Sustainable Designs, Handmade in LA 

Custom Work: A Mid-Century Sofa

Posted on February 12, 2014 by AUTHOR (edit in theme settings) | 0 comments


Creating a custom piece of furniture with a customer is a fulfilling experience, so naturally we were excited when our client approached us.  Our client had been searching for a sofa but couldn’t seem to find the perfect piece to complete his space.  We were more than happy to design and custom build his dream sofa but there was more work to do!

Understanding a customer’s design aesthetic is a fundamental step in the conceptual phase of any design.  We asked him to provide images of his space and some inspirational pictures to help explain his personal style.  Our customer had envisioned a mid-century modern inspired sofa with clean, modern lines.  Once the concept of the sofa design was established it was time to test out the sofas we have in our showroom to decide on fill.   Our Hayworth Sofa has plush 100% down-filled back cushions and functional foam inserts in the seat cushions. Our client loved the comfort and feel of this combination of materials so we decided to incorporate this into his sofa.  Once we had decided on the fill it was time to discuss upholstery! We chose a textile from Robert Allen’s Home Collection that would provide the durability and texture desired.  The boucle yarns in navy, charcoal and pewter give the fabric a texture that is rugged yet still soft to the touch. 

Finally it was time to discuss the sofa frame.  After rounds of sketches with Mark we were able to finalize a design. 




The solid hardwood frame we chose spans both the length and width of the sofa and continues up the back to provide support and visual interest. The frame is finished off with tapered oak legs.  A clear finish was applied to show off as much of the beautiful, natural wood grain as possible (and it popped next to the fabric!)

Once all technical drawings were completed it was time to send the project over to our workshop, located here in downtown Los Angeles.  Production time took about six weeks, but it was well worth the wait to turn our client’s vision from a series of sketches into the focal point of his living room.

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Croft in the Neighborhood: Sotto

Posted on January 30, 2014 by AUTHOR (edit in theme settings) | 0 comments

Over the past few years Croft House has had the opportunity to furnish a handful of restaurants with some of our commercial table tops and furniture.  At this point, we have table tops, communal tables, point of sale stations, shelves, benches, chairs, and more in more than 20 restaurants, hotels, showrooms and other commercial spaces all over the country.  

Getting into commercial builds can be very difficult, especially when it comes to finding that first job. Understandably, it can be difficult for a smaller design house or manufacturer to secure a bid without having a larger scale reference to vouch for their ability.  Luckily for Croft, we had a lovely little restaurant-to-be called Sotto come calling back in January of 2011.  


(photo credit: Cathy Chaplin)

(photo credit: Cathy Chaplin)

(photo credit: Cathy Chaplin)

(photo credit: Kari Streib)


We met with Chefs Zach and Steve, as well as GM Dina Samson, to try and design 2 tops, 4 tops, and communal tables that fit the desired Sotto aesthetic, and just as importantly, though less romantically, the budget! 

If you haven't been(go!) Sotto is located within a beautiful building on Pico Blvd.  The building is split into two restaurants, Picca Peru on top(more about them another time) and Sotto on bottom.  As if it's a secret club, Sotto has a set of stairs that lead down to the front door and entrance.  Removed and secluded, the interior has a comfortable, modern ambiance.  Upon entering, you can see directly into the kitchen, where their massive, yellow tiled, wood burning oven sits. It doesn't take long to notice how fast the pizzas cook, about 30 to 45 seconds each.  

The dining room has low lighting, large pale tile floors, and red striped banquette seating to add a touch of color.  We wanted to build on the warmth in the room, and add a bit of a rustic quality to the atmosphere.  

With this in mind, we decided to go with a solid, reclaimed wood top based on our Railcar line, but with one important custom specification.


(photo credit: Kari Streib) 

 (photo credit: Kari Streib)


The tops sit on top of a standard pedestal base, like you'll find in most restaurants.  With a solid top, there is always the risk that without support, the boards may crack over time. In order to prevent this we gave the tables a patchwork assembly.  This helps to prevent damage to the table top by providing more joining points, and distributing any stress placed on the table top across a higher number of individual pieces. 

One point to be careful of with this construction style is keeping the tops of the tables even as possible.  We added a small brace to the bottom of each salvaged wood table top to keep them as rigid. We think it looked pretty good!


 (photo credit: Kari Streib)


(photo credit: Kari Streib)


In the center of the restaurant, there are two large communal tables for bar height seating.  The folks over at Sotto had their eye on our Mossam Table top, with repurposed barnwood, for these. No problem, we built two large tops, placed on top of our industrial steel Railcar Table legs.  The Mossam top has a strip style look to the wood, which goes perfectly with the pieced together look of the 2 tops and 4 tops.  


  (photo credit: Kari Streib)

  (photo credit: Kari Streib)

(photo credit: Kari Streib)


Lastly, there was a need for a bit of bar shelving.   Something understated and industrial, mostly there for function.  We  measured out the space and custom designed some glass and steel shelving based loosely on our Chambers Coffee Table.  Voila - our work for Sotto was done!

If you haven't yet been to Sotto, you're missing out. Aesthetics aside, the food is outrageously good and the staff couldn't be better.  You're unlikely to find a night when either Chef Zack or Chef Steve aren't there cooking up a storm in front of your very eyes.  The terrific cocktail selection is constantly changing as well as the rest of the menu.  Perfect place for a Valentines Day date!  

Head in and enjoy the food, drinks, atmosphere and of course the table tops.  You won't regret it!


Interested in commercial work and design by Croft House?  Click here for more information, or email us at info@crofthouse.com.

Interested in a reservation at Sotto? Click here.

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The Story of YOUR Croft House Lumber

Posted on January 09, 2014 by AUTHOR (edit in theme settings) | 0 comments

About a year ago we wrote out a list of handy Reclaimed Wood facts(here!) In doing so we skimmed over some of the locations where our salvaged materials come from, but didn't give you any real indicators on where your particular table(or dresser or bed or desk or bookcase!) lumber was salvaged from. So, here's our Reclaimed Wood timeline. We have more info on some of the structures than others, but for those wondering, here's the Croft House Reclaimed Wood Source Breakdown to date!

If you bought a piece of furniture that was considered pine, Railcar or Hudson from us anywhere between when we started using the material in 2010 up until about April or so of 2011, your material came from one of two buildings in NYC.  One in Times Square and the other on on Orchard St.  We bought the two buildings together, most of the lumber in these two buildings was old growth heart pine. Our suppliers tell us these building were put up in the early 1900s.

If you went with our local SoCal fir, Railcar or otherwise, between 2009 and late 2010, then you received salvaged wood from a SoCal Rail Station. Mostly 2x10 and 2x12 material, this is what we used to build the very first Railcar Table and was the namesake for the entire line.  It's some of the oldest wood we've used, dating back several hundred years.

Any Croft House furniture that is a Mossam or oak/hardwood piece, purchased from 2009 all the way up until about June of 2011, was repurposed from a barn in Alabama.  The bar was used as a whiskey distillery in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  The wood was a hodgepodge of oak, maple, birch and alder.  This building is where we received the boards with the faded blue paint that gets mixed into each of our Mossam Cabinets.

The reclaimed Pine from the New York gradually switched over to a new source in Spring of 2011.  Up until February of 2013 we used pine, mixed with hemlock and spruce, that was used in a building being demoed for an expansion project by Columbia University.  The same city and look just a new building, it made for a seamless transition for the look of our furniture.

Currently, and since 2011, our reclaimed douglas fir has come from various architectures throughout the SoCal area.  Since we're never too far from the demo sites, we get a special locals only deal in which we're able to pick and choose the material stocks that we need. We've used a large selection of lumber sizes, ranging from 1x6 to 2x10 and all the way up to 8x16s. Though most of the material comes from housing demos, we've had a couple of particularly special sources including an old recording studio!


The oak and mixed hardwoods that we're repurposing now were salvaged and brought to us from a barn in Ohio.  This material marked the first time we were lucky enough to get our hands on some 2" thick hardwoods.. getting the nails our of the material was just as hard as you would think!


Lastly, our current pine stock arrived to LA in early 2013 and has been going strong since.  This material was all salvaged from a single dairy barn in Wisconsin.  The material came to us covered in milk paint(wonder where they got that from.) Though the tone of the wood trends slightly lighter than our previous NYC pine, it will look every bit as lovely in your next piece! 


Though we don't have large stocks of our previously materials, we certainly have boards mixed in here and there with all of our current lumber.  We do our best to use each inch of every board, so you're likely to get a combo of all of the above in any given piece of Croft House furniture.  Which one are you hoping for??



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Modern Sectionals? Yes please.

Posted on March 13, 2013 by AUTHOR (edit in theme settings) | 0 comments

We finally feel like we're starting to come into our own a little bit with some of our sectionals!  Check out these two custom pieces we recently did for some of our favorite(and most trusting!) patrons.  

The first one is heading to an office space off of La Cienega. We took pieces of our Clap Your Hands Chair and our Daybed to build a beautiful leather sectional.  The burlap backing helps to bring the piece back into our industrial, rustic comfort zone.  This is actually the first sofa that we've done in leather.  We've used it a few times for beds and chairs, but hadn't had the opportunity to take the plunge with sofas until this little beauty. 

Our second piece we've just sent out is a little closer to our actual Daybed.  This piece has an aluminum frame, for a little extra sheen, combined with stark white upholstery and our reclaimed hardwoods.  As you can see, the white creates a sleeker feel to this piece than its leather cousin above. 

What do you think??  This is just the start for us!  We're planning to incorporate these elements into a new design for the line and the showroom in the next few weeks.  And!  In order to do so, we're selling our standard sectional from the showroom!  This piece is good for both indoor and outdoor use.  Sunbrella fabric and the very last of our exotic java wood(reclaimed from old dunnage.)  

Marked down to $2500!!  Email sales@crofthouse.com for more info on this piece or a custom quote!

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New Reads - The First Apartment Book by Kyle Schuneman

Posted on February 12, 2013 by AUTHOR (edit in theme settings) | 0 comments


Anyone who has ever signed a year lease knows what it’s like to try and decorate a space under those terms.  Roommates to collaborate with, Landlord’s rules to follow, bedrooms the size of spacious closets, rickety to no furniture, no money, no built in fixtures? Does this place even have space for a dining table? No closet… anywhere.  We’ve all been there at one point or another, struggling to feel at home in our very own space.

Recently featured in Sunset magazine, Interior Designer Kyle Schuneman’s newly released book, The First Apartment Book, can help.  In the book, Kyle puts his expertise to work by providing different ideas and inspirations for newly found spaces, with special focus on small spaces and spaces on a budget.

Taking 10 different apartments throughout the country, Kyle shows how each space can be transformed into an ideal sanctuary, regardless of size and budget.  The 10 apartments have ranging inhabitants and styles, from a couple moving in together for the first time to the recent college graduate finally ready to take on a place of his own, each setting provides new and elaborate ideas to pick from.  Kyle doesn’t stop at providing the ideas for his unique décor, but he gives great tips on where to acquire or how to create most of his favorite design ideas (check out that bookcase on page 111!)  

Kyle describes The First Apartment Book as way of showing everyone in their 20’s and 30’s that they can still live in a cool space regardless of circumstance: be it fussy roommates, a depleted bank account, an overbearing land lord, or just a tiny space.  “Just because your living in a temporary space, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be expressing yourself in it.  Design is problem solving and it doesn’t have to be expensive or mass marketed.”

You may be asking yourself what some of these great ideas are.  Go grab the book and find out!  You can purchase the book both on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and indiebound.com.

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