Riley Fuller & Michael Coffey, sculptors and furnituremakers

I recently heard from 29-year-old Riley Fuller, a New Hampshire-based woodworker currently apprenticed to his uncle, the great Michael Coffey.

Riley readily acknowledges that he has huge shoes to fill; Coffey, after almost 60 years of woodworking, is generally considered one of the greatest wooden sculptors and furniture designers in the world. That said, I think you'll agree with me that Riley’s skill, imagination, and technique are promising and will certainly continue to develop as he works with his uncle and practices his craft.

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The mix of  Arts & Crafts, Nouveau, and modernism that Coffey pioneered is instantly recognizeable in Fuller's work as well:

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Style on a Shoestring: How to decorate your Home for Less

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Note: this is a guest post and consideration was received for its publication. photo: CC-licensed image by Tapisserie Decoration

Home maintenance is expensive and as much as we’d like to stay on trend with our home decor, we can’t always afford to. Luckily, there are ways we can cut corners and still create a beautiful living space to be proud of. You can make big changes to your home at a fraction of your usual budget if you know where to look for decoration ideas. Make the most out of your home and your savings in two simple steps.  

Make use of existing furniture

It’s all too easy to let a piece of furniture become an ornament. We can be too keen to discard functional pieces in the home at the first sign of a chip in the paintwork or a stubborn stain, but don’t ignore them - salvage them! Bring an old coffee table or armchair out of the shadows with a touch of TLC.

How? If a stool or small coffee table is no longer being used for its original purpose, give it a lick of varnish and use it as a night stand or a decorative table in the bedroom, living room or in the hall. If a ratty armchair is gathering dust in the corner, don’t replace or reupholster the chair - buy a fleece throw and some cheap cushions to liven it up and give it a purpose once more.

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!

Desperate to give a room a makeover but can’t face the hassle? Make use of vacant space by accessorising it with a few odds and ends. Things like wall decorations, vases and trinkets can go a long way toward creating a new look and add charm to an otherwise bland area.

How? Markets and charity shops are a great way to source unique and interesting decorations on the cheap. Decorative ornaments and wall placards and signs can add a great rustic and inviting feel to the home - even something as small as a quirky doorstop or welcome mat can brighten up an ordinary hallway. But you can even revamp your decor for free too! Bring the outdoors in and make use of natural elements such as pebbles and wood for use on window sills or as part of a decorative vase or display. Eco-friendly and wallet friendly!

Being thrifty with your decor is a great way to save money. Another extremely effective way to save is by reducing energy costs wherever you can in the home. And thanks to products such as the energy saving power meter by Energenie, you can. The energy meter can measure the energy use of household appliances and calculate the cost, allowing you to prioritise energy use and reduce bills!


Create the Perfect Children’s Bedroom

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Note: this is a guest post and consideration was received for its publication. photo: CC-licensed image by Middlebury College

Children’s bedrooms represent more than a place to sleep - they are a comforting safe haven with a strong identity, so taking the time to make your child’s room a home within a home is well worth the effort. Kids will undoubtedly have opinions when it comes to redesigning their personal space, but their ideas - however wild - needn’t break the bank. Discuss ideas openly with them for the best chance of reaching a practical compromise and create a look to please them for years to come.

 Be flexible

Children can be notoriously temperamental, which is why choosing very specific themes is best avoided. Your daughter may be into baby pink and fairy’s now but a year or so down the line, she will have a change of heart. Instead of committing to a specific theme, work around it by making additional touches once the main overhauls such as the floor and wallpaper have been agreed to. For example, buy objects or toys in the room that reflect their favourite colours or pastimes to ensure you can always keep up with their changing trends.

As for choosing a colour scheme that will last, you may want to consider neutral shades for the walls and carpets, or better yet, opt for laminate or hardwood floors - these will always prove easier to maintain than carpet. This way, the child can still infuse their personality by choosing a washable rug in their favourite colour.

Make it spacious

You’ll be surprised how quickly toys and clothes can amass in a child’s life before it leaves room for little else in their bedroom. Combat the clutter immediately with storage spaces and ask your son or daughter where they would prefer to keep their belongings so they can have the best access to them. Disguise storage boxes in the form of treasure chests or hollowed benches and seats at the end of their bed for practicality.

Child-proofing

Most importantly, make sure the bedroom is a safe place for them to be in. Fit window locks and cover any sockets and potential hazards with safety guards. Also, ensure heavy furniture is securely screwed to the wall and fit shelves as closely to their eye level as possible. This will give the added benefit of the illusion of higher ceilings and therefore, more playing space!

Of course, the object that completes the look in a child’s bedroom is the bed itself. Metalbedsltd.com houses a versatile range of bed frame styles to satisfy the fussiest tastes! Whether your child is after more storage space or a stand-out design that reflects their personality, they’re sure to find a timeless style that ticks all boxes.


Picking Out Unique and Stylish Bedroom Furniture

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Note: this is a guest post and consideration was received for its publication. photo: CC-licensed image by Mazzali

If you ask somebody where the most important place in the world is to them, the majority will say their bedroom. This is because this is our own personal space in which we relax, unwind and get some much needed sleep, so it is absolutely essential that this is a space in which you can totally feel at ease and be happy in. The best way to do this is to have a well decorated space that also gives off a sense of your personality, so when you are decorating I think it is worth putting that little bit more thought and effort into what goes in this room.

It all depends on the size of your own bedroom, but generally this is a space that you do not want to fill with too much clutter as this can lead directly to stress. Most people will generally have a bed along with a bedside table, a wardrobe, mirror, desk with a chair and not too much else. This should mean that there is some space to move around in the room and also you have some storage space to reduce clutter and mess, which will help you to feel relaxed at all times. Ideally all of these furniture pieces will be matching too, as this will help to achieve a complete and well decorated look which is very important for all bedrooms to achieve.

How to Pick and Choose a Style for You

This means that you will want to pick one style and stick with it, and one of the better styles which is elegant and sophisticated is French furniture, and there are some truly beautiful pieces for you to add to your room which will immediately improve its overall look. It is worthwhile finding one particular designer that you like, as this way you can purchase everything under the same roof and also find pieces that match perfectly. Designers like The French Bedroom Company will carry everything that you would need in a well decorated bedroom, so check out some individual designers to see what takes your fancy.

It is also important to note that with stylish furniture picked out, the walls and floor will also need to be in tune with the style that you have chosen, so this is also important to consider when you are decorating your bedroom.


A Top Tip for Making Decorating More Manageable

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Note: this is a guest post and consideration was received for its publication. photo: CC-licensed image by Webb Zahn.

It is hugely important that you take pride in your homes appearance, and this is so that you can welcome guests into your home and also so that you can feel relaxed and happy when you are there. Unfortunately lots of people neglect their homes appearance, and you can always tell as soon as you walk through the front door whether or not somebody takes pride in their home. It can make a huge difference about how you feel in yourself, and it does not have to be a mammoth task which breaks the bank either.

All you have to do is pick a particular style and colour scheme, and then make sure that this is consistent throughout the house. This will include the walls and the carpets but also the furniture too, and once you have a particular style chosen then it really isn’t too difficult, and I find the best way to make it most manageable is to break it down room by room. This helps you to keep it under control and not have your house turned upside down, and then once a room is complete you simply turn your attention to the next one on the list.

Finding Furniture to Your Taste

Another great way to make your decorating simpler and more straightforward is to find one supplier of your furniture, as this way you can buy in bulk and you also know that they will have everything you need and in the style of your choice. For example, if you decide if you want to go for traditional oak furniture or something similar then you can turn to a company like Notation Furniture, who specialise in wood furniture. By finding a company that does the style that you want for your home it allows you to find everything you need and for each room, so this will include wardrobes, desks, bedside tables, dining tables, chairs, cabinets, bookcases and much, much more.

This makes it much easier to decorate your home and to decorate it well too, so don’t be put off by the idea and instead start looking at some styles that you think would suit your home. Once you have identified a style you can begin to break it down room by room and how you want each one to look, and this is the best way to decorate any home.


Make your bedroom more luxurious than any five star hotel room

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Note: this is a guest post and consideration was received for its publication. photo: CC-licensed image by Jeanne Michelle Smith

Let’s face it; we all want to live the life of luxury and that’s why we constantly dream of winning the lottery and escaping to a faraway island. In addition, whenever we plan holidays we always consider the luxury and relaxation elements of the trips. But, why do we have to get away to experience luxury? You can have luxury right in your own home and the cost implications aren’t huge. Here’s how you can make your home more luxurious than any five star hotel:

  • Save yourself time by installing a dishwasher: The best thing about a holiday is that somebody else does all the chores and this leaves you free to relax. By getting a dishwasher you can eliminate at least one banal task, giving you more time to relax and enjoy your time away from the office.
  • Upgrade your bed and mattress: One of the most notable things about a five star hotel is the comfort of the bed. It is almost impossible to have a bad sleep in a posh hotel and this is something that you can easily emulate in your own home by upgrading your bed and mattress. Four-poster beds really exemplify style and luxury and look great in any home (as long as you have the ceiling height). If this interests you, then visit Retford Pine to see what is on offer for what price.
  • Add candles and mood lighting to get the right vibe: Holidays and breaks are all about relaxation and nothing relaxes people more than scented candles. Used in the right place and at the right time, candles can improve both the smell and look of any home. They can not only add freshness but they can change the mood of any room too; particularly if you’re snuggled on the sofa watching a good film.

Five star hotels really are luxurious but they are simply unaffordable on a regular basis. Upgrading your home gradually, however, is much more affordable and sustainable. So, use your money wisely and you can live in comparable luxury in no time! All of the above suggestions are great ideas but feel free to add your own and move at your own pace. Everybody sees luxury differently, so make sure that what you do is right for you and your family. You really can be enjoying your own luxurious home in no time- you’ll never have to go away again.


ed & alice syszynski: ready to build

We've been big fans of Alice Suszynski's cabinetry ever since we first saw a small cabinet of hers at a bungalow show in San Francisco. Now, Alice has teamed up with her engineer husband Ed to produce a line of ready-to-build kits - small chests, cabinets and boxes intended for jewelry and other precious small items - showing off some of her signature styles. Dream Mountain Studios' ready-to-build line currently includes almost a dozen different designs, all firmly part of the Arts & Crafts tradition - Alice's prairie, bird and floral motifs are my personal favorite.

While you're at it, take a look at Alice's larger (and often custom) case goods.


reclaimed wood tables

From time to time, we allow a company or craftsperson we know and trust to place a sponsored post here at Hewn and Hammered. This particular piece is from Arcadian Lighting, who have been selling home lighting fixtures and lamps online at a deep discount for over 15 years.

Today's guest post is from Susi, a writer for Arcadian Lighting. Visit their website and cool blog for more information about interior design, lighting design, and beautiful light fixtures. A green trend in design is using reclaimed wood for furniture and floors. Reclaimed wood tables are probably the most common type of furniture where you can find reclaimed wood being used. Here are 8 examples of reclaimed wood tables, from contemporary to traditional, that demonstrate green design can be gorgeous design.

 

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Pinterest (via)

Reclaimed wood can be used for console tables, side tables and bedside tables as well as dining tables and coffee tables. Reclaimed wood is a great, green option for any type of table.

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Pottery Barn (via)

Reclaimed wood is such a hot trend right now that major retailers are getting behind it with their products. Look for dining tables, coffee tables, and console tables all made of reclaimed wood.

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Cote de Texas (via)

A reclaimed wood and steel coffee table looks right at home in a traditional/farmhouse living room. Reclaimed wood tables work well with a number of styles and decors.

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Southern Hospitality (via)

Dining tables made of reclaimed wood mean you don't have to worry about every little stain or scratch. This reclaimed wood trestle table has an antique feel to it. Always aware of a room's light fixtures, we love the lamps and drum pendant light in this room.

Wood Tables

LA Times Blogs (via)

Reclaimed wood paired with metal bases has contemporary clean lines that almost feel industrial. These clean lines mean the reclaimed wood table can work in a variety of dining rooms or kitchens.

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Apartment Therapy (via)

Slabs of reclaimed wood have a more contemporary feel to them when used as tables. Paired with sleek modern or contemporary chairs, this slab table recalls the designs of mid-century design master, George Nakashima.

Wood Tables

LA Times Blogs (via)

A sleek coffee table lets the character and charm of the reclaimed wood be the star. Looks great with the modern style sofa, but could also work in a more traditional room.

Wood Tables

FFFFound (via)

Reclaimed wood has built in charm and age. Knicks, gouges, patina, color variation and rustic finishes are all part of the charm of reclaimed wood tables. Vintage pendant lights are perfect above reclaimed wood tables. Content provided by Arcadian Lighting, a site that specializes in top quality lighting fixtures at extremely affordable prices. If you like this post, be sure to stop by the Arcadian Lighting blog and say hello!


A Norwegian Wood – Would You?

From time to time, we allow advertisers and friends to supply articles for inclusion on Hewn & Hammered; the following was contributed by our friends at furniture seller Argos.

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I went to Norway last March with my brother Jack and two friends – between getting lost in Oslo and seeing the Northern lights, we spent two weeks eating prawn paste in the drizzle and getting ice-burn from ski-lifts. It was wonderful.

I’m moving into a new flat next month and have been looking to Jack’s photos for décor inspiration. Norway’s distinctive style is big, bold and homely, a nice mix of fixed-up old stuff and modern conveniences. And it’s colourful: the tradition in Norway is to paint the wooden panels of your house red, blue, green, or yellow – every shade has a shape and size. The country’s alternately startlingly white with snow or lushly green – every season creates a perfect backdrop for their rainbow roads.

I want to bring their outsides inside, have the same bright white and colours with natural textures. The marriage of cold winter white and warm yellow wood is celebrated in Oslo’s opera house, finished 3 just years ago. It was designed to look like an iceberg, floating on the Oslofjorden, and this inside wall represents a wave.

I’m already the proud owner of an eclectic mix of vintage and crafted tables, shelves and cupboards. What I need is modern colour to offset all the warm woody tones - large blocks of deep sea blue, red and turquoise. I’ve bought one of Argos’s bright sofas, and am currently on the hunt for the haphazard details that make it cosy: floral cushions, a woven blanket, a pale sheepskin rug, an intricate glass vase – and some tubes of prawn paste for the fridge.


Peepshow Bookcase

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The beautiful Peepshow bookcase is $2800 (!) from Lekker Home. Lekker claims this is made from "Dimn wood" which I assume is a misspelling of "dimb," a protected type of tree found only in Senegal which is illegal to harvest without a special permit. Permits are issued only to salvage wood from a single naturally-felled tree at a time, which makes me wonder about the provenance of the wood - but which also explains the high pricetag.


the appeal of the wooden library card catalog

My parents met while students at UC Berkeley and I was born while they were in graduate school; my father stayed on at the university, eventually becoming a faculty member and administrator there. It's no surprise, then, that I spent a lot of time roaming libraries and their stacks.

One of my fondest memories of that time is of the wooden card catalogs that used to document the holdings of the graduate and undergraduate libraries - vast, long room-fulls of tiny little drawers, all in cases polished smooth by generations of student fingers and hands.

Since then, I've always loved these things; it might be that they offer an ideal of secure compartmentalization of everything, with each item having its own correct place, certainly an ideal for a perfectionist like me. Or it could be the inflexible grid that they are designed along, which appeals to my technician side. The grain of the wood, the warmth of it, always seemed to match that beautiful Craftsman finish, the fumed oak look that has become the hallmark of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Whatever the reason, these things are beautiful, and you don't find them in good shape all that often. Certainly, you get them more often than a decade ago, with so many libraries going all-digital, but they're still hard to find.

Here are a few that are up for sale right now:

  • a 60-drawer catalog in Palm Beach Gardens, FL ($300)
  • a gorgeous set of 3 60-drawer catalogs in Minneapolis, MN ($150 ea)
  • an interesting and well-kept card catalog / file cabinet with inconsistently-sized drawers in Minneapolis, MN ($800)
  • a small tabletop 15-drawer unit with pretty brass hardware in Detroit, MI ($299)
  • a "library bureau card catalog" that is actually a refinished/restored printer's cabinet - drawers for type and cuts and sorts (although not full-size type drawers); inclined top for composing - absolutely beautiful! - in Long Island, NY ($900, and a good deal at that price)
  • an "immaculate" all-cherry 70-drawer cabinet with pull-out shelves in Cleveland, OH ($975)
  • an interesting 60-drawer unit, looks like 1930s or '40s design, in San Antonio, TX ($1500)
  • a table-top 15-drawer cabinet with attractive stainless steel or nickel hardware in Milwaukee, MN ($250)
  • A good looking, circa 1930 20-drawer unit on top of a pretty, decorative stand/table in Annapolis, MD ($800)
  • a small unit with large drawers, this 4-drawer piece is rather original, in Sarasota, FL ($145)

Rago Arts & Auctions: Highlights

 

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Rago Arts & Auctions recently updated and enhanced their website, offering a more complete catalog of available "passed lots" - items not sold at previous auctions - as well as memorable highlights from recent auctions. Some amazing stuff, there; kind of neat to see price records for really excellent examples.

The most recent Early 20th Auction was this past Friday, October 1 2010. Some highlights are pictured above.


this weeks' Craigslist finds!

Plenty of gorgeous bits & pieces of furniture on sale around the country this week; here's a rundown of some Stickley pieces that stood out:


a Greentea Design remodeled kitchen in Ottawa

3361465414_4b7b334ccb_b[the finished kitchen; photo by Kim]

Last week, in our post on Greentea Design, I made a quick mention of one specific old-house kitchen remodel using their cabinets. Since then, Mike Ramsey at Greentea was kind enough to supply me with comprehensive background information on this particular project, and I thought it would be of interest to all of you - not just those considering a kitchen remodel, but anyone interested in how this Asian-influenced cabinetry can work in a Craftsman home.

The kitchen in Kim's turn-of-the-century Ottawa bungalow was originally attractive, I'm sure, but long before she moved in there, someone with a surfeit of love for Formica ripped out the original cabinetry and, unfortunately, expressed themselves all over the room. Fast forward to the both modern and at the same time classic finished product - but don't worry, we'll spell out the whole process for you below; you can read even more about it on Kim's own blog.

Kim had already decided to remove the non-bearing wall that separated the kitchen from the living room, which made the previous owner's kitchen cramped and difficult to use. In doing the demolition, she found all sorts of interesting things - layers upon layers of wallpaper and newsprint dating back to 1903. Other demo-related discoveries included what appeared to be horse hair - possibly used for insulation in the ceiling - found when removing wood paneling to allow for can lights,

Next, Greentea interviewed Kim regarding what she wanted and what she needed from the new kitchen, and produced a rough sketch of what would be possible in the new room. Kim picked out which pieces she wanted, and Greentea rendered them in Google Sketchup for confirmation of sizing before they submitted the order to their factory. Pieces included 2 single and one double Mizuya upper cabinets, three Mizuya base cabinets – two 3 drawer versions and a smaller one with chopstick drawers in place of the third drawer – and finally a standard 4 foot Mizuya Pantry. Google Sketchup, the (free) savior to the design/build industries and with a learning curve that allows anyone to pick it up, is again called into use, this time to generate a full render of the finished kitchen.

Soon after the demolition and basic structural changes were completed, Kim received the (very well-packed) cabinetry from Greentea and began to put things into place. Appliances were brought in, base cabinets were installed, and whatever minimal modifications that were needed for plumbing were made, then sink, lighting, and countertops came next; at this point, it was really starting to look like the kitchen she'd been waiting for - certainly a feeling we've all been very happy to have as a remodel starts to actually resemble the picture we have in our heads. One neat addition at this point: Kim had a cat hole made in the hatch to her basement, which was mounted on shock absorbers to let it move up and down smoothly - a really nice feature worth emulating.

And voila: it is done! Finally, you can see how well everything fits into the new cabinetry; her four-foot Mizuya pantry is especially spacious. Kim even made a short video tour of the finished product, which really shows how well these cabinets define the tone of the room, but don't overpower the rest of the house at all.

Again, if you're at all interested in a really good deal on step tansu - my single favorite piece of cabinetry - note that Greentea is running their Step Into Summer promotion, with large discounts on all step tansu, for another two weeks (it ends on June 15!).


Greentea Design: spectacular custom kitchens

Toronto-based Greentea Design has a special place in my heart: not only do they design, build and sell some of the most beautiful kitchen cabinetry available anywhere - in beautiful Japanese-influenced styles that are a perfect match for any Mission or Craftsman home - but they also carry a range of both antique and contemporary reclaimed-wood furniture, some in historic Craftsman and Japanese designs and others in more contemporary shapes. And the prices, even including the (very professional and speedy) shipping from Canada are surprisingly low, making them competitive with any of the larger semi-custom cabinet makers out there, even while using better materials and sturdier building techniques.

While many of their signature pieces - step tansu and other room-defining wood furniture items - are gorgeous, it's that line of kitchen cabinets that I keep coming back to. Sold as custom kitchen sets or as individual stock pieces, the grain of the wood, beautiful (and exclusive to Greentea) hand-forged hardware and trim detail is both Asian and Craftsman at the same time, with enough character to be beautiful and enough attention to design to be eminently useful. Their Loft Kitchen custom design, above, is a combination of the various Mizuya cabinets, including an island and a full range of wall cabinets and accessories; other past custom kitchens have included the simplified Asian Bistro, minimalist Zen Modern, and Chalet Chic, which was tailored for a more open, airy space. Of course, each piece is available by itself as well - all the islands, hutches, wall and base cabinets and pantries you could possibly need are available piecemeal should you wish to design your own kitchen, amd all can be installed in a fixed position or left free-standing (for a movable island, for example). The custom design services offered are impressive - Greentea's staff of furniture and room designers are more than happy to assist with your own custom project or do the work for you; their staff worked extensively with Kim Johnson, owner of a 100-year-old home in Ottawa, on her recent remodel, and the results were very impressive; Kim blogged the entire process on her website, Design to Inspire.

I'm very happy to have a piece of theirs up in my own modern Craftsman kitchen, and I hope to have a few photographs of it soon; a smaller version of the Dana cabinet (pictured above; mine is a similar to what sits above the glass cabinets on the right and left of this unit) completes the rear wall of that recently-remodeled room in my 1925 Mission Revival bungalow in Sacramento, California, and it's a perfect complement for the bamboo floors, stone countertops and glass tile backsplash that round out the project. Some day, I'd like to own one of their step tansus, which I have always maintained are the perfect bridge between an austere Asian design style and the earthy workmanship of the Craftsman aesthetic. And they're running a special "Stepping Into Summer" promotion right now, with 20% discounts on these unique pieces, including the Elm Burl step tansu, shown below.



Owner Dale Storer has worked hard to make sure that Greentea's products complement a wide range of architectural styles, though, and much of their more contemporary designs would look at home whether in a traditional Japanese home, a Craftsman bungalow, or a modern high-tech apartment. The Lattice TV Stand, pictured below, hides components behind a latticed sliding door that still allows remote controls to function, and is just as good a match for an urban loft as it is for a 90-year-old brown-shingle Craftsman bungalow. Every one of these pieces is made from reclaimed wood, and all come in a variety of finishes with different types of hardware available as well. Mike Ramsey writes that the reclaimed wood usually comes from "aging rural structures that are being taken down to make way for Asia's rapidly expanding urban centers. The Maru tables are the best example since they're turned into tables directly from being reclaimed. The original supports are cut into legs who have correspondingly sized holes cut in the base of the slabs of floor."

Their antiques stock, some of which is on hand at their Toronto showroom, is also worth checking out; I'm partial to the large selection of all sorts of Japanese tansu, but they also carry plenty of Chinese and Korean pieces as well.

I'm not so used to giving such praise to a business - as regular readers know, I'm pretty stingy with compliments and generous with criticism, which is certainly a fault. However, after dealing with this company myself and going gaga over their website, I just wanted to make sure you were all as familiar with them as I've become. After seeing so many (primarily) Japanese antiques blend so well with the large shingled Craftsman homes of California, but noticing the absence of same elsewhere in the country, I thought perhaps most people didn't realize that the two styles matched so well.

If you're in or near Toronto, definitely check out the Greentea showroom; otherwise, spend a few minutes browsing their website, or call them at 1.866.426.7286 to talk with someone about your kitchen design or furniture needs.

I've made a small Flickr album for photos of their work; I'll soon add a good shot of the Dana cabinet in my own kitchen; those of you who already have Greentea cabinets, please do send me your photos, and I'll add them as well!


Strictly Wood Furniture: a warning to consumers

Several times in the past we mentioned Strictly Wood Furniture, their excellent prices and the seemingly high quality Mission Revival reproduction items they sold. However - and I have to admit I'm definitely behind the times on this since the complaints date back four years - I found this thread on Gardenweb detailing dozens of people's very serious problems with the company. Some have waited years for furniture or refunds that never came, others took delivery of obviously broken or incomplete orders; all had one thing in common: that they were unable to get any kind of honest answer from the seemingly friendly folks who worked for Strictly Wood. SWF went so far as to give completely fabricated fedex confirmation numbers - meant to maintain the illusion that a refund check was on its way to the customer - on multiple occasions. What a scam! And, as of last year, their flagship showroom in New York City is shuttered.

The good luck is that they have closed down; the bad news is that they've only closed down under that name, and keep reappearing under others: watch out for their other fronts (they are apparently still selling, or rather promising to deliver, via constantly-changing Yahoo stores and various auction sites, too).

Ralph Jones helped them go into receivership and writes that most of the customers who never got their money back or the furniture they ordered were eventually given something; however, after contacting a half dozen people who had posted in the Gardenweb thread, only one had received any communication at the time Strictly Wood closed down. The Turkish company that made the furniture, however, was never guilty of any wrongdoing, and still makes excellent furniture and sells via other vendors - these problems were completely the fault of the American vendor, Strictly Wood. Furniture.


Shell Lake Furniture

Fireplace Wisconsin's Beaver Manufacturing produces several lines of furniture under the name Shell Lake - including a number very attractive, sturdy & well-designed Mission Revival pieces. This slat bed, hall bench, bookcase and "gentleman's chest" are some of my favorites, but all of their pieces are very nice.

They also sell a line of Shaker-inspired goods in the Lakeside Furniture line, and take custom commissions on a regular basis. Should you be near Shell Lake, Wisconsin, please do stop and visit their showroom & factory.


a little Mission can go a long way

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The New York Times' Marianne Rohrlich had a nice article on contemporary furniture makers producing new pieces of Mission Revival furniture - some original designs & some based on historical patterns. Read the full article.

In the early 20th century, between Art Nouveau and Art Deco, furniture was produced in the Arts and Crafts, Mission and Craftsman styles. Gustav Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright, Greene & Greene and others from that era have inspired generations of furniture makers whose designs bear great resemblance to theirs. This heavy wood furniture — either the original pieces or the many reproductions — can be used to decorate an entire living space, or, used sparingly in eclectic homes, make a big statement.

1. The Craftsman Three-Drawer Buffet with glass doors has a dark oak finish; $379 from (877) 537-8539 or homedecorators.com.

2. A company called From the Source, with stores in Chelsea and Dumbo, will hold a sale in its Greenpoint, Brooklyn, warehouse from Oct. 5 to 12. Merchandise includes dining chairs, tables and cabinets, some produced in the spirit of Arts and Crafts. The teak chairs shown will be $99 each (they were $185 to $215), and the teak chest, 59 inches wide by 22 inches deep by 32 ½ inches high, will be $1,280 (regularly $1,600); 69 West Street (Noble Street), (718) 729-3026 or fromthesource.us.

(several other firms are profiled in the article)


looking for a Stickley #634 or similar

0185 Now that their kids have graduated from drawing on the kitchen table, a family in Culver City CA is looking for a reproduction Stickley #634 (the 5-leg dining table) or similar - a round, expandable-with-leaves trestle dining table.

Know of a craftsperson who makes one? Seen one in an antique store recently? Email the prospective buyer.

And if there's something you've been hunting for, please do let us know and we'll do our best to help you find it!


buyer beware: deception in the antiques trade

A very interesting article in today's New York Times explores the apparently shadowy world of antique dealers and restorers. Apparently this reputation-destroying article is the result of a bit of a war of attrition among big-name antiques business insiders:

Michael Smith, a prominent decorator in Los Angeles, was staggered when a friend called from London in early April with the news: John Hobbs, a London antiques dealer known for superb English and Continental furniture, stratospheric prices and wealthy American clients, had been accused by his longtime restorer of selling fakes.

Mr. Smith said he was panicked at the thought that two very expensive mahogany chests of drawers he acquired for a California financier in September — described on the invoice as a fine pair of English commodes, circa 1830 — might not be worth anything close to what he had paid.

His fears might have been justified. Detailed workshop records and photographs provided by Dennis Buggins, Mr. Hobbs’s restorer for 21 years, indicate that Mr. Smith’s commodes were designed and fabricated between 2004 and 2006, using materials plundered from several old wardrobes and a linen press. The cost, Mr. Buggins said, was about $55,000. The asking price was 365,000 pounds ($736,000 at the time), a retail markup of more than 1,000 percent, although Mr. Smith managed to pay $450,000.


April fools: Ikea not really absorbing Stickley-Audi

Badblogger Note: the following was a not-particularly well-thought-out April Fools' joke, and is totally untrue. I apologize to those of you who thought it was real news, and hereby retract it as requested by Stickley-Audi. I also apologize for the reference to Mr. Audi. I had no idea he had passed away, as I saw his picture and his name still listed as President on the Stickley-Audi website. Again, please accept my apologies. (I've now deleted the short article, which documented a supposed merger between Ikea and Stickley-Audi, as per Mr. Danial's request.)


Charles Rohlfs chair rescued from garbage, sells for $198,000

1009pow_rolhfs_2 Nina West writes at Artfact.com:

A rare Arts & Crafts chair made by Charles Rolhfs and rescued from the trash made auction history last week. Expected to fetch around $30,000, it sold for the record price of $198,000.

Pulled from the neighbor's trash, the chair was given an insurance value of $25,000 by Sam Cottone, president of Cottone Auctions, outside of Rochester, N.Y., 10 or 15 years ago. The auctioneer's advice to the owner was to take good care of it, since its value would appreciate significantly over time. The owner, living in a trailer home, decided earlier this year that it was time to sell the chair.

Cottone advertised the chair with the low estimate of $30,000 to $50,000 in hopes of creating good auction buzz. The battle for the chair among 10 phone bidders and multiple floor bidders was won by a Washington, D.C., antiques dealer. It is unclear if he purchased the chair on behalf of a private client or for his own store inventory.

read the full article at Forbes.com


Architectural Salvage VI

Given the seemingly endless popularity of the DIY movement, awareness of green practices and recycling as parts of the design/build process and the high cost of new materials, salvage businesses continue to thrive:

and in the UK, where architectural salvage is a way of life:

  • Cheshire Demolition "offers one of the biggest salvage and reclamation yards in the North West. They offer everything from reclaimed doors to fireplaces."
  • The Salvage Doctor specializes in the "reclamation and restoration of cast iron architectural salvage and antiques," and carries an extensive range of radiators (cast iron, school- / hospital- /column- style, etc.), fireplaces & surrounds, woodburning stoves, rainwater systems (guttering, downpipes & fittings), gates and railings. They are located in Horsham, West Sussex.
  • In Situ trade out of their Manchester ex-pub warehouse and studio. They keep a large stock of the usual - with attention to fancy pavers, lighting, glass, flooring, entryways and doors / door furniture.
  • Cox's Architectural Salvage has operated their 12,500 sq ft covered warehouse in Moreton-in-Marsh since 1992. They are one of the largest Victorian ironmongers in Britain, and also refinish and sell their own line of nickel plate and brass hardware.
  • Toby's Architectural Antiques has shops in Exeter and Newton Abbot. They carry a wide range of exterior detail - gates, ironmongery, roofing, slate, stone, water features - as well as kitchen materials, doors, light fixtures etc.
  • Park Royal Salvage at the Lower Place Wharf in London sells everything from building materials, doors, windows and reclaimed plumbing to doors, windows, fireplaces and other old house parts.
  • Robert Mills Architectural Antiques are one of the more specialized shops of their kind, with an especially large stock of architectural woodwork, mainly panels, columns, balustrades, mouldings and friezes, window frames, etc.

auction news, September 2007: Stickley desk for $214,500

20070911__084129image1 Andrea Valluzzo, over at Antiques & The Arts Online, has the full story:

Holbrook, MA: It's not every day a Stickley desk like this comes along.

On a recent house call to look at some collectibles, a cannonball, a gun and similar merchandise, Kelley Auctions' appraiser Michael Lynch spotted the circa 1904 desk with original ebonized black finish and rare Grecian urn inlay and asked the owner about consigning it.

The woman, who was selling some of her recently deceased parents' items to finance some needed car repairs, suggested he buy it outright for a few hundred dollars.

Instead, the specially made Stickley desk was consigned to auction and after weeks of presale advertising and building interest, it crossed the block on September 5, attaining $214,500, including premium. The desk, now one of six known examples to exist, was unknown prior to the auction. Each desk is numbered; this one is marked #3.


Craigslist: Stickley, July 2007

Plenty of Stickley - some contemporary, some antique, and some needing a good amount of TLC - available on Craigslist this week. As always, be careful that you are buying the real deal and aren't being taken to the cleaner; unless you are confident in your ability to discern authenticity, stick with buying from a reputable dealer.

  • very pretty rocker with Nouveau inlay design; Rhode Island - $595
  • spindle-sided Morris chair; Palm Springs - $750
  • more spindle-sided Morris chairs, these with leather cushions; Los Angeles - $650 for two
  • Morris-style rocker; Niantic CT - $850
  • rocker & armchair, cushions need work; Palm Springs - $1500
  • #729 drop-front desk; Santa Barbara - $2999
  • slat-sided Morris-style recliner with custom southwestern upholstery; San Diego - $100
  • L & JG side chair, simple design, circa 1910. Seat needs reupholstering; Reno - $385
  • #818 server / sideboard; Portland OR - $950
  • Quaint Furniture rocker, needs refinish & arm repair; Seattle - $125
  • #89 / 91-224 spindle-sided love seat / small settle; Washington DC - $2000
  • red label (Stickley Handcraft) rocker, original  seat, needs cleaning; Hudson Valley area - $350
  • Stickley Bros. metal tagged armchair, slat back, sturdy; Richmond VA - $475
  • set of 4 ladder-back sidechairs, Fayetteville stamp; Long Island - $300
  • set of 4 wicker-seat sidechairs, need refinish, partially recaned; Brooklyn - $40 each, all for $150
  • contemporary Harvey Ellis series cherry, copper & maple dresser; Albany NY - $1500
  • red / gold Fayetteville (Stickley Bros.) label drop-front desk; Pittsburgh - $990

craigslist & ebay: library card catalogs are great!

I've always liked library card catalogs - the old wooden ones with dozens of tiny drawers. Something about the grid or all the little nooks and crannies appealed to me. As a kid, my parents had a wooden filing cabinet, previously used to hold criminal records and fingerprint files, that they had bought at a police auction; it still had a number of old mugshots in it when we brought it home, and I guess the promise of hidden treasure is another reason I like these types of items.

If my house wasn't already crowded with furniture, I'd seriously think about picking up one (or more) of these:

and here are a few on ebay

One thing I've noticed is that even the starting bids on Ebay are far higher than what folks selling via craigslist hope to get. Part of that is that Craigslisters want to sell to locals - they won't deal with shipping, and don't bother asking - and some of the Ebayers are willing to crate & ship. Another, something borne out by my own experience, is that people who use community sites like Craigslist are simply less predatory than vendors on Craigslist.


nice table, super cheap!

31tz7rfe0fl_ss400_ I don't want to turn H&H into something especially commercial, and the ads that are here are necessary to pay for our hosting and other such stuff. However, I saw this on one of those "all the deals on Amazon" sites and thought folks here might find it useful or interesting.

This table, while not spectacularly beautiful, looks sturdy and is certainly fantastically cheap. $20! Looks like it's going out of stock, so there might not be many available, but if you need something like this, you won't find a better deal, that's for sure.


Craigslist finds, May 2007: West Coast Edition

Plenty of nice stuff out there if you know where to look. Included for your edification, several bits & pieces of Arts & Crafts furniture, architectural salvage and other related items that I've found using the terrific Craigslist search engine Crazedlist.

  • refinished Limbert dresser with original copper hardware, $1000 (San Francisco CA)
  • document or sample cabinet, $340 (Santa Cruz CA)
  • Gustav Stickley ladderback chair, $475 (Santa Cruz CA)
  • L & JG Stickley "postal desk" and rocker, $500 ea (Glendora CA)
  • set of 4 early Mission Revival / Craftsman side chairs and 1 armchair, $350 (Ventura CA)
  • Stickley #729 writing desk, $5900 (Montecito CA)
  • round pedestal dining table, $600 (Sherman Oaks CA)
  • set of four c1925 Stickley side chairs, $3600 (Las Vegas NV)
  • set of two contemporary Stickley spindle-back armchairs, $1300 (Del Mar CA)
  • contemporary glass-top Stickley coffee table, $250 (San Diego CA)
  • L & JG Stickley armless rocker, $500 (Portland OR)
  • another Stickley armless rocker, this one with new-ish leather seat, $250 (Portland OR)
  • Stickley Bros. rocker, needs minor repair, $225 (Tacoma WA)
  • drop-leaf Mission desk, $275 (Alameda CA)

Stickley museum opens in Fayetteville / Manlius, New York

A few articles on the grand opening of the Stickley museum on the third floor of the Stickley-Audi factory in Manlius, New York.


for sale: Stickley Bros. sideboard, $4200

O2cntamvue2yuj0reg2uy6a2wxna reader Jen Orsini forwards us a Craigslist advertisement for a signed Stickley Bros. sideboard with mirrored backsplash. The "'Quaint' Furniture" label is visible and in good shape, and the piece looks to be in wonderful overall condition from what I can see in these small images. The piece is located in Santa Ana, California, just outside of Los Angeles. Call Tom at 714.319.0505 if you are interested in this pretty piece of furniture.


Settle & Loveseat on Ebay

Strictlysofaebay

Reader Dan Dutra sends us this attractive sofa & loveseat, made by Strictly Wood Furniture and now
for sale on Ebay for the excellent price of (currently) $1225. It's here in my town - Sacramento, CA - but since I just got a new sofa it's not for me, but someone will get a good deal here.

Each piece is in a spindle design and built of quarter-sawn oak, and all the upholstery is a lovely caramel Italian leather. The total for both pieces from the manufacturer today would be just under $14,000, plus shipping.


Tansus Step In - from Sunset magazine, January 1999

This January 1999 article by Kristine Carber and Chadine Flood Gong (which includes a guide on tansu shopping) is from Sunset magazine. Read the entire article on findarticles.com.

We see them in bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and baths - Japanese storage chests and cabinets called tansus. Once found mostly in the homes of connoisseurs of Asian art, the wood chests are rapidly finding a broader market. "Tansus adapt well to the Western home because they blend effectively with contemporary and traditional designs," says Seattle designer Kristine Donovick.

San Jose design partners Patricia McDonald and Marcia Moore agree. "We've been using them for years, but now more clients are asking for them because they are so beautiful and versatile," says Moore.

Most tansus are square or rectangular, but some, originally used as freestanding staircases, have interesting stepped shapes. They began appearing in Japan in the latter half of the 17th century and were used in houses, for storing clothes and cooking equipment, and on merchant ships, to store documents for safekeeping. By the 1800s, they had become familiar furnishings in Japanese homes. Highly lacquered pieces graced the houses of the nobility; simple wood chests were found in country homes.


More on Tansu

8 Since I got so many letters asking for more information on Japanese cabinetry and tansu in particular, I've kept my eyes open for more striking examples (and good deals!) of such items.

  • Evert Sondergren "is a fourth-generation cabinetmaker who has been refining his skill for over 55 years." This frame/panel tansu is made of Eucalyptus and iroko woods, and goes for $5000. He has made similar designs from maple, koa and other woods.
  • Glenn Richards Asian Furnishings & Antiques sell a number of good looking tansu, some antique and some contemporary. They also offer custom design and build services.
  • This custom home on the Oregon coast is full of some beautiful built-in cabinetry in the style of Japanese tansu, all of which fits in seamlessly with the contemporary design of the house.
  • There are a few striking antique pieces up on Ebay's Live Auction site, all with low starting prices and reasonably estimates. This two-part Paulownia wood tansu has some really nice hardware on it.
  • Ebay also has items for auction, of course, and a few good-looking tansu for sale from individual dealers as well, like this kiri / hinoki / sugi isho tansu for $1195. If you are in southern California, this pick-up only item - a Meiji-era steep step tansu, or kaidan tansu - will go for just under $3000. Hiromitsu Japan sells all sorts of Japanese antiques through their ebay store, including this immaculately-maintained choba (or document / merchant) tansu, at $1750 plus shipping from Sapporo, Japan.
  • We've written once or twice before about Greentea Design, who carry a number of contemporary Japanese tansu (including a range of step tansu), and also do some really amazing custom kitchen cabinets in this style.
  • Should you be in California's East Bay area, you'll certainly want to stop and visit two wonderful shops; while the well-known Berkeley Mills do some spectacular work in the Craftsman / Japanese fusion style, less-known is the terrific Hana Japanese Antiques, just off Solano Avenue near the Solano Tunnel; this tiny shop is always chock-full of great pieces of art and furniture in a wide range of styles and prices, straight from Japan, and the owners are friendly and informative.
  • Jo-Ann Kaiser's article details a 1999 custom kitchen by Peter Cyr based on Japanese tansu designs.

pictured: a Showa-era mizuya tansu from Hana Japanese Antiques


furniture for typographers

the type table

Based on an idea from his teacher, master printer Gerald Lange, our good friend Hrant Papazian of The MicroFoundry has developed a unique piece of furniture for the discerning typographer. There's also a Flickr set of the first production model.

Essentially a glass-top coffee table that gracefully accommodates a drawer of letterpress type, the TypeTable nicely exhibits an instance of high craft for discernment by the typographic aficionado, and is itself crafted to high standards: sturdy but elegant construction, to a tolerance of 1/32 of an inch; 1/2-inch beveled glass; and easy movement of the type drawer into and out of the framework, ensuring that the font is not converted into a “museum piece” but instead remains a dignified, usable resource. Note that the purchase of the TypeTable does not include a drawer of type; this must be provided by the customer, although The MicroFoundry would gladly help in procuring a drawer.

With the drawer of type removed, the table reveals its attractive lattice midboard, which can be used to exhibit other items (up to 1-1/2 inches in height) making this piece of “typographic furniture” highly versatile.

The TypeTable is offered for sale at US$555 (plus delivery costs) and is manufactured on a first-come, first-served basis. Please direct all inquiries (including interest in tables that accommodate more than one drawer) to Hrant Papazian.


book review: Country Furniture

My colleague Derek Martin, a woodworker here in Sacramento, was kind enough to review a copy of Aldren Watson's Country Furniture for Hewn & Hammered. The book is a reprint of the 1957 original edition, and includes all original illustrations.

As an avid hobbyist for the last fifteen or so years, I have spent much of my free time focused on wood working. It came as no surprise to me that I would enjoy reading this book after quickly skimming through it to see some wonderful illustrations that would get my immediate attention and spark my interest in reading it as well.

This book not only examined the materials and techniques that were used by master craftsmen of past centuries, but also addressed even the most subtle changes in wood furniture building up to more recent times. Changes to this art form mentioned by Mr. Watson were mainly brought on by wood supply, reengineered tools, and the evolving change in personal tastes.

As a modern day woodworker with fairly modern day tools I now have a greater appreciation for those who developed and made popular the art of crafting wood. I also have a better understanding of how making hand-crafted pieces from wood started out of necessity and not just for the beauty of it’s finished product. All different types of woods from all different places on the map were used initially for their hardness, longevity, availability and then their beauty.

The illustrations in this book alone are worth picking it up for, but just wait until you see and read about joinery that could help you in your next project. I have already experimented with some techniques that I learned in the book and I was fully satisfied with the result.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in woodworking or even collecting antique furniture. I will end by saying that this book was loaded with information and the illustrations were the icing on the cake to say the least.


Building Heirlooms: A Visit With Whit McLeod

Sharon Letts had the opportunity to meet & speak with Arcata-based furnituremaker Whit McLeod recently, and The Eureka Reporter published her story on August 8, 2006:

Whit McLeod came to Humboldt County as many have — to attend Humboldt State University.

He graduated in 1976 with a degree in biology with an emphasis on wildlife management. Initially, he worked at Redwood Science Lab in Arcata, but soon found himself building wooden boats with the likes of boatwright David Peterson in a shop behind another wooden boat master, Ken Bates, on Gunther Island.

“I started out making boxes for bottles of wine,” McLeod laughed. “Then I made the folding chair.”

The folding chair is now as well known as the boxes the wine comes in, and is a common sight around town. Built from wine barrels, it’s a little folding chair for patio or beach use and it now makes up anywhere from 40-50 percent of sales for McLeod.

Since the chair, McLeod and his team of four — which includes his wife Kristy McLeod — have created beautiful craftsman-style furniture using the same wine barrels, as well as other types of reclaimed and salvaged wood. The furniture is made the old-fashioned way, using the mortise and tenon joint method.

the full article is available online from The Eureka Reporter


T. M. Uli & Son

Lgchaise

Tim Uli and his son make A & C furniture in San Saba, Texas. Tim has been making furniture for over 30 years, and his work ranges from traditional Craftsman pieces to his own furniture and lamp designs, which he calls a "craftsman / shaker / asian" style. He specializes in a wide range of seating types, and his Morris recliners, chaises and loveseats are especially popular sellers (and check out this collapsable gate-leg table - one of my favorites). His work is done traditionally - steam-bent chair parts, ammonia fumed finishes, etc. - and he builds by custom order only - no inventory is kept on hand.

After ten years making furniture in Maine - he was a member of the Guild of Maine Woodworkers and a founding member of the Salt River Artisans Gallery in Boothbay -  Tim moved to Texas and has remained there ever since. His prices are reasonable and his work quite attractive; should you need a custom built piece made anywhere in Texas or nearby, please do drop him a line.


Mission Settles

A quick survey of Mission and Prairie-styled settles:

  • Southern Joinery sells this model, pictured in tan fabric upholstery and walnut, for $2,850. They also have a nice range of spindle-sided tables and some interesting seating (check out the wide bench!) and case goods as well;
  • The Arts & Crafts Home carries a range of pieces, including a very comfortable-looking paneled settle, and several others, some slatted and some with spindles;
  • Ben Barclay Woodworking has an extremely attractive settle (scroll down to see it) that comes with any of several upholstery options for $2457 - $5043, depending on which you choose;
  • J. Austin Antiques in Amherst MA has this slat-backed settle - almost Shaker in its simplicity - for $575; it looks like a shortened version of the popular Limbert design;
  • you'd expect Warren Hile to make a beautiful settle; as with his other work, his is made from beautifully grained tank staves - white oak salvaged from wine casks - and looks sturdy as heck, for $8800 or $9800 depending on upholstery - Craftsman Home has a better picture of it here;
  • Swartzendruber Hardwood makes a very Frank Lloyd Wrightesque settle, with vertical and horizontal lines reminiscent of the Robie House, and it can be made with shelf arms and back - Oak Park Home & Hardware carries it, although no price is given;
  • One of my favorite furniture dealers, Rockridge Antiques / Rockridge Furniture in Oakland CA, carries a contemporary shelf-arm spindle-back settle for $3250;
  • El Dorado Woodworks has a terrific sectional settle ($14,192), as well as more orthodox varieties;
  • William Laberge has very nice settles and sofas (scroll down to see all of them), some paneled and some with spindle backs and arms;
  • horror of horrors! fifty years ago, the original owner of this Stickley / Quaint Furniture settle painted it a hideous pinkish red. It's big and in good shape, otherwise - although not a deal at $1895, given the amount of work it will take to strip and refinish;
  • Phil Taylor Antiques, in Ottumwa IA, has this paneled settle for $2450;
  • Richard Bissell made this high-grain slat-armed quartersawn oak settle for a client;
  • Randy of the eponymous Hardwood Floors by Randy built this attractive slat-back and -arm settle [ 1 / 2] with a nice wide rail all around;
  • Michael Wollowski built this beautiful spindle-arm and -back settle in 2002;
  • here are a few nice pictures of a slat-backed Limbert settle that recently sold;
  • Maren Dunn Antiques recently sold this simple slat-backed short settle, in oak and leather;
  • and of course, last but very definitely not least, we have one of Gustav's original settle designs, which was made of fumed oak; Stickley still makes a settle, not nothing like the original.

Know of others? Make one yourself? Send me a picture or URL!


Manufacturers on a New Mission

by Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub, Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Furniture manufacturers are betting we're so fed up with technology and mass-produced goods that we will want to put our money on the "Simple Life."

This yearning for a vanishing lifestyle has nothing to do with Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton.

It has everything to do with the Arts & Crafts Movement that made Gustav Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright and Greene & Greene household names.

The most repeated mantra at the International Home Furnishings Market that ended here Wednesday was the simple lines and fine craftsmanship of Arts & Crafts and Mission furniture. Nearly 25 percent of the manufacturers introduced this style at the market, according to a Furniture/Today and Home Accents Today survey. Among them are Hooker's Simply American, Magnussen Home's Oak Park, Copeland's Prairie by Frank Lloyd Wright and Stickley's additions to Pasadena Bungalow and Historic Mission.

read the full article at nwtimes.com


Greene Design Furniture

Dozachair Just got a postcard in the mail advertising Greene Design Furniture's new Doza line. Looks like a neat mix of contemporary Japanese elements and Craftsman design, with a real emphasis on the low wide lines of the Prairie movement - the seating is especially spacious. The armrests are carved from a single large piece of cherry, and then pretty dark walnut is inlaid. The cushions, however, look more mid-century modern than Craftsman, but work surprisingly well with the rest of the designs. A downloadable PDF describes the measurements of the pieces a bit better, although it doesn't look like pricing information is available yet.


Frank Lloyd Wright Designs High Point of High Point

by Christopher Murther, Boston Globe

The velvet rope - usually only employed to protect Anna Nicole Smith, Ashton Kutcher, or Sasquatch from an overzealous public -  sits imposingly in front of the moss green wall. Behind the rope and the wall lives the superstar of this year's High Point International Home Furnishings Market: The premiere home collection from a designer who passed away nearly 50 years ago.

Despite the small matter that Frank Lloyd Wright designed his Prairie collection at the turn of the last century, his pieces were some of the most innovative on display in the acres of furniture at this year's High Point Market. Wright's collection was just the beginning of the Mission-style explosion at High Point, the biannual market where the country's leading furniture makers premiered their newest offerings for buyers and journalists.

By preternatural coincidence, a half-dozen furniture makers rolled out lines this spring that incorporate elements of Arts and Crafts and Mission styles -  furniture that is marked by fine wood and simple lines. While several of the mammoth showrooms looked as if they had been assembled by followers of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, less clear was why a show that is intended as a harbinger of living rooms and bedrooms of the future was looking back 100 years at the Arts and Crafts movement.

read the rest on the Halifax Chronicle-Herald site - the Boston Globe doesn't allow free access to its archives.


On Craigslist, Right Now

Bits and pieces of mostly Stickley furniture from both coasts and in between:

  • English Arts & Crafts dresser with interesting inlay, $850 (Berkeley CA)
  • Lifetime Furniture oak and glass china cabinet, $2500 (Berkeley CA)
  • Gustav Stickley rocker, $1500 (Berkeley CA)
  • Stickley upholstered settle in cherry, plus coffee table, $3750 (San Francisco CA)
  • Morris chair with red leather cushions, $1100 (Richmond CA)
  • Stickley Bros. high-back rocker, $900 (Los Angeles CA)
  • library table-styled coffee table, $800 (Los Angeles CA)
  • L & JG Stickley Handcraft armchair, $650 (Los Angeles CA)
  • contemporary Stickley coffee table, $599 (Los Angeles CA)
  • unknown maker round dining table, $800 (Pasadena CA)
  • contemporary Stickley #700 design bookcase, $1200 (Eagle Rock CA)
  • reproduction Gustav Stickley designs, various pieces (table and leaves, chair, coffee table), $4200 (Denver CO)
  • contemporary (and enormous) keyhole trestle Stickley dining table + 6 Harvey Ellis chairs, 2 w/ arms, $7000 (Hartford CT)
  • lot of old L & JG Stickley furniture catalogs and ephemera, $35 (Boston MA)
  • pretty high-grain server / sideboard, $250 (Boston MA)
  • unique writing desk with writing-top drawer, needs new finish, $125 (Minneapolis MN)
  • v. attractive Stickley paneled Prairie settle with red leather upholstery, $2450 (Westchester NY)

Craigslist Finds for April 2006

Lots of good stuff on Craigslist all over the country this month. Here are a number of items I found interesting:

  • two nice tansus - San Francisco
  • very pretty large tansu, $4500 - San Francisco
  • contemporary Stickley bedroom set - San Francisco
  • Limbert sideboard buffet, signed, $6500 - Lafayette CA
  • Stickley streamline "Metropolitan" style bedroom set, $5495 - San Anselmo CA
  • Stickley Bros. ("Quaint Furniture" label) child's rocker, $275 – Carmel CA
  • 4 Murphy oak side chairs, $30 each - Denver
  • nice Craftsman coatrack, $95 - Austin
  • questionable ad for a Harvey Ellis rocker - note no picture of actual item (only link to a similar item); cash only; $850 - Rye NY
  • pre-1914 Stickley library desk, $900 - Manhattan
  • several small items of Craftsman furniture - Oakland CA
  • interesting Craftsman bench, $175 - Albany CA
  • nice green glazed tile, unknown maker, $5/sq ft - Santa Rosa CA
  • 14 nice old wooden doors with original brass hardware - Pittsburgh PA
  • high-backed wooden rocker, $150 - Boston MA
  • sturdy oak piano bench, $75 - Los Angeles
  • two Japanese chests (one tansu, one choba), $1500 for both - Washington DC
  • large, partially glass-fronted tansu, $500 - Denver
  • pair of Andersen Frenchwood In-Swing Prairie-style doors, $900 - Campbell CA
  • contemporary Prairie-style bathroom vanity, $400 - Chicago
  • contemporary Stickley living room set - sofa / settle, loveseat, endtables, coffee table, $3000 - Minneapolis
  • Limbert rocker, $300 - Phoenix
  • Limbert rocker, $750 - Portland OR
  • Limbert rocker with leather seat, $650 - Portland OR
  • terrific glass-door built-in sideboard, $850 - Burlingame CA
  • oak library card catalog, $975 - Albany CA
  • Arts & Crafts rocker with new seat, $150 - Milpitas CA
  • very unorthodox c. 1910 extremely heavy-duty rocker, $395 - Portland OR
  • Deco / Craftsman organic-look table, $350 - Honolulu
  • stained-glass transom window, $275 - Detroit
  • Arts & Crafts magazine rack adapted to hold CDs, $30 - Dallas
  • cowhide-upholstered oak armchair, $195 - Austin TX
  • Arts & Crafts library table with typical side shelving, $400 - Minneapolis
  • previously built-in room dividing cabinet / bookshelf, $125 - Minneapolis
  • spindle bookshelf, $150 - Houston
  • several oak items including a nice file cabinet, various prices - Manhattan
  • pair of antique Prairie / Mission glass French doors, $300 - Boston
  • copper and art glass hanging light fixture, $450 - San Antonio

March Craigslist Bonanza

Yellowcraigslistsideboardjlt Last night I picked up a great A&C sideboard (pictured) in Carmichael, courtesy of a nice fellow in a '70s modernist home who was remodeling to fit the house a bit better. $400 - what a bargain!

But there are plenty of other bargains out there if you can sort through all the junk ads for faux-Mission dining room collections and cheap Chinese-made junk. So - here you go - I searched so you don't have to:

and several nice tansu:

  • Santa Rosa: two lacquered tansu
  • East Bay: persimmon tansu
  • East Bay: unorthodox tansu
  • Seattle: small Korean tansu
  • Honolulu: Taisho-era tansu
  • Seattle: step tansu
  • Washington DC: tropical tansu
  • Atlanta: step tansu
  • Orange County: gorgeous, enormous tansu

Arts & Crafts on Ebay, February

Lots of neat stuff on Ebay right now, but for the love of God, please people, stop trying to get hits on your old junk by suggesting that a hammered-copper cowboy hat ashtray may be Roycroft when you know perfectly well that it ain't. Or something named as a "Stickley magazine rack" that certainly isn't (further down the seller says 'no marks to suggest that it is but it certainly fits the styling...' - sure. We call this kind of misleading labeling "hit whoring," and it's not a very honest or nice thing to do. This guy even admits that it's signed "K&Co." but insists on labeling the auction "Roycroft?" - how kind.

but nice A&C furniture and decorative items don't need to be signed or big-name to be pretty.


Relative Valuation

There's a very good thread over on ask.metafilter today regarding the relative valuation of antique furniture and the best way to sell unique and high-priced items - it's a good place to start if you're inexperienced and find yourself with something you'd like to sell.


Help me find this table...

L3050800830 Can anyone name a cabinetmaker / woodworker / furniture seller who makes & sells something like this small endtable? I like the design an awful lot and could really use something like this, but I also know that Home Decorators Collection sell mostly junk, and their idea of "hardwood construction" is often fruitwood with an oak veneer. I'd much rather buy from the maker or at least someone a bit closer to the maker, anyway.