambers Dresser is the most versatile dresser in our showroom. With its all industrial steel frame it can go with any existing furniture that you may have in your bedroom. The five drawer Chambers Dresser is perfect if you are limited on space but need that extra storage. 

SIERRA CHAIR

The Sierra Chair is one of my personal favorites. Our large selection of fabrics this chair to acclimate to any design aesthetic. Whether you go with a crisp white fabric for a modern home, or a blue velvet for something more eclectic, it is a timeless piece and not to mention, comfortable! 

HAVENHURST BED

This Havenhurst bed is customized to be made out of rough oak and drawers for some extra storage. The rough oak is a light wood with grey undertones that stradles the line between masculine or feminine.

MARBLE COFFEE TABLE 

The carrara marble contrasted against this black steel frame is a mix of sophistication and edge. The Granada Marble Coffee Table is great if you are looking for a table that is sleek and refined yet modern enough to balance the classic marble. 

Here are some more of my favorites! 

 

 

Custom Piece: A Crosscut Live Edge Coffee Table

Live edge tables have had a place in the Croft House line for almost five years.  We have been commissioned to build dozens of beautiful tables using several different species including Walnut, Redwood, Maple, Cottonwood and Parota. Recently, we had a request for a round live edge coffee table and I could not have been more excited.  Traditionally the live edge slabs we work with are (roughly)rectangular, so searching for a round slab was a fun change of pace.

Our customer did not have a preference in wood species and had the space for a decent size top. From the start I already had the perfect slab in mind.  We source our live edge slabs from multiple lumber yards and for almost a year I had my eye on a beautiful crosscut of Angelim Pedra.  This particular slab is a massive piece of lumber. The overall dimensions are 62”L x 51”W x 5” thick and weighs upwards of 200 pounds. I shared it with our client, who immediately fell in love.  

Angelim Pedra is an exotic wood that primarily grows in the Brazilian Amazon and Guiana. The wood has striking, rich warm tones and a distinctive interlocking grain.  The coarse texture and density make it great for outdoor decking, furniture that will be exposed to the elements, and even heavy construction.  Angelim Pedra trees can grow up to 10 feet in diameter and anywhere from 50-120 feet tall

The irregularities in the wood gave the slab a great deal of character, so we decided the imperfections should to be featured. The original chosen finish was teak oil but that just wasn't enough. 

  

 
A flat black finish was used to fill the holes, chunks and voids in the slab. To mark the 5” thickness, the sides of the slab were finished black as well.  The coffee table top was then completed with a few coats of teak oil.

 

The Angelim Pedra top was so stunning that we decided to keep the base simple and pair it with industrial steel hairpin legs.  The raw metal legs complimented the top's rusted orange and matte black coloring and allowed the slab to be the focal point of the piece. 

 

All live edge pieces are one of a kind, but this coffee table is truly special.  This custom live edge coffee table will be a conversation starter for years to come. 

New Design - The Arden Dresser

Approximately six months ago we added a new piece to our line, the Arden Bed. We were interested in designing a piece that would properly highlight the subtle beauty of our salvaged oak barn wood when we planed the material down to a clean surface. The Arden Bed was so successful at accomplishing this that we decided to take another crack at it with the Arden Dresser

To accentuate the warm elements of the reclaimed oak we placed a steel casing around the body of the piece, similar to our Chambers Dresser. We employed the same custom stain from the Arden Bed, and decided that the legs of the dresser should be matte black to correspond with the bed's frame. 

Since the dresser had such a solid body, we decided to keep the legs sleek and thin. Five pieces of industrial round steel worked perfectly.

With the dresser nearing completion, we went ahead and added two final details to complete the look. First, we routed a thin line through the center of each drawer face. This helped to break up the body and address our concerns about how heavy it appeared. Second, we chose thin brass handles for each drawer face, to give the piece a distinctively more polished touch.

And just like that, the Arden Dresser was born! Come in to 326 N. La Brea Ave. to check it out in person, or click here!

May 06, 2015 by Alex Segal

Guess What Materials We Are Wal-nuts About Now!

Recently we began to incorporate walnut into our furniture. We started out using it on our popular Railcar Bed. Having walnut in our showroom has helped us spark ideas for our customers and inspire them to use the material on our custom designs. Our second time using walnut was on a custom Railcar Bookcase. The walnut patchwork style paired with our industrial steel made our traditionally reclaimed rustic bookcase more refined and polished. 
A couple weeks ago I had a custom request for a sideboard and matching cabinets based off of our Rivera Credenza
We made the face out of walnut and paired it with a crisp white casing. Adding the brass detail to the tapered legs gave this clean modern design a little edge. 
Now walnut is becoming a staple at Croft House and we have been incorporating it more in our custom designs. 
Walnut is a strong wood and has a natural look and texture. We admire the different color variation that ranges from dark to light. The majority of our walnut pieces have a oil finish but we recommend using a poly finish for dining tables. 
Check out some more walnut pieces in our Railcar Walnut Collection

New Design - The Outdoor Table

Through the 4 years that we’ve been open on La Brea, one of the most common questions has been,“Can I use this table outdoors?” It’s not ideal, we’re forced answer. Unfortunately, our standard indoor dining tables aren't designed for outdoor use. The boards are all joined snuggly together, which leaves no margin for the wood to flex and shrink in the sun and elements. Similar to what you can see on a large bridge, it's necessary to allow wood space to expand and contract as it heats up and cools down. When this space isn’t provided the wood can crack and warp.

So, we took on the task of finding a design solution that fit our style. All of the reclaimed material we use is salvaged from architecture here within the U.S. Though we are proud of this practice, it limits us to a few specific species. Unfortunately, none of these species are a tropical wood, which is the ideal outdoor material. So, we expanded our search beyond our standard repurposed lumber.

Lucky for us, we happened upon two excellent material types. Teak, which is common for outdoor furniture, and Ipe. We were immediately drawn to the Ipe, which has a color that slightly resembles some of the red tones of our reclaimed Douglas Fir.

With the material locked down, we went to work on a design that most closely resembled a typical Croft House dining table. We added small gaps between each board to allow for the necessary expansion. We created a modern base, and powder coated the raw steel to protect it from the elements.

 

Voilà! Our new Outdoor Table was born, and just in time for Summer! We’ve already delivered a few of these beauties to new homes, including a custom version for Rag and Bone in Venice, CA! We attempted to emulate our Mossam Dining Table by thinning the boards, and mixing in strips of Teak to recreate our classic Mossam strips look.

We’re so excited to get these out into the world, and to see what custom variations people can come up for with us! Come check it out at 326 N. La Brea Ave. ASAP to get one in time for your Memorial Day BBQ!

April 20, 2015 by Alex Segal

Fun With Himmelis!

If you have been on Pinterest, Etsy or have visited any flea market in the past year, you have probably seen a himmeli.  You might not recognize the name but the distinct minimalist geometric shape is hard to forget.  Despite the recent popularity of himmelis, they have been around for quite some time.   Himmelis originated as a traditional Finnish Christmas mobile decoration.  The first himmelis were made of straw and hung above the dining table to ensure a successful rye harvest the next year. The ornate mobiles would be hung around Christmas time and would stay into spring. 

   

This past holiday season Croft House hung its first window displays.  Himmelis were an easy choice for the display because of how perfectly their clear lines and distinct design accent our furniture.  The ornaments make for a fun craft project and are easy to build, so needless to I was very excited for this DIY. The list of supplies to make a himmeli is short. All it takes is: 

- Paper Straws

- 30 Gauge Wire

- Gold Spray Paint

- Scissors

There are several tutorials online, here is one of my favorites.

We stayed late, ordered pizza and twisted wire until our fingers hurt.  Once we finished placing the cardboard straws into their final shapes, I sprayed each himmeli with two coats of gold spray paint.  The ornaments were then hung from the ceiling at various heights in each of our front windows.

When the holidays ended, it was time to take down the window display.  I loved the himmelis so much and such a great time making them that I refused to let them go to waste.  They were worth repurposing, so I decided to recycle them and use them as air plant holders.  Air plants are low maintenance as they do not require soil to grow, they get all of their nutrients through their leaves and require minimal sunlight.  My covered back patio was the perfect home for my repurposed himmelis.  To add a little more weight to the ornaments I hung them with hemp twine.  I only bought a few air plants to start but the patio will not be finished until every himmeli has an air plant! 

 

April 07, 2015 by Kari Streib

Don't Look Down

Who doesn't love a ladder?  I mean seriously, one of life's simple pleasures is climbing a ladder.  I remember the excitement as a kid when Dad would bust out the ladder - you knew sh*t was going down, or up rather.

Reclaimed Oak and Powder Coated Steel Ladder, Encinitas CA

So recently when a client asked me to create a custom ladder for his beach house I was immediately intrigued.  This ladder would be located in a loft style master bedroom as an access to the roof deck 15 feet above - so the piece would need to be both strong and handsome (like its maker! High five... no? **sigh**). I headed to the shop and got out my notebook.

Being located at the beach, I knew that a wood frame would need to be very bulky in order to withstand the harsh salt air, so I opted for a powder coated steel frame which would allow for a much sleeker design.  Once that was decided, I realized that I could slightly overbuild the tread rungs and use them as a bulletproof substrate for a nice reclaimed wood tread.  This would allow me to incorporate a beachy wood vibe without the drama of dealing with a wood joint (more about that below.)

But what about wet feet?  Problem. That wouldn't be good on a slick piece of wood,  I thought as I started welding the frame.

Video of Frame Welding

 About an hour into the build I remembered the old wooden step ladder my mother kept next to the washer when I was young. It had simple dado cuts on the top of each tread that would give your foot traction.  Bingo. This finalized the design.  Excitement kicked in, speed welding commenced, frustration caused by stupid mistakes from speed welding took over. Tools were thrown.  Lunch.


Welded Steel Frame Complete!
 

Hangry (Hungry + Angry) Welding Monster

After a bowl of beef stew I was a real person again, and quickly finished the frame.  Next step was selecting the right wood for the treads.  This was a no brainer.  It needed to be straight, hard, and interesting to look at (**giggles**). Quarter sawn oak is altogether extremely hard, straight, and once finished has beautiful "rays" unlike most other species. I found some salvaged oak we had purchased from the south about a year ago and got to cutting. The table saw blade was overdue for sharpening and the cutting caused a bit of smoke - which, when cutting oak, always smells like popcorn. Snack.


Reclaimed Oak - With Dado Cuts For Tread

It was a saturday afternoon and during my snack break I received an urgent text message from my father explaining that I had not yet switched my defense on my fantasy football team. Panic. 

I opened the football app on my phone, but as I had been listening to the new Phantogram album on repeat since I left the house - my phone sputtered and died. Crisis.

Luckily Maria had left the office computer on and after some debate I went with the Bills.   Now that the frame was welded and the wood cut I quickly dry fit the pieces, painted and finished the frame and treads, and assembled the ladder. Done.

At this point I was a little late for a barbecue, so I packed my things and started shutting down the shop. As I was shutting off the lights I noticed that one the walls in the shop had an old unused bracket that jutted out about 6 inches from the wall.  Ever get a new toy?  Before I new what I was doing, the ladder was up against the wall and wedged between the ledge and the wall. Up I went.


Ladder Wedged Against Wall - Over 200lbs! Do Not Try At Home!!
 

Stay High As I Want To Be
#DONTLOOKDOWN

I am always amazed at how seemingly innocuous items from the past make their way into the design ether.  It's this phenomenon that has prompted me to slowly replace ordinary things (like crappy scissors, lamp cords, coasters etc...) with well designed and high quality alternatives.  They also have the added benefit of lasting longer and working better.  It's a way of life that has allowed me to appreciate ingenuity and see art in unexpected places.  With that intention in mind I delivered the ladder to the house, watched the contractor install it, and received a happy handshake from our client.

Reclaimed Oak and Steel Ladder
 EXTRA CREDIT - 
 

Wood expands and contracts with heat and moisture changes which deteriorates the fibers in wood, which causes joints to fail.  Coastal climates fluctuate rapidly, and combined with the salt in the air, accelerates the damage to the wood fibers. 

Steel corrodes under these conditions as well, which is why steel must be powder coated to protect it from the elements.  Powder coating is a process in which powdered enamel paint is electrically bonded to steel and then baked on at a high temperature to create a skin that forms around the metal.

March 31, 2015 by Riley Rea

The Granada Collection

The idea of incorporating marble into our furniture happened organically. We stumbled upon a gorgeous piece of round marble and decided to create a modern steel base for it. The end result was a classic and versatile side table suitable for any style home.

 

Introducing a new material into our furniture was a risk, but the response we received from our customers reaffirmed that the mix of sophisticated marble and edginess of industrial steel was a design score. The positive feedback was enough to convince us that we needed to bring a coffee table version into our showroom.

Since we introduced our Granada Collection, designers and customers alike have incorporated this style into custom pieces. We currently have a round honed Carrara marble coffee table based off of our Granada side table in the works with a custom flat steel base. Creating custom furniture based on our existing designs is simple. The process begins with an idea, translates into a sketch, then travels to our workshop in Downtown LA where the furniture is constructed.

The Granada Collection will be growing so check in for new pieces coming soon! 

Why We Love Parota

One of our favorite Croft House pieces is the Parota Live Edge Table.  A solid piece of wood with beautiful natural edges is impossible to replicate.

We aim to create a contrast by taking the organic shape of the slab and displaying it on top of our angular, modern legs.  The natural wood and steel combination is a Croft House staple, but in spite of this the table top is still a departure from Croft House’s reclaimed background.

At Croft we pride ourselves on using the best materials we can get our hands on, often old growth timbers salvaged from US architecture. In the case of Live Edge slabs we are especially selective, so as to be certain that our material comes to us in a responsible and sustainable fashion.

This leads us to our slab of choice, Parota. Though Parota slabs are not taken from fallen trees, the species is incredibly common throughout parts of North and Central America. This grants us access without having to import exotic slabs from all over the world. In fact, our own supplier works locally here in Southern California.

On top of that, the tree grows very quickly. So, not only will it produce a useable slab quickly, but the species is able to replenish in numbers at a sustainable rate. This has resulted in Parota becoming a very popular, and widely accepted, species for furniture use.

Lastly, the sheer size of the tree itself is a characteristic of sustainability. The trunk can reach upwards of nine feet in diameter, and the branches can grow as thick as five feet in diameter. 

Sustainability isn’t the only aspect of the species that has drawn our favor though.  Not only is Parota a hardwood, but it’s also incredibly light relative to its strength. Not a detail to be overlooked when it comes to table tops!

The material offers a rare consistency in colors as well.  Unlike many slabs, and most of the salvaged lumber that Croft House uses, Parota has minimal variation in the color of both the heartwood and the sap wood. This helps to prevent surprises in tone.

If the reasoning above isn’t enough, then consider this; Croft House has access to Parota slabs that are upwards of 4’ wide. No book matching needed to have the big beautiful table that you’ve always dreamed of.

March 11, 2015 by Alex Segal