The Commercial Design Process

As you may have seen on the blog over the past year, Croft House has contributed to many commercial spaces throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the country. You've probably been into a space with Croft House designs without even realizing it. In fact, if you've been in any of these spaces, then you've eaten at our table, or checked out at our point of sale station, or purchased something off of our shelving!
 
The business to business aspect of commercial and hospitality work is very important to us. Especially here in the Los Angeles and California, we love to build relationships with other parts of our community. 
We know that no two businesses are looking for the same thing, which is why we offer a variety of different styles, textures, materials and designs to anyone in need. Along with our flexibility in design, we offer a number of ways in which our customers can approach the process with us. Namely the four below!

Original Design - Partial

This is our most basic concept. Our client needs a few pieces from us and wants help designing those pieces to fit their space. We don't necessarily have to provide a complete build out, no job is too small or too large for our team. This simple process was how we went about thing with a restaurant in Miami, FL called Swine as well as our neighbor on La Brea in West Hollywood, Gant Rugger.

At Swine they needed simple two top and four top restaurant tables. They had bases but were interested in a natural looking reclaimed top. They were also looking to have a 21' long communal table created. All of which needed to be shipped to Miami. Luckily for them, tables are our go to. We mailed them a sample of each of our table tops, along with pricing based on style. They chose the materials that best fit their style and budget and we moved on to the communal table. Shipping a 21' table is no easy task, so Croft House came up with a simple solution to allow the table to be shipped in three sections and assembled on site. Our customer used the same table top material process to pick a salvaged wood species for the communal table and we were all set. About a month later the pieces shipped out and Swine opened up!

Gant Rugger's process was even simpler, as you'd expect with a retail space only a block and a half from ours. They had many racks and shelves already built, but needed a centerpiece table and bench set to provide a tiered display area. We brought them into the showroom and showed them different options. Once a material was decided, we custom picked a finish that would protect the apparel they were showcasing from the rough texture of the wood. We turned the table around ahead of time and held it in our shop for a few weeks while they finished out their build. Shortly there after they came to us for cabinet doors to cover the built POS station storage. We went over to the location to measure, only to find that the space was not even which could mean they'd have to opt for an expensive on site build. Instead, Croft put our minds to it and came up with a sliding door option that allowed for the imperfections of the desk. We finished it with the same wood as the display table and had it delivered in about a month.

Original Design - Full

 We're also capable of more than just a few pieces. If you have a rough idea of how you'd like to build out your space, but need help conceptualizing it, Croft House is happy to do so. We helped a few other La Brea neighbors in Bludsos, Modo Yoga, and Clover Juice in just that way.

At Bludsos, they liked the idea of having a combo of tables and benches, but were not sure how many they could fit or what they should look like. Croft went to the location and measured the space with the Bludsos team. We then took that information and built a 3D model for how we thought the space would look best. They loved the concept and we put it into action. We delivered and installed all the pieces just in time for their opening.

At Modo Yoga and Clover Juice, Croft was asked to come up with simple designs that would fit the space. We needed to create point of sale stations, reception desks, shelving, cabinetry, and even some common area furniture. We started this process with all the must haves, and measured on location for each. We pitched an aesthetic that we thought fit the space and designed our 3D rendering around it. The ideas were approved and we went into production. Since then, we've continued to build various pieces for Modo such as a storage based sofa sectional and bathroom storage. 

Client/Designer Design - Partial

We're also happy to create furniture and fixtures that are completely designed by our clients. Whether it be through like images of a piece, or completely custom drawings, we can convert anything into a completed piece. 

We did this recently for Swell Surf Shop's offices as well as Derby Curtis LLP's offices. Both spaces were created by Source Studio and both spaces utilized Croft House touches. Swell needed a portion of a reception desk as well as a conference table fixed with data ports. Source came to us with the design and dimensions for both and we happily brought them to life. The reception desk now has a Croft House face to accompany its modern body, and the rustic conference table we built was placed on a modern, white base commissioned elsewhere.

For Derby Curtis LLP, we were the ones to build the base of the conference table. We were commissioned to use modern, oiled walnut to create three bases for the large table. Two of the bases had a push release door to access the interior electrical that ran from the table. We gathered information about the table top so we could retrofit the bases for seamless attachment. On top of the tables bases(no pun intended) Source brought us a massive reception desk design. The piece was to be a combination of walnut and industrial steel, materials we are very comfortable combining. Behind the desk was to be a massive wall of walnut, which Croft milled and finished as well. 

Derby Curtis LLP loved the pieces so much they came back to us on their own for some of our standard shelving!

Client/Designer Design - Full

Lastly, we're capable of bringing all of your designs to life and building out an entire space. Though recently closed, the restaurant Fifty-Seven in downtown Los Angeles was a perfect example of this. We had previously done some original hospitality work for one of the owners(the Hudson + the Churchill) but  with this space they had hired a team. The team came to us with a huge combination of designs for the restaurant. Tables, Table Tops, Bases, Bars, Benches and then some. We quoted out the whole project for their team and won the bid. We built a prototype of each piece and worked their intricacies to perfection. We finished the project a number of weeks prior to the space being ready, and stored all of the pieces until our client could bring them in.

How to Start

These are just a few examples of our commercial process. We have a few more on the site divided into Restaurant, Retail and Office, and our constantly adding both new and old projects to our archive. If you're interested in becoming part of our community, it's simple to start. Just shoot us an email at info@crofthouse.com, call 323.424.7743, or best of all come by our showroom at 326 N. La Brea Ave.

Whether it's just a few restaurant table tops, or a whole retail space worth of fixtures, down the street from us in La Brea, or all the way in Miami, there's little we can't build within a timeline and budget that works for your space and needs. Hope to hear from you soon!

 

Mid-Century Me: A Custom Midcentury Piece

It finally happened. I invested in my first Croft House piece of furniture! My boyfriend and I had been on the hunt for a piece that worked for both of us, a vintage mid-century modern cabinet for months. A lot of the pieces I came across had some wear and tear which I typically don't mind, but I really wanted this piece to be the focal point of my living area. Knowing the quality product our workshop produces, I decided I would have it built by our wonderful team in DTLA.

While working at Croft House it is always exciting to see custom pieces come to life from my sketches. Being on the opposite end of this process(the customer) was even more thrilling. I now know the anticipation our customers feel when they are waiting for their one of a kind design.



While Croft House style is a little bit of modem mixed with a dash of industrial it goes to show that we can build anything as long as it is within the materials we use. Inspired by our Rivera Credenza I designed my media cabinet and added some open shelving on the side for my electrical components. Adding the tapered legs is what gave this modern piece its mid century edge.


Getting my new piece of furniture was both a blessing and a curse. I now have an amazing media cabinet that my friends have complimented on (and in turn want to have their own made) but now, I cant stop! My bedroom furniture needs an upgrade, and the guest bedroom too…Maybe my cat needs a new platform bed? Opportunities are endless when you're designing your own piece of furniture.

CROFT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Derby Curtis Law Office

Croft House loves working with interior designers to help create unique and special pieces for their commercial clients.  Often these pieces are completely custom and are the result of collaboration between the designer and a Croft House design associate.  Recently we had the opportunity to design a reception workspace for the law office, Derby Curtis LL, in downtown Los Angeles.

The challenge was to create an eye catching and multifunctional workspace.  The duel height desk needed to work for the attorney’s clients as well as front desk employees. 

 

The foot print of the desk was a large L-shape composed of three sections that would attach as one on site.  All desk sides had a waterfall leg to hide storage underneath.  Once the technical details were ironed out it was time to select materials. 

The designer sent over inspiration and concept images for the space.  The idea was to mix a new, sleek wood species with the raw industrial steel of our Chambers Dresser. We had recently been working with a lot of Walnut and thought that this was an excellent fit for this.  The rich, warm walnut tones compliment the steel perfectly.  The entire exterior casing of the desk was composed of several sheets of industrial steel with an inset panel of beautiful oiled walnut.  Finally, the wall directly behind the desk was completely covered with horizontal boards of oiled walnut. 

 

Croft House is honored to have a hand in the gorgeous interior of the Derby Curtis Law Office.  With the help of the interior designers, we were able to build a one-of-a-kind reception desk. 

A Cleaner Couch - The Cure For Your Sofa Woes

 

Does a houseguest with food headed toward the living room make you bust out a slow motion “Nooooooooooooooooo”? 

Fear no more. Our Sierra Sofa actually makes your house cleaner. Here are four reasons why -  

 

Classic, Straightforward Design - 

The phrase "clean lines" gets thrown around a lot. From cars to website design, those two words get a variety of uses.  The presence of the word clean within the phrase is a frightening prospect to me.  Are people peddling messy lines? Soiled Lines? Barf. I'll take clean lines, please.

 

-Clean Lines, Mid-Century Shape

A quick google search for a definition of clean lines yields vague explanations of the meaning.  For me, it's hard to explain, but I know what it is when I see it.  At face value, as it relates to furniture, I would say it means simple, easily drawn dimensions void of elaborate details, curves, and textures.  These qualities would be considered clean because they are easily organized and understood by one's eye.  In choosing a sofa with clean lines you are effectively making your room appear cleaner by eliminating unnecessary details which add to visual clutter.

This is one major appeal of mid-century modern furniture. We have taken a mid-century shape and modernized it by increasing the depth of the seat, ultimately making a super comfy sofa with clean, modern lines. 

- Deeper Seat for Comfort

 

Wood Detailed Frame - 

The wood detail on our Sierra Sofa offers a few benefits apart from looking elegant.  Chances are you have a few pieces of wooden furniture in your home, probably even in the same room as your sofa.  By choosing a wood that matches or compliments these pieces, you will help tie the room together by creating a repeating material, texture, or color. 

This cohesion is going to make your room look much cleaner without ever picking up a broom.

 

-Notice the Walnut Cabinet Against the Wall?

The arm of a standard sofa usually wears out quicker than the rest of the piece, causing it to look old and gross much sooner than other parts of the sofa. Trust me, that this can be a heartbreaking experience. 

This issue arises because the fabric is tightly stretched in opposing directions over the wooden frame, which puts more tension on the fabric here than in other areas.  This causes the material to breakdown more rapidly (think of the toe portion of a sock.)  By covering this area with a beautiful wood (like walnut!) you completely eliminate the problem.

 

-Walnut Arm Trim Keeps Edges Clean

High Tech Tweed Fabric - 

Tweed carries with it a subtle refinement. Its place is well established in modern furniture as well. But, one of the best features of tweed is its ability to naturally thwart dirt and stains. The material achieves this wonder by combining multicolored threads of wool in a twilled pattern.

It was originally used for hunting and fishing garments in cold and wet Scotland, so you can imagine why this was an important aspect of the design. 

Take the intrinsic dirt and stain fighting ability and combine it with high tech upholstery yarns and what you get is one durable sofa. It always looks clean if it never gets dirty in the first place!

Cushion Construction - 

Lets dive a little deeper, specifically into the cushions. While some people prefer down filled sofa cushions(I include myself in this camp, and any of our sofas can be ordered with down as a standard option), everyone can agree that they can become messy if not fluffed properly. 

This is why we gave our Sierra Sofa a wedge shaped, solid foam back cushion. It never need to be fluffed, and thus is always looking neat!

 

I hate it when one seat cushion slides further out than the other.  I'm sure you do too.

Well, we discovered, this can’t happen if the sofa has only one long cushion!  To make upkeep even easier, we seamed the fabric in an organized pattern to eliminate the wrinkles that occur after you have been relaxing in the sofa for a long time. 

A sofa that never needs to be fluffed, flipped, or f****d with is going to shave valuable seconds off of the fire drill that is cleaning a messy home when you find guests are unexpectedly dropping by!

Okay, so this sofa might not actually physically clean your place  - but I promise you, take these ideas into consideration and you will see just how our Sierra Sofa can result in a cleaner home.

 

New Design - The Bronson Sofa

One of our new designs has been drawing a lot of eyes over the past month, so we decided it's time to feature our latest addition to our sofa collection

Originally we created the Bronson Sofa as a part of a large project for a client south of Los Angeles. We had been crafting the different design elements in our heads for some time before the opportunity finally arrived to bring the piece to life. When we presented the idea to our client they loved the concept so much they commissioned us to build a sectional for them sight unseen. 

Upon completion of the piece(which they love!) we realized we had created something we've long aspired for- a truly Croft House sofa. At Croft, we pride ourselves on straight forward form and function, while presenting both in an original light. But, of course, with Sofas comfort trumps all other factors. 

So that's where we started, we made sure our base shape was comfortable and modern. This sofa has different proportions than our other designs. It's deeper and shorter, which allows you the option to sit in a more lounged and relaxed fashion. We liked the idea of adding a thin, industrial steel base to the piece to keep the look clean. We also wanted to provide a more original solution for the back pillows. We had envisioned oversized throws, but knew that could require constant fluffing and rearranging. Thus came the idea of the steel bar in the back. It holds the cushion firmly in place, while also becoming an interesting, "Croft House" detail to the back side of the Sofa. The leather strap added another texture to the piece, and helped to blend the steel and upholstery while simultaneously adding a pop of color. 

This final detail adds a bit of versatility to the piece. The combination of upholstery, steel, and leather meld together allowing the sofa to acclimate to any aesthetic by providing multiple textures and tones to join a room into one cohesive space. For sofas not placed against the wall, the interest points on the back break up the large fabric surface. On top of that, the design is modular, allowing for plenty of easy-to-arrange variations. 

The array of features on this piece helped us to create a Croft House Sofa we're extremely proud of: an original, functional design, with all the comforts of your and our dream sofa. We've already had the opportunity to show a handful of clients exactly that! We've already started to expand the fabric choices for the Bronson Sofa, let us know what tone will allow it work best for you and your space!

 

June 30, 2015 by Alex Segal

Make a Statement: Custom Bookcases

We all have that one piece in our home that stands out from the rest of our furniture. That conversation piece your friends and family point out as soon as they walk in. I find that most of our customers who are looking for a custom piece are aiming towards that appeal.

When I visit someone's home I immediately gravitate towards the bookcase to see what literature they are interested in. Call me nosey, but you can tell a lot about a person by what they read. Anyone and everyone has a bookcase in their home, and recently we have made a couple of bookcases that have stolen the show. 

We introduced our Chambers Bookcase a couple months ago and it immediately sparked ideas. We designed a custom tiered bookcase based off of the design and left out the standard leather shelving to leave only the oak and smoked glass shelves remaining. This was the perfect display piece for our customer's entryway. 

Our Railcar Bookcase is one of our classics. Its sleek and simple design can blend into any home. We had a couple that needed a unit to place their electronics in, while simultaneously hiding unsightly cords and wires. We used our Railcar Bookcase as a reference and incorporated the industrial steel back from our Bronson Bookcase to hide the electronic cords. This piece is not only functional, but beautiful to look at. 

 Check out our other bookcases and let us know how we can make one into the perfect statement piece for you!

CROFT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: SWELL

Here at Croft House, we love the opportunity to build furniture for commercial spaces.  Collaborating with interior designers and business owners to create custom one-of-a-kind pieces is a fun and exciting part of what we do, and lucky for us we've had the opportunity to do quite a bit of it.  This includes manufacturing a wide variety of furniture and fixtures, ranging from from 2 top restaurant tables to custom retail wall display units.  Just recently, we had the pleasure of working with an interior designer to create two custom pieces for Swell Online Surf Shop.  

We were tasked with the conference room table top and a panel for the reception desk.  Their client wanted light colored, weathered wood in the space.  Our reclaimed oak was an easy choice to fit their vision. 

A butcher block top was the inspiration for the conference room table. So that's where the design started.

The table spanned 120” long and 48” wide.  Due to the large size the table could not be solid, as butcher block tops traditionally are.  The solution was to mimic the butcher block pattern with thinner reclaimed oak strips mounted on a solid substrate, similar to our Mossam Table.  The oak was then topped with a clear wax finish.  The interior designer supplied their own square hollow metal bases with a hinged panel to access wiring.  Wire management troughs were attached to the underside of the table and a grommet hole was cut out of the center to house a data port.

Reclaimed oak was also used for the reception desk’s accent panel.  The panel was composed of 3-6 inch wide reclaimed oak boards.  The wood was sanded smooth but left raw for a more natural look.  To offset the rustic reclaimed wood, the panel was paired with a crisp, white, two level desk from another source. 

The Swell Online Surf Shop is one of many commercial spaces that have a touch of Croft House.  Check out more of our restaurant, office and retail pieces in the Commercial tab on our website and check out our commercial design process here.  Stay tuned to the blog for future commercial work like this!

The Way We Custom Work

It's no secret that Croft House loves custom projects. In fact, we have a whole page on our site devoted to the way it works(if you haven't seen it click here!) Since our inception in a garage on Croft Avenue in 2009, we've considered patronage for custom work a crucial part of our creative process. Whether it's an opportunity to try something new, a slight adjustment to one of our classic pieces, or a completely novel idea to our team, we're always eager to meet the task. 

We firmly believe that our clients shouldn't have to settle for a piece that almost works, and since we build everything in Downtown Los Angeles, we're afforded the luxury of making even the smallest adjustments to a piece if necessary. We happily modify the dimensions, materials, finish, and even functions of our standard pieces in order to get them just right. 

For example, a custom Rivera Credenza we completed this past Spring. Our client needed open shelving AND closed storage for their piece. So we simply adjusted the piece by making it a little taller and adding some open cubbies on the top. A perfect solution for our client and a great option for us to share with anyone else who may have similar needs!

We also relish the opportunity to bring a new design to life that aligns with our client's needs. Nothing is better than when a design we've been waiting to create meets with exactly what a client is looking for. Such was the case with the Arden Bed. Our client had a rough vision for what they wanted in a bed frame, and we happened to have that vision clarified, sketched and waiting. As soon as we showed them the sketch they pounced, and sure enough the piece was perfect for their space. A few slight adjustments later and now it's a staple of our line.


Nothing is quite as fun as when a potential client or interior designer comes to us with a piece they've imagined hope we can complete.  We take on these challenges and eagerly determine functional solutions for the piece, without sacrificing the design at hand.   Earlier this year, one of our favorite LA designers came to us with the dream of a piece inspired loosely by our Carrara marble coffee table. They wanted the piece round, with a thin, elegant(yet rustic) base that would surround the piece. Our designers took to the idea and compiled a few options that would produce the desired result. The designer was thrilled and we loved the piece so much we snapped a few pics for our custom gallery. 

And then, of course, there are those moments when who knows what to do with that space? It's us. We know what to do. In those exasperating moments when you're unable to find anything that is right at all, we'll help to formulate your needs and ideas into the piece that fits. This happened just a few weeks ago while trying to come up with a storage solution. Nothing out there was right, including our own media cabinets but with some back and forth between our client and team member we we're able to design the perfect combination of aesthetic and function. 

There's no customization too big or too small for us. The only question is how can we help you? Email us at info@crofthouse.com with any requests or ideas, and we'll happily start the design process with you. Again, why settle for something that is almost right when we can build you exactly what you want and need? Can't wait to work with you soon!

June 03, 2015 by Alex Segal

Custom Reclaimed Wood Speaker Design

Custom Reclaimed Pine Media Cabinet with Built-in 2.1 HiFi Speaker System complete with TEAK Vinyl Turntable and Sonos Wireless Controller.

 

**LIMITED EDITION** Reclaimed Pine Media Cabinet with 2.1 HiFi Speaker System and Sonos Controller. Available in-store now!

.........

I just couldn't bring myself to buy one.  Those cheap, plastic excuses for speakers. How sterile and uninspired, I thought.  Knowing my way around audio equipment I knew I was capable of something so much more fitting for the music that accompanies our lives, something must be done...

My first job out of high school was working for a composer in the process of moving into a new high tech studio.  I was tasked with the job of sorting through 20 years of old bundled cables and equipment, testing them, and then determining whether or not they were still useful.  Essentially this meant hours alone in a dark room untangling knots.  But I loved the job, because after my shift I was allowed to stay as late as I liked watching the composer write and record music in the studio.  In the control room, front and center above the giant mixing boards was a set of awesome wood studio monitors (speakers).  I remember being so surprised at their modest size - I was sure recording studios must use much larger and more elaborate set ups than this!  Since those days I have been fortunate to visit many more recording studios and found similar pairs in every single one.

Back to the problem at hand....  I needed an audio solution for a media cabinet I was building to house a record player and a modest Vinyl collection.  Thinking back to those monitor speakers I decided that the only option was to build a complete set of speakers right into the cabinet.  After some research I found the perfect HiFi speakers for the build and picked out an 8" subwoofer(that I would end up hiding in the bottom of the cabinet).  I settled on a Sonos WiFi controller for super simple playback when the record player was not being used.

...More Below


An unexpected color ensemble!

...continued...

For this custom piece, I wanted to try a new idea for the casing and after a few days of experimenting, I was able to come up with a totally unexpected and lovely new color ensemble for our reclaimed pine.  A touch of walnut, leather, and brass and the piece was done.  One of my absolute favorites to date.

We loved the piece so much that we decided to make a limited edition media cabinet with the same sound system in it for the Showroom on La Brea.  This piece is available for immediate purchase off of the floor!  Come on in and check it out - you will love the sound it puts out, and how simple it is to use!

2.1 Hifi Stereo System, The Subwoofer is hidden underneath the cabinet!  Check out those handmade grill tabs!

 

 

Available for Purchase Today!

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, salvaged 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!