It’s easy to believe that wood furniture has a standard look. The fact is a custom wood piece can take on a variety of different appearances based solely on the quality of the finish and the wood’s texture. The true beauty of a custom furniture piece is the distinctive touch that makes it special. Tastes differ.
Jon Nameth, the owner of Fine Oak Things, understands that his clients’ preferences vary. So he ensures there is never a shortage of options with his inventory of wood furniture, for both stain and texture.
“The finish and texture really can change the look of a piece,” says Nameth. “You can have a nice smooth table, which is easy to picture. But if you go with something that has saw marks and is a little more uneven, it’s going to make that piece feel more rustic, even with the same wood and stain. Putting a texture on it makes an enormous difference.
“The other nice thing about a more rustic texture on a piecee is that bumps, scratches, dings, and kid accidents don’t stand out as much as they would on a smooth surface. They help blend away any self-inflicted wounds.”
Fine Oak Things offers finishing options that will meet any taste, from rustic to ultra-modern, and everything in between. It’s important for Nameth to get a sense of what a client likes from a tour of the showroom floor. Understanding their preferences helps guide the next step, which is coaching them through the process and choosing a furniture maker best suited to their needs.
Fine Oak Things uses multiple Mennonite craftsman for a their solid wood furniture. Two of the more notable – ASB Conestoga Furniture out of nearby Wallenstein, ON, and Cardinal Woodcraft, located in Elmira, ON. Both companies take pride in their exceptional artistry and quality. And each has a specialty when it comes to the styles of their products.
ASB Conestoga makes a variety of beautiful wood pieces, including bedroom sets, dining room sets, coffee tables, desks, and more. They do make some modern collections, but their specialty is rustic furniture. Any piece they build can be made with one of six finishes: Vintage, Windswept, Sawmarks, Random Hand Planed, Continuous Hand Planed, and Millsawn.
Click here to read more about the options at asbconestoga.ca.
“If you want that rustic look, you will lean to something like Sawmarks or Millsawn because they are more rugged,” says Nameth. “They look like they belong in a cottage, though many customers want that for in their house, too.
“If you’re going for a more modern look, you will lean to something like the Continuous Hand Planed if you want very slight distress on the surface.”
Nameth says that those going the rustic route have overwhelmingly chosen the Millsawn surface. The wood comes straight from the lumber mill with limited sanding.
“You’re going to get some unevenness to the surface, a lot of saw marks,” says Nameth. “It’s very unique.”
“By comparison, the Sawmark option is a machined texture. Everything is sanded smooth and then put through a planer with saw blades equally spaced. The look is very consistent from piece to piece.”
Cardinal’s main focus is making stunning dining tables. The company does build chairs, sideboards, and one-off pieces, though dining sets are certainly a specialty area. At Cardinal, the world is your oyster when it comes to stains and textures. They are available in several options within the four main colour categories: Maple, Wormy Maple, Cherry, Oak, and White Oak. The top textures offered are named Ruff Cut, Random Planed, Hand Scraped, and Hand Planed.
Click here to see the many different stain and texture options at cardinalwoodcraft.ca.
“Cardinal will run the gamut from rustic to modern,” says Nameth. “Their modern is quite modern, while their rustic would not be quite as rustic as ASB. They trend towards the more contemporary furniture.”
Both Cardinal and ASB Conestoga make incredible pieces. At the moment, Nameth says the turnaround time from ordering one to its delivery is approximately 12 weeks, which is a few weeks longer than pre-pandemic. The good news is that the timeline has stabilized and should improve throughout the year.
But that special wood piece is worth the wait. Whether it’s something as simple as an end table or as complex as a full dining set, the right texture can make it a perfect fit in your home.
“These different choices are one of the ways we help our customers customize,” Nameth says.