Living in Ohio, we don’t have the city skylines like other states do. Instead of tall buildings filling the air above, we have trees and wildlife. Whether you’re in Cleveland, Columbus, or Cincinnati, our Midwestern state has maintained and stayed in touch with Mother Nature. And this connection to nature has found its way inside our homes, as well.
Places like Urbn Timber, Pathway Tables, and Edgework Creative have found ways to preserve the natural beauty of wood plus add touches to enhance the final product. From large scale dining room tables to a stand for your office space, these products are just as much a work of art as they are a functional piece for your day-to-day lives. (614) had the chance to catch up with these three Columbus designers to get a better understanding of the trend of trees and how to go about getting these in your homes.
(614): What are some of your favorite designs you’ve made recently?
We are always trying to innovate with new designs and concepts for our live edge furniture. A recent favorite of ours is a vanity completed for a couple in German Village. It features a live edge cherry counter and backsplash with a clear glass sink atop, and a stainless-steel base with a lower cherry shelf. Creating furniture that is both aesthetically appealing and functional is most important to us. Another favorite is a thirty-foot black walnut bar we built and installed for Nocterra Brewing in Powell, OH that showcases two waterfall miters and looks like it is growing up the wall!
The site also includes different pigment sets, glitters, and oils. How can someone who owns a wooden furnishing use these to elevate what they already have?
Along with providing fully finished furniture to consumers, we also sell raw live edge slabs, epoxy, pigments, wood finish, and steel bases separately so individuals and other local businesses can create their own furnishings. Sustainably salvaging trees from the Columbus region and offering them back to our community as usable products is the core of Urbn Timber’s mission.
(614): What are some mistakes you see people make when it comes to decorating their wooden furnishings?
When it comes to fine hardwood furniture, it is important to remember it is a natural product and needs to be built and maintained for longevity. Purchase your live edge furniture from a reputable company with professionally trained craftsmen. Make sure the wood has been properly kiln-dried and your furniture is built to allow the wood to expand and contract through the seasons. Your furniture maker should provide a proper cleaning kit based on the finish they used to help maintain the wood overtime.
(614): What are some ways people could use your furnishings in their homes or offices?
Being a fully custom woodshop has provided us and our clients the opportunity to design and create some truly unique furnishings. Kitchen tables, islands, coffee tables, bar tops, sofa tables, counter tops, desks, vanities, and shelves are among the most common designs we create. More creative pieces we’ve made are a vertical ash wine rack and a maple bookshelf that featured three steel and glass shelves. The possibilities are nearly endless!
(614): Can you also talk about the transformation the wood goes from from starting as a log and into a finished table?
The transformation from log to a finished table, we try to find the oldest, ugliest, most twisted and knotted trees we can that no one else wants. Those trees have the most character and unique grain patterns inside of them. Once we have the trees in our yard, we decide which way we want to mill it into table top slabs, really that’s just looking at the tree to decide how it’s going to yield the best character slabs.
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Once we have it sawed, we photograph each slab, sticker and band it together to be put away for one to two years of air-drying time. Once its air dried, we bring it into our kiln to finish the drying process. Finally, we’re able to get our creative minds working and start finding the pieces we want to use to make tables, from there it’s a multiple step process from flattening and sanding, filing any cracks or voids with resin or glass, to finally applying the finish to the wood.
(614): What about the natural wood grain do you guys love?
Each and every piece is different, the way we slab the wood ensures that we don’t ever have two pieces that are the same. The natural wood grain allows you to be creative and utilize the flaws and characteristics that each slab has to showcase its natural beauty.
(614): What are some ways your tables could be used in a home? Or in an office?
Our pieces are functional in their purpose, they can be used as formal dining tables, conference tables, coworking desks, coffee tables for the living room.
(614): Can you talk about the different approaches you take to making a table? (i.e. the walnut river table compared to the maple dining room table)
The different approach to making a table really depends on the wood being used, if we have slabs that have a lot of character such as holes, knots, wild edges that’ll lend itself to a river style table. Where as slabs that don’t have those voids and character are still great and can be used to create a more traditional dining table that is made using two solid pieces of wood. In the end depends on how creative you want to get, the river table is more functional art and the standard dining table is more traditional.
(614): What are some trends you are noticing with wood furnishings?
We’ve been seeing a big trend towards wood countertops and kitchen islands. It’s a nice way to incorporate a natural material into a sometimes cold and sterile space. We have also been doing a lot of whitewashed finishes on dining tables and desks. It provides a crisp and clean look but you can still see the wood grain.
(614): How can someone get wood furnishings into their decor scheme that doesn’t have much wood?
Mirrors, mantles, beams and shelving! These are simple and small ways to incorporate natural materials into your home.
(614): What are most of your clients using your wood furnishings for?
We build lots of dining and kitchen tables. There’s an intimacy that you share around a table. It’s where you spend quality time—it’s the hub of the home. Your table is where you share in life’s small moments and create new memories. Hearing about the memories being made at our tables is the highlight of what we do.
(614): What is a big mistake you see people make when purchasing something wooden?
Staining walnut. It’s the most incredible wood species- the movement, color and richness can’t be touched. Our preference is to let the material shine and not stain it
To find your wooden furnishing, visit edgeworkcreative.co, pathwaytables.com, or urbntimber.com.