After making the trip with me to pick out lumber for the table, the clients (recent retirees from the mid-west) remarked that Portlandia has more of a basis in reality than they realized. The book-matched western walnut pieces in the table top came from a farm near Peoria, and the western maple centerpiece from the eastern Coast Range. They joked, "can we visit where the tree grew"...was it a joke?...yes, it was a joke. We had been looking for something else for the table top; but then Clifford (http://curlyburlymilling.com/) showed us the book-matched sets of western walnut and they immediately knew it was right. By itself, the walnut set was too narrow for a dining table; and, the western maple centerpiece was a graceful way to incorporate the walnut into a larger top and preserved the book-matched effect. The trestle style base gives lightness to the large table (7'+ long) and complements the open, modern feel of the home.
The steps are part of an entryway addition, designed by David Schmitz of engage:ARCHITECTURE. The upper step carries through into a bench seat with storage under the lid, and is a welcoming transition into the main living area of the home. One of the owners previously owned a furniture gallery in Seattle, and a set of candlesticks had stayed with her through the years and remained an important part of their home. The mirrored pyramid design of the candlesticks were the inspiration for the hooks; and, are functional when guests hang their coats, and are otherwise a decorative addition to David's vision and reflective of the clients aesthetic.
The former fireplace surround was porcelain tile and painted mdf, and the homeowner was looking to make use of local materials to update the focal point of the living room. The tile was replaced with travertine, and the nicely figured black walnut was milled by Curly Burly. I used a hand-rubbed Polyx Oil finish to really help the figure pop. Often, some of the more muted violet and grey tones in black walnut will become less distinct when finished; and I was pleased that the color variations remained so prominent in the finished piece.