Our customers are so often the exact inspiration needed for a new standard product. Not only are you creative but you are very good designers – no wonder our standard line keeps growing. This story starts when co-owner Mark Gatterdam met Aaron and Catherine in our showroom.
Aaron and Catherine have always had a fine appreciation for watching things unfold. Aaron told us, “We have always appreciated furniture and viewed it more as functional art as opposed to things-to-put-stuff-on.”
Their house was built in the 1940’s by Aaron’s great grandfather for his Grandfather and Grandmother to live in. His ever so handy Grandfather also built houses for his three daughters as well as another one for himself. I’ll let him tell the rest of the story:
“They are all located in Baton Rouges’ Garden District Area adjacent to Louisiana State University. Upon my grandmother’s passing Catherine and I decided to purchase the home from my dad and my aunt. We felt strongly about keeping the house in the family; four of the five houses are still owned by relatives. Our house is very small by today’s standards, just under 1,000 SF.
Catherine and I purchased it in rough condition. We are on the tail end of completing a massive renovation. Because the house is so small everything that goes in must be considered very carefully. Too much of anything, or anything large and bulky, or the wrong color will weigh the rooms down and cause them to appear very crowded and cluttered. Catherine and I have considered furniture very carefully. We drew a lot of inspiration from pieces on display at the Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach, California.
Catherine and I try to make the festival each year while visiting her grandparents on the west coast. We have been considering furniture to fill this house for over three years… we don’t get in a hurry.
We visited galleries when traveling on vacation and business. I even considered building some of my own pieces (believe it or not I can hold my own in the shop.) What initially drew me to Hardwood Artisans was the use of solid hard woods and the oil finish. No one does this for production… are y’all crazy? Catherine and I chose standard pieces from the Hardwood Artisans portfolio.
We thought we would push you guys just a little bit with the idea of incorporating a more “unique” headboard. It wasn’t until I saw the Motus Desk at the Culpeper shop that realized exactly what you guys are capable of. We were hoping that you all could understand our broad design ideas and then use your talents and ideas to create a design that matched us. That is exactly what you all did. To me that is infinitely more difficult and personal then simply taking a customer’s design and building it according to spec. We certainly appreciate the human element and emotional labor that you and your design team have incorporated so far. We cannot wait to see the final product.
As far as names… We’ll defiantly throw one in the hat for consideration… We’ll need to sleep on it. I’ll let you know our vote.
Here are a few pictures of the final bed!
I was working in our Shirlington showroom a few months ago when I received a rather odd phone call. One of our previous customers was entering to win a grant from the American Physical Society. This was not a typical type of phone call.
He was entering the grant with the help of his family to win money to build a new, improved Penny Theater for the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation and was hoping we would help. I told him I was interested but I did not have a clue what a Penny Theater was… do you?
Long story short the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation and this wonderful family use the Penny Theater to teach children all kinds of lessons. The theater is small enough to be carried from one place to another yet large enough to host a whole play on it using small caricatures.
I and the rest of Hardwood Artisans believe education very important. If you are learning the mathematics of building hardwood furniture, why the sky is blue or the technique of social marketing it is important to keep on learning. I knew Hardwood Artisans had to help with this great project. I knew we could build an enhanced, updated an perfect Penny Theater. Here is what an older one looks like:
We are proud to announce a new and attractive business partnership. Hardwood Artisans is getting into art and framing – well sort of. We have partnered up with an art and framing gallery in Alexandria, Virginia to keep our showroom walls fresh and beautiful. The company is Broadway Galleries and they have just as much to offer as we do on a slightly smaller scale.
When we first moved into our new shop in Culpeper I kept hearing about the airport behind our shop. There was so much vegetation (and snakes) behind the shop it was difficult to see. I have to be honest I didn’t think much about it.
While I have had the pleasure of getting to know people in Culpeper the kind people at Culpeper Airport reached out to us and offered 20 free airplane rides at our Lemonade Social. What a wonderful offer! You can sign up for a ride by clicking here.
I went over to the airport this week and had the opportunity to take a tour. I am still amazed and delighted at the neat treasures the airport has to show off. They have a whole Commemorative Air Force (CAF) hanger dedicated to storing incredible older and historic planes – not to mention a British armored fighting vehicle – a Ferret Scout Car. Most of the planes in the CAF hanger still fly! Check out this plane:
In our Fairfax showroom: Jo Fleming
I stumbled on Jo and her outstanding abstract paintings during last year’s Great Falls Art Studio Tour. And even though that was last October, her work never left my mind. Jo’s artwork fits in beautifully with the furniture in our Fairfax showroom.
In our Rockville showroom: Margot Miller
I made the long drive out from Arlington, VA to Easton, MD to meet Margot. And boy was I happy when I got there. Margot is such a wonderful host, not just in her studio and home, but her whole town. She took me on a tour and told me a little bit about the history of the area.
We have 3 new wonderful artists that we want to share with you. We will be posting a highlight on each artist for the next week, so be sure to tune in. They will be displaying their artwork in our showrooms until June. Hurry in to see what they have to offer.
In our Shirlington showroom: Mary Eggers
Being a fan of Hardwood Artisans, Mary stopped by our Shirlington showroom one day and after noticing that we display local artwork, decided to ask what she could do to get her artwork in here. All she had to was show me her website, and I was immediately captivated.
Semi-Finalist in the Washington Post Peep Contest!
Peep! Peep! It is amazing all of the words you can make a Peep pun out of. Peepwood Artisans, Peeplydes, Murpeepy beds, peepsters – we have been rolling on the floor laughing at how Peeplarious the word Peep can be.
We advertise in the Washington Post Magazine every week and for years have been laughing at the Peep contest they host every year. My background is in interior architecture and I spent years in school building tiny little models with exact-o blades and glue. My co-worker and one of our very talented furniture designers, Katie has a similar background. We decided to make the jump and enter the Peep contest with Peepwood Artisans delivering furniture to Peeptown (Georgetown) to an apeepment on top of Peeplyde’s. (See what I’m talking about with the Peep puns?).
Come see us at the Architectural Digest Show at Pier 94 March 22nd – March 25. We are happy to announce the unveiling of our newest design – The Motus Desk. Keep an eye out for pictures and a blog about designing the desk during and after the show.
Receive $5 off your show tickets by using the code “Hardwood” when you order tickets by clicking here.