Phil and Rocio with their new Aussie pup Sherlock.
Thanks, Phil and Rocio. Little did you know how perfect your timing was when you came to us and asked for a “small but perfect home”. Fertile ground indeed, and my mind raced with the many recent thoughts about working on something like a precious gem, or what we’re calling a NEW Jewel.
So many of our clients now are building smaller homes because they simply don’t need a bigger one. Seems smart for many reasons: less vacuuming, less heating and cooling, less taxes. And for many, less strain on the finances as we get to the point where retirement shines bright and hopeful.
Grab a stool and a cutting board, or a plate, or a pencil, or a toothpick, or a tablet, or…?! Welcome to the kitchen island. Food prep, snack counter, breakfast bar, coffee cafe, homework hub, central party point, family communication center—its uses are nearly limitless.
Dining, meeting, drafting, sewing, displaying—the table is one of our most versatile pieces of furniture. They range in size, use, and style—across cultures and materials. Small functional bedside tables, wide ornate coffee tables, grand formal dining tables: each personal and flexible to nearly any imaginable design.
In this New York home, two wide reclaimed Elm thresher boards were bookended, butterfly joined, and placed atop a custom fabricated metal base.
For over two decades our fine woodworking group, NEWwoodworks, has been designing and crafting all varieties of tables, working out nuances and integrating creativity with functionality. Wood is this team’s preferred medium, be it antique reclaimed, live-edge, or newly sawn. Celebrating the beauty of the wood is instinctual with these craftsmen.
Headed for its new life as a bar height community table, this creation has intentionally selected planks from original Foundry Maple flooring with a resin pour finish atop a powder coated custom steel base.
Completed last week, this boat-shaped conference room table has a top crafted from Reclaimed Settlers’ Plank Mixed Hardwoods and a base of what we like to call “Toasted” Oak. Also integrated into the top are three power tilt-ups.
Working alongside our Architectural and Interior Designer, Andrew, the NEWwoodworks craftsmen recently made two tables for our showroom remodel. Both are intended to provide additional work surfaces and meeting spaces for clients and co-workers alike.
The original stamps marking the reclaimed exotic hardwoods are pest free.
Not to be missed is the “suspension” table, an idea that has been percolating in the NEWwoodworks group for some time. Crafted of mixed oak with a dark wash stain, the deep wood color draws attention to the metal suspension components:
Live-edge tables are always intriguing with their organic edges and truly one-of-a-kind shapes. Several tables designed by Rob, manager of our NEWwoodworks group, celebrate live edges and “x” bases in a Kentucky farmhouse:
The root burl of a large walnut tree was carefully maintained to create a live-edge end on this farmhouse table.
Similar to the dining table, walnut end tables have one-of-a-kind live-edges in this Kentucky home.
Figured cherry maintains a live edge with a low height traditional for coffee tables.
Reclaimed wood lends other interesting character marks and hard-earned patinas to any fine woodworking project:
Old French white oak and domestic barrel/vat staves were repurposed into a pier table off the kitchen island, ideally situated for family meals.
Incorporating our torsion box design and a mixture of reclaimed hardwoods, Parsons-style tables offer space for patrons of a Florida-based bank:
In another commercial space, Kindred Fare, a large walnut table with contrasting butterfly joinery and a trestle base (crafted of reclaimed Hemlock) seats 10+:
An extra large, curving edged Settlers’ Plank reclaimed oak conference table easily seats 20+ as demonstrated by some of the NEWwoodworks team:
As we find with any fine woodworking, so much is in the details. Custom designs are made better with detailed execution and specific attention to each wood plank’s grain and character, to overall dimensions, to what base material and style fits best, to the shape of an apron (or not having an apron at all!), to what joinery is applied, to the finish, and much more.
In the details: A reclaimed beech table with live edge, thru-tenon aprons, and walnut pyramid pegs.
The more challenging and more unique, the better for this team. What table is in your imagination? Let us know – we can help bring it to life.
A well-loved ‘timber’ table in the NEWwoodworks showroom celebrates live edges and original mortise pockets in its top, all suspended from heavy Douglas fir timber legs.
A new home build in Pine Plains, NY offers an example of the design flexibility of heavy timber, showcasing contemporary and minimalistic timber framing.
Designed by Amalgam Studio, each bent is open and airy, blending timber and steel. We crafted the bents using double 4×10’s, sandwiching ½” steel plates at critical locations. Powder-coated steel tension tie-rod connections span the width of the home joining the posts together. They bring structural stability while keeping the frame light.
Prior to assembly, each stick received a custom ‘burned’ finish. Charring the Douglas fir creates a deep color tone and raised grain texture. We’re excited to use this old technique to bring a new twist to traditional materials.
This project is aiming for a few awards and possibly Passive House status. We’ll share more as Black Oak Builders finish out the project.
Special thanks to Ben Albury of Amalgam Studio for the great images and raising video.
Timber Home Living magazine documented the Olsen’s journey to building their family retreat in the Berkshires from 2014 to completion in 2016. What happens during a custom home building project? Starting with our design team join the story from the Olsen’s point of view as we craft the timber frame, enclosure, and custom woodworking. Click through each part of the eight part series below to get the inside scoop.
Part 1: From Dream to Design The Olsen’s begin designing their dream home on land they’d been spending vacation time visiting for 10 years. Harmony with the land and the family was a must. Part 2:Laying The Groundwork Breaking ground – an exciting day, especially with a few last minute modifications.
Part 3:Built to Last Our team raises the frame and the Olsen family watches their dream home take shape. Part 4:Worth the Wait
Weather delays…but not for long! Part 5:Lessons Learned Communication proves vital in the build process for sticking to the plan and modifying. Part 6: Elements of Surprise
Nearing completion, creativity and flexibility lead to modified plans. Part 7:The Big Finish Mixed materials, including reclaimed wood, make a statement on the interior and exterior of the Olsen Home. Part 8:The Great Escape
“I definitely think we designed the right size house with the perfect layout,” says Greg Olsen. Our notes:
When Greg and Dee approached us to craft their family’s timber frame retreat we knew it was going to be fun. Their philosophy fit with ours: they wanted to strike a balanced design, a home in harmony with the site that was as environmentally conscious as possible. Eliminating VOCs, incorporating reclaimed and organic materials, and a solar array were “must have” elements. Planning on large family gatherings and lots of cooks in the kitchen, there is ample party space with unobstructed southern views of the Catamount and Butternut Mountains. Screened and covered porches blur the line between interior and exterior spaces.
The resulting home celebrates a variety of reclaimed and storied wood: the timber frame is crafted from reclaimed Douglas fir; flooring is reclaimed Walnut on the upper level and reclaimed Teak on the lower level; wall paneling is reclaimed barn siding; reclaimed beech was used to create custom bed frames, night stands, and built-ins. Much of the cabinetry and built-ins, including the Ash kitchen cabinetry, was made by our fine woodworking division, NEWwoodworks. The kitchen island includes a “waterfall” of walnut as a prep/presentation area while the adjacent dining table seats up to twelve.