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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Tribute to My Father: For the Love of Wood

Bolier's Rosenau Stateside Chair

Dear readers, it is my sincere hope you are enjoying time with family and friends during these holidays!

It is with great sadness I must tell you - a very special part of my life, my beloved father, has passed away during this holiday. He was a truly wonderful man who had keen interest and skill in fine woodworking, and his attention to detail and dedication to his hobby made him a master. Therefore, I am compelled to discuss one of his favourite materials: wood. No space should be without the beauty and warmth of wood!

Zebrano wood has been one of the popular exotic woods used in the past decade for modern applications, as shown in this kitchen by Beeleigh Interiors from the UK.

Here are some of the exotic and domestic varieties of wood used for furniture and inlays. Chart courtesy of Evoke Woodcraft.

Dark Maple wideplank flooring by Carlisle.
The hottest wood flooring is hand-scraped, reclaimed, recycled, or distressed and is available in a variety of widths and finishes, making it wonderful for hiding wear and tear. Some companies even burn the wood slightly to give it an ashy, grayed appearance.

Country Floors' teak flooring

The natural beauty of wood adds warmth and richness to a space. The rustic beams, oversized clock, gleaming floor and turned legs on the island of this kitchen make this stark white scheme very cozy and inviting. Interior by Amy D Morris.

Going green is important these days.Global Views' Washboard Media Console is made of recycled wood.

Siematic's new Beaux Arts Collection mixes styles and wood finishes in cabinetry to create dramatic, outstanding kitchens.

Often, clients are concerned about ' mixing woods'. Mixing it up a bit is good! A room with all one colour or type of wood can be boring, especially with all of the basic 'espresso' furniture that is available anywhere, even at the grocery store! Some consideration should be made with the wood's colour and the style of furniture. A rustic yellow pine cabinet may not work well when paired with a refined mahogany dining room table.

I have a fondness for dark furniture, especially when it has an interesting shape. Barbara Barry's Facets pedestal table for Henredon is timeless beauty.Photo from Detroit Home Magazine.

Housewears works with any wood, but custom built applications other than kitchens are often maple, walnut or quarter sawn oak.This wall unit we designed is dark espresso maple, and is actually 11 feet tall, but in a room with 18' ceilings, the scale was absolutely perfect.

Another project from Housewears, using quarter sawn oak in a natural finish. The look was clean, interesting, yet simple in this small media room.

A clever black walnut pocket bar from Interior Design Magazine. Photo by Eric Laignel.

Oly's hot Isa wooden chandelier is a modern take on an old-world style.

Photo via The Contemporist. Dutch designer Frans Schrofer's Mobius Chair

Oly Studio's Ivan Tall Chest is ornate yet restrained.

The sun-bleached, relaxed traditional look is cropping up everywhere...this is the St. James Collection in weathered oak from Restoration Hardware.

Global Views is also introducing its Light Limed Wood collection, with this French Key Console.

Rustic modern - Interior Design Magazine's Best of the Year 2009 winner in residential tables is the Duette table by Altura Furniture.

Another Interior Design Magazine award winner for 2009 in residential seating is the Pasadena Rocker by Thos. Moser.

Yes, I know you've seen this photo before, but I must post it again because it is my father's handiwork.
We worked together on this project: I designed, and he built the cabinetry, carefully matching the grain of the gorgeous black walnut. The workmanship is superb, and we both loved it!

My Father, John

Today, I honour my dad, an outstanding father and grandfather. He taught me so many wonderful values, and he was a friend to all who knew him. We will miss him tremendously! A retired engineer and devoted family man, he also loved to golf and to work in his woodshop. He enjoyed assisting us at Housewears, setting up and delivering furniture in a pinch, or completing small projects we specified for our clients...there was nothing he couldn't fix. The outpouring of support has been very comforting to our family during this holiday, and he would want us all to toast to his life rather than shed tears for his passing. This New Year's Eve, please hug your loved ones a bit tighter and enjoy your time with them, and raise a glass to those special people who are no longer with you! Wishing you joy, peace, love and good health for 2010!