Simply Beautiful Furniture.

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On A Whim

Date added: 09-02-2009

Imagine my surprise when catching up on my blog reading over the weekend, when I saw the post on Pure Style Home about On A Whim, an antique mall in Lucketts, Virginia.

This picture is the booth of our very own Glen Redmon, who does presentation and sales for Hardwood Artisans in addition to being the proprietor of the best looking antique booth in the area.

He’s got a bunch of cute things out there so next time you’re out near Lucketts, definitely take a look.

Etsy Love for your Valentine

Date added: 04-02-2009

If you’ve already gotten her a Hardwood Artisans jewelry box, check out some other handmade gifts.


DreamsandJewelry from San Ramon, California

Block Party Press from Baltimore, Maryland (LOCAL!)

Lawn Fawn Cards from Los Angeles, California

hijirik studio from Brooklyn, New York

Remember to make it a handmade holiday!

Woodworking and other talents

Date added: 26-01-2009

I’m lucky to be surrounded by such talented people. Woodworkers, yes (genius, amazing woodworkers). But some of our genius, amazing woodworkers do other things as well. Take my friend Jason, who I worked with last year on the development of the Linnaea collection.

Not only can he build a gorgeous cabinet, he does wood turning and makes chain mail. When I saw his new Etsy store a few weeks ago, I immediately fell in love with a pair of chain mail earrings and today Jason was nice enough to bring them to me. It seemed sort of silly to mail them when we work in the same building!

Earrings by Sidewinder Studio

I feel much the same way about my new earrings that I do about my new file cabinet, which will be ready any day now. These were made just for me by someone I like, who likes me. It’s so rare to get that in a commercial transaction, but it’s a feeling I like and want more often.

This is part of why I’ve recently decided to buy handmade goods whenever I can — both for myself and for presents. Sure, sometimes it’s not possible (handmade iPod, probably not). But somehow my life feels enriched, just like we hope our furniture makes our customers feel.

Value Added

Date added: 20-01-2009

We had a lovely article written about us by Washington Post columnist Tom Heath yesterday (nope, no relation). Pick a copy of the Post or read it online: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/washbizblog/2009/01/value_added_12.html

If you don’t regularly read the “Value Added” column in the Post, I highly recommend it. We really enjoyed working with Tom on the article.

I also want to thank our loyal customers for their comments over the past few days. We love you too!

Etsy love

Date added: 14-01-2009

While I was talking to a friend the other day, I was surprised that she hadn’t heard of my very favorite website–Etsy. Billed as “your place to buy & sell all things handmade,” Etsy is a collaborative effort by tens of thousands of artists and artisans. Though they do have a full-time professional staff in New York City that runs the website and does their marketing, the true stars are the artists themselves.

There are extraordinarily talented people in every possible category you could imagine. Over the past two years, I’ve bought countless presents from jewelry makers, letter press cards from graphic designers, even clothing. There are even a number of vintage sellers. Nearly anything you could buy in a conventional store you could find on Etsy. Not only are the items often of better quality that anything you could find in a normal store, they are very reasonably priced, especially considering the time and personal effort these people put into their work.

Take my latest find, a blacksmith and metal artist in Phoenix named John Doss who does both practical and decorative work. Recently he posted an item for sale–custom kitchen and bath accessories for $39.00 each.

A few years ago when I bought bath accessories from Pottery Barn, I paid just as much for the same mass-produced fixtures that everyone has.

They’ve been just fine, but had I known that custom made ones that are much more distinctive could have been had for almost the same price, I would certainly have chosen those.

In any case, Etsy is well worth a look, but it can be kind of overwhelming with all those tens of thousands of artists so from now on, every Wednesday, I’ll be posting about a particular Etsy artist or artisan that I love in the hopes that you will too!

Rocking chair round-up

Date added: 12-01-2009

The Hardwood Artisans Bungalow Rocker has been one of our most popular pieces for many years so we know that our customers love rocking chairs.

For the past few days, blogger and fellow woodworker Mitch Roberson has been posting about rocking chairs. He has created quite a little resource guide that has amounted to the furniture equivalent of a gourmet guide to rocking chairs.

If you’re at all interested in woodworking, I highly recommend that you high-tail it over to Furnitude and check it out!

Hardwood Artisans buddy Jeri Dansky on Design Public

Date added: 09-01-2009

Over the life of this blog, we have made a few blogger friends. Jeri Dansky, a professional organizer from my home state of California, is one of them. Today I saw that Jeri had some great tips for keeping organized on online retailer Design Public’s blog.

Go Jeri!

DC Big Flea This Weekend

Date added: 07-01-2009

Hello all! Alison again, Mark being otherwise engaged.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a huge thing for antiques. I’m not quite sure why that is. My parents aren’t big antique lovers so it doesn’t run in my family, but an interest in history and a love of books and research definitely does. Most of the fun of buying something new (old) is going online or to my ever-growing collection of reference books and researching the history of a piece I’ve purchased.

Right near our Chantilly showroom is the Dulles Expo Center, home five times a year to the DC Big Flea, a huge antiques market and my very favorite place on earth.

Over 1100 booths in two buildings make for a very full day of antique hunting, but I’ve been going for several years and I have my favorite vendors, mostly those who specialize in mid-century modern pieces. Though not technically antiques at less than 100 years old, much of the time I unearth relics of a forgotten era: when average furniture was made from solid wood or good quality plywood instead of particle board, when everyone needed a personal ashtray after dinner and the imbibing of adult beverages was not limited to after work or weekends.

I admit that watching old movies or shows like Mad Men, I assumed that the scene presented had to be an exaggeration, or an affectation of Hollywood glamor. However, in talking to some the vendors at the DC Big Flea and sitting at Christmas dinner with a wonderful gentleman who was in advertising in the 1960s in Manhattan, I was forced to reconcile my romanticized view of a design era I love with a very different and somewhat tawdry image.

But then, that’s the wonderful thing about antiques or pieces that reference the past. It makes it easier to understand how we got here and move past where we are now, hopefully to something better. How’s that for a thought for the new year?

If you’re going to the Big Flea, make sure to swing by and see us in Chantilly. And if you stop into the Chantilly showroom on Sunday, I’ll play show and tell with whatever new treasures I acquired. See you then!

It Ain’t Easy Being Green

Date added: 23-12-2008

Just a note to anyone who reads this blog site. Thanks for the support, the comments, and the teasing. As I close out 2008 in my mind, I think of the year as the one that I decided to pull myself up out of the 1950′s and into the modern world. I will say that I am still debating the value of being engaged in the techno-internetty-blogger-facebooky world. But I’m trying my best to adapt, and I think that as long as you try your best, there is no shame in the mistakes that will be made.

So thanks for bearing with me through the errors and oops’. A year ago, I did not know what a blog or facebook was. Didn’t really care either. Somewhere along the way, someone thought I might have something interesting to say to people. The verdict is still out on that one!

Happy Holidays, and be well.

Mark

Black Wolf Coffee

Date added: 18-11-2008

I go to a local coffee shop in Warrenton, Black Wolf Coffee, once in a while. Lately, I go there more frequently. Sherri makes the best mocha, and she recently has gotten me hooked (like a pusher) on coffee with two shots of espresso.

I heard that Starbucks had suffered a 97% drop in profits. Gees, I’ll take the 3% profit in this economic climate. Stop your whining, Starbucks. You have nothing to complain about.

Danker Furniture announced the closing of three stores in the area. This does not make me happy in any way. It actually makes me sad, and a little nervous. Many jobs are lost, and all the knowledge and talent that has been acquired over the years at Danker is dissipating. Competition is good for businesses. It affords the ability to differentiate oneself from the pack. I like Sherri’s coffee better. It has more love in the mix. Many people really liked Danker. They were reputable people who knew their jobs.

I worry about local businesses like Black Wolf. I go more often for several reasons. I figure I have $10 extra bucks a week to burn through, and if that makes a difference of keeping Black Wolf there in a year or not, I’m glad to do it. Also, I’ve been having some pretty interesting conversations with my barista (that always sounds so impressive) about stuff. Important stuff, like…….I don’t know………stuff. Really, going to Black Wolf makes me feel more centered, more focused on the day at hand. The visit is only for 5 minutes, but when I leave with a smile and a great cup of coffee, I’m good to go.

What I’m telling you is that we are all in this thing together, and some businesses are not doing so well. If they are worth having, go support them. Don’t let the doom and gloom of the economic forecasters dictate when and where you spend your money. Gas prices are down, the election is over. Go get a cup of coffee and celebrate.

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